Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Oops, we just lost 2 years!

What do you do when you’ve just learned you’re two years older than you thought you were?

1. Have an especially outrageous birthday celebration to make up for lost time
1. Complain about how old your suddenly feeling and take PTO, or
2. Just deal with it.

This past weekend while unpacking from our move and preparing various historical archives and materials for our new exhibits I ran across CalCedar’s original stock records book. Having first seen this book about 20 years ago, including what I believed to be the page documenting the very first issuance of shares on June 26, 1919, we’ve always used the year 1919 as the founding year of the company. In taking a closer look at the book this weekend I found an earlier page that was stuck closed with original founders stock issued December 14, 1917. It turns out that the entire company was recapitalized in 1919 and the 1917 shares were returned, cancelled and reissued. The image shows that initial page with the note documenting the increase from $75,000 to $150,000 in total capitalization for the company.

This book is fascinating with its penmanship and detailed record keeping of issuance and cancellation of shares by the original founders and other investors up through January 3, 1927. On this latter date the record cancels all the outstanding shares and shareholdings and reissues new shares to Hampton Investment Company and a couple other associated individuals. Hampton Investment was the holding company established by our family to acquire California Cedar Products Company and several other companies in California in the 1920s at the time my grandfather relocated from New York.

So the good news is, we now have our facts straight and will be updating our websites and other historical documentation accordingly.
The challenging news is we’re suddenly 97 years old as a company, and just over 2 years from our centennial. We have a bunch of aggressive goals yet to accomplish by that birthday celebration if we choose to advance our timeline accordingly.

The great news is we’ve now completed our move to our new corporate office and distribution facility. Outside of a few finishing touches we are well positioned to implement a number of initiatives to grow our Blackwing brand and Pencils.com ecommerce units and more efficiently support our industrial pencil slat business and all of our customers around the world. So perhaps an interim birthday (new facility) party is in the offing after all. Hey, in fact, if I move up our Christmas Party by one day it will coincide with our 98th birthday on December 14th. So who knows…

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