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The Countdown has begun - Ketchum Manufacturing 99 and counting!

The Countdown has begun - Ketchum Manufacturing 99 and counting!

Lani Van Eik | March 1, 2012

With the turning of the calendar to 2012 the countdown begins to a major milestone few companies ever see. Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. founded in Ottawa Canada will turn 100 years old next year.

With “start ups” and “hi-tech virtual companies” that don’t exist outside of cyberspace dominating the last decades business pages, the bricks and mortar surrounding Ketchum Manufacturing remind us of a different time. I often chuckle when I read emails or pass by business awnings that state “EST. 2005” claiming 7 years is history and a business achievement to be celebrated.

Ketchum the little company that could …. has.  For 99 years now Ketchum the identification company has remained a constant in the identification industry it has indeed reinvented itself many times over during its long life to date.  The latest was the heart wrenching decision to leave its home in Ottawa for its more spacious facility in Brockville Ontario some 80 kilometers south along the US border. This move made to accommodate the company’s continuing growth ironically happened in 2005.

Ketchum started as a livestock identification company and remains a major player in that industry today. What has changed is that what was once a company serving the local agricultural community first spread regionally, than nationally, and now competes in almost every market of the world. As time marched on Ketchum expanded its manufacturing capabilities and entered into other industries. Our metal stamping led to contracts with the Canadian military and soldiers heading to war had Ketchum Military ID Dog tags with them. We still bid on those same contracts today.

However, today Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. manufactures and distributes a much wider range of identification and promotional products utilized in a variety of industries throughout the world. Besides our renowned livestock Identification products we also produce Pet Control, Meat & Poultry Products, Seafood & Aquaculture Tags, Forestry & Mining tags, Industrial Identification tags such as tags for steam traps and piping, Parking Permits, Food Processing , Retail Store Signage, Grocery signage and price tags, Museum/Visitor Admission Tags, Lab Animal Products and more.

For example if you’re staying in a hotel room the “Do Not Disturb” sign may have been produced by Ketchum. If you’re in the grocery store and looking at a price tag there is a good chance Ketchum made it. Or take a look at your dog or cat and it’s entirely possible that the rabies tag they wear was produced at Ketchum Manufacturing. And of course the tag hanging from that cow’s ear as always was most assuredly produced by Ketchum.

That’s how we have grown decade after decade and stayed relevant. Reinventing who we can sell to as much as changing what we sell to them. After all there have been 18 US Presidents, 19 Canadian Prime Ministers, and 4 Monarchs in Great Britain since Ketchum’s reign over the identification industry began. It has seen two world wars, saw Babe Ruth traded to the Yankees and then finally saw the Red Sox end the curse they endured for doing so. For our Canadian blog readers Ketchum was already in its 4th year when 6 teams got together to create the National Hockey League.

All of that to say this, isn’t it comforting to know that some grand old institutions still exist? We are immensely proud of what we have accomplished so far and as we prepare to pause and look back on what we have achieved our promise to our customers is that we will always continue to move forward as well.

Here are some of our historical catalogue covers.



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