Thursday, January 25, 2018

What used to be in that building?

A recent view of 1503 Oberlin Avenue
Here’s a building on Oberlin Avenue that many Lorainites have driven by through the years, perhaps on the way to Lorain Creamery, which was just a few doors down to the north.

It’s an interesting portion of Oberlin Avenue right there just south of the railroad tracks, with a variety of commercially-zoned properties mixed in with the houses.

As many of you might remember, it was the home of Pioneer Printing.

Pioneer Printing first appeared in the Lorain phone book and city directories in 1961. There were two production facilities; besides the one at 1503 Oberlin Avenue, there was an outlet in Elyria.

The article below, which ran in the business advertising section of the Lorain Journal on December 9, 1963 provides a nice look at the company and the owner, Jack Kuntz.

And here’s an ad for the firm that ran in the Lorain phone book in November 1963. The illustration kind of reminds me of Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet.
For many years, Lorain County was a hotbed for printing. At the time of ad above, there were 15 companies listed in the phone directory. Besides Pioneer Printing, other Lorain companies included Atlas Engraving on 5th Street; Bodnar Printing on E. 28th; Central Print Shop on E. 28th; Henry’s Letter Shop at 356 Broadway; Lorain Printing, which had moved to its facility on Colorado Avenue by then; Mariotti Printing on E. 28th; McMahon Printers at 647 Broadway; and H. N. Wieland Printing, which was at 2507 Leavitt Road (in the building that later became the Lorain Youth Center, and still later, Lorain Party Center.)

Pioneer Printing endured for many years at 1503 Oberlin Avenue before its listing disappeared from the city directories and phone books in 1996.

Lorain still has several printing companies, including two from the above 1963 roll call that have managed to survive in a tough local economy.

The Bodnar Printing Company (at 3480 Colorado Avenue) and Mariotti Printing (at 513 E. 28th Street) are happily still here. SQP Print Center (the successor to Slutzker’s) also enjoys the distinction of enjoying many successful years at 721 Broadway in Downtown Lorain.


Dennis Thompson said...

In the 1960s I had some cards printed and the closest place was the Amherst News Times. Yes, they hired out in addition to printing the weekly paper. I still have some of the cards.

Anonymous said...

My first taxpaying job was here, 76-78 while in high school. Carl was still there at the time time and I learned a bit from him about running a press. One of our contracts was printing the weekly high school football programs.

Kyle S said...

An old girlfriends mother, Betty Lesperance, worked at Pioneer for many years.