The birth of the sharpening stone industry in the United States dates back to 1823 in a small New Hampshire village, when a farmer discovered that stones in his pasture were ideal for sharpening scythes and axes. This excellent deposit of mica schist became the foundation of the Pike Company – the first supplier of commercially available natural sharpening stones in North America.
Using the nearby Connecticut River for transportation, the Pike Company was able to distribute the ever-growing product of its quarries to a broad regional, national and eventually world market. As time went on, the company expanded its original product offering to include over twenty varieties of natural stone, including the Arkansas line. Quarried from the Novaculite deposits near Hot Springs, AR, these stones soon replaced the mica schist as the quality standard in premium natural sharpening stones. They remain so today – no other natural stone can match their fine performance characteristics.
In 1932, after years of close association, Norton Company purchased the Pike Company, but the headquarters of the newly formed Norton Pike Company remain nestled in the White Mountains. As Norton Abrasives developed its position in synthetic abrasives, Pike Company complemented its natural stones with aluminum oxide and silicon carbide bonded abrasives. This strengthened its position in that portion of the market requiring fast-cutting, heavy stock removing sharpening stones. During this period, the Pike Company consolidated its operations in Littleton, New Hampshire.
Norton was founded in 1885 to manufacture the first grinding wheels that could be precision made and mass-produced.
Norton began to expand as the new bonded abrasives reached customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Today, Norton Pike manufactures well over 6,400 products and continues to serve world markets with the broadest line of natural and synthetic sharpening stones available. For over 175 years Norton Pike has been satisfying sportsman, farmers, mechanics, woodworkers, and culinary experts with products designed for all their sharpening needs.