A.B. Dick Company
|Industry||Graphic Arts Equipment|
|Founded||Chicago, Illinois, United States, 1883|
|Founder||Albert Blake Dick|
|Headquarters||Niles, Illinois, United States|
|Albert Blake Dick, Founder
Albert Blake Dick, Jr., second president
A.B. Dick III, third president
Karl Van Tassel, president
John Stetson, president
Ed Suchma final president and CEO
|Revenue||$268.62 million (1998 est.)|
Number of employees
|about 900, mid-1930s
about 1,200 in 1996
The A. B. Dick Company was a major American manufacturer of copy machines and office supplies in the late 19th Century and the 20th Century.
The company was founded in 1883 in Chicago as a lumber company by Albert Blake Dick (1856 – 1934). It soon expanded into office supplies and, after licensing key autographic printing patents from Thomas Edison, became the world's largest manufacturer of mimeograph equipment (Albert Dick coined the word "mimeograph"). The company introduced the Model 0 Flatbed Duplicator in 1887. Later on, the flatbed duplicators were replaced by devices using a rotating cylinder with automatic ink feed. Basic models were hand-cranked while more elaborate machines used an electric motor.
The company virtually created the business of "quick printing" via storefront shops that printed from disposable plates on duplicators. Tens of thousands of its Model 350 and 360 duplicator were sold, many of which are still in use. A. B. Dick also produced machines using the competing spirit duplicator technology. Starting in the 1960s, xerography began to overtake A. B. Dick's older mimeograph technology.
In 1979, the company was acquired by the General Electric Company (a British firm, not to be confused with the American company General Electric). In 1988, the company acquired Itek Graphix, a leading manufacturer of plate-makers for duplicators (small format offset presses). By the late 1990s, it was a division of the Nesco company of Cleveland.
- "Men of Affairs". Chicago Evening Post. 1906. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- Mark R. Wilson, with Stephen R. Porter and Janice L. Reiff. "Dick (A. B.) Co.". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- Owen, David (2004). Copies in seconds: how a lone inventor and an unknown company created the biggest communication breakthrough since Gutenberg: Chester Carlson and the birth of the Xerox machine. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 44.
- Randy Alfred (August 8, 2008). "Aug. 8, 1876: Run This Off on the Mimeo". Wired. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- "History". Haberdasher Square Lofts. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- "JOHN C. STETSON". The Official Web site of the United States Air Force. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- Lavington, Simon (2011). "14.5 — The GEC Series 63: A Very Difficult Project". Moving Targets — Elliott-Automation and the Dawn of the Computer Age in Britain, 1947-67. Springer. ISBN 978-1-84882-932-9.
- A.B. Dick files Ch. 11, names buyer, Chicago Business, Rita Chang, July 13, 2004.