On May 5, Brink’s Inc., one of the most recognized symbols of security, is turning 150 years old.
“There are very few companies with the longevity and legacy of Brink’s,” said Michael Dan, president, chairman and CEO of The Brink’s Co. “Celebrating 150 years is a proud accomplishment and a true testament to the company’s strength and stability.”
A History of Innovation
Washington Perry Brink bought a horse-drawn wagon for less than $200 in 1859 and began transporting parcels, baggage and merchandise in Chicago. Within a few years, Brink’s City Express, as the company was called then, became a popular source for transporting large amounts of cash, a business niche that would define the company and serve as its foundation for many years.
By the turn of the century, Brink’s had grown from a one-horse operation to a thriving business with 85 carriages and 170 horses. However, Brink’s remained quick to embrace change, buying its first motorized delivery vehicle for $2,450 in 1904. After a particularly violent payroll robbery in 1917, Brink’s introduced into its fleet refurbished school buses with armored side panels and, by 1923, the company acquired its first fully armored car.
In 1925, the company brought to market its most important innovation to that point-the famous two-key safe, which led to the now ubiquitous “Manager does not have key to safe” signs. A decade later, during The Great Depression, Brink’s place in history was indelibly etched in the public psyche when the mere presence of a Brink’s truck at an ailing bank could calm depositors and stave off bank runs.
When Brink’s celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1959, the company was one of only 57 firms established in the U.S. in 1859 still in business. Today, Brink’s is the oldest and largest full-service provider of secure logistics solutions in the U.S.
In honor of its sesquicentennial, Brink’s launched an anniversary website at http://www.brinks150.com/ that showcases never-before-seen-photos and little-known history about the company from its humble beginnings in Chicago.
In the U.S., Brink’s will commemorate its May 5 anniversary a week early, on April 29, with an invitation-only event at the Brink’s Museum in Chicago-the city where it all began.
“Stability is more important than ever,” added Dan. “Merchants trust us to protect and help them manage their cash, which is obviously one of their most valuable-and most visible-assets. Over the next 150 years, we will continue to work with retailers to create powerful solutions to help them drive measurable improvements in their cash operations.”
With a nationwide footprint of 182 branches and more than 2,300 armored vehicles, Brink’s U.S. offers transportation, currency and coin processing, ATM services, cash management and retail solutions, including Brink’s CompuSafe Service and Brink’s Daily Credit, designed to help companies accelerate funds availability, safeguard cash and confidential information and better manage the intricacies of the cash cycle.