R.J. Cox Engineering Official Blog

A Nostalgic Look Back at the Humble Beginnings of Rubbermaid

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 1:34 am

12097934_mRJ Cox is no stranger when it comes to Rubbermaid products.  Our product line is loaded with a wide range of products from Rubbermaid.  Our customers love purchasing Rubbermaid products and we love selling them products from the Rubbermaid line.

And while we could go on and on about the amazing features found in everything from Slim Jim Containers to Side Panel Platform Trucks, we wanted to discuss something a little different.  We wanted to get a little nostalgic and take a walk through some of the interesting history behind the Rubbermaid company and its durable, useful product line.  After all, what better way to learn about the present than to take a glimpse into the past.

The next time you are relaxing and daydreaming about your favorite Rubbermaid products take the time to give thanks to balloons.  That’s right: balloons.  You see, the humble beginnings of this now world-famous company started in a factory that created toy balloons.  But alas, the Wooster Rubber Company was not the true beginning of Rubbermaid.  It was, however, where the company grew to prominence over the next decades.

You see, it wasn’t balloons that officially launched Rubbermaid.  That honor goes to the dustpan.  That’s right: the dustpan.  Prior to 1933, dustpans were made from metal which could both cause damage to walls and also be easily damaged.  Then along came the Caldwells.

James Caldwell and his wife Madeline had a solution for this mounting metal dustpan dilemma.  That solution was rubber.  Not just any rubber, but a brightly colored rubber both created from a new technique and also patented.  What did they decide to call their product line?  You guessed it – Rubbermaid.

The toy balloon factory and the indestructible – while brightly-colored and attractive – dustpan came together in 1934.  From there the company continued to innovate and grow into the Rubbermaid we have come to love today.  So the next time you see a young child happily holding a toy balloon, you might find yourself – like us – drifting off into daydreams about brightly colored trash bins, mop buckets and yes, dustpans.

Tell us in the comments, what’s your favorite rubbermaid product?

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