Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Standard Register Company




Molly Jebber

Author, Amish Historical Romance

I had friends and colleagues who worked for Standard Register, so this company was near and dear to me in Dayton, Ohio.

In 1912, Thomas Schirmer and his brother, John Sherman refined a machine they created so it would produce as many as eight copies of a document at a single writing. The machine kept multiple documents aligned which allowed all the layers of paper to be preprinted with lines, check boxes, and other formats. They rented space and began their company using this machine and others to offer companies preprinted forms and copies for recordkeeping.

In 1913, a great flood happened and nearly destroyed their business due to debt and backlogged orders. But Schirmer and Sherman devised a plan to save the business. They borrowed money against the life insurance policies to fill backorders and to accept new business, and get up-to-date. They had the company back on track in seven months.

In 1916, the company had enough business to erect a purpose built factory.In the 1930's, Sherman applied a pin-fed concept to machine written documents to speed up the process. of continuous forms. The new machine and process added to Standard Register's increased business.

In 1933, the company's business increased to one million dollars, and increased to five millon in 1938. This rapid growth was due to international licensing agreements. The company authorized R. L. Crain Limited, a Canadian firm, to produce its patented forms in 1934, and they formed an affiliation with W.H. Smith & Son (Alacra) Ltd. in England a year later. Thomas Schirmer died, and his brother, John Sherman, ran the company until he died in 1944.

Milford Spayd, who had joined the company in 1933, took over as President. Sales increased to eleven point four million dollars in 1946, and to over forty three million dollars in 1956. Standard Register continued to grow, placing factories in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and California as well as some international countries.

In 1966, Kenneth Morse took over the company and increased business and increased sales. In the 1970's the business slowed due to weakened supply and fierce competition. In the 1990's, Standard Register filed Chapter 11, and later closed it's doors. It was a sad for many.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting today! It's too bad the company couldn't survive with all the competition, but they had a great run!