The Century Club
The air is rare in PPC’s Century Club. To gain admittance, there is only one requirement: a member firm must have been in business for over 100 years! Their histories are fascinating—let us share these stories of tenacity and success with you!
Burt Rigid Box, Inc.
Founded by Frederick Northrup Burt in Buffalo, NY in 1886 as F.N. Burt Company, the company first made drugstore pillboxes. Then during the late 19th century, with the help of its 1,500 employees, they diversified into the production of cigarette boxes.
The company broke important social ground when Fred Burt sold the company to the Moore Corporation in 1906. At the time, his secretary, Mary R. Cass, took over the business, making her one of the first women to run a major U.S. corporation. She remained one of the country’s leading executives for over 25 years.
During World War II, the company designed paper lipstick cases, shell cartridges, and packaging for the medical corps. Then in 1974, it expanded into a facility in Oneonta, NY.
In 1983, C. Taylor Kew & Russell Hurd bought F.N. Burt from Moore. After they sold the folding carton division in 1997, the company adopted its new name: Burt Rigid Box, Inc. Today, Russ’ daughter, Laura, leads the company’s sales and marketing department.
Due to their unique capabilities and equipment, Burt Rigid Box, Inc. is today the only automated manufacturer of convoluted round boxes in America. In addition to rounds and ovals, Burt specializes in rectangular rigid boxes and custom slipcases for books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs.
Hampden Papers, Inc.
Founded in 1880, Hampden Papers, Inc. is recognized as a premier global paper converter specializing in foil and film lamination, metalizing, custom coating and embossing. Decades ago, Hampden was the first in their industry to convert water-based coating technology. This bold move allowed them to move away from high volatile organic compound (VOC) content coatings, thus reducing air pollutants. Today their proprietary water-based technology is years ahead of the competition: customers say Hampden’s 510PC (printer’s choice) coated stock runs 25% faster than other papers. Higher speeds and lower UV lamp intensity increase productivity and save energy.
“Our founding family members were true visionaries," reflects Bob Adams, Vice President of Sales. "They gambled on this new technology in 1980, a time when many of our customers resisted change and our competition was not as concerned about product safety or air pollution as we were then and are now. This affected us negatively for a short period, but soon many came to realize the many advantages of our water-based coatings. The Fowler family did this for all the right reasons decades ago, and were years ahead of the green initiatives we’re seeing today.”
Michigan City Paper Box Co.
In 1904, Albert K. Hoodwin began manufacturing paper boxes on the second floor of an old factory building in Michigan City, IN. As the business expanded, in 1920 they moved to an old church building and then to a former shirt factory, where the business remains today.
Sadly, 23 years after starting his box business, Albert was killed in a tragic train accident. His wife, Lillian, then took over as president until their sons, Lou and Fred, joined the firm in the 1940s. Lou purchased his brother’s share in 1983, and then sold the company to his son, Albert, in 1993.
Over the years, accounts as well as box types changed. In the early days, half of their business was manufacturing punch boards and seal cards. As punch boards lost their popularity in the 1940s, the company switched over to handmade, satin-lined jewelry boxes. They continued to manufacture high-end jewelry boxes until the 1960s, when costume jewelry, which did not require such high-end packaging, became more popular.
Through high-tech automation, a longstanding reputation for producing top-quality boxes, and superior customer service, today Michigan City Paper Box Co. is the premier manufacturer of cotton-filled jewelry boxes in the world, with accounts such as Walmart, Gap, K-Mart, Banana Republic, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, and Coldwater Creek.
Northstar Pulp and Paper, Inc.
In 1898, Hyman Goodman started to collect rags in Western Massachusetts. In the years that followed, he developed a business through the local cloth mills, where he sold the rags and they were put back into the manufacture of good product. Today, we refer to this practice as recycling.
Hyman built his business on the foundation of the highest integrity and reliability in serving to his customers which became the cornerstone to his success and the success of the generations that followed him.
