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History of Premax

We are proud of our history at Premax, and we would like to share just a few highlights of our heritage. To view more historical documets from Premax, visit the "Historical Marketing Materials" section of resources page.

Premax was founded as the Niagara Metal Stamping Company in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1922. A job shop stamping house at its inception, the business quickly changed to an OEM manufacturer of the aluminum letters and numbers which we sell today. Renamed “Premax” to signify the premium quality of its products, the business found large markets in property marking (utilities, railroad, manufacturing), house numbers, sign making, boat marking, and truck marking (ICC numbers). In the days before pressure sensitive adhesive vinyl characters Premax’s aluminum letters & numbers were the only way to go! Their economy, legibility and durability led to their being specified as the only allowable pole marking system when the Rural Electrification Administration was set up under FDR in 1935.

When Premax was purchased by the Chisholm-Ryder Company it was blended into an existing farm machinery firm which had a number of different manufacturing capabilities besides metal stamping. These new abilities led to the development of Premax product offerings in the hardware store arena. Premax became a manufacturer of tent stakes, pet products, and fishing rods. Premax also branched out into the antenna business, manufacturing a wide range of antennas for marine, police, and civilian use. During World War II Premax was a certified supplier of PT boat whip antennas.

With the resumption of peacetime manufacturing Premax exited the hardware store business lines and focused its efforts on utility property marking. We are now the world’s largest supplier of embossed aluminum letters and numbers to the utility marketplace. We have sold over 800 million figures to date.

In July of 1996 Premax moved operations to a new, larger facility in Medina, Minnesota, just west of Minneapolis. At that time our honored employee, Mrs. Finley, retired after sixty-nine years on the job.