Gill Studios, Lenexa, Kansas: Home of the Bumper Sticker

Forest Gill, credited with inventing the bumper sticker, started his business in the basement of his home in 1934. Having lost his job printing advertisements on the back of spare-tire covers and unable to find work, Gill started a screen-printing business producing decals, signs, posters. He eventually moved from his basement to an office in Kansas City.

Printing press at Gill Studios plant in Lenexa

Printing press at Gill Studios plant in Lenexa
Original: http://www.jocohistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/jcm/id/11759

During World War II, Gill obtained military subcontracts printing and sewing canvas goods, specifically gun covers and truck covers. When the war ended it was back to square one, vying for commercial printing jobs. Gill soon came up with the idea to combine the World War II-era innovation of Day-Glo ink with self-adhesive paper to produce the first bumper stickers in 1946. The company rapidly expanded, moving to Mission in 1963 and in 1968 to its current location in Lenexa.

Today, Gill Studios continues to produce specialty advertising products such as refrigerator magnets, political yard signs and of course, bumper stickers.

Forest P. Gill was born May 5, 1906 and died February 28, 2005.

Read more about the Gill Studios history at the company’s website: http://www.gill-line.com/company

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