Before World War I, Bill Cann Sr. sold printing papers for Garrett Buchanan in Philadelphia (now Unisource). After serving in the WWI, he came to Wilmington, Delaware in 1920 and started a printing business with his brother. The firm, Cann Brothers & Kindig, Inc. was located at 305 Torbert Street, and was known as “the busiest little street in Wilmington.”
Although the business was successful, Bill Sr.’s relations with his brother were admittedly “stormy.” So, in 1932 Bill Sr. started his own business, Cann Printing, at 1610 Delaware Avenue.
New Technology and Equipped for Tomorrow
Cann Printing, always looking ahead to new technology, was the first printer between Baltimore and Philadelphia to install an offset press, a Webendorfer, in 1936. Bill Sr. said at the time he did it “To make business better, whether business was good or not.”
The equipment led to growth and expansion.
Cann Printing Announces Merger in 1948
In 1948, Cann expanded it’s printing, publishing, lithographing and binding business by adding licenses for Wire-o, Cerlox Plastic, Tauber Tube Plastic – Tauber Ring, Wire Spiral and Plastic Spiral, Tallyho and Mult-o Ring Loose Leaf System of Bindings. The company added essential machinery and a building at 29th and Tatnall Streets in Wilmington.
These assets, owned by brother, Winfield L. Cann, were merged into a new combined company named Cann Binding & Ruling Company.
The idea was to provide customers who were buying printing, publishing and binding services with a single source for all their work, “thereby insuring delivery dates, by controlling perfectly each phase of production.” It was a good idea.
Cann grew by providing daily racing programs for Delaware Park starting in 1948. By 1972, the company had expanded this service to include Penn National in Harrisburg and Brandywine Raceway in Wilmington. The company also supplied not only programs, but also condition books and promotional brochures.
During this time period, Cann became known as “the financial printers” (annual reports, financial statements, prospectuses, etc) and produced magazines, directories, and other periodical publications.
Today, Cann Printing is a totally modern printing company providing a full range of digital printing, pre-press, offset printing, and binding services with the same friendly, knowledgeable service to clients that has been the company hallmark since 1932.