The Caldwell Company has 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 being the patented Adjust-A-Leg® load-leveling wire rope sling.
Mr. Caldwell purchased a used Singer 7-33 sewing machine, 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 master’s 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, Will shifted the emphasis of the company to fabricated metal and 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 the Caldwell 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.