A Look into the Legacy: The History of DWS Printing & Packaging

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Abraham Lincoln was in office when our story began, and if that doesn’t date us then we don’t know what does! 159 years and 5 generations later we must be doing something right, so let’s look back at the history of DWS and explore how we got here.

1865

That’s our magic number. It’s when everything started, looking back 159 years ago to our roots, the place where it all began. A lithographic company was founded by David Weil in New York City for his two sons, aptly named David Weil’s Sons Lithographic Company. The Civil War had just ended, the economy was starting to look up and the company was busy printing show cards, canned food labels, folding display boxes, and the list goes on.

1888

Charles Staib joins the company and begins the Staib family legacy. Little did he know he would be the first of 5 generations to come.  Charles became a principal of the company and soon thereafter bought out the Weil’s family business but kept the David Weil’s Sons name, honoring the strong reputation that the company had developed since inception some 23 years earlier.

1920

Charles was joined by his son Arthur Staib, 2nd generation of the Staib’s, who dedicated 54 years to the company before retiring in 1974.

1924

Business was booming and DWS quickly began to grow and expanding to a new 7-story building in Brooklyn was the next step on the growth journey. R.H. Macy & Co (now known as Macy’s) and Bass & Co (the world’s first pale ale) were two of DWS’ hottest clients.

1951 & 1962

Brothers, Arthur Jr. and Allen Staib hop on board the family business in 1951 and 1962, respectively, marking the 3rd generation of Staib’s with the company. They begin to bear more responsibility and learn the ropes from their father Arthur Sr. The beverage market continued to boom and together they took on clients such as Yoo-Hoo and Coca-Cola.

1964

After 40 years of operating in its Brooklyn facility the company relocates to Farmingdale, Long Island to be closer to Arthur Sr., Arthur Jr., and Allen’s homes in Manhasset and Huntington, respectively.

1976

After 111 years of continuous operation, the Staib’s finally decide to put the David Weil’s Sons name to rest and formally condense the company name to DWS.

1980

Facing growing competition and challenges by the labor unions, Arthur Jr and Allen, take the necessary steps to contract the business and downsize to a smaller facility in Bay Shore, Long Island.

1987 & 1991

Another set of brothers, Tom and Andy Staib, 4th generation of the Staib’s join the company in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Together the Staib brothers, along with their father Allen, continue to reinvest in the company and grew it to new levels of success and prosperity with the booming Snapple label business.  We call that time “the Snapple days”.

1991 & 1996

Arthur Staib, Jr. and Allen Staib retire in 1991 and 1996, respectively paving the way for the 4th generation to take command of the then 131-year old family legacy.

2008

Tom and Andy broaden the company’s capabilities and offerings by expanding in flexographic printing to serve the growing trend in the food and beverage industries toward pressure-sensitive labels.

2010

After outgrowing their Bay Shore facility, the company relocates to near-by Deer Park in 2010 where they more than double their space and pave the way for continued growth.

2012

The Staib brothers decide to make the biggest investment in the company’s history with their $4 million purchase of a Heidelberg 8/color UV press and give it an appropriate nickname, called The Beast.

 

2013

Kathy Staib, the first female Staib to join the family business, enters DWS and joins Andy and the rest of the sales team to help “feed The Beast.”

2015

DWS celebrates its 150th Anniversary, aka its SESQUICENTENNIAL, with a formal party including and recognizing the entire DWS staff and their families, as well as clients and vendors at The Founders Room in Huntington, Long Island.

The Staib’s continue to invest in new technology and purchase an Omet 10/color flexographic press that can accommodate the unsupported film and shrink sleeve business.  To complement The Beast, they decide to name the Omet, “Beauty”.

 

2017

Tom Staib’s son, TJ Staib, joins his father Tom and his Uncle Andy becoming the 5th generation in the family legacy.  TJ opens up the company’s first can-sleeving operation to serve the beverage markets with pre-sleeved cans.

 

2018

DWS invests in cutting edge Digital + Flexo hybrid technology to satisfy short-run digital runs as well longer-run flexo work.

 

2020

Amidst a global pandemic, the Staib’s take a leap of faith and look to capitalize on the growing demand for sleeved-cans in the craft beer market by opening their first out-of-state manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.

 

In October of that same year, as the new plant was only weeks away from the opening of its doors, the Staib family suffers an inexplicably tragic loss with the sudden passing of Tom Staib at 56 years of age.

 

Despite the tragedy, Andy and TJ Staib, forge onward in Austin and carry the torch in Tom’s honor.

 

2021

The company honors Tom Staib by hosting its first annual Tom Spirit Day.

 

 

2022

Andy’s daughter, Hope Staib, joins the company and becomes the second 5th generation Staib in the family business, leading the company’s marketing initiatives and working with the sales and CSR teams.

 

2023

After an initial boom of business in the new Austin facility, changing market conditions lead to the decision to consolidate the Texas assets back to “home base” in Long Island, making for a single, yet stronger sole manufacturing plant.

 

2024

Stay tuned…. and find out what is next in the Staib family’s company legacy!

 

Intrigued? Want to learn even more about DWS and our story? Check out our LEGACY Video HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1865, David Weil’s Sons Lithographic company was founded in NYC. Charles Staib, joins the company, historic step marking the 1st generation of the Staibs. Little did he know where the company would go from there. Arthur Staib, 2nd generation, joins the company in 1919, and his son Allen Staib in 1962

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