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Word Count: 630
Rubbermaids earliest seeds took root in an old piano factory in Ohio and at the kitchen table in New England On April 30 1920 nine individuals rented a building in Wooster Ohio known as the Piano Factory Their product Sunshine Brand Toy Balloons They called their venture The Wooster Rubber Company In 1927 the company was bought as an investment by Horatio B Ebert and Errett M Grable both of whom were executives of the Wear-Ever Division of the Aluminum Company of America Ebert and Grable retained the services of Clyde C Gault one of the original founders Meanwhile James R Caldwell a rubber chemist an analyst and vice president of the Seamless Rubber Company in New Haven Connecticut had become fascinated with novel dyes that could transform plain rubber into dazzling colors Caldwell and his wife would sit at their kitchen table dreaming up functional kitchen and bath objects in bright hues In 1933 a patent was issued for their first effort a dustpan Caldwell joined the Wooster Rubber Company and soon toy balloons and novelties were replaced by new rubber housewares products In those early days there were 16 full-time employees When the meager 10- foot-by-16-foot shipping dock was filled with cartons for delivery it was considered a pretty good day at the factory In 1935 net sales were 79858 By 1938 net sales had reached 204000 Within 10 years the product innovation for which Rubbermaid is renowned was clearly evident In 1955 Rubbermaids annual report listed among other products pet feeding dishes plate storage racks kneeling pads mats for various uses throughout the home as door sink drain board bath and shower mats coasters soap dishes and even cleaning solutions for rubber Under Caldwells leadership as president and general manager until 1958 Rubbermaids most fundamental and enduring corporate credo was developed A firm insistence on product quality creation of new products national
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