Joseph Petrosino founded ACME in 1935 under the name ACME Metal Cap and Closure; but its original history dates back to 1902. It was that year that Joseph’s father, Luigi, founded. American Star Cork Co., Inc., a company that produced cork products, including plugs and liners were used to seal brewed liquids into bottles and kegs. While both companies manufactured products for the same customers, and existed under virtually the same roof, they remained totally independent until the late 1960’s, when color cosmetics, such as blushes and eye shadow began to flourish. Within a few years ACME, which had dropped “Closure” from its name, began the transition from the combination cork seal and bottle caps to producing stamped metal pans (godets) for color cosmetics. As Thomas Petrosino, grandson of the founder, stated at that time, “now, almost everything ACME makes winds up holding cosmetics.” His statement proved to be just the beginning of a thriving new era for the rapidly growing company. In support of the growth of the new cosmetics-based business, the company moved from Williamsburg (Brooklyn) to the Woodside (Queens) location in 1985. The next growth move came in 2016, with the relocation of operations to Secaucus, New Jersey, where ACME could remain close to its core customers in NYC. We have now extended our business to China, establishing Suzhou as the center of our Asian market activities, with production starting in early 2017. Meanwhile, a manufacturing center in Europe has been setup to support our customers there.
After more than 80 challenging years of building its business, and the last 50 years refining the unique techniques of producing precision, high quality, competitively priced metal stampings, ACME’s business is now positioned as a global provider of metal packaging for cosmetics. The North American operation is located in a 78,000 square foot (7,000 sqm) building, staffed by skilled technicians, and equipped with the latest custom high-speed stamping, processing and finishing equipment. This facility is geared to produce more than a billion pans annually in either tinplate or aluminum in myriad sizes, shapes, heights and material thickness. Our production facilities in Suzhou, China and Solingen, Germany operate in 11,000 square foot (1,000 sqm) spaces, with capabilities to support the regional needs of our Asian and European customers and their global businesses.
While many would believe that Acme products are just a cartoon invention, in fact, Acme was the name of many companies in the 1920s & 1930s for a very good reason. First, “Acme” is from the Greek, meaning the peak, zenith, prime and denoting the best of something – The name Acme was a mark of quality & distinction.
Second, companies picked this name so that they would appear in the beginning of the first business directories (phone books – another new invention at the time!) published back then. And it worked – it became a very popular name for companies for that reason. When our educational system no longer taught Greek to students, the name became relatively meaningless. Looney Tunes’s animators picked that name in the 1950s just as “Acme” was falling into disuse.
Acme Metal Cap and Closure was not immune to the confusion generated by the proliferation of so many “Acme’s”, particularly with the popularity of the “ACME products” depicted in the Looney Tune/Warner Bros. cartoons. One of our most prized possessions is a letter written by a young boy in England, addressed to ACME, espousing his love for the products he saw on TV, together with a solicitation of some samples. (See Letter).