The recent troubles of Eastman Kodak and Penn Camera’s bankruptcy might suggest that the imaging business is dying. Headquartered in Frederick, The Crowley Company’s (www.thecrowleycompany.com) success belies that belief. An $18 million imaging company aiming to become a $25 million business, the 150-employee operation is involved in film processing, microfilm and digital imaging.
By keeping a hand in each of those industry segments, the company, in effect, serves as the bridge — or missing link — between multiple imaging formats.
Founded in 1981 and run today by founder Jerome Crowley’s sons Christopher and Patrick, the company attributes its success to its ability to migrate to new technologies when others did not. It is, said company president Chris Crowley, “The one-stop shop for imaging.”
Imaging is a niche business that Crowley estimates is in the $50–$60 million range, and it is one of the biggest players.
Crowley is a go-to source for organizations with large volumes of material to process. How big? Life magazine’s archives held 10 million images that were digitized by Crowley, and it’s currently working with Washington, D.C.’s Holocaust Museum.
Crowley doesn’t just scan photos, paper, film, microfilm and microfiche images. In addition to being an exclusive U.S. distributer for some products, it develops and manufactures scanners and also processing equipment for the microfilm and movie industries, and recently expanded into Europe with the purchase of UK-based Wicks and Wilson Ltd.
Research and development is an important company focus, and Crowley is looking ahead to new, user-oriented products targeted at libraries and archives.
“Our businesses are cousins, not sisters, noted Chris Crowley. “One side of the business feeds the other.” Will The Crowley Company reach its $25 million goal? Chris Crowley is confident it will.