From County Cork to Chicago…
A History of Commitment
It all began back in 1844 in County Cork, Ireland where John Joachim Collins was born. Just two years later the family immigrated to America, eventually settling in Chicago where they came to stay from 1871 on. A printer by trade, John went to work for Rand McNally Company, one of the city’s oldest printing firms, until the day he opened the doors of his own shop at 38 South LaSalle Street in Chicago’s Printers’ Row. The year was 1878 and the name Collins was about to become a permanent fixture in the printing industry.
In time, the firm became a family affair, as John’s five sons joined their father in the business that bears the family name. In the early years, much of the company’s business involved the manufacture of ledger books and ruled sheets for insurance companies, as well as bills of lading for railroads, at one time producing more than 250 types of standard railroad forms.
In 1961, the company moved to a new building in Melrose Park, just outside Chicago. The efficiencies of the new plant combined with continuous upgrades in technology and equipment resulted in the growth that brought J.J. Collins Printers to the leadership position it holds in the industry today. In 1996, the company moved its manufacturing plant to Charleston, Illinois. The Charleston plant incorporates all segments of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. In 2019, our corporate headquarters were relocated to Downers Grove, Illinois. To this day, J.J. Collins Printers is owned and operated by the Collins family who continue to take the family name and business to heart.