"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to navigationJump to search

A. B. DICK PRODUCTS OF DUBUQUE. The A. B. Dick Company was a major American manufacturer of copy machines and office supplies in the late 19th Century and the 20th Century.

The company was founded in 1883 in Chicago as a lumber company by Albert Blake Dick (1856 – 1934). It expanded into office supplies and, after licensing key autographic printing patents from Thomas Edison, became the world's largest manufacturer of mimeograph equipment (Albert Dick coined the word "mimeograph"). The company introduced the Model 0 Flatbed Duplicator in 1887. Later on, the flatbed duplicators were replaced by devices using a rotating cylinder with automatic ink feed. Basic models were hand-cranked while more elaborate machines used an electric motor.

The company virtually created the business of "quick printing" through storefront shops that printed from disposable plates on duplicators. Tens of thousands of its Model 350 and 360 duplicator were sold, many of which were in use decade later. A. B. Dick also produced machines using the competing spirit duplicator technology. Starting in the 1960s, xerography began to overtake A. B. Dick's older mimeograph technology.

In 1979, the company was acquired by the General Electric Company (a British firm, not to be confused with the American company General Electric). In 1988, the company acquired Itek Graphix, a leading manufacturer of plate-makers for duplicators (small format offset presses). By the late 1990s, it was a division of the Nesco company of Cleveland.

In the 1980s, A. B. Dick was involved with GEC Computers in the production of the ill-fated GEC Series 63 minicomputer.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and many of its assets were acquired by Presstek, a manufacturer of prepress products.



"A. B. Dick," Wikipedia

The 1977 through 1983 Dubuque City Directory of Dubuque listed 50 E. 7th.