Today, Northstar Pulp and Paper, Inc. under the leadership of the fourth and fifth generations of the Goodman family (David Goodman, President; Lori Goodman Byrne and Aaron Goodman, Vice Presidents) continues the tradition of Hyman Goodman by providing superior customer service and building strong partnerships with its suppliers and customers.
Taylor Box Co.
Founded in 1885 in Providence, RI by Clarence Taylor, Taylor Box Co. began as a manufacturer of jewelry cards, packaging for locally made products, and retail gift boxes. At that time, all their goods were delivered by horse-drawn carriage, as pictured on their ad at right. Then in the 1920s, Howard Scholes of Brooklyn, New York purchased the company. And in 1950, Martin Shedd—a WWII veteran, Tufts-educated engineer, and Mr. Scholes’ son-in-law—joined Taylor Box.
The company moved several times within the Providence area, as they added new customers from the small machine tool and silverware industries. In 1952, they finally moved into a 16,000-square-foot former brewery in Warren, RI.
Mr. Scholes retired in 1968 and in 1970, Martin Shedd’s two sons, Dan and Dave, joined the organization. They soon added a New York sales office where they garnered much success. In 1980, Martin retired and Dan and Dave took over.
Today, Taylor Box is an award-winning producer of rigid boxes, hinged boxes, dimensional mail, gift boxes, clear PVC boxes, slipcases, presentation folders, product promotion packaging, and sample cases from their state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot facility.
Founded in 1911 by Alexander Gray "A.G." Gordon, a journeyman bookbinder and entrepreneur, Winston Packaging Co. started out as a modest job shop for commercial printing at the corner of Third and Liberty streets in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. R.J. Reynolds was the company’s largest customer and remained so for 82 years.
In 1952, A.G.’s son John R. Gordon brought the expertise of an industrial engineer to the printing craft after years of electronics experience in the Air Force and military service in World War II and Korea. John successfully transformed the company into a manufacturing plant, expanded capabilities with the addition of offset printing presses, and significantly improved the workflow processes and management techniques. Winston Printing built and moved into a new 56,000 square foot facility on North Point Boulevard in 1979, where it remains today. Two subsequent additions brought the total square footage to 80,000 square feet in 2002.
Current president and CEO James Gordon decided during his teenage years that he wanted to become involved in the family business. Working each summer and during school breaks, he learned the business from the ground up, earned a business degree from NC State University and, after five years as the Manufacturing Manager, succeeded his father as company president in 1984. Gordon has steered the company through the Internet/Digital Age by staying at the forefront of technology and recognizing emerging trends in the market. He turned the company into a full-fledged packaging operation during the mid '90s, with the operating unit name change to Winston Packaging in 1999.
As times change, Winston Packaging changes with it, moving to newer industries such as nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, and Internet retail, and becoming certified to sustainable “green” packaging standards. The company actively pursues practices to reduce, reuse, and recycle all materials used in its facility in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
In 1843, Zumbiel’s founder Daniel B. Jordan began making boxes in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1876, Charles W. Zumbiel, Sr., the plant superintendant and namesake, bought the company from Mr. Jordan’s widow.
In 1880, Zumbiel’s five employees occupied a small space a block from the Ohio River; they moved a couple times before ending up back in this original location, which was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1903.
By 1940, the four sons of Charles W. Zumbiel, Sr.—C.W., Bob, Dick, and Tom—decided they needed more space and opted for a 70,000-square-foot location in Norwood, OH. They acquired another location in Norwood in 1965 and as their staff grew from five employees to 400, their space also grew to 600,000 square feet.
Today, Zumbiel Packaging provides a wide range of innovative paperboard packaging solutions to the beverage, pharmaceutical, and consumer markets, including flexographic, gravure, and lithographic printing; structural and graphic design services; full-service inventory management; paperboard selection options; guaranteed emergency production back-up; assured raw material supply; and machinery engineering services.