Northwest Caster & Equipment was originally known as Ross Carrier Company/Michigan Power & Shovel, and was established in Seattle, Washington in the 1920's. The company primarily distributed lumber carriers and excavating equipment such as steam shovels. Their product lines also included casters and material handling equipment.
In 1934, Harlin Drake was employed by the company in accounting and sales. This date is used to mark the beginning of our family involvement in this business and our modern company's history.
During the 1940's, the war effort fueled the company's growth in caster and material handling equipment sales. In fact, many of the tools used to build Boeing aircraft during the war years rolled on casters and wheels supplied by the company.
In 1958, Mr. Drake and longtime friend Ted Hagen purchased the company. The name was changed to Drake & Hagen Company, and a small building was purchased on Market Street in Seattle's Ballard district.
In 1970, Mr. Hagen retired and Gerald McDonald became a partner. Renamed Drake & McDonald Company, the business grew to supply the caster and material handling needs of businesses throughout the Puget Sound region.
In 1976, Mr. Drake's son-in-law, John Colvin joined the business as a salesman. With the retirement of both former partners, John and Marion Colvin (Mr. Drake's daughter) became sole owners.
In September 2000, the company changed its name to Northwest Caster & Equipment to more accurately reflect the nature of its business and the region it serves.
In February 2001, John and Marion Colvin sold their shares to their two sons, Steve and Tim Colvin.
In 2002, the company expanded into the Eastern Washington market by acquiring a small caster and wheel distributor in Spokane, WA. In 2004, the company expanded further regionally by acquiring another small distributor in Portland, OR.
2008 marked another change in the business as Steve Colvin acquired all of the outstanding shares in the company. In 2012, the Spokane business was sold and the company exited the Inland Northwest market on a direct basis.
The company is currently headquartered in Seattle's historic Fremont district in a 16,000 square foot building, which was purchased and remodeled in 1995. A small sales office and stocking location is also present in Portland, OR.
Northwest Caster & Equipment is privileged to serve a growing group of loyal customers who appreciate competitive pricing, extensive stock levels and a high level of personal service.