- Brothers Paul and Sheldon Bowden founded Bowden Manufacturing Corporation and Bowden Grinding Inc. in 1952, primarily making small parts for Ferro Machine and Foundry.
- In 1957, the two companies were consolidated and moved to their current location at 4590 Beidler Road in Willoughby, Ohio.
- In the 1960s, Bowden did a significant amount of work for the Photo Lamp Division of G.E. in Cleveland and began doing work for G.E. Locomotive in Erie, Pennsylvania.
- In 1970, Arch McCartney began leading the company as president and chairman of the board of directors.
- Dwight Bowden, son of founder Sheldon Bowden, joined the company and began working in sales.
- Bowden was heavily involved in serving the automotive test engine industry from 1986 to 1998.
- Bowden added the medical trade to its list of industries served in the late 1990s.
- In 1998, Arch McCartney’s son, Andy, began working in Bowden’s sales department.
- The McCartneys became sole owners of Bowden Manufacturing in 1999. Andy became president that same year.
- Bowden has continued to grow and has earned recognition in the form of several awards: Weatherhead 100 (2004, 2006), Lake-Geauga County Fast Track 50 (2005-2009), Leading EDGE Award (2009).