The CRC Press was originally founded as the Chemical Rubber Company (CRC) in 1903 by brothers Arthur, Leo and Emanuel Friedman in Cleveland, Ohio, based on an earlier enterprise by Arthur, who had begun selling rubber laboratory aprons in 1900. The company the company gradually expanded include sales of laboratory equipment to chemists. In 1913 the CRC offered a short (116-page) manual called the Rubber Handbook as an incentive for any purchase of a dozen aprons. Since then the Rubber Handbook has evolved into the CRC's flagship book, the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.
In 1964, Chemical Rubber decided to focus on its publishing ventures, and in 1973 the company changed its name to CRC Press, Inc, and exited the manufacturing business, spinning off that line as the Lab Apparatus Company.
In 1986 CRC Press was bought by the Times Mirror Company.  Times Mirror began exploring the possibility of a sale of CRC Press in 1996, and in December announced the sale of CRC to Information Ventures  In 2003, CRC became part of Taylor & Francis, which in 2004 became part of the UK publisher Informa.