Term: Gugler Lithographic Company
The Gugler Lithographic Company was started in 1878 by German immigrant Henry Gugler (1816-1880) and his two sons, Julius (1848-1919) and Henry jr. (born 1859). By 1883 it had 55 employees and handled all advertising for Pabst Brewing. Twenty years later it had grown to more than 100 employees, and printed a wide variety of commercial imagery including this enormous 1893 Milwaukee birds-eye view.
By World War Two, Gugler was one of the state's largest and most successful printing firms, with subsidiary offices in Chicago and New York and a nationwide portfolio of corporate clients. During the war the company helped mobilize public support for the American war effort. Beginning in 1942, Gugler worked for the federal War Advertising Council to encourage voluntary compliance with rationing and service programs, inspire patriotism, promote home-front morale, and sell war bonds. View the World War Two posters and billboards produced by Gugler here.
In 1956 the last member of the Gugler family interested in the firm passed away, ending eight decades of family control. In 1966 the firm was acquired by Journal Communications, and in 1973 it left downtown Milwaukee for a new printing plant in suburban Brown Deer. Not long after Gugler's 100th anniversary in 1978, NorthStar Print Group acquired Gugler and its factories; in 1999, NorthStar was fifth largest Milwaukee-area printer. It was acquired by Multi-Color Corporation of Cincinnati in 2005, by which time Gugler's brand identity had all but vanished.
[Source: Merrill, Peter. German Immigrant Artists in America (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997): 83. Winter, Heather. "Interim Historic Designation Study Report, Gugler Lithographic Company Building, 1333-1339 N. Milwaukee St., July 2004": 5-7.