Mr. George Sullivan graduated from the University of Maine in 1920 and showed an immense interest in the paper industry.
After college, George moved to Nashua, New Hampshire, where he worked for a short time at Nashua Corporation, a company that made gummed tape. During his time there, George was able to secure knowledge about paper converting. George also met his wife Elizabeth in Nashua.
While in Nashua, George also connected with a couple other individuals interested in the paper industry. In 1921, working together with Charles Heafy and Louis Jacobs, they formed Holyoke Coated. They located their new business in South Hadley, MA.
Holyoke Coated was a very successful and profitable business, specializing in the production of coated papers. In 1927 the United States economy took a turn for the worse, when we began to enter the Great Depression. Many successful businesses failed at this time; the fate of Holyoke Coated was no different.
After the economic collapse, Sullivan, Heafy, and Jacobs went their separate ways. Charles Heafy moved to New York and started the company Charles Heafy Inc. and supplied paper for shoe boxes. Louis Jacobs also moved to New York and started a company specializing in paper for the set up box industry. George Sullivan moved to Pawtucket, RI and went to work for Blackstone Glazed Paper Company on North Bend Street.
While working at Blackstone Glazed, George became restless, wanting to own his own business again. George began working towards his goal of his own company, and as money was available he would buy pieces of steel or other machine parts; as his plan was to assemble a one color gravure printing machine. Eventually George was able to assemble his one color press in the cellar of his house in Pawtucket, RI. His press was complete, lacking only an electric motor.
In 1939 George moved back to Massachusetts with his family and was able to set up his one color printing press at 30 Hanover Street, Springfield MA. This building space was owned by New England Card & Paper Company, so George made arrangements with the President of New England Card & Paper, Hobert Swan, so that in exchange for building space, George would supply New England Card & Paper with their paper. New England Card & Paper Company was Sullivan Paper Company’s first customer.
For the first year Sullivan Paper printed exclusively for New England Card & Paper Company. After the first year George was able to add four more distributors to Sullivan Paper’s customer list; Charles W. Williams & Company, Pickwick Papers Inc., Lachman Novasel Paper Company, and The K.E. Tozier Company. Charles W. Williams & Company, Lachman Novasel Paper Company, and Pickwick Paper were all located in New York. The KE Tozier Company was located in Boston, MA.
George Sullivan was now well on his way to solidifying his name, and Sullivan Paper’s as a skilled gravure printer for the box covering and department store industries.