1798, Alois Senefelder, helping his mother in her laundry using a porous stone, invented stone printing-lithography..
The porous stone represented one stage in the continuing development of the lithographic process, which grew and evolved rapidly with the transferring of images from specially treated paper to lithographic stone. By the late 19th century, there were well over 400 hand-driven and 30 steam-driven presses operating in the United States.
Lithographic printing, as a commercial printing process, stated with flatbed presses and evolved to direct rotary presses; Ira W. Rubel is credited with pioneering lithography as an industry.
Of special interest is one stone, which shows the name of H.S. Crocker, Inc., along with an early subsidiary, Cunningham, Curtis & Welch Company Los Angeles. The first offset-lithographic press manufactured in America was purchased and used by H.S. Crocker Company and later donated to the Smithsonian Museum.
Our beginnings were humble. Founded in 1856 in Sacramento, gateway to the California gold fields, our first headquarters was a tent with a small sign that read simply: "H.S. Crocker Company Printers". Promising "first class printing" to all customers, we soon moved into a wood frame building.
As millions in gold and silver poured down from the Mother Lode and Nevada, San Francisco became a city almost overnight. It also became the center of the West Coast printing industry. In 1871, Crocker established its first printing and lithography plant in the City by the Golden Gate.
In 1885, Crocker erected a five-story plant, considered to be the finest commercial printing establishment in the West. Here we operated our own steam plant, selling power to other printers in the area.
Expansion continued with the purchases of other companies, including Independent Lithograph Company in 1958 and Strobridge Lithograph Company of Cincinnati in 1960, H.S. Crocker acquired Fraser Label Company of Chicago in 1969; and in 1972, we purchased Lockwood Folding Box Company, in business in Norristown, Pennsylvania, since 1850 and long noted for pharmaceutical carton production.
As a result, our research and development and design capabilities are geared to be responsive to your needs. Our success begins with understanding your requirements. Our niche focus has supported extensive capital investment to ensure that we have manufacturing tailored to provide superior quality and service.