THE ROSBACK STORY
Frederick Peter Rosback was born in Engers, Germany in 1846. At the age of 5 his parents brought him to the United States where they settled in Springfield, Illinois. Just down the road lived a young man named Abraham Lincoln. After Fred completed high school, and served in the Union Army, he apprenticed in the machinist trade with Northwestern Railroad in Springfield, Missouri. In 1866, he married and went to work for the McCormick Harvester Company - first as a machinist and later in the experimental department. Mr. Rosback invented a grain binding mechanism and received a patent on this invention in 1881. Later that same year he sold it to Cyrus McCormick for $2,000 and started his own business in Chicago, known as the FP ROSBACK Company.
In 1881, Mr. Rosback developed his first piece of bindery equipment, a foot-powered perforator with fixed punches. This bindery equipment machine served the printing industry that serviced the banks that needed equipment to perforate paper so it would tear easily such as checks, stamps, coupons, stock certificates and the like.
In 1888, Mr. Rosback invented and patented foot-powered perforators that permitted easy replacement of punches and operator-set, skip or strike perforations. In 1889, the machine was modified to be powered by either a steam line or electric motor. This bindery equipment machine proved very popular and the company sold thousands all over the United States and throughout the world until it was discontinued in 1973.
In 1905, Mr. Rosback, his two sons who were then involved with the company, along with 6 of their employees and all their families, moved to the small city of Benton Harbor, Michigan approximately 100 miles away. The Company was to remain and prosper there for the next 75 years.
1915, Mr. Rosback developed the motor powered Rotary Round Hole Perforator. This invention was a big seller from the onset and was the backbone for growth and development of the Rosback Company for some 50 years. The process was so successful that nearly every check perforated, whether in the United States, Europe, or Asia, was perforated on Rosback bindery equipment machinery during that era.
In 1921, Mr. Rosback introduced a small saddle-stitching machine. However, the innovation was too early for an industry that was satisfied with pedestal book stitchers. The saddle-stitching concept was "reintroduced" successfully in 1928.
In 1980, Rosback Company moved to its current 124,000 square foot plant in St. Joseph Michigan.
Most importantly for us today, Mr. Rosback left an organization at the Rosback Company that could carry on these activities without him and continue his efforts for generations. FP Rosback Sr. left behind a good number of descendents. Those descendents have taken active parts at Rosback Company for many years. Two sons, Walter and Fred, Jr., two grandchildren, Homer and Mae, two great grandchildren, Marthabelle Rosback and Laurence Fish, and several great-great grandchildren, who are now active in the business.
Today, Rosback Company continues "the original FP Rosback's commitment" to innovation ... excellence ... and reliability. Only our products have changed.