Over the years, C.H. Ellis has evolved to become a leader in the production of industrial plastic cases and sewn cases for industry, agriculture, business and commerce, along with military and government applications. Through acquisitions our family of brands has grown to include Chicago Case Company, Howe Industries, Parker Plastics and SMOR Cases. Our client list includes many Fortune 500 companies.
Today, C.H. Ellis is a privately owned company that manufactures a wide range of industrial plastic cases, tool pallets and sewn or zipper cases in our 56,000 square-foot facility near downtown Indianapolis. The plastic, sewn and fabricated cases and tool pallets you see on this website are only a fraction of the cases and other services we provide to our customers.
Whether you are a small company or a Fortune 500 corporation, C.H. Ellis can design and manufacture a case and/or custom foam interior solution to your precise specifications.
1902 - 1925
The company began operations as Capital City Supply Company.
And we literally started in a barn. Of course, it made perfect sense at the time because our company was manufacturing and selling harnesses and saddlery to wholesale hardware houses. Business boomed in the early years, requiring a move to a bigger and better building at the corner of South East and Bicking Streets. In 1918, manufacturing shifted to support the war efforts as our staff grew to more than twenty employees.
1926 - 1950
A fire. A name change. And new business opportunities
In April of 1942, a fire completely destroyed the business. Bud Ellis (the founder’s son) acquired the assets of the company, closed out the saddlery business, and went into business with R.R. Scott. The company name was changed to Ellis-Scott Leather Products Co., Div. of Capital City Supply Co. With the government taking most of the leather for WWII, the company expands its focus to the material handling industry, selling roller, wheel and power belt conveyors. In 1946, the company is incorporated under the name of C.H. Ellis Co., Inc. and turns its attention to sales presentation cases. Business continues to grow, with nearly one-hundred employees working in buildings at South Pennsylvania and Georgia Street.
1951 - 1975
Still going strong after half a century.
1958: The company moves to its current location at 2432 Southeastern Avenue. There are still two separate divisions: Material Handling and Leather Products.
1976 - 2000
This was a major growth period for C.H. Ellis.
The company became well established as a major manufacturer of plastic cases, sewn cases and tool organizers. It numbered some of the leading tool kitters among its clients along with a solid base of Fortune 500 companies. The company purchased another plastic case manufacturer to increase its market share in that market. At the same time, C.H Ellis moved some of its sewing requirements to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic to reduce costs.
2001 - Present
During this time period the company has acquired four companies and expanded its CAD-CAM manufacturing capabilities, added a Gerber machine for cutting cloth and foam, a waterjet, CNC Router and a new MAAC former.
Through the acquisitions and additional manufacturing capabilities, C.H. Ellis has expanded its market share.
In 2001 the acquisition of Howe Industries led to the option of offshore manufacturing as projects warranted. 2010 saw the purchase of the Chicago Case Company, a leader in military-style carrying and shipping cases. With several government contracts as a driving force, the company also moved into rotational molding and supplied mechanics tool kits and small arms repair kits to the military. SMOR Cases became the latest acquisition in 2016. The latest company added was Parker Plastics in 2021. By purchasing the Roto-Rugged rotational molded product line, C.H. Ellis continues to upgrade our product offerings.
When MPI Corp acquired C.H. Ellis in 2015 they began to upgrade much of the infrastructure. They continued to do so until selling the business to MB Hipp LLC in 2021. Former team member Brian Hipp formed MB Hipp with his wife Melissa. Their aim is to continue growing and acquiring companies that fit the C.H. Ellis mission to bring integrity, excellence, and servant leadership to the process of crafting rugged, purpose-built cases.
C.H. Ellis is primed to expand not only its manufacturing capabilities but also its value add design, assembly and integration capabilities. The aim is to become a one-stop manufacturing facility for rotational, injection, vacuum and blow molded products as well as for foam fabricating and sewing.