A Rich History of Quality Craftsmanship
Nussmeier Engraving & Printing began in 1916 when an enterprising 17 year old with one year of high school founded the company. Harry Nussmeier worked as an apprentice engraver for $4.00 per week in a one man department of a small print shop in town. After a number of months and six weeks behind in pay, Harry’s boss offered to sell him the operation and use the six weeks back pay as a down payment. Harry had no money, no accounts, and no other prospects for a job. So he decided to take the offer for which he received a small hand press, some ink, and a little paper stock.
Harry was scheduled to be drafted into the army during WWI on November 11, 1918…the day the war ended. Harry’s older brother, Oscar, returned from France soon after with a $400 mustering out pay. Business was picking up and capital was needed. Oscar with his $400 was welcomed in as a partner. Old bills were paid and a down payment was made on their first motorized press.
In 1933, during the heart of the Depression, The Peoples Bank offered a loan to the Nussmeier brothers for a building in downtown Evansville. It showed that the Peoples Bank officers must have felt they were going to succeed in their business venture. However, these years would prove to be challenging for them. The business lost money for ten years in a row. The two brothers refinanced their homes and borrowed to the limit on their life insurance. There were many weeks that their four employees took home more than Harry and Oscar, but the business kept running and they kept their trained craftsmen together producing top graphic arts products.
WWII began in 1939 and by 1941, rationing had started and many restrictions were imposed on non-vital industries. The Nussmeier brothers had trouble getting paper. So they decided that they would start producing boxed engraved stationery to be sold in the Army and Air Force PX installations. This move allowed them more access to paper by being a government contractor. The war years brought the country and the company out of the ten-year depression and enabled the brothers to pay off most of their debt.
The second generation became full-time employees in 1955. Jim and Louie began working for the company after the Korean War. Soon a new chapter would begin. In 1966, the company moved up from their humble beginnings and into a modern 16,000 square foot location. In 1970, management was transitioned over to Jim and Louie.
Today, the third generation of Nussmeiers have taken over management and ownership. David, Jim’s son, began in 1977 and Steve, Louie’s son, began in 1986 after they both completed college.
In 2007, the company expanded and an additional 6000 square feet was added to the manufacturing plant. They have since evolved into a full service specialty process company and are now doing engraving, foil stamping, embossing, letterpress, die cutting, process printing, and offset and digital printing.
Much of the company’s progress and reputation for quality products must be credited to Nussmeier’s present and past associates. Their craftsmanship and dedication have been incremental to our success.
The Nussmeiers have lived the American dream. With faith, determination, and commitment, Harry and Oscar grew a company from the ground up that has lasted three generations, over 100 years, and is known for being one of the supreme engravers in the country.