Many years have passed since the J. R. Case Manufacturing Company ceased operations in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but today Casite products are as well known to car owners as the fuel they put into their gas tanks. The new generation may not realize that Casite was just a single product that was first manufactured in Jonesboro and took its name from one of Jonesboro's prominent citizens, Mr. J. R. Case.
The Casite Story actually had its beginning in the neighboring town of Weiner and its final development was in reality, a product of evolution. Traveling through the town of Weiner one day, Mr. Case needed a minor repair to his Model T Ford. He stopped at the Machine Shop of Mr. Frank Housman for service. Finding that a rusty bolt needed to be removed, but failed to yield to the tools at hand, Mr. Housman remarked that a neighbor had a homemade preparation that would soften and remove rusty deposits on metal. This proved true with the Model T and realizing the market potential for this amazing product, the two men bought the formula in 1922 for practically nothing and added it to the other items Mr. Housman was manufacturing.
Distribution was limited to a very small portion of northeast Arkansas and fringes of Tennessee and Mississippi. It was practically a door-to-door proposition with Mr. Case acting both as salesman and delivering carrier. One of the earliest and most enthusiastic customers was the Jeter Hardware Company, which was one of Jonesboro's leading hardware stores for many years. At this state, Casite was used only as a penetrating oil and rust solvent and its sale was limited to the users of machinery of all types. It came in handy around the house too, and a small can usually could be found on the homeowner's workbench and the housewife's pantry shelf.
The early 1930s brought the revelation that a slight revision and refinement of the formula would produce a chemical which, when ran through the crankcase of a car, would dissolve the sludge and dirty deposits left when the oil was drained from the crankcase. This discovery and its acceptance by the automotive trade was the stimulus needed to bring Casite to the attention of the motoring public. The term "penetrating oil" was dropped and the phrase "Motor Tune-up and Sludge Solvent" was used on labels and advertising.
By 1935, manufacturing and distribution had taken a decided upswing. By this time, the glass containers used to distribute Casite had been replaced by lithographed tin cans in sizes ranging from pint cans to 55-gallon drums. A national advertising campaign was launched during this period, and the first ad appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, bringing a sense of pride to everyone in the organization. The day the first solid carload of Casite was shipped to the West Coast was a big day for Casite and the Frisco Railroad. Huge banners, bearing the words "Casite from Jonesboro, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California" were plastered on either side of the car, giving a nice bit of advertising for the product and for Jonesboro.
1939 was a major turning point in Casite's history. In November of that year, the J.R. Case Manufacturing Company was sold to the Hastings Manufacturing Company, a leader in the manufacture of automotive replacement parts - piston rings, spark plugs, oil filters and seat belts. On January 1, 1940, the executive office was moved to Hastings, Michigan and its name changed to The Casite Corporation.
Hastings Manufacturing grew the Casite business significantly during the mid-1900s. The product range grew as well, with the eventual creation of Motor Honey®, which ultimately became the leading oil treatment in the United States. The company also developed a top quality transmission treatment called Tranny Honey®. These two products have been two of the top selling oil and transmission treatments in the United States for several decades.
Then, in 1999 Hastings Manufacturing Company and privately held Intraco Corporation announced an agreement to form a joint venture company that would develop, market and sell Casite branded vehicle and consumer chemicals around the globe. The new entity, Casite Intraco, LLC, would do business as The Casite Company. The new Casite Company merged the automotive product-development capabilities and domestic sales network of Hastings Manufacturing with the international sales-and-marketing expertise of Troy, Michigan-based Intraco, a distributor of automotive aftermarket products.
In addition to increasing distribution, the new company expanded the Casite product line from six to nearly two dozen products, in award-winning bi-lingual packaging including Quality Fuel Additives, Premium Maintenance Liquids and Professional Maintenance Aerosols. In the first quarter of 2000, the new Casite product line was introduced to the public.
Today, Casite products can be found in national retailers and merchandisers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Casite Company is a proud exporter to nearly 40 countries around the globe. We continue to aggressively seek out distribution and retail partners worldwide.