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Industry Manufacturing
Founded May 1920; 98 years ago (1920-05) (as The Wooster Rubber Company)
Wooster, Ohio, U.S.
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Key people
James R. Caldwell
Products Consumer Household Goods
Parent Newell Brands

Rubbermaid is an American manufacturer and distributor of many household items. It is a subsidiary of Newell Brands. It is best known for producing food storage containers and trash cans. Additionally, it produces sheds, step stools, closets and shelving, laundry baskets and other household items.[1]


Rubbermaid glass food storage containers.

Founded in 1920[2] in Wooster, Ohio as the Wooster Rubber Company by nine businessmen. Originally Wooster Rubber Company manufactured toy balloons.[3]

In 1933, James R. Caldwell and his wife received a patent for their blue rubber dustpan. They called their line of rubber kitchen products Rubbermaid.[4]

In 1934 Horatio Ebert saw Rubbermaid products at a New England department store, and believed such products could help his struggling Wooster Rubber. He engineered a merger of the two enterprises in July 1934. Still named the Wooster Company, the new group began to produce rubber household products under the Rubbermaid brand name.

In 1999, Rubbermaid was purchased by Newell for $6 billion. Then Newell changed its name to Newell Rubbermaid.[5] Newell Rubbermaid changed name again to present-day Newell Brands in 2016 as part of a takeover of Jarden in another merger.

In 2003, the company announced its move out of Wooster to Atlanta, Georgia; 850 manufacturing and warehouse jobs would be eliminated, and 409 office jobs would move to other locations. A Rubbermaid distribution center remained at the former headquarters for some time, until it was recently purchased by GOJO Industries, Inc.[6]

On Nov. 16th 2004, Rubbermaid was used as a prime example in the PBS Frontline documentary Is Walmart good for America.


  • 1920 Wooster Rubber is launched.
  • 1927 Horatio Ebert and Errett Grable took over managing the company from the original 9 founders.[7]
  • 1933 Rubbermaid is launched.
  • 1933 First Rubbermaid dustpan is introduced.
  • 1934 Wooster Rubber and Rubbermaid merge to form Wooster Rubber Company and sell Rubbermaid products.
  • 1942 WW2 eliminated Rubbermaid's housewares business, but the company was able to convert to military manufacturing.
  • 1947 Rubbermaid introduces a line of rubber automotive accessories.
  • 1955 Wooster Rubber Co. offer first public offering.
  • 1956 Rubbermaid ventures into plastic products.
  • 1957 Wooster Rubber Company changes name to Rubbermaid.
  • 1965 Purchases German company Dupol.
  • 1976 1,100 members of the United Rubber Workers union call a strike.
  • 1981 Purchases Con-Tact plastic coverings.
  • 1984 Acquires the Little Tikes Company.
  • 1999 Newell acquires Rubbermaid for $6 billion and changes corporate name to Newell Rubbermaid.
  • 2003 Rubbermaid headquarters move from Wooster, Ohio to Atlanta, GA.
  • 2016 Newell Rubbermaid becomes Newell Brands as part of a takeover of Jarden in a merger.

Former Rubbermaid CEOs[edit]

Companies acquired by Rubbermaid[edit]

Prior to Rubbermaid being acquired by Newell Rubbermaid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rubbermaid. "Homepage". Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  2. ^ "Rubbermaid Inc Facts, information, pictures - articles about Rubbermaid Inc". 2006. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  3. ^ Katom. "Rubbermaid Company History". Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  4. ^ Rubbermaid Blog. "Blog". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  5. ^ Katom. "Rubbermaid Company History". Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Rubbermaid's gone, but Wooster is still standing". The Plain Dealer. 2005-03-09. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  7. ^ Katom. "Rubbermaid Company History". Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  8. ^ Reference for Business. "Reference for Business - Rubbermaid".