The company began as the Harris Automatic Press Company in Niles, Ohio in the house in which President William McKinley had been born. During the next 30 years, Harris flourished as a leading manufacturer of printing presses and an innovator in printing technology.
The company outgrew its Niles facility, moving to Cleveland in 1917. In 1926, Harris merged with the Seybold Machine Company and the Premier-Potter Company to become the Harris-Seybold-Potter Company, and was incorporated in Delaware. Over the next 30 years, the company pioneered many innovations in offset lithographic printing, and on July 13, 1955, Harris-Seybold became a public company. The company merged with Intertype Corporation, a leading provider of typesetting equipment, in 1957 to become Harris-Intertype Corporation. Harris Intertype made their last hot metal linecaster in 1976.
As the printing industry evolved from mechanical controls and typesetting to electronics, and with electronic media presenting significant competition to newspapers and other print media, the company embarked on a diversification strategy toward electronic communications.