Throwback Thursday: Mitchell 1’s Publishing Days

Throwback Thursday: Mitchell 1’s Publishing Days

Today we’re throwing it back to the days when Mitchell 1 was primarily a publisher of books. Up until the early 1990s, the renowned Mitchell Manuals were the go-to resource for professional repair information. It didn’t take long for the electronic OnDemand product to overtake the books in popularity, but for most of Mitchell 1’s history, the books definitely dominated.

The massive printing press, enormous bindery and gigantic camera are distant memories now, and only a few people at Mitchell 1 remember the huge effort it took to produce all of those books and get them out the door each year. To give you an idea of just how large an operation it was, here’s some trivia from 1999. In just that year alone:

  • Mitchell Repair published 360 different titles
  • A total of one million manuals were printed onsite
  • The paper used would fill 67 tractor trailers or cover 16 square miles if spread out in a single sheet

As the amount of vehicle data continued to grow, it became impossible to contain it all in physical books. Mitchell 1 currently processes over 1.5 million pages of data annually and has over 29 million pages of information in ProDemand®, our online repair information product that replaced OnDemand. It’s truly mind boggling to ponder how many books all that would fill – and how many trees are being saved now that the data is delivered digitally instead of on paper.

Here’s a look back at some of the printing equipment housed at Mitchell 1 in our publishing days (click the thumbnails to expand images to full size).

Paper being prepared for printing

Printing press: Heidelburg GTO 5-color perfecter 22″

Pre-press: Giant Walzberg camera (horizontal 26″ x 36″)

Bindery line – Muller-Martini

Press check

Running the bindery



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About the Author

Jill Schafer

Jill Schafer is the Marketing Communication Manager at Mitchell 1 and has over 20 years of marketing experience with high-technology organizations, including over 10 years in the automotive information industry.