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Gaylord Innovations
From Straight Pins to
Books on the Mend

Gaylord Innovations

An innovation of their own.
To continue our story... our beloved brothers, Willis and Henry worked eagerly in a cellar workshop after banking hours, designing a gummed paper with which to repair torn currency. After struggling to establish credit with a paper mill and consulting with a chemist to formulate an appropriate adhesive, the brothers finally had their gummed paper and Gaylord Bros. was ignited September 1, 1896. Their merchandising plan was simple but effective. The paper was packaged in 24, 3 x 4” sheets and distributed along with a circular and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to every bank in the country. If the bank wanted the gummed mending paper, it could remit $.20 in stamps. If not, the entire package could simply be returned in the enclosed envelope.
A drive to succeed.

Gaylord Bros. received their first order amounting to $.35 on September 10, 1896 from Bowery Savings Bank of New York. Experience revealed that of the banks circularized, approximately 1/3 would remit payment for the mending tissue, 1/3 would return it and the remaining 1/3 would do neither. The determination to see their business succeed propelled Willis and Henry to spend every spare second of their time preparing paper, recording data and circulating their product. It quickly became a practice to fill each order the day it was received because the next morning was sure to bring another.

A focused approach.

A short time after the mending tissue appeared in the bank industry, a librarian requested that Gaylord Bros. furnish the paper in 1 ½ x 8 ½” strips to be used in book repair. With their curiosity piqued, Willis and Henry obtained a list of public libraries and instituted their marketing plan in the library industry as well. A superintendent of schools also placed an order around this time which peaked their interest in the possibilities that might lay ahead there.

A letter from a librarian arrived on the morning of November 8, 1897 stating that the mending tissue wasn’t strong enough for certain applications, and could a mending cloth be provided as a stronger alternative? With the help of the Nashua Gummed and Coated Paper Company, Gaylord added gummed cloth to their product line.

Finally! Moving up and out of the cellar workshop.

In February 1903, Gaylord Bros., Inc. moved from a small cellar workshop to a space in the Third National Bank Building at the corner of Salina and James Streets in Syracuse, a questionable location at the time, but nevertheless a devoted space. In 1906, a request from a priest at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York sparked the invention of what would come to be one of Gaylord’s most popular library supply products, the pamphlet binder. By December 1909, both brothers had resigned from the savings bank to dedicate their entire focus on Gaylord Bros., Inc.

As time went on, library orders surpassed bank orders and the decision was made to discontinue bank supplies and to focus exclusively on developing quality library supplies. This decision allowed the brothers to concentrate their focus on the research and development of library supplies such as the double-stitched binder and the multibinder in 1909. Gaylord manufactured the first folded and sealed book pockets in 1912 and the first reinforced book pockets in 1922. In 1922 Gaylord expanded into a three-story building on Gifford Street in Syracuse.

Circulating ideas & changing the way the library works.

One of the most important product advancements ever developed here at Gaylord was the Model C Book Charger. Introduced in 1930, it was the first mechanized circulation control system. Libraries around the world relied on the Gaylord Book Charger to facilitate accurate and economic control of their book circulation. By 1975, this product had metamorphosed into Gaylord's unique Circulation Control System, "designed to be the most practical cost-effective computerized circulation system available to libraries."

As library circulation was made more efficient, the need for more supplies prompted the Gaylord innovations of the 1970s: our acquisition of a seed packet machine (converted for the mass production of book pockets) and our renowned Se-lin Labeling System. Prompted by the ALA in 1963, the Battelle Institute developed a state-of-the-art method for the permanent adhesion of spine labels. In 1970, Gaylord gained exclusive rights to the Se-lin System and has since made many developments to the product. Today, Se-lin II and III products remain bestsellers.

While computers now allow libraries to maintain their own circulation processes, Gaylord continues to provide revolutionized versions of these popular supplies to this day.

The other side of the desk.

A decade after the Model C Book Charger, Gaylord introduced the first sloped-shelf book truck. While furniture and book trucks had been staples in the Gaylord product line for a long time, an enormous amount of innovation was now devoted to their design. Each line was created with careful consideration of how a librarian might use it, making our products truly excel among those of our competitors. Our Informa line, introduced in 1986, was created by Gaylord with the help of celebrated Danish designer Jens Risom. It featured complex and well-planned components beneath a clean, open exterior.

By the 1990s, Gaylord was furnishing libraries around the world and even donated extensive resources and time to redesigning libraries in Kuwait after the 1990 Iraqi invasion. In 1992, Gaylord surpassed its traditional quality with a premium furniture line. Featuring a striking black accent edge, Allusion offered the finest materials alongside superior craftsmanship. Never dated, this distinct line is still one of our most popular. Six years later, it was joined by our first value line: St. Croix. Combining this with our other furniture offerings, Gaylord now includes an enormous variety of styles to meet every budget.

A determination to excel in preservation.

As a library supplier, Gaylord has always provided customers with products that were acid-free. In the late 1980s, however, the Library of Congress informed the public of the damaging effects that acids were having on our cultural heritage. In response to these findings, Gaylord formed a Preservation Advisory Committee to develop products that would excel in the preservation of valued artifacts. The committee was composed of highly regarded professionals with experience in preservation research and practices. With their help, we released our first Archival Catalog in 1992, offering products that were sure to provide a firm foundation for archival care. Today we have expanded our line to include custom products, the latest technological advances, museum-quality exhibit cases, and a broader assortment of essentials... with plans to develop even more innovations in the future.

What is the present like?

In the 100 years following the brothers' cellar workshop, Gaylord Bros., Inc. moved into larger buildings and expanded operations five times. In 2005, Gaylord Bros., Inc. moved a sixth time into our current facility in North Syracuse, New York. Finally, all our divisions are united in one space where, on pleasant days, coworkers can be seen walking the grounds and lunching together on our patio. The newly constructed building offers a warm and inviting setting for our coworkers and visitors, as well as a contemporary space in which to grow.

What does the future hold?

Our products and services will continue to be constantly revaluated and redesigned to ensure that you are provided with only the best and most reliable library supplies, furniture and archival solutions. We’ve assembled focused committees to monitor developments and to watch for opportunities for further improvements in our three main product lines. One of the current global developments that we are most excited about is the global push towards environmental awareness. We look forward to contributing to this effort and remain devoted to the widespread implementation of green values, both in our company's operations and in the products we provide to you.

The Gaylord Gumming Line
The Gaylord Gumming Line
The Gaylord 1912 Catalog
The Gaylord 1912 Catalog
Gaylord Bookcraft Kit Complete with Gaylo and Magic Mend
Gaylord Bookcraft Kit
Searching for the Right Plate
Searching for the Right Plate
Gaylord® Magic Mend
Gaylord® Magic Mend
Book Repair Group
Book Repair Group
Finishing a Displayer in Our Furniture Factory
Finishing a Displayer in Our Furniture Factory
Gaylord® Model C Book Charger Illustration
Gaylord® Model C Book Charger Illustration
Riveting in Action
The Riveting Machine in Action
The First Sloped-Shelf Book Truck
The First Sloped-Shelf Book Truck
Gaylord Bookcraft Guide from 1928
Early Gaylord Bookcraft Guide
Gaylord Bookcraft Guide from 1928
Supplies in an Early Gaylord Bookcraft Guide
Se-Lin Labeler
Se-Lin Labeler
The Allusion Line of Gaylord Furniture
Gaylord Archival Tissue

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