Metalcraft: the Birth of a Company

November 9, 2022
bostitch stapler

It all started with a stapler and a problem...

What do coffee, coins and a sliver of metal and a stapler have in common? In 1948, a salesman for staple manufacturer Bostitch, Inc. met with some enterprising men from a Mason City, IA, engraving company. The problem: how to incorporate an advertising message onto desk staplers.

As they unsuccessfully brainstormed at a local coffee shop, someone reached for change to pay for coffee and a sliver of metal amongst the coins sparked an idea. He placed the metal atop the stapler, and the "AUTOGRAPHS" Nameplate was born...along with Metalcraft.

Today, Metalcraft is still creating innovative ID tracking and asset protection systems. We start by addressing your problem, then solving it. The same solution-driven principle from over 70 years ago is just as relevant today!

Below are just a few of the many, many milestones we've had over our 72-year history. Here's to another 72!

Metalcraft Does Barcodebarcode

When Metalcraft first started printing barcodes in 1984, we focused on photo sensitive materials. Since that first barcode order from Union Pacific Railroad, we have produced millions of barcode tags for customers - linear, QR and Datamatrix barcodes - on everything from metal to polyester and paper.

Metalcraft Goes Digital

In 1995, Metalcraft launched our first website, Since then we have added and to our website properties.

An RFID Tag for the Agesuniversal

While our Universal RFID family of products was launched in 2010, in 2002 we introduced our first "hybrid" RFID tag/label that allowed customers to access information using either barcode or RFID technology. By 2002 we were viewed as the source for durable RFID tags and labels.

Proud to be Employee-Owned

Recognizing the benefits of an ownership mentality, Metalcraft became an employee-owned company in 2006, giving customers even more faith in knowing their orders is being made by an owner taking pride in their work.

Building for the Futuremetalcraft building

Having outgrown our then-current building, in 2013 we build and relocated to a new 46,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Mason City, IA. The new building being on one floor provides great efficiency and expansion possibilities, allowing us to continue to provide our customers the quality products they've come to expect from us.

To learn more about the barcode and RFID solutions provided by Metalcraft, please contact us at


Julia Deets, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience 

About the Author: Julia Deets

Julia Deets joined Metalcraft in 1999 as the Marketing/New Product Director. Julia has held numerous roles during her career with Metalcraft, all related to marketing and customer support. Her current position is as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. She has both an undergrad and a Master's degree in Organizational Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. 


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