36 years ago today, on September 22, 1975, former President Gerald Ford survived his second assassination attempt in less than three weeks. In this short period of time, he dodged two bullets (with the help of the Secret Service) first from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and then from Sarah Jane Moore. (Special thanks to the History Channel for this blog idea and information!)
Ford was lucky to have survived and thrived after his two bouts of bad luck in 1975. While a comparison to a presidential assassination attempt may be a bit of a reach, we believe that L.D. Davis can relate to “dodging two bullets.” The company has been down a long road to producing quality book binding glue, or animal glue. The first “bullet” the book binding glue company dodged was the Great Depression, and the second is the occasion in 1939 where L.D. Davis could have been put out of business by a very savvy competitor.
Beginnings of Book Binding Glue Manufacturing
When L.D. Davis was established in 1926, it did not produce book binding glue; instead, it produced a product for the stenciling industry. Raw animal glue was one of the main ingredients, although the company did not produce it at the time.
Louis Davis Sr. knew that he had to stay innovative during the Great Depression, so he began producing his own raw animal glue and sold it first to the luggage industry. This would later expand to book binding glue manufacturing. He dodged the bullet of the Great Depression in a big way. Not only did the company stay afloat, it grew much larger during the 1930’s, moving to its third location and our original manufacturing plant in Bristol, PA in 1936. This location was where the company continued to grow and produced more animal glue to be used in many industries and as book binding glue.
The next bullet that came headed for L.D. Davis arrived in 1939, when a competitor in the stenciling industry developed a new product that would have put L.D. Davis out of business in about a year. However, our founder dodged that bullet as well and refocused the company to manufacture animal glue to the rigid box, and later, the book binding industry. We learned to modify animal glue in a wide variety of ways to fit the needs of almost any application. Through hard work and smart marketing, L.D. Davis cemented itself as a manufacturer of rigid box and book binding glue.
L.D. Davis and Book Binding Glue Today
Today, we are still the largest supplier of animal glue/book binding glue in North America. R.R. Donnelley, the largest bookbinder in the country, purchases our book binding glue. L.D. Davis had some close calls in its early years and has strengthened from the experience to continue to become North America’s largest protein adhesive compounder.