Thomas Strahan Company
In 1866 Thomas Strahan started distributing European wallhangings in the US. On one of his trips to Europe he convinced an English block printer to emigrate to Boston, and in the early 1880's he launched his own collection and print works. The company contiued block printing up until labor shortages during World War Two made this form of wallpaper printing unfeasible. Most of the over 12,000 designs were printed on either 8 or 12 color surface printing machines imported from England. At the height of production they had 5 surface printers running, the oldest of which was a Waldron machine manufactured in England in 1886. This printing press and some of the others were being used right up to the time the Chelsea Mill closed in 2003. The plant was located in Chelsea Ma., it was a 5 story building, occupying a full block, which was built by Strahan in 1903 and was occupied by the company until 2003 when the old frame building was torn down for urban renewal.