The History of Archimedia Solutions Group
Archimedia Solutions Group was formed in 2006 by Mark DiPasquale and Jane Simmons as the only company exclusively dedicated to On-Site Print Management services for architects and engineers throughout the United States. Archimedia provides clients with cost recovery solutions, technical support, and exceptional customer service. The company has been recognized as one of the "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America" by Entrepreneur magazine and included in annual rankings from the Boston Business Journal's Pacesetters and Inc. magazine's Inc. 5000 list which assesses fast-growing private companies.
The History of Makepeace
It all began, somewhat inauspiciously, over a hundred years ago. In 1895, Bertrand L. Makepeace was 23 years old and determined to try his luck in the fledgling blueprinting industry.
Bertrand found work as an outside salesman for Charles Spaulding of the Spaulding Print Paper Company. Spaulding's subsequent merger with the Charles E. Moss Company created the Spaulding-Moss company, a pioneering blueprint firm. Enthusiastic about this new industry's prospects after a year in harness at Spaulding-Moss, he decided to go into business for himself.
He raised startup money from friends and relatives and went to New York to establish connections with suppliers of the paper and equipment needed to produce blueprints. Rebuffed in New York, Mr. Makepeace traveled to Philadelphia, finding a warmer reception in Frank A. Brunner, owner of Keystone Blue Paper Company. Brunner quickly came to terms with the young Makepeace, setting him up with the necessary equipment and providing a credit line for blueprint paper.
Makepeace's first technological leap forward came with installing one of the first blueprinting machines in New England equipped with carbon arc illumination. The new technology's advantages were obvious - a blueprinter could now operate around the clock if necessary and maintain consistent production levels rain or shine.
During the second decade of the century, the company became actively involved in the sale and repair of surveying instruments, and during World War One, contracted with the government to produce illuminated peloruses (a form of navigational compass) and similar technical instruments for the U. S. Navy and Coast Guard.
In 1927, Mr. Makepeace was one of the original incorporators of the International Association of Blue Print and Allied Industries, the blueprinters' trade organization. The IABPAI (now the International ReproGraphic Association) held its first national convention in Boston that year. Mr. Makepeace remained an active member of the organization to the end of his life.
In 1931, Makepeace purchased the Boston branch of H. H. Sullivan Company at 54 High Street. Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Sullivan had gained its foothold in Boston through the acquisition of Frost and Adams Co., founded in 1848 and thought to be the oldest dealer in drafting supplies and artists' materials in New England. The acquisition of these diverse operations enabled the company to maintain steady growth.
In 1947, after Bertrand's death, the Makepeace estate sold the business to partners Stephen Joyce, assistant treasurer, and office manager, who had joined the business in 1941, and Joseph Edwards, the K&E representative responsible for the Makepeace account.
In 1948, the company moved to new quarters at 1266 Boylston Street near Fenway Park and closed its branch locations. The decision was subsequently made to concentrate on the engineering and architectural markets to exploit better relationships with K&E and Hamilton Manufacturing Company, the preeminent manufacturer of drafting room furniture. We withdrew from the fine arts supply business in the mid-1960s, bringing to a close our long-standing relationships with Winsor & Newton, F. Weber Co, and other noted manufacturers of artists' materials.
In 1956, Makepeace established a fully equipped converting department to better meet the demand for sensitized materials and drafting media. The only operation of its kind in New England, our converting department, fed by continuous mill roll shipments from K&E's coating plants, allowed unprecedented control over product availability and freshness. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the introduction of the Blu-Ray tabletop diazo whiteprint machine for office use led to further growth in diazo media popularity of all kinds.
In 1959, Makepeace purchased the Henry Johnson Company, a printing firm established in 1932. The acquisition of the Johnson Company broadened our market base and provided us with valuable expertise in small format printing. We maintained an offset department until 1987 when we decided to concentrate on high-speed xerography to better support our customers' needs.
In 1977, Joseph Edwards retired, and the corporation subsequently purchased his stock. Stephen Joyce served as president and treasurer of the company from 1976 until his retirement in 1980 when the company's management passed to the next generation of owners. Steve Joyce, who died in 1990, is remembered by all who knew him for his integrity, fairness, and kindness. The high standards he established continue to guide us in our dealings with the business community, our employees, and our neighbors.
From the 1980's to today, technology has driven Makepeace to make frequent, often vital judgments about the future based on innovations and trends, which are just beginning to evolve in many instances. Through our supplier relationships are an important source of information, we also rely upon our peers' collective experience. We track overall industry trends through active involvement in both the International and Eastern Regional Reprographic Associations. Our grasp of technology is significantly strengthened by memberships in industry trade groups such as RSA. Most importantly, we listen carefully to our customers, a vital source of information about trends in the design professions, who provide us with a real-world, local market focus. These alliances have provided us with strengths that a single firm, acting alone, could not easily acquire. Our industry is a microcosm of an increasingly interdependent world where cooperation is key to survival and growth.
The acquisition of Makepeace in 2017 allowed Archimedia to apply its progressive, solution-driven model to a much broader client base and create a greater level of responsiveness and service across the spectrum of equipment and supply sourcing, maintenance and service, administration and advisory services associated with modern print technology.
The History of Imtek
Imtek founder, Lee Harrington was educated in his field by attending East Coast Aero Tech. He started in the business's wide-format manufacturing side; all he knew and all he did for 13 years (1975-1988) was encapsulated in service. His managers, colleagues, and customers were known as the "go-to" service guy, and everyone wanted him working on their machines. He held every service position possible from the beginning as a Service Technician, to Technician, to Technical Consultant, to Technical Specialist, to Service Manager. If it was service-related, Lee has done it all and done it very well.
In 1985, Lee was the leading service manager for a wide-format printer company that supported engineering firms, contractors, and international companies throughout New England. In 1989, Lee decided it was time to go out on his own, and thus, his business Imtek was born. The industry has come a long way in the 40+ years Lee Harrington has been in the business. From technological to continuous wide-format printer quality advances, they are always coming out with bigger, better, and new machines to keep up with the industry and technical demands. But through all these changes over the years, the core tenet, his foundation, and how he was bred into the field — Service First! never waivers.
The acquisition of Imtek in 2018 allowed Archimedia to expand its geographic reach and bolster its sales and service organizations. Archimedia, which acquired Makepeace in 2017, sees Imtek as a natural extension of its equipment dealership and service business. Also, it helps Archimedia to apply its On-Site Print Management model to a much broader client base.