The Harris Story
During its 120-year history, Harris has transformed communications and information technology. From day one, we have focused on providing innovative, reliable solutions that connect, inform and protect the world.
Founded on a Forward Leap in Communications Technology
Alfred and Charles Harris created Harris Corporation in the 1890s. The brothers ran a jewelry store in Niles, Ohio, while they tinkered with a variety of new gadgets.
Their first successful invention was an automatic sheet feeder which eliminated the laborious job of hand-feeding printing presses. The feeder was so advanced that the brothers developed a new printing press to accommodate it. The press was also revolutionary, delivering 10 times what a pressman could feed by hand.
Based on these innovations, The Harris Automatic Press Company incorporated on Dec. 23, 1895. The company went on to produce many printing innovations during the early 1900s. By midcentury, the company grew into one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturers of printing equipment under a new name: Harris-Seybold.
Moving Into the Space Age
Harris-Seybold continued to grow and evolve. In 1957, the company merged with Intertype Corporation, a world leader in typesetting equipment. As electronic communication began to rise, Harris-Intertype began its transition into the Space Age.
The company's transformation to a pure electronics business began in 1967 with the addition of broadcasting and microwave communications capabilities. That year, Harris-Intertype acquired Radiation Inc., a manufacturer of space and military technology located in Melbourne, Florida, just south of Cape Canaveral.
Radiation was a premier developer of miniaturized electronic tracking and pulse code technologies for America's fledgling space program. The nation's first communication and weather satellites—and the military's various missile systems—used its products. Radiation products were also used in the first manned space flights and the Apollo missions to the moon.
In 1974, the company changed its name to Harris Corporation. Four years later, Harris moved its headquarters from Cleveland, Ohio, to Melbourne. By the time of its centennial celebration in 1995, Harris had emerged as a global company serving a broad base of communications and information technology markets.
Transforming Critical Communications
and Information Technology
In 2015, the company acquired Exelis. The acquisition transformed Harris into a company with greater scale, capabilities, core franchises and a more balanced business portfolio.
Today, Harris is one of the only companies concentrated exclusively on developing the trusted solutions that solve the toughest technology challenges faced by businesses and governments around the world. Its innovative solutions are delivered through three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems, and Electronic Systems.
The company is a proven leader in tactical communications, geospatial systems and services, air traffic management, environmental solutions, avionics and electronic warfare, and space and intelligence. For example, more than 700,000 soldiers worldwide trust the Harris Falcon® family of tactical radios to deliver network-centric communications for superior command and control.
Harris continues to invest in innovation. Harris Corporation built the Jefferson Road Operations Center, the world's most advanced manufacturing center for the production of tactical radios and communication systems. The 573,000 square-foot center near Rochester, New York, was developed specifically to increase the company's competitiveness and address the changing requirements of military and public safety communications. In 2015, the company opened a $130 million Harris Technology Center in Palm Bay, Florida. The 464,000-square-foot facility is home to more than 1,400 scientists and engineers who are developing the next generation of Harris solutions.
In 2016, Harris opened the Global Innovation Center on its headquarters campus in Melbourne, Florida. This technology showcase – designed to inspire creative thinking and collaboration – houses an interactive digital experience area where visitors can immerse themselves in Harris technology.