After decades of innovation, partnerships and problem solving, Americhem turns 75 years old today. The progression from manufacturers’ rep to a fledgling manufacturing company to the global organization we are today makes for very interesting business history. In fact, you can compare Americhem’s history to a Horatio Alger novel. In those 19th century stories, impoverished boys rise up from their humble backgrounds to enter the middle class and its relative stability and comfort. In the same way, Americhem rose from its humble beginnings in 1941 as The Caldwell Company to a global corporation with over 800 employees and manufacturing locations around the world. Sylvester Caldwell, Caldwell Company’s founder, was displaced from his job at Thompson Weinman & Co. when its Akron office closed. This led directly to Caldwell forming his own company representing manufacturers of fillers for rubber.
Even after Caldwell Company was established, tough times lay ahead. As the U.S. entered World War II, natural rubber became scarce and was rationed, and Caldwell had to find customers outside the rubber industry. This led to the company’s first experience with colorants, which laid the foundation for things to come.
In the early 50’s, Richard H. (Dick) Juve joined the company. Juve was a self-made man who spent four years as a Marine Corps pilot in WWII, which had interrupted his college education at Penn State. Juve returned to finish college after the war. He made a name for himself within The Caldwell Company by spending much of his time evaluating PVC stabilizers and lubricants, including working nights and weekends. In 1958, Juve and Harvey Cooper bought one third shares of the company with Caldwell retaining the remaining third. Soon, a manufacturing plant was purchased and the company changed its focus to making color concentrates. In 1959, the company’s name was changed to Americhem, which it remains to this day.
These stories of men “pulling themselves up by the bootstraps” are embedded into the core of our company values and principles. To this day Americhem provides opportunities for hard-working employees to start here in any capacity and to move their way up through the ranks to the job of their dreams. This “rags to riches” mentality of Alger’s novels can be seen in the operations of our company on a daily basis and can also be seen in our company history which all Americhem employees share.
So happy anniversary Americhem! Here’s to the next 75 years of success, hard work and fulfilling dreams.
Scott BlanchardCorporate Marketing & Communications Manager