Chicago Dowel Company, with only ten initial employees, was founded in 1950 in a small factory at 41st and Langley Avenues on Chicago’s South Side.
President Harry S Truman was president. A gallon of gas cost 18 cents, and the average cost of a new house was $8,450.
The pop music charts were led by Gene Autry, The Andrews Sisters, and Nat King Cole.
Television was still in its infancy, and NBC’s Texaco Star Theater was at the top of the Nielsen Ratings. The New York Yankees were World Series Champions.
Success came slowly but surely for Chicago Dowel. Through hard work, perseverance, and dedication, the Company gradually grew out of the small factory and began searching for a location for a new and larger plant.
In 1968, the company found and purchased a parcel of land along the Belt Line Railway in an industrial corridor on Grand Avenue in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.
Since this was prior to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, being situated on the railroad tracks was essential, as all lumber deliveries occurred via train cars.
It was at this location that a custom woodworking plant was built. Production at the new location began in 1970.
Continued business growth led to manufacturing space additions in 1975. Full warehousing capabilities were added in 1987.
In the 1970s, Chicago Dowel found itself increasingly and overly reliant on lumber suppliers to service the demand of their growing customer base.
In the latter part of the decade, the company purchased and developed a sawmill in Hayward, Wisconsin, situated in the North Woods – at the heart of the raw material.
After considerable investment in machinery and equipment, this vertical integration ensured a steady supply of the highest quality of kiln-dried, straight-grain lumber, all of which would be shipped to Chicago Dowel.
Different customers purchase different sized dowel pins, which are made from different size lumber. The mill was set up to accommodate Chicago Dowel’s diverse lumber requirements.
In March of 2000, Chicago Dowel purchased 79-year-old manufacturer Moran Dowel Company. Having folded the Moran Dowel operation into its own, Chicago Dowel today offers over 140 years of dowel manufacturing expertise. After a couple of real estate acquisitions, the company has the capability of producing millions of dowel pins per day from its now six-acre site on Grand Avenue.
It sells to customers – both large and small – in all fifty states, and eleven countries.
As a complement to its manufacturing business, Chicago Dowel offers an expanded product line facilitated by its decades-long relationships with a multitude of trading partners that span the globe.