Handgards is a privately owned company employing nearly 300 people at its El Paso manufacturing plant, distribution center and corporate offices. Originally founded in 1959 as Plasticsmith the company officially became Handgards in 1966 under the reorganization skills and leadership of T. Hamil Reidy. During the 1960’s,
Handgards marketed disposable gloves through hair care product manufacturers, department stores and mail order houses, as well as veterinary, laboratory, physicians and safety supply houses.
At about the same time Handgards introduced disposable polyethylene gloves to the school foodservice and food processing trades. The entire foodservice industry soon adopted the use of disposable gloves for the purpose of preventing contamination of food from the hands of workers preparing and serving foods.