W.E. Caldwell Company image

W.E. Caldwell Company

William E. Caldwell moved to Louisville from Chicago in 1887 to rebuild the Hermitage Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. An engineer by education, he would soon return to that background to form the W.E. Caldwell Company, specializing in the design and fabrication of storage tanks—a useful structure to the bourbon industry! The W.E. Caldwell Company built elevated tanks of wood—cypress, pine, and poplar—or steel and patented the Sectional Steel Tower which allowed them to build tanks in different shapes than the standard round or rectangular. Today, Caldwell Tanks is the largest manufacturer of elevated (and unique) storage tanks in the world. Among the company’s most well-known structures are the 64-foot-tall Old Forester bottle tank at Brown-Forman’s corporate headquarters and the 7-story-tall baseball bat leaning against the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory at 800 West Main Street. A Louisville citizen until his death in 1938, the Caldwell family lived on iconic St. James Court in Old Louisville. The family home—the ConradCaldwell House—is open to the public.