Joseph Merritt Co. Celebrates 105 Years of Innovation
HARTFORD, CT—March 13, 2013—Last week was no ordinary week for Joseph Merritt Co. March 5, 2013, marked the 105th birthday for this graphics and imaging company. Anyone familiar with the printing industry knows this is no small accomplishment. Headquartered in Hartford, CT, with six locations in New England, Joseph Merritt Co. has had to reinvent itself over the years. President and CEO Ed Perry attributes the company's success to being flexible, innovative and diverse.
A lot has transpired since Joseph Merritt Co. (Merritt) first opened its doors in 1908 as a blueprinting company. Starting in 1945, Merritt expanded its offerings to include darkroom work, xerography and white prints. It then became a complete reproduction service bureau and had the largest stock of drafting supplies and equipment in the state of Connecticut. Merritt built its reputation among the architectural, engineering and construction industries.
In 1987, Ed Perry and Ted Crew purchased the company. Even though the blueprinting and engineering documents were still a flourishing trade, they knew that the improvements in technology and computer-aided drafting (CAD) were going to bring changes to the business. The new owners developed a practical strategy to grow the company during the digital revolution. Their goal was to diversify the company from the architectural, engineering and construction industries, and to expand their talents for meeting the demands of these fields into other industries.
Adopting the early digital applications in the print world, Merritt purchased a Canon Laser Color copier system. It was one of the first in the country. The color copier industry was hugely successful, and prompted Merritt to go after digital color graphics in a big way. In 1993, Merritt purchased one of the first 3M Scotchprint Systems, which was the birth of its large-format digital printing department, which Merritt refers to as “Big Color.” To keep up with technological advances, Merritt also purchased a Xerox Docutech, which was the first variable digital printing system; this in turn birthed its small format division: Print Solutions.