SAMS Technical Publishing, (formerly the Howard W. Sams Company) is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Company began more than 60 years ago as a publisher of service manuals for radio technicians. Founder Howard W. Sams saw a market gap that no one was filling - the need for service technicians to have schematics and other service guidelines for the radios they were repairing. Thus began the long and illustrious history of PHOTOFACT®. Over time, as television began to replace radio, PHOTOFACT migrated from radios to newer technologies.
The company has undergone many changes over the years, while still providing one of the top resources for technical schematics and service manuals. During its illustrious publishing history SAMS Technical Publishing, has been the home of:
- Bobbs-Merrill Publishing (Joy of Cooking and Raggedy Ann & Andy
- Who's Who in America
- Sams Computer Books
- Howard Sams Technical Institute (predacessor to ITT)
- Intertech Publishing
- R&R Newkirk
- GK Hall
- Michie Law Publishers
- Prompt Publicatios
- Premier Press (formerly Prima Tech)
- Trackside Publications
- Indy-Tech Publishing
There are now over 4,800 manuals in print, the Company is one of the nation's largest provider of after-market service data for the consumer electronics industry. PHOTOFACT service manuals can be found as part of a permanent exhibit in the Indiana State Museum.
The Evolution of the Howard W. Sams Company
Indy-Tech Publishing formed
Indy-Tech Publishing is formed as an imprint of SAMS Technical Publishing. Indy-Tech Publishing will carry on the long tradition of high-quality publications by the Sams company. Indy-Tech Publishing is focused on books for the savvy consumer, related to consumer electronics and automotive technology, as well as books by Indiana-based authors covering a variety of topics, including the first of the Savvy Series, The Savvy Guide to Home Theater.
SAMS Technical Publishing acquired by AGS Capital, LLC
As a result of several non-compete clauses resulting from the sales of Prompt Publications and Premier Press, Mr. Davis sold SAMS Technical Publishing to AGS Capital, a local capital venture consortium. Production of Photofact repair schematics and Trackside Publications continues to thrive under AGS Capital's leadership.
Premier Press sold to Thomson Learning's
Premier Press was acquired by Thomson Learning's Course Technologies division, leaving SAMS Technical Publishing with the product that the company was founded on: Photofact.
Prompt Publishing sold to Thomson Learning's
In the summer of 2001, the Prompt Publications line of books was sold to Thomson Learning's Delmar division. On that same day, Premier Press, formerly Prima-Tech was purchased by Mr. Davis and made part of SAMS Technical Publishing.
SAMS Technical Publishing was born
Two months after the sale to eCatalogs, the Technical Products Division (Photofact and Prompt Publications) was purchased by Damon Davis and SAMS Technical Publishing was born, carrying on the proud and illustrious traditions started by Howard W. Sams. During this year, Trackside Publications was born, with a focus on producing customized books for automotive racing facilities, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sold to eCatalogs
Bell Atlantic sold the entire Howard W. Sams Company to a California startup company called eCatalogs. eCatalogs, who's interest in the Howard W. Sams company was only the catalog division.
Sold to Bell Atlantic
Davis and Hauser sold the entire Howard W. Sams Company to Bell Atlantic with Mr. Davis serving as chief operating officer and Dan Gomez, a Bell Atlantic officer, serving as chairman of Howard W. Sams. Mr. Hauser retired in July of 1998. Under Bell Atlantic ownership, the Masters Press unit was sold.
Sold to R. Hauser & D. Davis
Two Sams' executives, Richard Hauser and Damon Davis, with financial assistance from venture-capital investors, bought the Sams name and intellectual property rights from Maxwell. Following their buyout of the company, Davis became chairman and Hauser served as president. Their leadership led to substantial growth, the repayment of all the venture-capital investors and the establishment of a 50/50 partnership. Davis and Hauser grew the business by starting another book publishing operation, Prompt Publications, in 1992, and acquired a sports publisher, Masters Press, in 1993.
Macmillan acquired by Robert Maxwell
Macmillan was acquired by Robert Maxwell. While under Maxwell's ownership, many of the Sams' publishing divisions were sold off to various companies and publishers bringing the company back to just 3 divisions: Photofact, Computer Books, and Catalog Publications. The computer book division was then removed from the Howard W. Sams Company and transferred to what would become Macmillan Computer Publishing. The remaining Howard W. Sams assets and divisions were put up for sale in August of 1989.
Sold to Macmillan Publishing
ITT sold Howard W. Sams Company to Macmillan Publishing, who continued to grow the publishing lines, especially surrounding computer books.
Sold to ITT Corporation
Mr. Sams sold the company to ITT Corporation. The company prospered and grew to over 650 employees and 7 individual companies under the Howard W. Sams umbrella.
Howard W. Sams Company Founded
The company was founded by Howard W. Sams with 12 employees and began producing radio schematics and repair manuals.