Some History on Matthews International

One of my adages about being in business is that you have to know who you are doing business with.  One of the truly great things about being involved with funeral services is that most of the people and companies that we relate to have a history of solid business and ethical principles to relate to – and have had those principles for over a hundred years.

It does seem, however, that as funeral service moves from the small generational family owned firms to some newer and, in some cases, larger firms, there seems to be an ever-growing list of problems popping up with the industry.  For instance, I think of the almost weekly articles, that somewhere in the country, a pre-need fund has been breached or a cemetery is not being kept up according to the standards that the owners had promised.

So, it only goes that every once in a while we will try to give a little history lesson of companies that have been in the industry for a long period of time — and in many cases are public companies.  Today, we will learn a little about Matthews International.

I first learned of Matthews International as a crematory builder and supplier.  Then I found out that they were very heavily involved – and their history comes from — bronze markers.  Finally, I was intrigued more about them when they purchased the family owned Aurora Casket Company and added it, along with the two aforementioned products, into what they call Matthews Memorialization Group.

Here is a little history on Matthews, International.  According to the company web-site, John Dixon Matthews emigrated from Shefheld, England and opened up a small shop in Pittsburgh in 1850 — still the companies headquarters city today.  Matthews was a skilled engraver and began creating stampings for the military and wooden crates.  In 1902 the company was incorporated.

Today, Matthews International is a public company — one of the six death care related business included in the Funeral Director Daily Death Care Index.  The company’s consolidated revenues for Fiscal Year 2016 was $1.48 billion.  As a consolidated company Matthews operates in three distinct segments. They are:

  1. SGK Brand Solutions — A leader in the delivery of brand development, activation, and deployment to help build clients’ brands and consumer desire for those brands.
  2. Industrial Technologies Segment — designs, manufactures, and distributes marking, coding and industrial automation technologies and solutions.
  3. Memorialization Group — Serves cemeteries and funeral homes with products and services.  There are four divisions to this group 1) Matthews Cemetery Products, 2) Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions, 3) Matthews Environmental Solutions (Crematories), and 4) Matthews Architectural Products.

Matthews International employs over 10,000 people in 25 countries spanning six continents.[wpforms id=”436″ title=”true” description=”true”]



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