Revolutionizing Early Communications
Harris Corporation was founded in the 1890s by Alfred and Charles Harris. The brothers ran a jewelry store in Niles, Ohio, while they tinkered with a variety of new gadgets. Their first truly successful invention was an automatic sheet feeder that eliminated the laborious job of hand-feeding printing presses.
Ironically, the sheet feeder was too advanced for the printing presses of the day, so the brothers developed a new printing press that was better able to accommodate it. The press was revolutionary, delivering 10 times what a pressman could feed by hand. In fact, the press was so much faster than anything available that the brothers had to understate its capabilities in order to get potential customers to believe them.
On December 23, 1895, the Harris Automatic Press Company was incorporated. The company went on to produce many printing innovations during the early 1900s. By the middle of the century, it had grown into one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturers of printing equipment under a new name - Harris-Seybold.
Moving Into the Space Age
The company continued to grow and evolve, and in 1957, Harris-Seybold merged with Intertype Corporation, a world leader in typesetting equipment. Company leaders wanted to move beyond printed communications into the broader field of electronic communications. Thus began a series of moves that transitioned Harris-Intertype into the Space Age and added broadcasting and microwave communications capabilities.
The company's transformation to a pure electronics business began in 1967, when it acquired Radiation Inc., a manufacturer of space and military technology located in Melbourne, Florida, just south of Cape Canaveral.
Radiation was a premier developer of miniaturized electronic tracking and pulse code technologies for America's fledgling space program. Its products were used on the nation's first communication and weather satellites, by the military for various missile systems, and were instrumental in the first manned space flights and the Apollo missions to the Moon.
In 1974, the company name was changed to Harris Corporation; and in 1978 moved its headquarters from Cleveland, Ohio, to Melbourne. In the 20 years that followed, Harris sold its printing business and significantly expanded its electronic product offerings and market reach. By the time of its centennial celebration in 1995, Harris had emerged as a global company serving a broad base of communications and information technology markets.
In 2015, the company acquired Exelis, transforming Harris into a company with greater scale, capabilities, core franchises and more balanced business portfolio. The combined company has a broad portfolio of advanced, technology-based solutions to solve government and commercial customers' mission critical challenges.
Transforming Critical Communications and Information Technology Today
During its 120-year history, Harris has transformed communications and information technology - from the early printing press, to the Space Age, and to today's fast-paced digital age. Since its beginnings, it has focused on providing innovative, reliable solutions that connect, inform and protect the world.
Today, Harris is one of the only companies focused exclusively on developing the most trusted solutions that solve the toughest technology challenges faced by businesses and governments around the world.
Every day, the company's employees serve customers around the world, in markets where trusted solutions are critical to success.