History

  • 85 Years of Customer-Focused Innovation

    The company was founded in 1924 by Carl Swenson as the Milwaukee Saddlery Company and originally manufactured leather harnesses, collars and accessories for farm horses. Harley Davidson approached the company in 1934 to create an upholstered two person seat, launching our longest-standing partnership. The company was renamed Milsco Manufacturing Company in 1948 when it made the decision to focus on products that serve the modern "automotive" era. We are proud of our rich history and look to build upon it each day by delivering innovative, high-quality seating solutions to our world-class OEM customers.

  • 1920s

    Carl T. Swenson founds Milwaukee Saddlery Company, along with other former employees of the Wallace & Smith Company, in November 1924.

    The company manufactures and sells harnesses, collars, and other accessories for farm horses.

  • 1920s

    A humble enterprise begins in a 3,500 square-foot building on 1064 Oakland Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a belief that customers appreciate a good harness at a fair price, forming a business creed of producing a consistently high quality product at appropriate pricing while providing real service to our customers.

  • 1930s

    Rapid advances in technology drives Milwaukee Saddlery into new markets, growth, & revolutionary new products. The company joins the fight for freedom in equipping our troops in battle.

    1934 – Milwaukee Saddlery Company develops the Buddy Seat for Harley-Davidson. This launches a relationship that continues to today.

  • 1930s

    1936 – An employee suggestion leads to the development of the first padded tractor seat. 37,000 units sold the first year & led America to be the "breadbasket for the world"

    1937 – Continued growth requires a move to 2506 North 32nd Street in Milwaukee (40,000 ft sq.)

  • 1940s

    1940 – Buddy Seat variants are brought to market for Harley-Davidson. The Company prepares as war looms. Identical saddlebags are made for both H-D and the Military.

    1940 – All harness & collar manufacture is suspended to focus on military production. Milsco is awarded the Army-Navy E award.

  • 1940s

    1942 – Military needs and further growth moves Milsco to 2758 North 33rd Street in Milwaukee (80,000 ft sq.)

    1948 – The company is renamed Milsco Manufacturing Company and focuses on products to serve the modern "automotive" era. The harness business is sold to Sears, Roebuck & Company.

  • 1950s-1970s

    1953 – Milsco celebrates Harley-Davidson's 50th Anniversary.

    Milsco diversifies its product offerings: Belts, Abacus, Toys, Film Processors.

    1950s & 1960s – Milsco provides saddlebags and other products for Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories.

  • 1950s-1970s

    1966 – Milsco opens its Redgranite, Wisconsin facility to produce all foam cushions used in its seating products.

    1967 – Milsco develops the Foam-In-Place (FIP) cushion process while developing seats for turf care and other vehicles.

    1972 – Milsco moves current Milwaukee location at 9009 North 51st Street (154,000 ft sq).

    1970s - Milsco follows Harley-Davidson's model expansion with new, unique seating products.

  • 1980s-1990s

    1985 – Milsco develops the Air Shock system for Police motorcycles.

    1988 – Milsco – Coventry (UK) is formed to support European sales and manufacturing for Industrial, Construction, and Turf-Care Vehicle seating products.

    1993 – Milsco continues support of Harley-Davidson Softail platform with the FLSTN "Cow Glide".

    1995 – Milsco is acquired by JASON Incorporated.

  • 1980s-1990s

    1997 – Milsco develops the CR-series of integrated suspension seats – it becomes the world benchmark.

    1997 – Milsco patents the Road Zeppelin – features inflatable bladders for comfort adjustment.

    1998 – Seats with Adjustable Rider Backrests developed for Harley-Davidson.

    1999 – Milsco partners with Harley-Davidson to develop unique seating products featuring exotic materials and custom styling for CVO.

  • 2000 and Beyond

    2002 – Milsco develops a line of seating products for the recreational marine industry featuring unique technologies for design and manufacturing.

    2003 – Milsco-Thomson (Georgia) is built to serve the golf car and turf-care industries.

    2003 – Milsco works with Harley-Davidson on the celebration of the Century. 100 Years of Excellence.

    2006 – Milsco de Mexico is opened to facilitate cut-and-sew operations and final seat assembly for marine and motorcycles.

    2006 – Milsco purchases Michigan Seat Company and expands its position in industrial, agriculture, and turf-care vehicle seating products.

  • 2000 and Beyond

    2008 – History repeats itself – FLSTSB Crossbones Seat is launched using the same pan tool as the 1934 original. The King/Queen Seat re-appears on the FXSTC.

    2008 – Harley-Davidson's celebrates its 105th anniversary with another Milsco special edition seat series.

    2009 – Milsco's marine seat suspension technology is applied to the motorcycle with the launch of the FLTHCUSE4 and Hammock® seats.

    2009 – Milsco celebrates its 85th anniversary as it expands into utility vehicle and light construction markets.

A Jason Company

  • Finishing
  • Components
  • Seating
  • Automotive Acoustics