A History of
As a portfolio-based company, we have a long history of products and brands. The CSS name originated as the ticker symbol for City Stores, but today we think of it as Creative Simple Solutions, which reflects the spirit of our business philosophy and our passion for delighting our shareholders, customers and consumers. To learn more about our history, view our timeline below. Be sure to expand each section to see how all of our brands have grown and changed over the years.
John Gibson & Company printed the first baby book.
More from 1850-1900
1863 Ebenezer Butterick created the first graded paper pattern, at the request of his wife. The product revolutionized home sewing.
1870 John Gibson and his four brothers started John Gibson & Company.
1870 James McCall started McCall Patterns.
1873 Butterick's Delinator Magazine became the premier women's fashion magazine in the U.S.
1876 C.M. Offray was founded by Claude Offray Jr., specializing in woven ribbons.
1877 Benjamin Blumenthal & E.R. Blanchard Started Blumenthal & Blanchard (a button company).
1878 Blumenthal exhibited their framed shell buttons at the World's Fair in Paris.
1897 William E. Wright established a business producing packaged folded bias tapes.
1898 John Gibson & Company printed the first baby book.
Boye introduced the first complete line of crochet hooks made in America.
More from 1901-1925
1903 Lion Ribbon was founded by Oscar Lion; its original focus was for millinery uses.
1906 Boye Needle Company was launched by James H. Boye with a patented, revolving cabinet called the “Rotary Case,” which housed needles, shuttles, and bobbins suitable for a variety of home sewing machines.
1907 At this time, the electric sign on the Butterick building on Spring Street in NYC was the largest in the world!
1909 Conde Nast acquired a magazine that included fashion sewing patterns, and later created Vogue Patterns in 1914.
1917 Boye introduced the first complete line of crochet hooks made in America.
Joseph and James Shapiro founded Simplicity Patterns to supply perforated sewing patterns.
More from 1926-1950
1927 Joseph and James Shapiro founded Simplicity Patterns to supply perforated sewing patterns.
1940 Blumenthal started producing plastic buttons, which were much more economical than natural materials or glass.
1945 Simplicity converted to the printed pattern, with each tissue piece printed to show what it was, where it went, and how to match it to its mate.
1945 Berwick Industries began with a focus on manufacturing a non-woven ribbon product known as "Satinette."
Joseph Robert Ellis founded Eureka Resale, which made a name for itself with the original gold star sticker often used by teachers today! Eureka Resale later became Paper Magic Group.
More from 1951-1975
1951 The first Pre-Notch Bow was made by hand with a tool similar to a leather punch, and tied with a small piece of ribbon.
1952 The Butterick Walk Away Dress (B6015) was so popular that the printing of all other patterns had to cease until demand for this one pattern was met. No other pattern has sold as many units.
1961 Butterick and Vogue merged.
1963 Berwick added it's first star bow machines to its manufacturing capabilities.
1974 Joseph Robert Ellis founded Eureka Resale, which made a name for itself with the original gold star sticker often used by teachers today! Eureka Resale later became Paper Magic Group.
1975 Lion Ribbon introduced an extensive ribbon line to service the Arts & Crafts Market.
RIBBON & TRIM
Offray made the Olympic Medal Ribbons for the 1980 games (and had the honor of doing so again in 1984, 1988, and 1996).
More from 1976-1990
1976 Dimensions Needlecraft was founded by Ben Zintak, Jack Whitehouse, and Dave Page.
1979 PII acquired control of City Stores Company, a large, poorly performing retail conglomerate. City Stores Company had traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "CSS."
1980 Offray made the Olympic Medal Ribbons for the 1980 games (and had the honor of doing so again in 1984, 1988 and 1996)!
1983 Eureka entered the greeting card business by acquiring Artist Publishers.
1985 CSS went public and was listed on the American Stock Exchange.
1987 Boye merged with Wright's.
1989 CM Offray purchased Lion Ribbon from Thackeray Corporation.
1990 Benjamin Blumenthal acquired the Lansing Company, adding La Petite to their assortment of brands.
Paper Magic's Easter rabbit mascot, Dudley, was a big hit in the New York City Easter parade.
More from 1991-1995
1991 During the first Gulf War, patriotic yellow ribbons manufactured by Lion Ribbon and Berwick sold fast when entertainer Tony Orlando recorded a song that caused Americans to tie yellow ribbons around trees across the USA.
1993 CSS acquired Berwick Industries.
1995 Paper Magic Group's Easter Bunny mascot, Dudley, was a big hit in the NYC Easter parade.
1995 CSS acquired Topstone Industries; a unique seasonal costume manufacturer.
Perler, producer of children's craft bead activity kits, was acquired by Dimensions.
More from 1996-2000
1996 CSS acquired Ribbon Magic.
1996 CSS acquired McGinley Mills.
1997 CSS acquired Color-Clings.
1997 Perler, producer of children's craft bead activity kits, was acquired by Dimensions.
1998 McCall Patterns acquired Wallies Wall Décor.
2000 C. R. Gibson purchased ArtWorks International
Inkadinkado, one of the largest suppliers of rubber stamps and accessories, was acquired by Dimensions.
More from 2001-2005
2001 McCalls acquired Butterick and Vogue.
2002 CSS acquired C. M. Offray and Lion Ribbon.
2004 Inkadinkado, one of the largest suppliers of rubber stamps and accessories, was acquired by Dimensions.
2004 CSS acquired competitor Delaware Ribbon.
2005 Seastone entered the gift card packaging business with retailers and received multiple patents for tin packaging and its innovative trays to house gift cards.
CSS acquired Seastone, which had become the largest supplier of dimensional gift card packaging in the US.
More from 2006-2010
2007 CSS acquired C.R. Gibson.
2008 CSS acquired Hampshire Paper Company. Lion Ribbon and Berwick Offray were previously Hampshire's largest customers.
2009 CSS acquired Seastone, which had become the largest supplier of dimensional gift card packaging in the US. CSS also acquired Designer Dispatch Ribbon Co., Inc.
Blumenthal Lansing Co. acquired JHB Button brand and the website Buttons.com.
More from 2011-2015
2011 McCalls acquired Kwik Sew patterns.
2014 CSS acquired Carson & Gebel Ribbon Co. LLC, and Blumenthal Lansing Co. acquired JHB Button brand and the website Buttons.com.
2015 CSS acquired Hollywood Ribbon.
CSS acquired Fitlosophy, a lifestyle business devoted to inspiring people to develop healthy habits by focusing on effective goal-setting through journaling.
More from 2016-Present
2016 The New York Times wrote a feature article about the McCall Pattern Company titled: Sewing for the Instagram Generation.
2016 CSS acquired Blumenthal Lansing Company, LLC.
2016 Offray launched the Bow Genius bow-making tool, which won the "Hot New Product" award at the CHA Show.
2016 CSS acquired Lawrence A Schiff Ribbon Mills.
2016 CSS acquired the Artistic Ribbon Company.
2016 CSS acquired The McCall Pattern Co.
2017 CSS acquired Simplicity Creative Group.
2018 CSS acquired Fitlosophy, a lifestyle business devoted to inspiring people to develop healthy habits by focusing on effective goal-setting through journaling.