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HISTORY FACTORY TURNS 40

Founding

Bruce Weindruch and Tom West establish Informative Design Group (IDG) with a focus on designing corporate museums, commemorative exhibits and other displays. Their first office space is at 1210 Queen Street in Alexandria, Virginia.

First Client

The historic Bank of Bethesda in Bethesda, Maryland, becomes IDG's first corporate client. IDG moves to the Park Lane Building at 2025 I St NW in Washington, D.C., and acquires a Compugraphic EditWriter 2750 for use in developing exhibits.

Statement of Purpose

IDG publishes a brochure that includes its statement of purpose: "The Informative Design Group, Inc., founded in 1979, is a Washington-based firm comprised of historians, graphic designers, archivists and educators who are dedicated to the interpretation of one of the nation's often ignored resources-business."

First Archivist

Riggs Bank becomes a client. Because of the volume of artifacts and documents in the bank's basement, Bruce Weindruch and Tom West hire IDG's first archivist.

Relocation | New Technology

IDG relocates to 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
...
NEC America provides the company with a computer system in return for the development of software for archival processing. The new system greatly increases efficiency and flexibility in processing large amounts of material.

First Oral History Program

Demand for IDG's services picks up with the addition of Philadelphia National Bank and First Jersey National Bank as clients. IDG conducts its first oral history programs, for Marine Midland and Philadelphia National Bank.

First Archival Assessment

McCormick & Company and Campbell's Soup hire IDG to conduct archival assessments.
...
IDG relocates to 2201 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Full Corporate History Program

IDG develops a long-lasting relationship with Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, which results in IDG's first full corporate history program, including an archives program, an oral history project, audiovisual assets, a publication, an exhibit, and an anniversary program.

International Partnership

While touring spice manufacturing plants and conducting oral history interviews with McCormick & Company officers around the world, IDG employee Phil Auerswald meets with British businessman Dennis Jenks, whose company had recently been purchased by McCormick. Jenks is impressed with IDG and meets with Bruce Weindruch and Tom West, and the three form a partnership.

Archival Audit | London Office

Boeing engages IDG to perform a large-scale archival audit, IDG's largest archival project to date.
...
IDG establishes an office in London.

Co-Founder Departs | Discovery Program

Co-founder Tom West leaves IDG.
...
IDG launches its first discovery program for Fireman's Fund Insurance, enabling the company to collect authentic employee stories and memorabilia for use in heritage programs.

Name Change and New HQ

IDG becomes The History Factory (THF).
...
Bruce Weindruch is featured in a Washington Business Journal cover story. The company moves to 2831 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Welcome Wayne | Goodbye London

A new corporate logo, known as "Wayne," illustrates the new concept driving the company: THF finds history in its raw form and moves it through the factory building to produces refined products that are useful for its corporate clients.
...
THF's London office closes.

SAA | Mission Statement

THF joins the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
...
The company develops a mission that focuses on boosting business and profits and managing expenses.

Media Coverage

THF is featured in U.S. News and World Report, and Bruce Weindruch is quoted in an article about the auto industry published in WorldTrade magazine.

First Certified Archivist

THF hires a professionally certified archivist to manage the archives, ushering in an era of expansion in the company's archival business.

Hello, Chantilly

With archival services in high demand, THF moves to 14140 Parke Long Court, Chantilly, VA. The new location includes offices for creative staff members and substantial warehouse space for client archives.

Rediscovery

THF upgrades its archival software to Rediscovery.

The Reputation Factor

THF establishes The Reputation Factor to help clients with crisis communications. Bruce Weindruch starts making weekly appearances on CNNfn as a business news commentator.

Arthur Page Society

The History Factory begins a partnership with the Arthur Page Society, which celebrates its 20th anniversary with the book Building Trust: Leading CEOs Speak Out: How They Create It, Strengthen It, and Sustain It.

New Brand Identity

The History Factory launches a new brand identity.

History of Saudi Aramco

The History Factory takes on its most far-reaching history project with Saudi Aramco, the national petroleum and natural gas company of Saudi Arabia. Writers and researchers collaborate on a comprehensive two-volume history book as well as programs and publications that educate children about the oil industry.

