Automated Marking Inc. has its roots in the manufacturing of rubber stamps, branding irons, embossing seals, numbering machines, engraved signage as well as date and time stamps since 1903. The company was American Stamp Mfg. Co. Inc. located in lower Manhattan, nearby to Wall Street, the NY Stock Exchange and the Gold refining district.
George Mear started out as a delivery boy circa 1940 and worked his way up to a sales position calling on corporations from mom and pop size up to Fortune 100 companies, landing accounts such as Metropolitan Life, Goldman Sachs and Chemical Bank to name a few prior to WW2. He enlisted in the Army Airforce and was trained as a pilot flying C47 transport planes around the world, often dropping rations and supplies to the ground forces (just like a good Cary Grant or John Wayne movie).
When the war ended he took his old job back, became a partner at American Stamp and then ultimately the sole owner around 1947. The American dream was alive and well. He continued to be active in flight training as a passion and was also trained for commercial airlines although he decided not to work in that arena. George and his wife Ruth, raised a family of 4, two boys and two girls.
In 1958, George and Ruth Mear travelled to Denmark on vacation where they met a gentleman who was beginning to manufacture a prototype of an inkjet wire cable printing machine. It was called a spaghetti printer. George struck up a friendship with the man and ultimately a deal to help manufacture this machine. Plans were put in place and a company name was filed for Automated Marking Inc. with locations in Copenhagen Denmark, London England and New York City. Unfortunately, just months afterward, this gentleman and his family tragically lost their lives in a boating accident. The situation was devastating and of course, the project was abandoned.
While all of George and Ruth Mear’s children as well as Ruth worked in the family business for a time, Jeff Mear, their eldest son, had the most interest in the business. He started working for the company in 1973 full time.
Fast forward to 1981, Jeffrey Mear (now owner and CFO of AMI), purchased the EJ Tannco Company, from an elderly German man named Erwin Tannhauser and renamed the company, Automated Marking Inc. Tannco was a wholesale import company to the marking device/rubber stamp trade and the main products at that time were metal wheel automatic numbering machines and some rubber stamp daters and marking supplies.
A year later, Erwin Tannhauser arranged an introduction with Jeff and the Ernst Reiner Company. This meeting was the beginning of a long lasting relationship between AMI and Reiner (also a 3rd generation family run company).
Automated Marking Inc. has been the exclusive distributor with the Ernst Reiner Company for 40+ years and the relationship is still going strong, even though the product line has changed dramatically.
The odd twist of this story is that about 20 years ago, the Ernst Reiner Company started manufacturing their first generation of handheld mobile inkjet products which we continue to sell today except with a much wider range of inks and models. Inkjet back to inkjet 63 years later!
In 2011 Jeff’s son, Julian Mear and daughter, Stephanie Mear joined the AMI team, turning us into a proud third generation legacy company. There are many challenges in family-run businesses, but we can safely say that we have overcome most of these obstacles by having mutual respect for one another, and allowing each of us to do what we do best in a collaborative spirit.
In 2020 we hired a VP of National Sales and Service, and in 2021 a VP of Marketing and 5 industry veterans to expand and grow our portfolio and services throughout North America. We feel very fortunate, now more than ever, to have a thriving multi-generational business.
In this climate we do not take anything for granted. We appreciate our loyal and long-standing customers as well as the newer customers that put their faith in us to help them with their specific applications. Even in the age of technology and less personal business styles, our family believes in first-class customer service and will prioritize bringing on additional industry experts to ensure continued customer satisfaction 100+ years after this business was born.
Together, with our growing team, we have made new and strategic relationships with top rated vendors and manufacturers in our industry, including systems automation, marking and coding, graphics and inks.
Automated Marking Inc./AMI, is an international leader in the development of sales, service and support of high-quality product identification, systems automation equipment, hardware, software and consumables for coding and marking – including Thermal Inkjet Printers (TIJ) Continuous Inkjet printers (CIJ), Laser Marking Systems, Thermal Transfer Overprinters (TTO), Piezo Hi-Res, Case Coding, Form Fill and Seal, Print and Apply Labeling (LPA), Commercial Graphics and Addressing, and Code Assurance.
We believe that we have the best team on the planet, with collective experience and knowledge spanning more than 10 decades. Learn more about the driving force behind Automated Marking Inc.