Industry Nostalgia High as Quebecor World Announces Plant Closings
“Companies such as Kingsport, Riverside Press, American Book-Stratford Press, Colonial Press, The Haddon Craftsmen, RR Donnelley, H. Wolf Book Manufacturing Co., etc., with their huge floors of presses and stacks of paper, provided the credit as well as the delivery that got many a publisher through their season, as well as through World War II,” he says.
During World War II, the president of the Kingsport Press was the deputy director of the War Production Board’s Printing and Publishing Division, “which produced such materials as Bibles and equipment instruction manuals for U.S. troops,” according to an entry in the “Tennessee Encyclopedia.”
The encyclopedia also noted that the site was home to one of the longest strikes in America’s history; it lasted almost four full years and saw picket lines “accompanied by vandalism and violence.” In fact, there was a book written about the strike, says Maloney. “Just about everybody I worked for was named in the book,” he adds.
Bill Ralph, publishing sales specialist with Malloy Inc., was a longtime publishing client of Kingsport. “Prior to joining my present employer, I worked for a California-based college textbook publisher for a little more than 30 years. Mac Booher was one of the first book printing salespeople representing an Eastern manufacturer, Kingsport Press, to call on the new and growing California publishing industry, and one of the first to establish a sales office in the region. We worked with Mac, and later with Bill Ketron, Paul Walker and Paul Stanley in the ’70s, ’80s and into the ’90s,” he explains.
“During this period, the industry, and our companies, evolved—[our companies] were bought, sold and merged, as they continue to do today. The loss of Kingsport Press is a natural evolution of a business that is very sad. However, I understand how it’s sometimes important for corporations to make difficult and important financial decisions,” says Ralph. “It’s my hope that all the thousands of people who were at Kingsport Press throughout the years aren’t forgotten. These are the people who set the modern standard for service, quality and innovation in our industry.”