The 2009 Inc. 5000: Top 10 Oldest Companies
Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance, Founded 1843
Rank: No. 2,061
Location: Conshohocken, PA
Revenue: $4.7 million
The oldest company on this year’s list, Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance has always been involved in insuring urban risks. In the mid-1800s when the company was founded, many buildings had wood structures and fires were abundant. Today, the company prides itself on providing coverage to lower-middle income households and those who may have difficulty getting coverage from a bigger insurance carrier.
Insurance Revolution (Maloy Risk Services), Founded 1872
Rank: No. 4,102
Location: Princeton, N.J.
Maloy Risk Services (Insurance Revolution is the holding company) began in Manhattan’s financial district in 1872 as a partnership between Joseph Maloy and Jacob Bertschmann, who at the time was the Swiss Consul to the United States. The partners started as insurance underwriters, but Maloy later bought out the Bertschmann family and the company became a traditional insurance agency. Maloy is fifth-generation family owned and operated, and they now specialize in hedge funds, private equity, and risk management for businesses in emerging fields.
Seaway Printing Company, Founded 1884
Rank: No. 4,166
Location: Green Bay, WI
Revenue: $4.6 million
Founded in 1884 as a book manufacturer, Seaway had drifted away from its original focus over the decades, shifting to commercial printing. But six years ago the company’s current owners were looking to develop a specialization and settled on publishing small print runs—unconsciously coming full circle. CEO Kevin Heslin says, “Northwestern Wisconsin is really a rather conservative place, and you’ll find a number of companies up here that go back a hundred years.”
Oil City Iron Works, Founded 1886
Rank: No. 4,478
Location: Corsicana, TX
Revenue: $35 million
The company that became Oil City Iron Works started in the 1860s and was originally called The Corsicana Manufacturing Company. It started out as a small machine shop that made parts for the cotton gin. Three local businessmen bought the small shop in 1886, and then leased it to an enterprising individual who rebranded as Oil City Iron Works, after the booming Texan oil industry. The company now manufactures a wide variety of iron castings, including valves, pumps, gas turbine and compression parts, and general oilfield equipment.
Getzs, Founded 1887
Rank: No. 4,528
Location: Marquette, MI
Revenue: $7.7 million
For more than a century, Getzs has been a Marquette staple for finding workplace attire. In its founding days, owner Rock Getz’s great great grandfather opened the shop to provide work clothing to those in the local mining and forestry industries. Throughout the company’s history, Getzs’s products have adapted to many different eras of workplace style, while handling all operations from its sole location in Michigan.
Rumsey Electric Company, Founded 1895
Rank: No. 3,954
Location: Conshohocken, PA
Revenue: $201.2 million
Founders George and Eugene Rumsey were members of Cornell University's first graduating class in electrical engineering. They launched Rumsey Electric in 1895—just two years after the famously illuminated Chicago World’s Fair—to market their technical expertise as the Northeast began rapidly electrifying.
Garland Industries, Founded 1895
Rank: No. 4,104
Location: Cleveland, OH
Revenue: $230.1 million
Jacob B. Wise bought the Garland Refining Company in 1895 with $100 borrowed from his older brother, then moved the outfit to downtown Cleveland and dropped the "Refining." In 1917, his patent for roofing compositions was approved, beginning a long history of innovation culminating in today's focus on sustainability and green technology.
Faultless Laundry Company, Founded 1896
Rank: No. 4,127
Location: Kansas City, MO
Revenue: $36.7 million
Faultless is a fifth-generation business of the Spence family and a certified women-owned company. In its 113th year, there are five siblings from the 4th generation still involved in running the business. In the early 20th century, the core customer base consisted of bachelors needing shirts laundered and families needing bundle service. Today, Faultless operates seven laundry plants that cater primarily to the healthcare and hospitality markets in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Denver.
GENCO Supply Chain Solutions, Founded 1898
Rank: No. 3,930
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Revenue: $788.7 million
GENCO began in 1898 with horse-and-wagon deliveryman Hyman Shear, hauling orders around Pittsburgh. As automobiles became readily available in the 1910s, Shear upgraded to a fleet of trucks and expanded his reach. Today, GENCO handles $1.5 billion in freight every year.
Baystate Financial Services, Founded 1901
Location: Boston, MA
Revenue: $42.2 million
Baystate Financial Services is one of New England's oldest and largest privately-held financial services firms, with nine offices throughout the region. Alfred Curtis started the company in 1901 as a life insurance agency, but by the 1950s, it began expanding its offerings to accommodate demand for mutual funds, private investments, and employee benefit plans. Baystate has had just five owners in its 100-plus history.