It all started in 1907 when Donald Bell and Albert Howell pooled their talents and resources in Chicago (then the motion picture capital of the United States). They had no idea that their budding projector and camera company would survive the Great Depression, two world wars, the Space Age and the dawning of the Information Age - but only after many transformations.
Throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Bell & Howell was the leader in film equipment for professionals, amateurs and students. During that time, it also became a pioneer in optical equipment, electronic instrumentation, educational publishing, technical training and micrographics. This process of diversification, expansion and reinvention led to yet another transformation. By the 1970s, specialized business equipment became the company's focus, and Bell & Howell expanded yet again into new markets to serve the growing need for businesses to better manage information.
In 1979, Bell & Howell even had a computer system which they sold mainly to educational institutions - you couldn't buy one, it wasn't available in your local computer store. The so-called "Bell & Howell computer" was actually an Apple II Plus computer in disguise. The normally beige case was colored black (only on the surface, it was still beige underneath), and a Bell & Howell label was attached.
Bell & Howell first went public in 1945 on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1988 Bell & Howell was taken private by a management team led by financier Robert Bass. In May 1995 Bell & Howell again issued public stock and returned to the exchange (NYSE: BHW).
In 2000 the company began a transition to an information company focused on electronic publishing. In 2001 it completed its transformation to a high-growth, high-margin electronic publisher by selling its slower growing businesses and changing its name to ProQuest Company.Certificate:
Common Stock, issued in the 1970’sPrinter: Federated Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: IL-Illinois Subject Matter: Cameras and Projectors
| Computers and Related Vignette Topic(s): Female Subject Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body.