Guide to the Harris Automatic Press Company Records

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0928
Creators:
GSS Printing Equipment Company.
Graphic Arts Collection (NMAH, SI)
Information Technology and Communications, Div. of (NMAH, SI).
Harris Automatic Press Company, Dayton, Ohio
Dates:
2003 - 2003
1889 - 1995
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
6.5 cubic feet
13 boxes and 5 oversize folders
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Collection documents the Harris Automatic Press Company, manufacturers of a printing press with an automatic feed primarily through drawings and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection contains photographs of the presses, factory and employees; a scrapbook of presses, 1915; drawings; trade literature and catalogs; the
Harris Impressions
newsletter; blueprints of the presses; and histories of the company.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Background Materials, 1889-1995
Series 2: Drawings, 1896-1929
Series 3: Photographs, 1921-1968; 2003

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
In 1890 jewelers and tinkerers Alfred and Charles G. Harris developed a new printing press with an automatic feeder. Their first press was a revolutionary breakthrough, delivering ten times what a pressman could feed by hand. The Harris Automatic Press Company was responsible for many printing innovations during the early 1900s including the first commercially successful offset lithographic press and the first two-color offset press. The company became one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturers of printing equipment.
Harris-Seybold Company (later Harris Intertype) of Cleveland, Ohio manufactured high-quality sheetfed offset lithographic printing presses. The Harris Automatic Press Co. of Niles, Ohio (the original company name) designed and built the first commercially successful sheetfed offset lithographic printing press in 1906. It was sold to the Republic Banknote Company (later became part of U.S. Banknote Corporation) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shipped on July 26, 1906. This printing press was retired in August 1940, rebuilt by Harris and donated to the Smithsonian Institution. From 1906 to 1976, Harris manufactured thousands of lithographic printing presses in various models and sizes along with various designs of bindery equipment. They were leaders in offset lithography technology. Many of the sheetfed offset lithographic presses presently being manufactured use some form of the early Harris innovations. In 1957, the company name was changed to Harris Intertype Corporation and in 1974 the name was changed to Harris Corporation. At this time the company was comprised of several electronic divisions in addition to the printing equipment divisions. The company stopped production of sheetfed lithographic printing presses in 1976. The corporate offices moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Melbourne, Florida in 1978 where Harris Corporation is still located. Harris Corporation disposed of its printing equipment plants in 1984 in a leverage buyout. Heidelberg (Germany) purchased some of the printing manufacturing plants in the late 1990s.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection is processed by Alison Oswald. Historical background documentation provided by Richard Foley, 2001-2003.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by GSS Printing Equipment.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Harris Automatic Press Company Records, 1889-1995; 2003 Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright transferred to Smithsonian Institution in Deed of Gift?
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Information, Technology and Communications, Graphic Arts Collection.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Printing machinery and supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Offset printing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsletters -- 1900-1950 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inventors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing -- Instruments Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing presses Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1900-1950 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catalogs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu