Harry O. Klingstedt
Veno W. Klingstedt
The year was 1912. Twenty-eight year old Veno W. Klingstedt, the eldest son of Swedish immigrants, was ready to leave his native Jamestown, NY in search of a business of his own. The DeVinne Press in Canton, Ohio was for sale. With knowledge of printing and lots of enthusiasm and confidence, V.W., as he was called, purchased the business and moved to Canton. The business, which was located on Third Street SE, thrived during the years preceding World War I, and V.W. needed help running his operation. Following an enlistment in the Navy, brother Harry O. Klingstedt was lured to Canton in 1918 to enter the printing business. That same year, they purchased another local shop, The Anchor Press, and renamed the resulting enterprise The Klingstedt Brothers Company. Incorporation came in 1921, the same year ground was broken for their new location on Schroyer Avenue, S.W.
These two locations merged into one in the larger, modern plant in 1922. The Klingstedts soon became one of the foremost lithographers in the region, with a customer base which not only included most area businesses and industries, but spanned the nation as well. They were pioneers in many new printing methods, and they prided themselves in top-quality craftsmanship. The brothers had a great relationship; V.W. was the printer who ran the business, and Harry was the salesman who brought in the work. During the mid-1930’s, the company began selling advertising specialties as an additional service to their customers.
In 1951, V.W. died suddenly. Harry purchased his brother’s interest in the company from his family and became the company President. Though he continued to handle some of the sales, Harry knew he would need more manpower. Raymond Parks was added to the sales force, and in January of 1955, Harry’s son-in-law E.H. “Heinie” Cassler joined the business as a production manager.
Under the leadership of Harry, Ray and Heinie, the business prospered through the 1960’s. Ray retired, and Heinie assumed the role of Vice President, General Manager and Sales Manager. Large, regional and national accounts continued to be acquired and handled by Mr. Cassler. Harry, in declining health for several years, died in September 1975, one week before his 83rd birthday. Mr. Cassler became President, a position he held for the next 19 years.
The third generation of the Klingstedt family became represented when Heinie’s eldest son (Harry’s grandson) Jim joined the business in September, 1976. Jim started as a helper in the bindery, and soon became proficient on most of the machinery throughout the factory. Following his graduation from college in 1978, he became a full-time member of the firm.
During the 1980’s, the printing industry began to undergo the largest change since the invention of the offset press with the advent of the digital revolution. Specialization was a part of business, and computerization was at hand, soon to become necessary for survival. Klingstedt Brothers responded by outsourcing specialized operations and streamlining in-house production. As in many businesses, more was done by fewer people. Computerized graphics arrived in 1995, followed by digital copying and computer-to-plate capability.
E.H. “Heinie” Cassler retired from active duty at the end of 1994 following 40 years of service. He continued his involvement on the Board of Directors, until his passing on March 8, 2014. Jim became President following his retirement, and was joined in the business by younger brother, John, for a time.
Today, the Klingstedt Brothers Company continues to provide high quality products to local, regional, and national customers, as it has for over 100 years. Printing, business forms, and advertising specialties are the main products. Klingstedt Brothers became the city’s oldest printing company in 2001, when Canton Printing Company, in business since 1895, closed its doors. Much of Canton Printing’s customer base was acquired by Klingstedt at that time. In 2002, the company became the national distributor for Lincoln Highway souvenirs and memorabilia, serving a network of retail locations from coast-to-coast, and providing on-line sales to the general public. The company grew again in 2005 when it purchased the rubber stamp operation of Lesh Typesetting Company, making Klingstedt Canton’s largest manufacturer of rubber stamping products. Then in 2013, Klingstedt's acquired the customer base of Arnold Business Systems and continue to provide quality products and services.
In 2007, the company began designing and hosting web sites, and it added large format capabilities for it's centennial in 2012.
The Klingstedt Brothers Company is proud of its past, and looks forward to the future. Its diverse customer base gives it the ability to weather downturns in specific industries as well as crest with others. Its talented and conscientious staff expertly serves it's customers’ every need. If we have had the opportunity to serve you – Thanks! If not, we hope to see you soon.
E.H. “Heinie” Cassler