Newell Rubbermaid Inc. History

Newell Center
29 East Stephenson Street
Freeport, Illinois 61032-0943

Telephone: (815) 235-4171
Toll Free: 800-421-1941
Fax: (815) 381-8155

Public Company
Incorporated: 1902 as W.F. Linton Company
Employees: 49,425
Sales: $6.91 billion (2001)
Stock Exchanges: New York Midwest
Ticker Symbol: NWL
NAIC: 321999 All Other Miscellaneous Wood Product Manufacturing; 323118 Blankbook, Looseleaf Binders, and Devices Manufacturing; 326199 All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing; 326299 All Other Rubber Product Manufacturing; 327212 Other Pressed and Blown Glass and Glassware Manufacturing; 332116 Metal Stamping; 332211 Cutlery and Flatware (Except Precious) Manufacturing; 332212 Hand Edge Tool Manufacturing; 332213 Saw Blade and Handsaw Manufacturing; 332214 Kitchen Utensil, Pot, and Pan Manufacturing; 332510 Hardware Manufacturing; 333992 Welding and Soldering Equipment Manufacturing; 332999 All Other Miscellaneous Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing; 337125 Household Furniture (Except Wood and Metal) Manufacturing; 337215 Showcase, Partition, Shelving, and Locker Manufacturing; 337920 Blind and Shade Manufacturing; 339931 Doll and Stuffed Toy Manufacturing; 339932 Game, Toy, and Children's Vehicle Manufacturing; 339941 Pen and Mechanical Pencil Manufacturing; 339942 Lead Pencil and Art Good Manufacturing; 339943 Marking Device Manufacturing; 339994 Broom, Brush, and Mop Manufacturing; 339999 All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

Each and every day, our products touch millions of people where they work, where they live and where they play. Our portfolio of power brands provides a compelling platform for growth that we are leveraging with breakthrough product innovation, high-impact marketing and attention-grabbing presentation at the point of sale. At the same time, we are aggressively pursuing the type of operating efficiency that characterizes the world's best companies. Our vision is to create a global powerhouse in consumer and commercial products and to provide a superior return to our shareholders. Frankly, we can't think of a more exciting opportunity.

Key Dates:

Ogdensburg, New York-based W.F. Linton Company is incorporated to make brass curtain rods.
Linton goes bankrupt; Edgar A. Newell takes control of the firm, renaming it Newell Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Newell forms an affiliated company in Prescott, Canada, called Newell Manufacturing Company Ltd.
The Wooster Rubber Company is formed in Wooster, Ohio, to make toy balloons.
Another Newell-affiliated company, Western Newell Manufacturing Company, is formed to run a curtain rod factory in Freeport, Illinois.
James R. Caldwell forms an enterprise called Rubbermaid, whose first product is a red rubber dustpan.
Wooster Rubber and Rubbermaid merge, retaining the former's corporate name and headquarters and the latter's brand name.
Wooster Rubber goes public.
Wooster branches into plastic products, introducing a plastic dishpan.
Wooster Rubber changes its name to Rubbermaid Incorporated.
The Newell companies are consolidated into Newell Manufacturing Company, which is based in Freeport.
Newell Manufacturing is reincorporated in Delaware as Newell Companies, Inc.
Newell goes public.
Cookware maker Mirro Corporation is acquired by Newell.
Rubbermaid acquires the Little Tikes Company, maker of plastic toys.
Newell Companies is renamed Newell Co.
Rubbermaid acquires MicroComputer Accessories.
Glassware maker Anchor Hocking Corporation is acquired by Newell.
Newell acquires Levolor Corp., Lee/Rowan Co., and Goody Products Inc.
Newell acquires Home Fashions Inc., Faber-Castell Corporation, and Corning Incorporated's European consumer products operation.
Rubbermaid acquires Graco Children's Products Inc.
Newell acquires the Kirsch decorative window hardware brand and Rubbermaid's office products unit.
Newell acquires Calphalon Corporation and two German firms: the Gardinia Group and Rotring Group; Rubbermaid acquires the Curver Group and Century Products Company.
Newell acquires Rubbermaid for $6 billion; Newell changes its name to Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
Newell Rubbermaid acquires the stationery products division of Gillette Company, gaining the Paper Mate, Parker, Waterman, and Liquid Paper brands.
Joseph Galli, Jr., comes onboard as president and CEO and launches a thorough restructuring.
The company acquires American Tool Companies, Inc., maker of hand tools and power tool accessories.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Aeppel, Timothy, "Rubbermaid Is on a Tear, Sweeping Away the Cobwebs," Wall Street Journal, September 8, 1998, p. B4.
  • ------, "Rubbermaid Plans New Restructuring, Predicts Charges of at Least $200 Million," Wall Street Journal, January 22, 1998, p. B6.
  • Benmour, Eric, "Vermont American Suitor Proves Tenacious," Business First-Louisville, August 28, 1989, Sec. 1, p. 1.
  • Borden, Jeff, "Newell Makes Its Move," Crain's Chicago Business, November 25, 1991, p. 46.
  • Braham, James, "The Billion-Dollar Dustpan," Industry Week, August 1, 1988, p. 46.
  • Byrne, Harlan S., "Newell Co.," Barron's, April 12, 1993, p. 52.
  • Cahill, Joseph B., and Timothy Aeppel, "Newell Faces a Big Challenge in Rubbermaid Takeover," Wall Street Journal, November 3, 1998, p. B4.
  • Campanella, Frank W., "Wide and Growing Line Spurs Rubbermaid Gains," Barron's, October 3, 1977.
  • Christensen, Jean, "How Rubbermaid Invites Profits," New York Times, May 19, 1974.
  • Cimperman, Jennifer Scott, "Rubbermaid Endures Newellization," Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 2000, p. 1C.
  • Coleman, Calemetta Y., "Newell Builds Success from Diamonds in the Rough," Wall Street Journal, April 14, 1995, p. B4.
  • Conley, Thomas P., "The NHMA Report: Electronic Partnerships Provide Bottom-Line Payoffs," Discount Merchandiser, January 1993, pp. 45-46.
  • Cuthbert, William R., Newell Companies--A Corporate History--The First 40 Years, Freeport, Ill.: Newell Co., 1983.
  • David, Gregory E., "Let Us Prey: Having Swallowed 31 Companies in 25 Years, Ruthless Newell Remains on the Prowl," Financial World, June 21, 1994, pp. 29-30.
  • Defotis, Dimitra, "Household Help: Rubbermaid Stock Cooks with a New CEO," Barron's, February 5, 2001, p. 40.
  • Deutsch, Claudia H., "A Giant Awakens, to Yawns: Is Rubbermaid Reacting Too Late?," New York Times, December 22, 1996, pp. F1, F13.
  • Farnham, Alan, "America's Most Admired Company," Fortune, February 7, 1994, pp. 50-54.
  • Gallun, Alby, "Newell Confronts Its Next Hard Sell," Crain's Chicago Business, June 10, 2002, p. 4.
  • ------, "Newell's Galli Must Cook Up a Turnaround," Crain's Chicago Business, January 15, 2001, p. 4.
  • ------, "Newell's New Colors: Ends Acquisition Binge to Focus on Boosting Existing Brands," Crain's Chicago Business, June 4, 2001, p. 3.
  • Hackney, Holt, "Strategic Alliances," Financial World, October 29, 1991.
  • Hallinan, Joseph T., "Newell CEO Tries to Shake Up Concern with Little Success," Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2002, p. B3.
  • "How Rubbermaid Managed to Fail," Fortune, November 23, 1998, p. 32.
  • Kelly, Kevin, "Newell Isn't Bagging Big Game Anymore," Business Week, July 8, 1991, pp. 83-84.
  • Lipin, Steven, and Timothy Aeppel, "Newell to Buy Rubbermaid for $5.8 Billion," Wall Street Journal, October 21, 1998, p. A3.
  • Magnet, Myron, "Meet the New Revolutionaries," Fortune, February 24, 1992, pp. 94-101.
  • Murphy, H. Lee, "Newell Dresses Up Its Image with a Shade-y Acquisition," Crain's Chicago Business, April 12, 1993, Sec. 1, p. 7.
  • Narisetti, Raju, "Can Rubbermaid Crack Foreign Markets?," Wall Street Journal, June 20, 1996, pp. B1, B4.
  • Neiman, Janet, "New Structure Poured for Rubbermaid Push," Advertising Age, November 9, 1981.
  • Noble, Donald E., Like Only Yesterday: The Memoirs of Donald E. Noble, Wooster, Ohio: Wooster Book Co., 1996.
  • Nulty, Peter, "You Can Go Home Again," Fortune, June 15, 1981, p. 180.
  • O'Connor, Matt, "Simple Secret of Newell's Success: Basic Strategy Pays Off for Consumer Firm," Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1987, Sec. 1, pp. 1, 5.
  • Osterland, Andrew, "Fixing Rubbermaid Is No Snap," Business Week, September 20, 1999, pp. 108, 110.
  • Ozanian, Michael K., and Alexandra Ourusoff, "Never Let Them See You Sweat: Just Because Rubbermaid Is One of the Most Admired Companies in the Country Doesn't Mean Life Is Easy," Financial World, February 1, 1994, pp. 34-35, 38.
  • Pellet, Jennifer, "No Paint, No Gain," Discount Merchandiser, March 1992, pp. 74-75.
  • Pouschine, Tatiana, "The Old-Fashioned Way," Forbes, January 6, 1992, pp. 66-68.
  • Schiller, Zachary, "The Revolving Door at Rubbermaid: Is CEO Schmitt's Tough Style Driving Executives Away?," Business Week, September 18, 1995, p. 80.
  • Scott, Carlee R., "Newell Plans to Acquire Sanford Corp. in Stepped-Up Move into Office Products," Wall Street Journal, November 25, 1991, p. A5.
  • Smith, Lee, "Rubbermaid Goes Thump," Fortune, October 2, 1995, pp. 90-92, 96, 100, 104.
  • Stevens, Tim, "Where the Rubber Meets the Road," Industry Week, March 20, 1995, pp. 14-18.
  • Stouffer, Paul W., "Heading for a Billion: Major Acquisition Bringing Newell Toward a Record Sales Mark," Barron's, August 24, 1987.
  • Taylor, Alex III, "Why the Bounce at Rubbermaid?," Fortune, April 13, 1987, p. 77.
  • Tisch, Carol, and Lisa Vincenti, "Rubbermaid Bounces Back," HFN--The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network, January 17, 2000, p. 90.
  • Upbin, Bruce, "Rebirth of a Sales Man," Forbes, October 1, 2001, pp. 94-96+.
  • White, Joseph B., "Workers' Revenge: Factory Towns Start to Fight Back Angrily When Firms Pull Out," Wall Street Journal, March 8, 1988, pp. 1, 24.
  • Yao, Margaret, "Rubbermaid Reaches for Greater Glamour in World Beyond Dustpans and Drainers," Wall Street Journal, June 9, 1982.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 52. St. James Press, 2003.