While rubber stamps were among the first products produced by Andrew Schwaab's company, the variety of products crafted over the years is astounding. A major portion of Schwaab's early business was in the metal engraving area where highly skilled engravers fashioned unique badges of all kinds. One early catalogue of souvenir badges advertised all sorts of novelties such as watch fobs, watch charms, pocket pieces, ash trays, key rings, dies, stamps, stencils, police and fire department badges, metal signs, and more!
Coins for the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis were made at Schwaab as were countless other tokens commemorating any imaginable event, from the Third Annual Cowboys Convention in Haskell, Texas, in 1898, to the Presidential inauguration of S. Grover Cleveland in 1893, to the commemoration of the first sheet of steel rolled in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Many of the major products made in the 1880s that are still sold today include stamp racks and holders, inks, ink pads, dating and numbering stamps, notary and corporate seals, dies, tags, and badges. Schwaab stopped regular production of badges, tokens and medals in the 1950s Some of these pieces live on in museums, vaults and private collections as a tribute to their fine craftsmanship, dedication and skill. During World War II, Schwaab made stencils for the U.S. Army and Navy. Later it made signature stamps for athletes, including boxer Muhammad Ali, and entertainers such as Liberace, born in West Allis.
In 1958 Schwaab Stamp and Seal entered into negotiations with S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., of Racine, a mood which radically changed the course of the company's sales. Johnson Wax had developed and patented a new product, called Porelon. The product could be used to manufacture stamps which required no ink pad. Porelon was a combination of ink and plastic that would not dry out, produced about 25,000 imprints, and came in different colors. That is where Schwaab earned a national presence. Today we have several pre-inked and self-inking stamps.
The products of Schwaab, Inc., have been largely dictated by an ever-changing marking device industry and the changing trends of the times. Schwaab's strength has been its flexibility and commitment to quality merchandise coupled with prompt, personal service. Ubiquitous stamping devices have become the company's main business. There are about 2,500 stamp makers in the United States and Schwaab is one of the biggest, having five manufacturing plants in total and national account sales that sell to numerous Fortune 500 companies throughout the nation. Besides rubber stamps, the company makes embossers, name badges, business cards and other products. Even with Internet-based sales, it still has salespeople who make door-to-door calls on clients such as banks and law offices.
Today, Schwaab is considered a specialist in custom marking and identity products. Virtually every product produced is unique because it is made-to-order. Schwaab, Inc., has expanded its product line to include exclusive products, like ExcelMark flash and self-inking stamps, which provide savings and quality unsurpassed in the industry. Schwaab also continues to pursue eco-friendly products and processes, and has adopted new technologies that allow for digital and laser printing of all sorts of products and materials.