Bangor printing company shutting down after 142 years in business

Posted Dec. 12, 2014, at 4:41 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A 142-year-old Bangor-based printing company will close its doors for good on the last day of 2014.

Bacon Printing Co. confirmed this week plans to close, citing “economic pressures.” The company, which employs seven people, was founded in 1872 by John H. Bacon. His descendents will continue to own the company until its last day.

The company prints everything from brochures and envelopes to business cards and restaurant menus.

John Bacon, grandson of the Bacon Printing founder, took over the company in 1986 after the death of his father, Henry Bacon. The company was at its peak around that time, when it left downtown Bangor and moved to its current hub and warehouse on Outer Hammond Street. Bacon employed 28 people at the time.

John Bacon died in 2001, at age 71, after a yearlong battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Bacon’s son-in-law, Carlton Strout Jr., and daughter, Judy Strout, took over the business.

Bacon oversaw some efforts to modernize the company — with transitions from lead plates to aluminum plates, to computers and larger presses, according to BDN archives.

Still, the company couldn’t stave off the financial strains that have struck printers and publishers across the country. Significant overhead costs associated with heating and maintaining a large building and upkeep and upgrading machinery contributed to the company’s recent financial struggles, according to Dwight King, Bacon’s production manager.

As more and more communication has moved to the Internet, demand for hard-copy printing services has diminished, King said. A series of cuts and layoffs over the years shrunk the company’s employment rolls.

Bacon customers have been notified of the shutdown, and most of their business will be transferred to Snowman Group, a Hermon-based printing and mailing services company, according to King.

“We would like to sincerely thank the numerous and loyal customers and suppliers we have had the privilege of engaging with throughout the years,” the company said in a news release.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter @nmccrea213.

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