Wall Street Transcript

The Wall Street Transcript conducts an in-depth interview with Bruce Weindruch: "We are interested in history, we are interested in great stories, and we are interested in organizations that have changed, really changed the world."

Clear Line of Sight™

In keeping with THF's philosophy to Start with the Future and Work Back,™ the company develops its Clear Line of Sight™ methodology, which enables clients to plan and execute heritage management programs more effectively.

LuminARC™

THF unveils LuminARC,™ a cloud-based digital archival application developed by the archival services team and web developers. LuminARC™ offers intuitive search and preview functions, adaptable graphic design, multi-layer security features and intuitive archiving functions.

Harvard Business Review

Bruce Weindruch is featured as a commentator in a Harvard Business Review case study on authenticity marketing.

The Idea Engine

The Idea Engine is established in downtown Washington, D.C., a creative think tank focused on innovations in heritage management.

StoryARC™

THF launches StoryARC,™ a unique methodology that uses classical storytelling techniques to help clients interpret their history.

First Social Media Campaign

THF launches its first large-scale social media program for Adobe Photoshop. "Behind the Splash Screen" offers a candid look at the people who built Photoshop.

E-book | Facebook

THF produces its first e-book, Making Connections: Time Warner Cable and the Broadband Revolution.
...
The History Factory's Facebook page makes its debut.

Back in D.C.

Creative and project management staff relocate from THF's Chantilly location to 1919 M St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Rebrand

History Factory rebrands with a new logo and tagline.

Chicago Office

The History Factory opens an office at 73 West Monroe St. in Chicago.

Moves in Chicago and D.C.

The History Factory Chicago moves to the historic Wrigley Building at 410 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.
...
The History Factory Washington moves to 1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Bruce Weindruch Published

Bruce Weindruch publishes Start with the Future and Work Back: A Heritage Management Manifesto.

New HQ

The History Factory Washington moves into its new, state-of-the art space in the Lion Building at 1233 20th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

The Anniversary Marketing Summit

THF unveils The Anniversary Marketing Summit, a semiannual workshop for corporate communicators to help provide the tools they need to plan and execute a milestone celebration

New Brand Identity

The company rebrands as History Factory (HF), reinforcing its focus on the far-reaching value of historical assets across marketing and corporate communications and the myriad practical applications of authentic content.

40th Anniversary

HF celebrates its 40th anniversary with a comprehensive celebration that includes staff workshops, community outreach and client recognition. The company uses its own trove of authentic content to convey its brand story to internal and external audiences and across channels.

Leading the Authentic Content Revolution

Since 1979

Greetings, All:

Well, History Factory made it to 40. I marvel at how far we've come since Tom West and I founded this company, originally called Informative Design Group, in December 1979. And I'm really excited about how far we can still go. But most of all, I'm gratified that we stubbornly remain true to our founding vision — notwithstanding considerable organizational change — that heritage and authentic content have their rightful place within the strategic toolset of the world's most competitive organizations. We've always felt that if we can't make it useful, it could be lost forever.

I'd like to thank the staff who volunteered to serve on our 40th anniversary committee. They've invested their time and abundant creativity to develop a yearlong program calendar that meaningfully celebrates History Factory's history, communities, clients and future. I'd also like to thank the leadership team for providing the support and resources to make it happen. I hope you'll visit this anniversary portal throughout the year to join the celebration.

I am indebted to the generations of loyal clients, staff, vendors and strategic partners who have helped make our vision reality. In four short decades, we have captured, preserved, shared and celebrated thousands of years of content and memories. Mission accomplished, my friends. Along the way, it's been a heck of a lot of fun. It's my intention to keep it that way.

Let History Factory's 40th anniversary begin!

Bruce Weindruch

(Proud) Founder & CEO

 

Golden Nuggets

History Factory was founded in 1979 as Informative Design Group.

History Factory has maintained an office in Chicago’s historic Wrigley Building since 2015.

History Factory helps clients understand the full value of their heritage using our Clear Line of Sight™ and StoryARC™ methodologies.

Founder and CEO Bruce Weindruch has been featured in various news outlets, including CNNfn and U.S. News and World Report.

 

Follow our latest updates throughout the anniversary year.

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The Intern Diaries: An Authentic First Impression of History Factory

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Revolutionizing Storytelling

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