The Beginning

The first event of record of our Association occurred in July 13, 1911 at the Sherman Hotel, Chicago, IL. This was the first Annual Convention of the National Association of Steel and Copper Plate Engravers. 


Years later, the Association name was changed to Engravographia and remained unchanged through the 17th Annual Convention of July 1927. In 1928, the Association’s name was changed to Engraved Stationery Manufacturers’ Association (ESMA). Following the name change, on July 22, 1938, the Association was headquartered in Room 622 – Tower Building, Washington, DC and was incorporated as a non-profit organization under Section 101 (7) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The first ESMA Annual Convention was July 17-19, 1939 at the Hotel Pennsylvania, New York, NY. In less than three years after the first convention, World War II caused a huge shortage of copper in the Stationery Engraving industry. In order to gain effective representation with the federal government, John A. Bresnahan, a Washington, DC attorney was hired. After guiding the Association through that problem, he was retained as legal counsel and manager until February 1967.

During 1967 and 1968, discussions were conducted with Printing Industries of America for ESMA to become a special industry group of that Association. A trial period of a year was undertaken in 1968-1969. At the same time, exploratory talks took place with Printing Industry of Illinois in Chicago for the management of ESMA. In 1970, the Board voted to become affiliated with the Printing Industry of Illinois (PII) and was managed by that Association until the end of 1980.

The relationship between the Printing Industry Association of the South (PIAS) and the Engraved Stationery Manufacturers Association (ESMA) began in the autumn of 1980. The late David F. Bacon, President of PIAS was contacted by John Motsinger, President of The Jenner Company (a PIAS and ESMA member company at the time) of Louisville KY to inquire if PIAS would consider discussing the management of our Association. Representatives of the two Associations scheduled a meeting at the office of Jim Nusssmeier, ESMA Board Chairman, Nussmeier Engraving Company, Evansville, IN. Dave Bacon and a member of his staff, Harris Griggs traveled to Evansville to meet with Mr. Nussmeier and John Motsinger. The meeting resulted in a tentative agreement that ESMA would move the management from PII to PIAS, pending approval of the Board of Directors of both Associations. The Directors of both Associations approved the agreement, to be effective January 1, 1981.

December 11, 1980, Harris Griggs flew to Chicago for a transition meeting with PII staff member Dudley Robinson. PII agreed to gather and package all membership and financial records and other miscellaneous materials for the year-end change of management. December 29, 1980, PIAS staff members Harris Griggs and Bob Sims drove a rented van to Chicago to complete the move. December 30, 1980, with the assistance of Dudley Robinson, ESMA records and an inventory of miscellaneous items were loaded into the van and moved to Nashville.

Memorable Events

July 13, 1911—The first organized meeting of a group dedicated to intaglio engraving.

July 22, 1938—Engraved Stationery Manufacturers’ Association is incorporated.

July 17-19, 1939—First ESMA Annual Convention, Hotel Pennsylvania, New York, NY.

1945—The Annual Convention was cancelled because of World War II.

1947—A need was recognized for a styles and forms book for social engraving. After more than a year of writing, editing and reviewing by many authorities, a modern, up-to-date book was published in 1949. This book with several revised additions has served the industry to the present time.

August 1, 1952—Twenty-two ESMA members contributed five hundred dollars each and founded the Engraved Stationery Manufacturers’ Research Institute. The purpose was to engage in scientific research in the field of Engraved Stationery Manufacturing. One of the first projects was to research a new type of ink. The ink was the predecessor of our present day quick drying inks.

September 25, 1978—OSHA Program Directive 100-105. The purpose of the directive was to provide guidance for point of operation guarding requirements relative to hand-fed engraving presses in the Engraved Stationery Industry. The directive remains in effect.

1985—The ESMA Press Operator Training Program, under the guidance of John Black, Excelsior Process and Engraving was completed and distributed to subscribing members.

December 1987—Following the death of long-time ESMA member, William J. Kernan, Jr., William J. Kernan & Son Engraving Co., Detroit, MI, the Association was notified of being named beneficiary in the last will and testament of Mr. Kernan. The amount specified in the will was $108, 807.81. The will specified that interest earned be used for the teaching and instruction of intaglio engraving or research projects for the engraving industry.

Notable projects developed by the Kernan Fund interest includes the Peri-etch video, the Engravers Education Book and the Design To Touch project.

July 1991—Initial planning of the Engraving Promotion Program was presented by the P/R firm of Williams and House. The detailed outline of the program was presented to the members attending the Annual Conference. The program was funded by member pledges. A committee of Dick Dumouchel, Joe Fontana and Jeff Van Zandt guided the fundraising effort. Numerous projects were developed by Williams and House with the guidance and approval of the ESMA Board of Directors.

November 1996—The ESMA member pledge method of funding P/R projects was replaced by the Ink Industry Sponsored Program. A surcharge of $.20 per pound for ink purchases was collected by the ink manufacturers and remitted to ESMA. This method of funding was continued through May 2003.

June 1999—A proposal was submitted to the members at the Annual Membership to change the name of the Association. The proposal to change the name of the Association to International Engraved Graphics Association was unanimous.

May 2005—The Association’s participation in the Supply Side/National Stationery Show, held annually at the Javits Center, New York, NY was initiated as a project to further promote the intaglio engraved product. Individuals attending the annual show are among the best prospects for designing, specifying and using engraving products. The show continues to be a very cost effective method of promoting our industry and products.

