Pannier's History

Pannier Corporation was founded on December 12, 1899, the same year that Coca-Cola was first bottled, the VFW was born, and the Carnegie Steel Company was formed. In a small, cramped storefront in downtown Pittsburgh, two brothers, A.A. Pannier and O.M. Pannier, opened for business. This small company was named the Pannier Brothers Stamp Company and served, in main part, the steel industry. In 1917, they moved their business across the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh's North Side. This location on Sandusky Street is still the company's headquarters today.


Early photo of the company's offices. WJ Pannier is seated third from right.

Early photo of the company's shop. WJ Pannier at right.

In the 1950s, Pannier was actively involved in the early days of automation. We developed one of the very first automatic steel slab stampers, which ran in a major steel mill for decades. We also designed and manufactured a stamper that was used inside a steel shear gauge, helping to strengthen our reputation as a company that could help its customers mark their products during, rather than after, the manufacturing process to ensure error-free product identification.

During the 1960s, Pannier came into its own as an innovative designer of specialty equipment. In this decade, we developed printers for the insulation industry, saving them money by allowing them to print information directly onto products during production that they had previously needed to have pre-printed by an outside vendor. We developed code printers for use in the carpet industry and indenting machines and pneumatic hammers for use in the metals industries. In the 1960s alone, Pannier patented over 20 new products, including an automated embossing machine, an automatic tag feeding and ejecting machine, a rotary imprinting machine, and a printer for marking differential tinplate, among many other developments.


Company engineers in the drafting room.

WJ Pannier (left) and RA Pannier (right) accepting a plaque commemmorating Pannier Corporation's 50th anniversary.

By 1971, the next generation was running the company. R.A. Pannier, the true driving force in the history of Pannier Corporation, personally restructured and redirected the growth of the company. He and his engineers contributed to our patent list with many new products.

Tags are an important part of our history, too. We first produced embossed tags for identifying rebar, and we supplied stainless steel tags to the manufacturers of catalytic converters when they became a requirement for the automotive industry. One of our most significant achievements was pioneering the bar-coded metal tag, which gave the steel and aluminum making industries the ability to track their products with bar codes for the first time.

Pannier has grown steadily since its storefront beginning. In the 1970s, we purchased additional property north of Pittsburgh in Glenshaw, PA, to house our manufacturing facilities. We purchased a fiberglass signage company, which is now known as the Pannier Graphics division located in Gibsonia, PA. And in 1981, a third building was added at the Glenshaw site in order to expand Pannier’s manufacturing capabilities.

Today, Pannier Corporation is a world leader in product identification. We have the engineering and manufacturing capabilities to produce custom-designed marking methods for all types of industries worldwide.

The company is now owned by the 4th generation of the Pannier family, who are just as committed today as were their predecessors over a hundred years ago to providing you, our customer, with reliable marking products and excellent service.