The story behind Diagraph
A tale of innovative marking solutions
Diagraph is your partner for reliable marking of goods – since 1893
Diagraph’s story began in November 1893 with the design of the Bradley Stencil Machine. Invented by Andrew Jackson Bradley, it was developed to speed up the laborious process of manually marking freight along the Mississippi River. The Stencil Machine improved the time-consuming process of manual marking with costly brass stencils. Bradley’s invention changed the way shippers did business by making it easy to attach a variety of shipping and product information to the outside of shipping containers.
As customer needs evolved, Diagraph was the first to respond with an expanded line of machines, inks, brushes and paper. As the industry progressed, Diagraph continued to innovate and offer increasingly automated coding solutions to make its customers’ jobs easier. Just as Bradley revolutionized the industry with the Stencil Machine, Diagraph continued that legacy by introducing the roll coder, the world’s first high-resolution piezoelectric printing press, and the first all-electric automated labeling system – just to name two examples!
Diagraph joins ITW
In 2001, Diagraph joined the ITW Group of Companies. ITW (Illinois Tool Works Inc.) employs about 45,000 people in its decentralized business units in more than 55 countries, and generated sales of US$14.1 billion in 2019. Founded in 1912, the secret of the Group’s success throughout its more than 100-year history has always been to offer products with high added value to its key customers around the world, thanks to the high technical skills of its employees. Another factor was the worldwide expansion of business, also through acquisitions, which made it possible to round off the ITW product range in a targeted manner. For more information about the ITW Group, go to: www.itw.com
Since 2021, Diagraph's European headquarters have been located in Würzburg, Germany. From there, the company serves Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
1893 – The Bradley Stencil Machine
Invention of the Bradley Stencil Machine – the world’s first stencil cutting machine – and founding of the Bradley Stencil Machine Company
1902 – The Diagraph
Stephen Hartog, an engineer with the Bradley Stencil Machine Company, improves the original machine, resulting in the circular stencil cutting machine - the Diagraph. Hartog leaves the company and establishes the Diagraph Stencil Machine Company with local businessman Theodore Remmers
1904 – Gold medal at World’s Fair
The Bradley Stencil Machine receives a gold medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair for its revolutionary impact on product labeling
1913 – Stencil ink
Theodore Remmers’ son-in-law, James W. Brigham, joins the company and develops a stencil ink. he product range is expanded.
1915 – Expanded product range
Diagraph is the first stencil machine manufacturer to offer a complete product range from a single source: Machines, ink, paper and brushes.
1944 – Diagraph goes international
Diagraph-Bradley establishes sales offices in international markets, first in Central and South America, later in Asia and Europe
1969 – The world’s first roll coder
The world’s first roll coder – the DiCoder – is introduced.
1990 – The Trident printhead
The world’s first high-resolution piezoelectric printhead – the Trident – is introduced.
1996 – The first central ink supply
The world’s first central ink supply for high-resolution inkjet printers is introduced
1997 – The first multi-head thermal transfer printer
The world’s first thermal transfer printer with multiple printheads is introduced
2001 – Diagraph joins ITW
Diagraph joins the ITW Group of Companies
2002 – The first automatic cleaning system
The world’s first automatic cleaning system for high-resolution inkjet technology is introduced
2004 – The largest print format for thermal transfer printers
The world’s largest thermal transfer printer print format – Allen NGT8e – is developed by Allen Coding
2008 – The first thermal inkjet
The world’s first industrial-grade thermal inkjet technology is introduced
2008 – The first all-electric labeler
The world’s first all-electric labeling system is introduced
2015 – The fastest piezoelectric printhead
The world’s fastest piezoelectric printhead for high-resolution large character printing is introduced on the market
2018 – Introduction of the Allen XL5000 thermal transfer printer
It offers an excellent price-performance ratio, as well as high ribbon capacity and easy installation and maintenance.
2021 – Allen Coding becomes Diagraph
Allen Coding GmbH – a developer and manufacturer of hot foil coding and thermal transfer printing systems – changes its name to Diagraph GmbH and becomes the European headquarters for Diagraph in Würzburg, Germany.