Knox College Library

Special Collections and Archives

Back to Manuscript Holdings List

Dick Blick Collection Manuscript Collection

Scope Notes: While working as a sign painter for O.T. Johnson Co. in Galesburg, Illinois, Dick Blick (1882? - 4 Feb 1957) saw a German lettering pen in Chicago. Later that year, 1911, he founded the Card Writer's Supply Company that sold pen points. This business became the Dick Blick Company. In 1912 the U. S. Mail Parcel Post System was initiated, and Dick Blick became a pioneer of the mail order business, developing the motto: Dick Blick Ships Quick. The company diversified and grew selling all manner of graphic art and sign supplies. In 1948 Dick Blick retired and the company was sold to Robert Metzenberg, of Highland Park, Illinois. In 1996 the company had 34 stores in 12 states and 3 distribution centers, operating other mail order divisions, over the years selling educational supplies, animal veterinary supplies (AVP), arts and craft supplies (Horton), yard and household items (Alsto) and office furniture.

Collection range: 1960s-1990s
Collection size: 3 cartons
Donor: Charles Bennett, Knox College Class 1958