Christman Screenprint

Family Owned Since 1917

ASI 44986


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Charles A. Christman, a talented wood engraver who worked from about 1880 to his death in 1935, established the "Christman Engraving Company in 1919 in Battle Creek. He was soon first joined by his son Wallace, and later by second son, Ralph. Educated at U of M as an engineer, he eventually took control of the business, as Wallace had moved to Illinois.  In the early 1920's the company established a silk-screen printing department.  This makes it the oldest active company of its type in Michigan today. After his distinguished service in the pacific in WWII,  Ralph Jr. joined the firm in 1945. Second son Allan also graduated from U of M as an engineer, and decided to move to Tennessee to help the Oak Ridges Nuclear project.  Ralph Sr.  and Jr. worked hard bringing the science of screen printing along, and specializing in the formulation of water slide-off decals. Top U.S. Companies like CLARK EQUIP CO. and A.C. Spark Plug contracted with the company to provide water slide-off decals to mark and identify many of their products. Ralph had two sons, with wife Beverly, who became the office manager in the mid 70's when the youngest was old enough for her to work. Eventually Ralph Jr. saw the the outdated photo engraving business die off due to technological changes.  He had the foresight although, to establish an advertising specialties firm, as a separate company, for another way to have income. It was named Ad-Wise, Inc. and has grown to almost a million dollar company in sales all by itself. In 1971 Ralph Jr's youngest son, David joined the business and decided screen printing T-shirts was the way to go.....and he pioneered that field, purchasing equipment, and doing the first professionally large order of t-shirts for Sun-Glo Pop. It was at this time David and Ralph decided to re-name the company Christman Products. Soon David's talented wife, Dana,  joined the company and is the office manager to this very day.  In 1977 oldest son Michael joined the company as a salesman. He eventually added a sales department, hiring commissioned salespeople, stepping out of active day to day selling, to manage and administrate. He is now the company's sales manager. In the 1980's embroidery machines were added to enhance the sportswear business, and David pioneered that also....he is now the company CEO, with Dana as the CFO.