A Brief History of Worcester Envelope Company:

In the late 1800s, physicians practiced many different trades to make ends meet. A Worcester, MA physician named Russel Howes invented the first envelope folding machine. In 1856, Howes’ machine could produce 25,000 envelopes using just three operators and in only ten hours, which was the length of an average workday.

On July 24, 1893, Worcester Envelope Company was incorporated for the “purpose of manufacturing and selling paper goods, stationary and paper handling machinery.” The president from 1893 to 1898 was Henry S. Pratt. Ezra Waterhouse was one of the original stockholders, and was elected president in 1898 and continued as such until 1928. Some of the early envelope machines designed and built in the United States were the work of Ezra Waterhouse. The next President of Worcester Envelope was John N. Barber from 1928 to 1933. In 1929, the news of the stock market collapse sent panic throughout industries. Worcester Envelope carried on their business sensibly. By 1933, the country’s banking system collapsed, and the country was in the midst of the depression. George Grant became president of the company and took us through these worrisome times. During this period, Willard Waterhouse and Ralph Waterhouse joined the company. On September 2, 1952, Grant retired after 50 years of continuous service.

Ralph P. Waterhouse served as President from 1946 until 1972. His brother, Willard S. Waterhouse, served variously as Vice President and Treasurer until his death in 1955. Eldon D. Pond, Sr. joined the Company in January 1950. In 1952, he was elected to serve as the Vice President, and following Willard’s death, he became Treasurer of the Company. Eldon served as President from 1972 to 1976, when he then retired. Ralph Waterhouse died in 1972 after being with the company 48 years. Eldon passed away in 1996 after being with the company 26 years.

Their sons, Dick Waterhouse and Dexter Pond, became President and Vice President of the famous envelope printing company. Dexter joined in 1962, and Dick in 1965. Both Dick and Dexter managed the Woonsocket Tag Stringing Service Inc. that Worcester Envelope purchased in 1962. The company sold Woonsocket Tag to Willard Waterhouse, Jr. in 1968.

Worcester Envelope Company was established on Foster Street in Worcester in the area of the new Medical City and was our home for 85 years (1893 – 1978). Experiencing a period of rapid growth, the xompany found it necessary to build a new facility in Auburn, and in 1978 moved to its present location. During 1980s, the company continued its growth in the industry. In 1987, Eldon Pond III joined the company and became President in 1997. In 1998, Derek Waterhouse joined Worcester Envelope and became Operations Manager in 1999, and currently serves as Vice President.

Combining the hard work of our employees with the most advanced technology available. Worcester Envelope has earned for itself the respect and honor of being one of the industry’s leaders.


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