Magazine Feature

How it all got started

In 1907, Abraham Bernard Hirschfeld founded A.B. Hirschfeld Printing with a $39 hand press in a storefront on 17th Street in Denver.

He and his tubercular father, Issac, had come to Colorado several years earlier from Cincinnati so Issac could get treatment at National Jewish Hospital, then called National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives. The treatment worked, and Abraham, who only had a fifth-grade education but who rose to serve in the Colorado Senate, lived until 1957.

A.B. had accompanied his father to Denver because of a dispute with his brothers, who operated a printing business in Ohio and had rejected A.B.’s bid for a greater role in the operation.

Issac sold pots and pans from a horse-drawn cart in front of the Brown Palace Hotel. A.B. worked for other printers in Denver before starting his own company at age 19.

A.B. eventually passed the business to his son, Edward, who passed it to its present overseer, Ardon Barry Hirschfeld. Edward died in 1984.

In 2005, A.B. Hirschfeld Press merged with National Printing and Packaging Co. and C&M Press to become National Hirschfeld, with Barry as chairman. 

The $40 million company is the second-largest printer in the West and dominant in digital printing, conventional sheet-fed printing and web offset printing. The company has about 300 employees and operates from a plant on Smith Road in north Denver.

Barry Hirschfeld presently serves on the boards of numerous charities, including National Jewish Medical and Research Center, the hospital that cured his grandfather.

This article originally appeared in The Source, March 2007.

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