Little did Ward Hyde realize when he gave notice at a local newspaper to start his own printing business with his brother that his decision would start a 100-year tradition of printing in Marietta.
Started in 1910, Hyde Brothers Printing Company has moved a little and adapted a lot. But the company is still churning out the same types of printing work that they did a hundred years ago.
Today the business is owned and managed by Lew Camp and Dave McCullough, two friends with long ties to the printing industry.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Hyde Brothers sales manager Dave McCullough, left, and employee Ron Hazelton proof a catalog that will be printed once approved.
Photo courtesy of Hyde Brothers Printing Company
An unidentified employee mans the printing press at Hyde Brothers Printing Company sometime in the early 20th century.
"Dave came to work here in the summer of '76. I started in the print industry in '81 at Burroughs Printing. They were headquartered in Rochester, N.Y.," recalled Camp of their early days in the industry.
Many of the early records of the company are a little fuzzy, said Camp. For example, no one can agree on the name of Ward Hyde's brother.
What is known is that the company started on Front Street, but quickly sought out higher ground in the St. Clair Building on Putnam Street after the 1913 flood, said Camp.
Hyde Brothers Printing Company
Located at 101 Rathbone Road.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
1910: Ward Hyde and his brother found Hyde Brothers Printing Company on Front Street.
1913: After the flood, the Hydes relocate to the upper floors of the St. Clair Building.
Late 1950s/early 1960s: Business is purchased by John Hushion of Parkersburg and moved to its current location on Rathbone Road.
1992: Company is purchased by current owners Lew Camp and Dave McCullough.
Source: Times research.
Sometime in 1959 or 1960, the Hydes sold the business to John Hushion, whose family also owned a printing outfit in Parkersburg. Soon after the sale, Hushion moved the business to its current location at 101 Rathbone Road.
When Hushion was ready to sell in 1992, McCullough approached Camp about purchasing the business together.
"We've been here 22 years now," said Camp.
A lot has changed in print over the years, said McCullough.
When the Hydes started the business, printing was done by letter press. Employees called letter setters chose from letters in various fonts and laid the individual letters out to form the block from which they would print.
That started shifting in the early 1960s to linotype, said McCullough.
"That was a hot metal machine with a keyboard. It dropped little mats that had the letters on them. When the hot metal came into contact it formed a slug. It was just like typing," he said.
After that, computers started playing a larger role-first as the place to design the typeset which was then printing to a film and used in offset printing. Now some printing is done directly from the computer, added Camp.
"Once the proof is approved, there are no printing plates. There is no setup of a press. We can bypass the press," he said.
While a lot of short run projects are done this way, Hyde Brothers still use their presses for many projects, added Camp.
While that ability to adapt is important, Camp said the company's longevity probably has more to do with its customer service and employees.
"We do not have an employee working for us currently that does not have at least 25 years with us," he said.