Our founder, James J. Callahan, began in Waukegan with the Callahan Dairy Co., which he founded and operated until the sale of the business to Beatrice Creamery Company in 1928.
As most businessmen of his time, Jim Callahan invested his money in stocks. As a side investment, he purchased stock in the Waukegan Franklin Press, Inc. In April 1933, he found himself wiped out by the stock market crash which led to the Great Depression. His sole remaining asset was with a small near- bankrupt print shop. He planned to reorganize the company to start over again, and was in search of a name. At that time, the print shop was located near the downtown terminal of the North Shore Electric Railroad, and as one of the coaches squealed around the corner, the name North Shore Printers was taken on. The company restarted with four antiquated presses and 15 men working part time to keep something coming in for everyone.
During its early years the company operated on a hand-to-mouth cash basis, but through the diligence and efforts of Jim Callahan and the others of North Shore Printers, the company gradually reached a stable position and began to grow. The business in the thirties, forties and fifties revolved around letterpress commercial and publication printing. In the late fifties, offset lithography was added to the company. This area of the company grew through the sixties and seventies, while the letterpress side of the business was met with decline. By the mid-seventies, all letterpress operations were ended except those used for die- cutting, imprinting or numbering, etc. The offset lithography side of the business continued to expand with equipment being updated almost constantly.
Over the years, many family members have contributed to the growth and success of the company. Jim Callahan’s children Harold Callahan, Edward Callahan, Alice (Callahan) Galbraith and husband Bill Galbraith saw the company through after the passing of its founder. Today Jim’s grandchildren continue the legacy after over 89 years as a family-owned business.
North Shore Printers, Inc. is a certified women-owned, operated, controlled business and is the original, and at this time, the only union label printer in Lake County, Illinois.
535 South Sheridan Road, Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Hours M-F 8:00-4:00
Other days / times by appointment
North Shore Printers is women-owned (WBE certified) union printer located in Waukegan, Illinois servicing the Chicago area.