Antonio married Cecilia Campos in 1943. Lucinda, Antonio III, and Dennis were born three years apart. By 1950, with a wife and three children, Antonio bought the first automatic sheet feed job letterpress to be installed on the island. The Branjen & Kluge press fed 45-50 sheets per minute. It became the workhorse of the company. Cards, letterheads, envelopes, programs, town reports were dispatched by the “Kluge” in a Dr. Seuss manner. The Kluge was a dingus contraption that mesmerized all who witnessed it in action. For a decade the Kluge ruled as the only auto feed letterpress on the island. It soon had to make way for a new technology. In 1960, our dad bought an AB Dick 11 x 17 sheet size offset press. It could print 7000 sheets per hour or 155 times faster than the Kluge. A new era had begun.
Throughout the sixties the company integrated various new machines to allow daRosa’s Martha Vineyard Printing to be an all-in house shop. By 1969 Tony, Cindy and Cecelia were working full time for Antonio. Sadly, our dad passed away in October 1969. In 1968 while he was still alive he purchased a 17″ x 22″ sheet size offset press. He also agreed to start the process of the design of our retail store expansion which we moved into in 1970. Dennis, joined the company full time in June of 1971. Three years later we upgraded the press to 19 x 25 and added a second AB Dick 11 x 17 press.
We were off to the races. The Vineyard economy was growing, and we filled the printing, office supply and equipment needs of the Vineyard. The art supply section of the store expanded, catering to our year-round and summer fine artists and students.
By 1974 Plain paper office copying became of age. IBM and Xerox had a stronghold on the world’s copy market. IBM & Xerox had a monopoly. However, an American firm, Savin Corp. teaming up with Ricoh, an industrial giant in Japan introduced the first plain paper copier that was priced, so you could buy it. Leasing was available as well. DaRosa’s became a Savin copier dealer in 1974 and started selling the new machines to the Island’s towns, banks, schools and businesses. We never stopped doing so.
In 1978 we leased a computer to help us do our accounting and billing. The second business on the island to do so, other than the banks and hospital. If purchased, the computer would have cost the price of our new building a few years earlier. We decided to do payroll and billing for our customers to help pay for the machine. We out grew the Sperry-Univac minicomputer in a year. We replaced the Sperry with a BTI minicomputer which was based on a Hewlett-Packard multi-user time sharing computer. The BTI can have 16 users tied to it at the same time. Again, we went to our customers and discussed the idea of installing a terminal in their office and have communication with the BTI and its software via the telephone It worked great and we continued to offer billing and payroll services as well as remote computing thru the 1980’s.
IBM introduced the PC in 1981 and Apple introduced the MAC in 1984. The transition had begun to desktop computing. Noticing this we started to sell IBM PC’s and compatibles, notably, the Eagle PC. As these new computers became cost available to our small business customers using CYMA and QuickBooks, the BTI’s future was marked. We continue to sell PC’s, software and all the accessories needed to run a modern office.
The modern office copier is now also a printer, scanner and many times a fax machine as well. The advent of the PC and ethernet networking has allowed small offices to connect to one device. We sell Savin/Ricoh and Xerox state of the art multi-function machines and stand-alone printers. Color or black toner only, these machines save any size office time and money. Operational cost per copy has been driven down to affordable prices for color.
The integration of offset and digital printing has given daRosa’s- Martha’s Vineyard Printing the capacity to do short or long run print jobs quickly and competitively.