Messengers history honored ’

December 3rd, 2013

News Coverage:

Messengers history honored

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:11 am, Tue Dec 3, 2013.

INDIANAPOLIS — Messenger LLC of Auburn is one of 13 companies to receive Centennial Business Awards from the Indiana Historical Society, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., in a ceremony Monday night.

The recognition came at the society’s annual Founders Day Dinner, presented by Wells Fargo Advisers, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. Each company will be added to the historical society’s Historic Business Register.

In 1992, the trustees and members of the Indiana Historical Society founded the Historic Business Register with three goals in mind: to provide special recognition to Indiana companies continually in business for a century or more, to encourage the preservation of historically significant business-related archival materials, and to develop increased awareness of the state’s rich business and industrial heritage among Indiana’s citizens.

The Centennial Business Awards are presented every year in partnership with the development corporation. To date, the names of more than 400 companies have been registered and listed on the historical society’s website, most with organizational narratives.

Frank M. Messenger founded the Messenger Corp. in 1913 in Chicago to promote and sell Scripture text calendars.

In 1927, the company started a national campaign to promote its sacred art calendars and spent more than $40,000 in advertisements. Messenger wanted to make businesses aware of the benefits of using the calendars for promotional advertising.

Messenger acquired the Auburn Greeting Card Co. in the 1930s and moved to Seventh Street just east of downtown Auburn, where it still operates. At that time, the company began producing funeral stationery to sell to funeral homes. By the mid-1970s, funeral stationery sales overtook calendar sales.

The company is credited with introducing many products and services to the funeral industry, such as coordinating stationery graphics, printing full-color art on register book covers, same-day service for personalized thank-you cards and establishing stationery products as a merchandising center in funeral homes.

In 2005, Messenger became the first funeral stationery manufacturer to introduce software allowing funeral directors to print Messenger products from their desktops. Recently the company launched its Sacred Art series of coordinated stationery that uses images once featured in Messenger’s original calendar line.

Along with Messenger, Indiana Historical Society honorees for 2013 include 1st Source Bank, South Bend, celebrating 150 years; Bippus State Bank, Huntington; Clark Appliance, Indianapolis; Days Corp., Elkhart; EF Marburger Fine Flooring, Fishers; Halbig’s Painting and Wallpaper, Princeton; Maco Press Inc., Carmel; Max Katz Bag Co. Inc., Indianapolis; Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis; Police and Firemen’s Insurance Association, Carmel; St. Joseph Hospital, Kokomo; Taylor’s Bakery, Indianapolis; and Woodside Dental Center, New Albany.

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