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Conway Print Shop
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the "dime" novel was among the most popular forms of entertainment. For the Conway brothers and their neighbors in the coal-mining town of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the publication of one of these novels launched a global enterprise that has been a fixture in the local economy since 1903.
"Murder at Hickory Ridge" was a fictionalized account of an unsolved murder in the Shamokin area, written by William A. Conway and printed by his two brothers, Alphonsus E. and John J., in the garage that served as the Conway Print Shop.
With the profits from the sale of the novel, the Conway brothers started the Black Diamond Publishing Company in 1905 to disseminate news of the anthracite coal region through the printing of Black Diamond Magazine.
At the same time, the movies had made their way to the area. Alphonsus rigged an existing press to print continuous roll tickets, enabling the company to expand its operations to serve the new theater industry.
One of the first large volume orders for the fledgling company came from the Hazleton Baseball Club, which requested that its tickets be printed on colored paper. Having no such paper and no cash to buy it, the Conways turned to Nicholas R. Ludes, a successful Shamokin clothing merchant. Ludes bankrolled the purchase of the paper stock, and the company was on its way.
First Production Building
In 1907, the three Conway brothers and Ludes became equal partners in the incorporation of National Ticket Company.
To remain in business as long as it has, National Ticket Company has had to endure the same trials as any long established business: cataclysmic events and economic hard times. The company has survived two world wars, the Great Depression, and a devastating fire.
To this day, the company is still owned solely by the Conway and Ludes families, with each family holding fifty percent of the stock.
National Ticket Company's first production facility, built in 1911 at the corner of Pearl and Webster Streets. A 1942 fire gutted the plant, although the brick shell still stands.
Second Production Building
Wartime shortages prevented the company from building a new facility for eight years after the fire. This building at Pearl Street and Ticket Avenue was completed in 1950 and served as company headquarters for forty-two years.
Within the last decade, National Ticket Company’s services have broken the boundaries of the US, and are now used worldwide.
The company has grown and prospered through the 20th century because of the strength of its ownership, the stability of its work force, and the versatility of its product. As it continues to employ modern management techniques and the latest printing and computer technology, National Ticket Company is poised to succeed into a second century of service to its vast array of customers.
Our Corporate Headquarters in Paxinos, Pennsylvania
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