June 14, 2010
LENOX®, a manufacturer of power tool accessories, hand tools, torches, solder, and band saw blades in East Longmeadow, Mass., has announced the retirement of Lee "Hackman" Breton from a 48-year career with the company.
Breton started at LENOX in 1962 on the manufacturing floor. During that time he was credited with manufacturing the first bimetal reciprocating saw blade by hand. At the time Jim Davis, former president, went to him looking for a metal cutting blade to give to his plumber. Back then reciprocating blades were hardened, so he was desperate to give his plumber a solution for his continuous blade breakage problem. Breton's bimetal reciprocating saw blade was the answer.
In 1981 the LENOX sales team asked Breton if he could cut a car in half with the new Hackmaster™ hacksaw blades to show off their superior strength and durability. He accepted and met this challenge, which turned out to be the first of hundreds of car cuts — earning him the nickname "Hackman." From that day forward, being Hackman became his full-time job. Over the years Breton traveled the world as Hackman, demonstrating LENOX products by cutting more than 500 cars and other items, including an oil tank truck, cargo plane, boxcar, house, armored car, and a bus at the 1999 Super Bowl XXXIIII.
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