Over the course of a century, Alliance has evolved from a single product to a global leader in multiple industries. Today Alliance represents the benchmark in adapting and inventing simple, practical, and reliable solutions for every day. The remarkable story of Alliance’s first century offers a vision of corporate ingenuity, integrity, and excellence as our Alliance Team continues the legacy of Mr. Spencer and his creative marketing in promoting the many different uses of rubber bands in many different markets. The company’s rich American heritage is built on valuing our associates as our greatest asset. Join us in following the inspiring journey of Alliance’s products.
The 1950s was a high-spirited decade despite the Korean War. Americans enjoyed new prosperity. What they wanted most was to create a happy, secure future. First came the baby boom, then came the housing boom and suburbs wrapped in hula hoops, poodle skirts, Elvis Presley, and rock and roll.
For Alliance, the fifties brought significant growth, for it was during this decade that Alliance would invent and patent the Open Ring® rubber band. Spencer invented the Open Ring® rubber band in 1955 and officially received the patent in 1957. Promoted as “always open, always ready for quick, easy, one-hand operation” these rubber bands set the world’s standard for efficiency and ease of application. These bands allowed for faster application than the old-style “flat bands” of their day. Evidence of their popularity is the fact that 99% of rubber bands in the marketplace today still utilize this open-ring design.
Reminiscent of the “big break” Alliance experienced with the Newspaper Rubber Bands, Spencer launched ARCO Circulation Supply which offered a complete line of products for the Circulation Industry. Supplies included rubber bands, poly bags, wire racks, motor route tubes, carrier bags, and more for all U.S. Newspapers.
Spencer invented special packaging to increase the popularity of rubber bands among other popular stationery items. The slide dispenser mass market pack, perforated desk boxes, and open window boxes included assorted sizes and colors of rubber bands. Stationery Bands were also available in “Jumbo Pack” plastic bags that included the “world’s largest assortment” in a 2 oz bag. Bands were also bundled for retailers in QW Bunch (short for quick wrap) bunches. They were translucent colored rubber band bunches that weighed approximately half an ounce and could include either 2 ½, 3 ½, or 4 ½ inch bands – sold originally for 10 cents each. They were available in red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and in solid or mixed color packs. They offered “eye appeal” and created impulse sales for retailers.