Colson: Leveraging a Legacy
At Colson, we are gratefully aware of our industry longevity and history. We strive to protect and strengthen this legacy in everything we do. It is what makes us different and, we are convinced, it is what makes us better.
We take great pride in the engineering and precision performance of our products, but for more than 125 years, the one thing that has set us apart from others is the care we place on the value of our corporate infrastructure – our company’s legacy of expertise and our people.
Over the years, Colson has learned valuable strategies and lessons from partners, competitors, market changes, and employees, and has always been mindful of our position and able to carefully use this advantage to operate from a position of experience and maturity.
As market leader in tested caster and wheel products, our strong and enduring heritage of financial fidelity translates into additional benefits for our clients and partners. Colson offers the most aggressive and complete warranty coverage in the industry, and our lessons in economies of design and manufacture empower custom and exclusive product choice and implementation.
We have earned a global reputation for committed and long-term client and partner relationships, and for diverse product solutions on their behalf. From the knowledgeable and cost-effective sourcing of materials and technologies, to the careful and consistent attention to individual customer operations and realities, Colson brings one-of-a-kind capabilities and attention to our customers’ business needs.
The Colson History
The Colson Company Logo, early 1900s
Colson can trace its history back to 1885 when it was founded as Fay Manufacturing in Elyria, Ohio, by Winslow L. Fay (commonly known as W.L. Fay). Original products were the Fay Sulky Scraper and the Fairy Tricycle. In 1891, the company was sold to Arthur L. Garford and renamed Garford Manufacturing Company with George Worthington as president. By 1903, the company was owned by Worthington and renamed to The Worthington Company with Fred Colson as principal owner. The Worthington Company manufactured tricycles, invalid chairs, wheel chairs, carts, and casters made with rubber tread. In 1917, Fred Colson purchased the company and changed the name to The Colson Company. He expanded the caster line, and to the product line was added hospital wheeled equipment & industrial material handling equipment.
Winslow Fay-designed Fairy Tricycle, around 1885
In 1953, Chicago-based lawyer and businessman Jay Pritzker & his 26-year old brother Robert, an engineer, bought Colson, and eventually moved the manufacturing and management offices to Jonesboro, Arkansas. In 1964, Colson combined with The Marmon-Herrington Company, successor to the Marmon Motor Car Company, to form the Marmon Group. The Marmon Group of companies is an international association of autonomous manufacturing and service companies with collective sales of over $6 billion.
The next few decades marked worldwide growth of manufacturing facilities, market share and capabilities for Colson Caster Corporation. Finally in 2002, Robert Pritzker purchased a majority interest in all of the worldwide caster companies that were member companies of The Marmon Group. He named the new company Colson Associates, Inc. Mr. Pritzker passed away in 2011; in 2012, the Colson Group – Colson Associates’ caster and hardware companies – was purchased by Sentinel Capital Partners.
Ronald Reagan and Dorothy Lamour Riding a Colson-manufactured bicycle in the 1930s
As a successful company of history, it is fitting for us to always look to the future. Colson brings a vision steeped in a thriving legacy to our customers, clients, and partners. It is an unparalleled legacy of product, service, and corporate responsibility. It is the legacy of a manufacturing company and its people.