HARRIS CORP., a worldwide leader in the information processing industry, was founded in Niles, Ohio, in 1895 as the Harris Automatic Press Company. In the early 1890s, two brothers - Alfred and Charles G. Harris - began work to develop an automatic sheet feeder as a way to reduce the laborious nature of the hand-fed printing process. Once developed, the brothers' new printing press increased the productivity of older methods nearly ten-fold. Harris Automatic Press became an early leader in commercial printing press technology and a pioneer in offset lithography, moving to a new factory at 4510 East 71st Street in Cleveland in 1917. After a merger with the Seybold Machine Company and the Premier Potter Premium Press Company in 1926, the Harris-Seybold-Potter Company introduced a new 4-color press in 1931. The company's name was shortened to Harris Seybold in 1946.
After GEORGE S. DIVELY gained control of the company in 1947, Harris-Seybold expanded its position within the growing graphic arts market by adding heavy and light industry subdivisions and strengthening the company's presence in the printing, copy machine, and electronics fields. Harris developed a professional-quality, portable printing press for the army in 1951 to produce on-site multicolor maps, charts, and reconnaissance photos. To enhance its electronics line and its defense work, the company acquired Autronics Research and Gates Radio. After merging with the Intertype Corporation in 1957, it changed its name to Harris-Intertype Corporation. Two years later, Harris-Intertype acquired the Brooklyn, New York-based PRD Electronics, a microwave test equipment manufacturer. Its 1967 merger with Radiation, Incorporated, a Florida-based manufacturer with ties to the growing aerospace industry surrounding Cape Canaveral, gave Harris-Intertype the electronic control technology needed to refine its typesetting equipment and provided for the company's initial entry into the semiconductor and communication systems business. By 1970, electronics provided 50% of the company's $380 million sales. Harris opened a new plant in Melbourne, Florida, that year and moved its headquarters there from Cleveland in 1978, after changing its name to the Harris Corporation just four years earlier. The company reorganized its printing equipment sector as the Harris Graphics Corporation in 1982 and acquired Atlanta-based office systems supplier, Lanier Business Products, the following year. By 1995, the Harris Corporation employed 27,000 people and had annual sales of approximately $3.5 billion. For a time, the Harris Graphics Corp., then a seperate firm from Harris Corp., retained Harris' Cleveland plant to make parts for a discontinued line of sheet-fed presses. By 2003, Harris Graphics ceased operations at E 71st Street and Accurate Precision Grinding used the location for its machine shop.