Our History


Built on a Legacy of Motion.

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1907

The Bell & Howell Company is founded in Chicago, IL as a manufacturer of motion picture projectors.


 

1909

Manufactures professional 35mm motion-picture film cameras.
 

1934

Introduces the first light-weight amateur 8mm movie camera.
 

1936

Albert Williams starts the Inserting & Mailing Machine Company in Tatamy, PA. He patents and produces the first automated mailing machine.
 

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1957

Bell & Howell acquires the Inserting & Mailing Machine Company, as part of its mail processing division. It follows ground-breaking innovations for the mail industry — state-of-the-art machinery, control systems, OCR, address matching, linerless label, mail verification, paper wrapping technology to name a few.
 

1961

Bell & Howell partners with Canon, adding still photography to its product lineup.
 

1966

Bell & Howell’s Education Group creates Bell & Howell Schools, and purchases a controlling share of DeVry Institute of Technology.
 

1968

Acquires the Ohio Institute of Technology via its controlling interest in DeVry.
 

1970's

Drops production of movie cameras.
 

1979

Acquires Stephens Industry of Lenexa, KS, a manufacturer of mail sorting equipment. Also, begins marketing the Apple II Plus computer for classroom use with added security elements such as a tamper-proof cover.
 

1982

Produces the first mail inserters to offer computerized weighing, enabling greater postage discounts.

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1999

Produces the first sorter equipped with multi-line optical character reader.
 

2000

Begins focus on the information technology business.
 

2001

Sells its mail processing and scanner subsidiaries, along with the Bell & Howell name to Glencoe Capital. The latter operates under the Bell & Howell name.
 

2003

Böwe Systec acquires 50 percent of Bell & Howell and changes the latter’s name to Bowe Bell + Howell.
 

2004

Bowe Bell + Howell acquires Intellitech as the core of its JETVision machine intelligence system & Automated Data Factory.  


2005

Bowe Bell + Howell acquires BCC Software.  


2009

Bowe Bell + Howell sells scanners business to Kodak. Böwe Systec increases its stake to 100 percent.  


2011

Versa Capital acquires Bowe Bell + Howell assets and names new company, Bell and Howell.  
 

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2013

Bell and Howell opens subsidiaries in UK & Germany. Launches Producer inserter product line.  


2014

New leadership team in place. Spins-off BCC software. Joins Universal Postal Union’s Direct Marketing Advisory Board. Launches ParcelManager and CartonWrap.  

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2015

Launches high-speed package labelling products. Partners with Cleveron for Pack Robot sales and service. Secures a $25M revolving credit facility from Bank of America. Joins boards of National Association of Presort Mailers and MTAC.

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