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WILLIAM FEATHER CO.

The WILLIAM FEATHER CO., a commercial printing house, was opened in 1916 by WILLIAM FEATHER. A CLEVELAND PRESS reporter and contributor to American Mercury magazine, Feather pooled his savings, loans, and his wife's inheritance to start a printing company that would publish his own work while providing a steady income. Within 3 years Feather introduced a magazine that he marketed as a syndicated house organ for many companies throughout the country. It was a 24-page pocket-sized magazine that contained Feather's own witty reflections on life, within a cover especially designed for each customer. Among the earliest examples were Bagology for the Chase Bag Co. and Lab-in-the-Country for Gregory Farm Lab. Readership of Feather magazines soared to 250,000 by 1950. In 1946 Feather turned the management of the printing business over to his son, Wm., Jr., so he could devote fuller attention to his 30 house magazines and the Wm. Feather magazine that advertised the printing business. He continued to dabble with the magazine until his death in 1981 at age 91. In anticipation of a postwar printing boom, the company under Wm. Feather, Jr., modernized its facilities in the CAXTON BLDG. in the mid-1940s to increase its capacity by 50%. Feather increased its sales 8-fold between 1946-54 and acquired several companies in Cleveland and nearby cities. In 1963 Feather made Cleveland prestigious among graphic-arts centers by its purchase of a 5-color web offset press that could produce and fold 25,000 5-color sheets an hour. The company and its 300 employees moved to a new building at 9900 Clinton in 1969. In an era when new techniques were revolutionizing printing, Feather tried to negotiate with the Graphic Arts Intl. Union about changing work rules to permit the company to assign personnel to jobs based on qualifications, not seniority. When the union refused, Feather moved the $17 million business to a new, nonunion plant in Oberlin, where it was sold in 1992 to the Alden Press.