PEARL PRESSMAN LIBERTY COMMUNICATIONS GROUP — REMAKING HISTORY
It all started in 1906, when two teenagers, working in a Philadelphia print shop, decided to go out on their own. The sons of Russian and Latvian immigrants, Manuel Pearl and Charles Pressman scraped together $60 and purchased a foot-powered press, assorted type and some paper.
They worked out of Pressman’s bedroom in the Jeweler’s Row area of the city. On the block, there were six other printers, along with 14 jewelers, engravers, watchmakers and metal refiners. But they soon outgrew the bedroom and, by 1920, had moved twice, settling into a 5,000-square-foot space.
The company continued to grow and modernize when, in 1957, PPLCG hit a major obstacle. A fire ravaged the plant’s third floor, destroying equipment and artwork. More than $200,000 in assets were lost but, fortunately, no one was injured. The company completely refurbished the plant with new equipment and an improved production layout in just six weeks.
Several other events helped PPLCG grow into what it is today; a $25 million general commercial printer, standing at number 212 on PRINTING IMPRESSIONS’ Top 400 list in 2005:
* In 1960, PPLCG purchased Erie Printing & Publishing and expanded its bookmaking capabilities;
* The next year, it acquired Gelman Sign & Printing and planned its move to its current location;
* In the 1970s, the company was sold to California-based conglomerate Republic Corp. Unsuccessful in its attempts to grow the business, the company was sold back to the original owners a few years later;