June 2010—The Design School Project, with the leadership of Robert H. Busch was presented at the Annual Membership Meeting at the Newport, RI Conference. Although much remained to be completed, the project was presented in its outline form. The finished product will be directed to the design community and design schools. The project will provide the target audience with many items of interest, including a textbook, teaching curriculum and website. The project is being funded with earnings from the William J. Kernan, Jr. Education Fund.

Past Presidents

Peter T. Hoehn 1912-1916
Alfred E. Vose 1917-1918
William W. Blaisse 1919-1920
David D. Webb 1922-1923
Albert H. Brewood 1924-1925
Louis F. Bockman 1926-1927
Wesley Mason 1929-1930
Horace Richardson 1937-1939
Marcel Bournique 1940-1943
Henry T. Hearn 1947-1948
C. Robert Peckham 1952-1954
Harold D. Woodbury 1956-1958
Arthur W. Fowler, Sr. 1960-1961
Charles J. Peck 1963-1965
William J. Gebhardt 1967-1969
Kenneth Charters 1971-1973
Donald P. Ebling 1975-1977
Jackson S. Morgan 1979-1981
John J. Ellis 1983-1985
John G. Black 1987-1989
Donald R. Pennell 1991-1993
Richard Dumouchel 1995-1997
Jim Donnelly 1999-2001
Hugh M. Griffin 2003-2005
Robert H. Busch 2007-2009
Clarence J. McKenzie 1916-1917
George B. Gannett 1918-1919
Hugo Sauer 1920-1922
Leo B. Crabbs 1923-1924
Henry Sullivan 1925-1926
Lucius J. Sears, Sr. 1927-1929
N. C. Leary 1930-1937
Murray Sullivan 1939-1940
Frank B. Siegrist 1943-1947
Donald K. Stoner 1948-1952
Hamilton M. Meyers 1954-1956
Harry L. Nussmeier 1958-1960
Louis B. Lehman 1961-1963
Myrtle O. Hinton 1965-1967
Harvey G. Miller 1969-1971
C. Richard Burdge 1973-1975
James L. Nussmeier 1977-1979
Dean G. Jackson 1981-1983
Gary D. Autrey 1985-1987
Gerald Schneiderman 1989-1991
Jeffrey R. Van Zandt 1993-1995
David K. Woodbury 1997-1999
Gary J. Zellmer 2001-2003
Randy Houser 2005-2007

Past Meeting Sites

Radisson Hotel Minneapolis, MN July 1963
Denver Hilton Denver, CO July 1964
New York Hilton New York, NY July 1965
Jack Tar Hotel San Francisco, CA July 1966
Doral Beach Hotel Miami, FL July 1967
Bismarck Hotel Chicago, IL June 1968
Hotel America Hartford, CT July 1969
Bel Air East Hotel St. Louis, MO July 1970
Sands Hotel Las Vegas, NV June 1971
Camino Real Hotel Mexico City, Mexico July 1972
Williamsburg Lodge Williamsburg, VA July 1973
May Fair Hotel London, England September 1974
Inn On The Park Toronto, Canada July 1975
Century Plaza Hotel Los Angeles, CA July 1976
Drake Hotel Chicago, IL July 1977
Copley Plaza Boston, MA July 1978
Callaway Gardens Pine Mountain, GA July 1979
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco, CA July 1980
Hotel Bonaventure Montreal, Canada July 1981
The Homestead Hot Springs, VA July 1982
Denver Marriott Denver, CO June 22-25, 1983
Chatham Bars Inn Chatham, MA June 27-30, 1984
Amway Grand Hotel Grand Rapids, MI July 10-14, 1985
Hotel del Coronado San Diego, CA July 16-20, 1986
Hyatt Regency Maui, HI July 8-12, 1987
The Lodge Pebble Beach, CA July 13-17, 1988
J. W. Marriott Washington, DC June 28-July 2, 1989
May Fair Hotel London, England May 9-13, 1990
Newport Marriott Newport, RI July 10-13, 1991
Jackson Lake Lodge Moran, WY June 3-7, 1992
The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, WV June 23-27, 1993
Southampton Princess Hamilton, Bermuda June 22-25, 1994
Sunriver Resort Sunriver, OR July 5-8, 1995
The Red Lion Inn Stockbridge, MA June 26-29, 1996
The Bishop’s Lodge Santa Fe, NM June 25-28, 1997
The Samoset Resort Rockport, ME June 30-July 5, 1998
Sonnenalp resort Vail CO June 23-27, 1999
Kingsmill Resort Williamsburg, VA June 28-July1, 2000
Grouse Mountain Lodge Whitefish, MT June 27-30, 2001
The Sagamore Bolton Landing, NY June 26-29, 2002
Grand Geneva Resort Lake Geneva, WI June 25-28, 2003
Jackson Lake Lodge Moran WY June 23-26, 2004
Host Resort Lancaster, PA June 22-25, 2005
Resort at Squaw Creek Olympic Valley, CA June 18-21, 2006
Mystic Hilton Mystic, CT June 17-20, 2007
The Bishop’s Lodge Santa Fe, NM June 25-28, 2008
Horseshoe Bay Resort Horseshoe Bay, TX July 8-11, 2009
Newport Marriott Newport, RI June 24-26, 2010
Little America Hotel Salt Lake City, UT June 23-25, 2011