AM INTERNATIONAL, INC. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
AM INTERNATIONAL, INC., formerly Addressograph Multigraph Corp., was organized on 5 May 1931 by the merger of the Addressograph Intl. Corp. and the American Multigraph Co. Addressograph Intl., an Illinois firm, had been formed in 1893 to manufacture an envelope-addressing service. The American Multigraph Co. was organized in Cleveland by Harry C. Gammeter, who invented a machine to duplicate letters, and Henry C. Osborn, who improved on it. After incorporating on 12 Dec. 1902, the firm began production in a factory on E. 40th St. at Kelly Ave.
In 1932 the newly formed Addressograph-Multigraph Corp. consolidated its operations in a new plant at 1200 Babbitt Rd., manufacturing highly efficient addressograph and duplicating machines. The firm grew steadily and after World War II greatly expanded its operations in this country and abroad. In 1967 sales from the parent company and 27 subsidiaries reached more than $400 million. When its rate of growth slowed in the late 1960s and 1970s, Roy Ash, elected chairman and chief executive officer in Sept. 1976, made major cuts to improve efficiency. In 1978 he moved corporate headquarters from Cleveland to Los Angeles, hoping to establish a new corporate image in the high technology field, and changed the corporate name to AM Intl. in 1979. The company earned $5.8 million on sales of $909.6 million in 1980, but suffered severe losses in the next 2 years. On 14 Apr. 1982, the firm filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, and when workers at its Babbitt Rd. plant refused a $6/hour wage reduction in August, AM Intl. closed the plant in Oct. 1982.
Brainard, George C. A Page in the Colorful History of Our Modern Machine Age (1950).Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 10:20:24 AM
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