1998 Hall of Fame–Father of Web Offset
Little did Quadracci know that the Belle City Queen was the first in a long line of presses he would oversee installed. He oversaw the installation of 15 web offset presses at the W.A. Krueger Co.; at Quad/Graphics, he oversaw the addition of 88 web offset presses and 18 gravure presses. Thus Quadracci headed up the installation of 121 web presses, believed by many in the industry to be the highest-ever total for one person.
In 1954, Krueger purchased its first four-color press with a long oven. Prior to having long dryers, web presses were used for one- and two-color newsprint jobs.
“We gave web offset a chance by providing the process with top-quality separations, film work, expensive ink and coated paper,” Quadracci recalls. “Thus, web offset quality could compete with other printing processes.”
It was the installation of the first four-color web offset press with a long dryer and chilled-water cooling system that impacted the industry most. Krueger instantly became known as the premier web offset printer in the country, led by Quadracci. He oversaw the installation of 15 web presses, making Krueger the first large printer to convert to web offset technology.
Giving Web a Chance
“He was the person who gave it a chance by giving it good separations, good paper, good ink and the best equipment available,” notes his son, Larry Quadracci. “That’s how web offset took over the mantle of the production process from rotary letterpress.”
Investing in cutting-edge technologies is only part of what Angelo Rivello thinks of at the mention of the elder Quadracci. Rivello, who has known both Harry and Larry since 1967, sees the elder Quadracci as an educator.
“To me, he has always been a great teacher,” notes Rivello, senior vice president of distribution and worldwide manufacturing at Newsweek, of which Quad/Graphics holds the printing contract. “In my formative years coming up in the offset business, he was truly an offset genius. I always felt privileged to work and spend time with him. He had the patience to take the time and show us the way and what needed to be done.