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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Capewell Ends 131-Year Run Making Nails in USA as Delta Mustad Consolidates Horse Nail Factories

George Capewell's Grave; photo from the Library of Congress
The news from Delta Mustad hit the streets today: Capewell nails will no longer be made in America. Of course the company has big plans, but a chunk of US horse history ceases with this announcement.

Detail from grave
Hoofcare Publishing and I wish all the employees of the Connecticut factory the very best in their new pursuits and of course we wish the best to all our friends all over the world who are part of the Delta Mustad Hoofcare universe.

Someday I'd like to give the Capewell name and nails their due place in history. It could be a book, and maybe it should be a Ken Burns-type documentary film. Capewell's tradition in and around Hartford, Connecticut deserves it.

I remember the first time I visited the factory in Connecticut. I remember meeting some Polish women who worked as nail inspectors. Their job was so important. I was impressed, and everyone was always so nice.

Mustad hired me to write the announcement that they had bought Capewell. Nails were a very political hot-button issue in the horse world back then; Capewell owned the US market, and Mustad opened their operations here from a warehouse in Auburn, New York around 1980.

After Mustad bought Capewell, a beautiful new factory and warehouse complex was built north of Hartford amidst the tobacco fields of Bloomfield.

The workers always seemed a little embarrassed that I was so interested in meeting them. They always have been so important to the farrier industry and the horse world, and they always will be, since it sounds like Delta Mustad plans to continue making Capewell nails.

I'm so glad I was able to see those old Capewell nail machines at work, in the original factory, and meet those people.

I can still hear the clattering sound the machines made in the high ceiling halls of that old factory in Hartford. I hope I never forget that sound.

Here's the annoucement that Delta Mustad Hoofcare posted on its web site today: (text in italics is direct quote from company)

 Today Mustad, the world leader in hoofcare products, including horseshoes and nails, announced the consolidation of its global hoof nail production in Mustadfors (Sweden) and Emcoclavos (Colombia). 


The closure of the Capewell production facilities in Bloomfield has been announced on Feb 21st, 2012.


“We are continuously looking for ways to improve our production, distribution and customer service,” says Hans Mustad, CEO of the firm. “After a careful and thorough evaluation process we have decided to close the nail production at Capewell and move the entire Capewell production to Mustadfors, Sweden.


 In Bloomfield a total number of 26 employees are affected by the closure. 


"All agreements with our staff are made in the spirit of Mustad´s values as a family company, with a 180-year tradition in social responsibility,” confirms Hans Mustad. The North American sales and customer teams are not affected and remain unchanged. 


“With the focus on two state-of-the-art production facilities in Sweden and Colombia we are in a position to further improve the quality of our products, utilize innovations and manage even better supply as well as customer service,” continues Hans Mustad 


“We are very grateful to the Bloomfield employees for their dedication and craftsmanship in producing Capewell horsenails. Their efforts have been instrumental towards maintaining Capewell's 131-year reputation for exceptional quality with suppliers and customers from around the world. We will continue that positive legacy as we transition to the next phase of Capewell's future” confirms Petter Binde, Mustad’s Sales & Marketing CEO. 


The Capewell brand will remain unchanged and continues to be an integral part of Mustad´s market leading, global product offering. 


(end of text from Delta Mustad Hoofcare)


An old post card showing the now-abandoned and derelict Capewell factory in downtown Hartford. Mustad moved the company to Bloomfield soon after purchasing the company.

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