|HISTORY OF THE PITNEY BOWES MAIN PLANT|
In 1917, Walter H. Bowes, a native of England who thrived in the fast-paced world of American business, moved his Universal Stamping Machine Company from Westchester County to Stamford’s South End. The site would soon become the birthplace of Pitney Bowes.
At the suggestion of a U.S. postal official, Bowes approached the inventor Arthur Pitney, owner of the American Postage Meter Company in Chicago, about uniting their two companies. Their venture was incorporated as the Pitney-Bowes Postage Meter Company on April 23,1920.
At the time, the site consisted of a brick building and two wooden structures at the corner of Pacific Street and what is today Walter H. Wheeler Jr. Drive. The two wooden buildings were torn down in the 1930’s to make way for the first in a series of expansions that would take place during the ensuing decades.
The Main Plant complex eventually grew into six buildings totaling 795,00 square feet on 22 acres. At one point, about 70 percent of the world’s postage meters were being produced at this location.
The Main Plant was among the first factories in the world to be air-conditioned. The 8-foot-high illuminated “Pitney Bowes” sign, a Stamford landmark, dates from a 1950s expansion and sits atop a green tower built to contain two giant water tanks. A computerized warehouse was added in the late 1970s.
During the early 1990s, the Main Plant was refitted and workers retrained as Pitney Bowes shifted from manufacturing to the assembly of component parts. In more recent years, assembly and other activities were gradually shifted to other facilities. Pitney Bowes announced the sale of the 22-acre site to Antares Investment Partners in early 2005.
At the same time, Pitney Bowes reaffirmed its commitment to Stamford’s South End, announcing its intention to remain in the world headquarters building it has occupied since 1985,just blocks from where the company was founded.