During the late 1930’s a rubber salesman, Ed Gates, began experimenting with liquid neoprene coatings for many potential uses. Enthused by his findings, he founded The Gates Company in Wilmington, Delaware. With support from the du Pont family, he began to manufacture coatings for various uses, including industrial corrosion protection.
The Gates Company had only moderate success under Ed Gates, as he was more of a tinkerer than a business manager, so in 1940 he sold it. The company was then re-named Gates Engineering Co., with the trade name “Gaco” being retained from GAtes COmpany.
In 1954 three partners, Hugh Mitchell, Aubrey Davis and Sid Collier, purchased Gates Engineering Co. for a total of $21,000 and reincorporated it Gaco Western Inc. Neither the Mitchell family nor the Collier family are involved any longer and the company is owned and operated by the Davis family.
Since its incorporation in 1955, Gaco Western has grown considerably in volume, variety of products created and in numbers of people employed throughout the country.