A Unit of the Center for Appalachian Studies & Services at East Tennessee State University
One of the more colorful collections in the Archives of Appalachia is the IPC Dennison Company Collection, 1929-1978. This collection was donated to the Archives of Appalachia by C.H. Geiger, Sr., Chairman of the IPC Dennison Company board, in January 1979.
The IPC Dennison Company evolved from the International Printing Pressman’s Union (headquartered at Pressman’s Home, Tennessee). George L. Berry, who was president of the union for forty years, wanted to start a company which would provide jobs for pressmen trained at the union’s trade school. In 1927, Berry purchased a knitting mill in Rogersville, Tennessee and turned it into a printing plant. Initially, the plant was known as the “International Playing Card Company.” By 1930, the company started to print labels and changed its name to the “International Playing Card and Label Company.” In 1977, the plant merged with the Dennison Manufacturing Company (based in Framingham, Massachusetts). In 2011, the Rogersville plant was sold.
The International Playing Card and Label Company attracted numerous clients, including some big names such as Campbell’s Soup, Gerber, Chef Boyardee, Life Savers, V-8, Pepsi, and Clabber Girl Baking Powder.
However, take a look at some of these smaller brand labels which ran from the 1940s-1970s. Do your recall any of them? If you are too young, browse through and look at the different marketing strategies and art. For instance, Major Fruit, dates from the 1940s and could allude to an era of war or peace during or after World War II. Others, such as Franklin Snacks, seem to cater to America’s bicentennial celebrations during the 1970s.
Click to enlarge and scroll through gallery: