Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams established the Sherwin-Williams Company in 1866, in Cleveland, Ohio. The company grew quickly, especially after creating ready-mixed paint in 1880. Before the invention of this type of paint, consumers would have to buy the ingredients of paint separately and mix the paint themselves. Thanks to the Sherwin-Williams Company's experimentation, consumers could buy the paint already mixed and ready to be used. In 1888, Sherwin-Williams purchased the Calumet Paint Company near Chicago, Illinois. This purchase opened the American West to the Sherwin-Williams Company, allowing the firm to grow even more quickly.
By 1905, the Sherwin-Williams Company sold paint across the United States as well as in Canada, South America, and Europe. In was in this same year that the company adopted the “Cover the Earth Logo.” During this time period, the company also instituted programs to improve the working and living conditions of its workers. Thanks to the company's efforts on this front, employer-employee relations remained peaceful, while strikes commonly erupted in other firms. During the twentieth century, the Sherwin-Williams Company emerged as the leading manufacturer of paints, lacquers, and varnishes in the United States.