After immigrating to the United States from Russia, Benjamin Hort learned the printing trade as an apprentice to his older brother. In 1915 Ben set up a small print shop located in lower Manhattan, New York’s printing district. Occupying 500 square feet in a building on Varick Street, the company had a small printing press, a cutter, and a folding machine.

Printing was a craft industry requiring extensive apprenticeship and training. Ben Hort was both highly skilled and very flexible. He could operate every machine, set type, and type the bills, while he serviced his customers. In his small shop Ben Hort was a generalist, not a specialist.

In 1936 Ben’s oldest son, William Morris Hort, came to work with his father in a larger shop on Hudson Street. Bill attended City College at night, while he learned the printing business “hands-on.” He became a skilled compositor and paper cutter. Later Bill sold printing and recruited other salesmen to represent the company. By 1948 the growing company moved to still larger quarters at 200 Hudson Street. Enterprise Press was a shop of skilled craftsmen supporting sales.

In 1968 Robert Hort joined his father at Enterprise Press. Robert managed the business, overseeing the office and production. In 1971 the Hort family bought a nine story building at 627 Greenwich Street which would be Enterprise’s home for the next 35 years. When Bill died in 1976, Robert was the natural choice to service Bill’s customers, many of whom he had known since he worked as a messenger and switchboard operator during school vacations.

In 1991 Robert’s oldest son Benjamin, named for Enterprise’s founder, came to work full-time at Enterprise. Son Daniel joined Enterprise in 1997. Both Ben and Dan are graduates of Brandeis University. Like William and Robert before them, Ben and Dan became managers and sales people. They learned the printing business under the tutelage of skilled craftspeople. In the fourth generation of family ownership, they now manage a staff of skilled professionals, some of whom have been with the company for over thirty years.

The printing business has changed considerably since 1915. It is no longer about simply putting ink on paper. Enterprise has evolved into a solutions provider rather than just a printing business. Our job is to find the right combination of technologies and products that help our clients present their stories in the best and most economical way. But, yes we still put a lot of ink onto a lot of paper.