LeeWards had steel crochet hooks made with their name on them.
One set that was made in Germany was in a red vinyl sleeve with the IRMA logo in the corner. IRMA was the German manufacturer of the hooks.
Another set was made in Japan and was in a green vinyl sleeve.
1947 – Leeward Products, LTD incorporated by Sidney Fink and Ralph Fried in Chicago, IL. Spinning a globe, one of the owner’s eyes happened to fall on Leeward Islands, thus the business was named Leewards. Resellers of surplus WWII nylon parachute thread as Lustra Nylon to shoe manufacturers and crocheters.
1948 – Changed name to Dexter Thread Mills, Inc.
1949 – Purchased the old Collingbourne inventory from Dexter Mills, Inc. (Dexter Thread Mills and Dexter Mills not related).
1950 – Obtained a mailing list of Virginia Snow (a Collingbourne brand) customers with inventory and used it as a base to start their own mail order business calling the catalog division LeeWard Mills.
1953c – Moved to Elgin, IL.
1955c – Opened retail store in Elgin, IL.
1969 – General Mills purchased LeeWards and opened new retail stores across the US. Name changed to LeeWards Creative Crafts, Inc. sometime while owned by General Mills.
1983 – Unprofitable catalog division closed.
1985 – Company sold to Munford, Inc., Atlanta, GA. Merged with Craft Bazaar called LeeWards Craft Bazaar. Later returned to the name LeeWards Creative Crafts.
1988 – Munford sold LeeWards to management backed by Purdential-Bache creating a privately held company.
1994 – bought out by Michael’s Stores, Inc., TX.