"I saw no other way but to try to create a business for myself by inventing something useful that people would want."
"I had worked at pattern making and used clumsy, fixed-blade try squares. I realized the need of a more handy instrument, gave the subject careful study and drew a design that pleased me, and made patterns of it, sitting at the kitchen table night after night until the small hours."
"I secured a foot lathe for my room and after I had made patterns, got castings and a blade for my combination square and took them to a nearby machine shop, engaged the best workman and stood by for two days until he got finished. The man was an expert toolmaker so when it was finished I asked: 'Well, what do you think of it?' He said: 'I would not give a damn for it.' But that did not discourage me. I knew his reason. He believed that the sliding blade in a square stock could not be ground sufficiently accurate to be depended upon, the difficulty being the then almost impossible task of grinding a perfect straight edge to form the blade, due to the heat generated in grinding. I believed the difficulty could be overcome, and it was, so that we were finally able to guarantee our squares standard for accuracy and they are so accepted the world over."
Leroy S. Starrett
Excerpt from The Starrett Story, (Athol, MA: The L.S. Starrett Company, 2012)
Starrett Combination Square