In 1923 Olaf Halvorsen started U.S. Leather Goods Co. in Chicago, IL, which began his life-long career in the leather goods trade. An inventor at heart, he was looking for ways to improve his business. He thought by imprinting his customers' names or initials on the leather wallets, belts and briefcases he manufactured, that sales would improve.
In 1926, Mr. Halvorsen developed, manufactured and patented the Kwikprint Gold Stamping machine. The Kwikprint was designed to personalize leather items large or small. His slogan was and still is today, "Strike Gold With Kwikprint." The demand to personalize items soon grew to the point where the manufacturing of machines was better than that of the leather items.
The second generation, J. Duane Cann, was a bomber pilot in World War II and served four and a half years in the U.S. Army Air Corps flying over North Africa. After his military service ended, he began his career with the Halvorfold-Kwikprint Co., as it was known then. Mr. Cann helped in the further development of the Kwikprint Gold Stamping machine by adapting an air cylinder package, allowing the operator to use air instead of a manual lever. This feature added more possibilities and increased sales. He was also responsible for making some special attachments for imprinting pencils, matchbooks and pens. In 1980, Duane decided to retire after 34 years with the company. He continued his love for the game of Golf as a 14 handicapper at the age of 64.
In 1980, Jay D. Cann, Jr., the third generation family member of the Kwikprint Gold Stamping machine company, took over as President. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, Jay began his career with Kwikprint in 1970. In 1984 the company name was changed from the Halvorfold-Kwikprint Co. to its present name, Kwikprint Manufacturing Co., Inc. The small leather goods division was phased out, making room for the new division, Hot Stamping. Jay decided to add and promote the Hot Stamping division to increase both revenue and the sales of the machinery. This division has grown substantially since 1984 and the addition of "debossing" has helped increase sales revenue even more. Jay assisted in the birth, development and manufacture of the "Two-way" adjustable platform, which has become a superior add-on accessory for the Model 86 and 64.
Now in our 85th Year, Kwikprint is still owned and operated by the family that founded the business in 1926!