Draper Tools was started in 1919 when the founder, Bert Draper, sold government surplus and tools in markets around the Kingston Upon Thames area. This led to the purchase of the original warehouse, from which the Draper Tool Company Limited as we know it today was born, although at this time it was known as B. Draper & Son Limited and owned the trademark B.D.S.
Although Draper Tools sold its own brand as early as this time, it was also a quality Engineers Merchant and Tool Wholesaler, selling brands that are well known today, such as, Britool, King Dick, Elliott Lucas, etc.
When Bert Draper passed away in 1963, control of the Company passed to his son Norman. With the increased business and cramped conditions at Kingston Upon Thames, Norman purchased the freehold rights to the current premises in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire at auction the same year. Norman pushed the business forward dramatically and developed the ‘Draper’ brand as we know it today, by importing quality tools from all around the World. He also established ‘exclusive’ relationships on a family to family basis, with such Companies as Elora and Knipex, which still exist today.
A key highlight during this time frame when in 1984 Draper Tools signed a sponsorship deal with Southampton FC sponsoring the club for nine years between 1984 and 1993. Norman died in 1994 and the Company is now run by his son, John. His wife Joan, who passed away in 1999, produced, almost single-handedly, the Company’s first type-written catalogue in 1953. This level of family involvement would be rare in any other company of this size in the UK… But then Draper Tools is no ‘other company!