About Advance

Our History

It was 1922 in Chicago. August Wedekind—a carpenter and contractor—was talking to a friend that thought wallpaper was the “coming thing.” Taking his friend’s advice, August began manufacturing paste tables, trestles, and paste boards in his garage, and started selling them to local area hardware stores.

As the business grew, August built a 5,000 square foot building on the West side of Chicago: the current location of Advance Equipment Manufacturing Company. The larger space meant more machinery with which to create more tools. Products expanded to include: straight edges, seam rollers, casing knives, and wallpaper trimmers.

August’s son, Bill, joined the company in the early 1940’s and invented the first ever drywall taping knife. The product line grew again to include not only more wall covering tools, but tools for painters and decorators.

The business and Bill’s family grew proportionally. He and his wife, Mildred had four sons and a daughter. The boys, John and Paul, learned the business early on and joined the company full time. After Bill’s death, John took the helm. Now, his children, John R. and DeAnne, have become the fourth generation of Wedekinds to run the company.

In 1992, Advance Equipment purchased the Miramar Company—a wallcovering pasting machine manufacturer—and more products were added. The 2004 acquisition of Ramco Tools increased the pasting machine selection and added numerous hand tools to fill out several product lines.

The Advance Equipment line of high quality American-made tools has been recognized by the industry, and is well regarded by professional contractors. Advance Equipment’s offerings to the trades have grown larger, facilities and manufacturing technology have expanded, and new innovative products are being developed. Today, Advance Equipment Manufacturing company sells to a an ever-expanding North American and overseas market.

Manufacturing Capabilities

Advance has been manufacturing tools for drywall, wall covering, and painting since 1922. Over the years we have been the manufacturer “behind the scenes” of many of the industry’s most recognized brands. We are able to offer such a great Private Label program because we manufacture right here in the United States. Companies trust Advance to deliver high quality tools; tools they are proud to put their name on.

  • More responsive to customers’ requirements due to lean manufacturing principles
  • Flexible enough to handle small or large orders quickly and efficiently
  • Higher quality than offshore manufacturers
  • Robotic equipment for utmost precision and accuracy, every time