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A History of
Commitment, Leadership

When Sid Jacobson began selling cutting tools from the trunk of his car in 1941, he operated with integrity, respect and a commitment to each customer. He was a leader whose values and passion for excellence are the foundation of what has become MSC Industrial Supply Co. From being the first to use technology in distribution to expanding from one category into 40 to offering critical expertise beyond the product, our company has grown into a $3.2 billion business. With 80 years of rapid growth and change, we remain committed to delivering the pioneering products and services that help our customers run even better businesses.

MSC History

Every major milestone in our history has been based on servicing the needs of our customers. Take a look at some of the highlights below and join us as we look forward to the achievements yet to come.

Sid's Tool Co.

Sid Jacobson founded Sid Tool Co. in New York


Sid Tool Co., Inc., was incorporated on September 6, 1946

Sid's Tool Catalogs

Published its first catalog, The Big Book.

Moved operations from New York City to Ames Court in Plainview, Long Island - MSC's first Customer Fulfillment Center

Computerizing Inventory Management

Entered into computerized inventory management and order processing, one of the first distributors to do so


Established a fully integrated Quality Assurance Department, one of the first distributors to do so

Mitchell Jacobson

Sid Jacobson's son, Mitchell Jacobson, became President of MSC


Offered UPS 1- to 2-day delivery

Opened its first branch in Pawtucket, RI


Introduced Total Quality Management


Opened a second Customer Fulfillment Center in Atlanta, GA


Started the industry's first Same Day Shipping Guarantee


Began major product expansion into MRO-type product categories


Began trading on the NYSE (ticker symbol MSM)


Opened a third Customer Fulfillment Center in Elkhart, IN


Relocated its Plainview, NY, Customer Fulfillment Center to Harrisburg, PA


Moved its Customer Support Center/Corporate Headquarters to Melville, NY


Opened a fourth Customer Fulfillment Center in Reno, NV


"Big Book" items offered on the Internet


Awarded GSA Contract #GS-06F-0010N


Awarded USPS MRO Contract #2CMROS-03-B-4457


Started the West Coast expansion by opening our first sales office in Southern California (the Los Angeles sales office)

David Sandler

David Sandler promoted to CEO.

Launched new Keyword Search on mscdirect.com.


MSC acquires J&L Industrial


Successfully merged J&L's systems to MSC's computer systems. Completed the integration of the J&L distribution centers, positioning MSC to begin working on full integration and offering customers the best of both worlds.

Next Day

MSC launched its "Get It Next Day... at no additional cost" program with a standard national ordering cut-off time of 8:00PM ET.

MSC fully integrated J&L and launched a new brand, "MSC/J&L Metalworking," focused on offering technical information and assistance, products and services targeted towards our metalworking customers


MSC completed the final phase of the brand transition and MSC/J&L Metalworking became MSC Industrial Supply - Metalworking's Best Choice. The focus continues to be on metalworking - offering customers best-in-class service and technical assistance.


MSC continues West Coast expansion with the acquisition of Rutland Tool. MSC also acquires American Tool Supply (ATS). MSC achieves $2 billion in annual sales!


MSC acquires ATS Industrial Supply (Salt Lake City, UT and Phoenix, AZ). Launches new "Best in Class" MSCDirect.com web experience.

Davidson Office and

MSC acquires Barnes Distribution North America to expand its industry leading inventory management solutions and its footprint in Canada

MSC opens new customer support center in Davidson, N.C., to support growth

MSC earns ISO 9001-2008 Registration, a global recognition of our commitment to high quality and continuous improvement

Sid Jacobson's grandson, Erik Gershwind, became President and CEO


MSC ranks #40 on Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide® and achieves a digital milestone by conducting half of its business online, reflecting changing customer demands

MSC opens its most advanced Customer Fulfillment Center in Columbus, Ohio


MSC acquires DECO Tool Supply Co., an industrial supply distributor based in Davenport, Iowa, to expand its footprint in the region.


MSC acquires All Integrated Solutions, a value-added distributor of industrial fasteners and components, MRO supplies and assembly tools based in Franksville, Wisconsin, to expand its inventory management solutions portfolio.

TAC Global Solutions building

MSC completes a transaction with TAC Global Solutions, a Mexican industrial distribution company, to expand into Mexico.


MSC acquires Wm. F. Hurst Co., LLC, a Wichita, Kansas-based distributor of metalworking tools and supplies with deep expertise in the aerospace industry.