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Caldwell History

Historical information on Caldwell

THE CALDWELL COMPANY had its roots in the fertile mind of Leslie M. Caldwell, an inventor and tinkerer. The Company was incorporated in 1954 by Mr. Caldwell who designed, fabricated, and sold special lifting slings, one of which was the patented Adjust-A-Leg® load leveling wire rope sling.

Mr. Caldwell purchased a used Singer 7-33 sewing machine, and some MIL spec webbing and thread from Eastern Jobbers and started making nylon web slings in the basement of the building at 1224 4th Avenue, Rockford. Caldwell branded slings were then put on the market.

Jack W. Remington purchased the company in 1962; he brought with him 25 years of design, shop, sales and business management experience. Mr. Remington gradually expanded the product line and his staff as the company slowly grew larger. By 1971, more space was required, which precipitated moving to a new, larger facility in Rockford's Eastrock Industrial Park where the company is presently situated.

Howard A. Will, Jr., a Yale University graduate with a major in civil engineering, a masters in civil engineering from Stanford University, and a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois, purchased THE CALDWELL COMPANY at the end of 1976.

Taking advantage of his engineering background, Howard Will shifted the emphasis of the company to fabricated metal, Below-the-Hook lifters. He built up the engineering department and started a program to upgrade production facilities. Early on, a goal was established to offer the fullest range of Below-the-Hook lifting products from one source.

The single largest expansion of our company was with the acquisition of Creative Material Control Inc. (CMCI™) in Centralia, IL. CMCI™ manufactures a full line of vacuum and mill duty lifters.

By the end of 1994 the company had, through numerous acquisitions and internal development, grown into six separate and distinct product lines.

  •  Strong-Bac® - Below the Hook Crane & Hoist Attachments
  •  Rig-Master® - Rigging attachments
  •  Lif-Truc™ - Fork lift truck attachments
  •  Caldwell® - Web Slings and Tie-Downs
  •  UNIVAC® - Vacuum lifters
  •  CMCI™ - Mill Duty Lifters

With the separate product lines, it seemed fitting to rename the company to THE CALDWELL GROUP, INC. and this was done in 1994.

Since 1994 The Caldwell Group has made several other acquisitions including the Posi-Turner® product line from Park Industries (Minnesota); and Woodstock Crane & Hoist Company (Illinois). These expansions have developed into two additional product lines:

  •  Posi-Turner® - Load Rotation Systems
  •  Krane-King® - Jib and Gantry Cranes

To facilitate his retirement, Mr. Will elected to sell the company to the employees that helped to build it into what it is today.  On December 15, 2010, we completed that transaction to become 100% employee owned.  Each employee now has a vested interest in the success of the organization and the satisfaction of our customers.  It is our privilege to utilize our engineering knowledge and extensive experience to provide our customers with the unparalleled quality and service expected of a market leader.

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