OUR HISTORY

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We've Come a Long Way from Horseshoe Nails for the U.S. Cavalry.

In 1881, Englishman George J. Capewell founded the Capewell Horse Nail Company in Hartford, Connecticut. His patented automated machines made Capewell the only company in the world that could mass produce horseshoe nails in an era when horses powered transportation worldwide. For decades, the company grew and prospered based on this single high-demand product that no one else could match.

New Opportunities

As time marched on and the automobile replaced horse-drawn vehicles, Capewell looked for new opportunities, and, in 1939, began a collaboration with the U.S. government to develop specialized hardware for military paratroopers. We are proud to say that Capewell hardware has been standard equipment on U.S. military parachutes ever since the first Army Airborne parachute units were trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1942.

The U.S. Army adopted the Capewell Parachute Release which—for the first time—allowed jumpers to quickly release their chutes once on the ground to prevent being dragged by the wind. Nearly six decades later, “Capewells” are still indispensable safety equipment for military and sport parachutists worldwide.

For its first 100 years, Capewell thrived on two basic but essential products: the horseshoe nail and the parachute release. Remarkably, both products are still in production today.

Capewell - A Global Leader in Aviation and Life Support

A New Era

In the 1980’s, Capewell embarked on an effort to grow and diversify by acquiring top companies with expertise in related industries—and by focusing on the ability to engineer products rapidly in response to the needs of the military. A list of the companies we have acquired is shown below. These companies have not only expanded our capabilities, but have helped us add to a growing list of products that are recognized as the standard for military and commercial use.

1987

Wasley Products

Capewell Company Acquisition

1987

1990

Ripley Company

Capewell Company Acquisition

1990

1993

Cable Assembly Line of Five Star Co

Capewell Company Acquisition

1993

1994

Frost Engineering

Capewell Company Acquisition

1994

1995

Southtek International

Capewell Company Acquisition

1995

2000

MH Rhodes

Capewell Company Acquisition

2000

2000

Marktime

Capewell Company Acquisition

2000

2002

Assets of Seko South Helicopter Slings

Capewell Company Acquisition

2002

2005

Cramer Company

Capewell Company Acquisition

2005

2014

Aerial Machine and Tool Corp

Capewell Company Acquisition

2014

2020

Rhine Air, Inc

Capewell Company Acquisition

2020