Conneaut Leather was founded in 1903 in Conneaut, Ohio U.S.A. by a small group of local businessmen. An article appeared in the June, 1903 county newspaper describing the application for company formation, "Conneaut Leather Company is formed for the purpose of buying, selling, tanning, curing, and generally dealing in leather and leather articles".
Conneaut Leather started out providing leather to general industries that were producing leather items common for the time period. In the 1940's Conneaut Leather started supplying desktop leather to the residential furniture industry. Around this time they also decided to specialize in the finishing of leather and to rely on other tanneries for their raw material.
In the 1960's Conneaut Leather diversified into automotive aftermarket, upholstery leather for the residential furniture industry, and aircraft leather. At this time, a color specialist was hired to color match customer's specific requests for leather colors. They then moved into the contract furniture, recreational vehicle, marine, and bookbinding industries.