TLMI Born of NRA

Many companies complain about the negative impact that government regulations can have on the way they run their businesses. In most cases, compliance equals cost. But members of TLMI and many other trade organizations actually have government regulation to thank for their groups' very existence.

Mike Weir, TLMI's longtime legal counsel and a trusted adviser to the association regarding all things legal for more than 50 years, explained in a 2000 interview that the Tag Manufacturers Inst. (which became TLMI in 1962) was actually born as a direct result of the National Recovery Act of 1933, which established “Codes of Fair Competitions” that allowed trade associations to be formed.

According to the act, “The President is authorized to enter into agreements with, and to approve voluntary agreements between and among persons engaged in a trade or industry…if in his judgment such agreements will aid in effectuating the policy of this title….” Members of the tag industry officially formed the Tag Manufacturers Inst. on June 15, 1933, with 21 original representatives from 19 companies.

The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act of 1958 further helped the tag industry flourish by requiring that “each textile fiber product (except those exempted) shall be labeled…,” which resulted in linen or sometimes paper tags being produced and used in large volumes to detail product care recommendations on such things as towels.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA) “provides the FDA with specific authority to require nutrition labeling of most foods regulated by the Agency, and to require that all nutrient content claims (i.e., “high fiber,” “low fat,” etc.) and health claims be consistent with agency regulations.” The regulations became effective for nutrition labeling in May 1994, which only enhanced the need for larger or even multiple labels on many food products.


A preliminary meeting was held on June 1, 1933, for the purpose of deciding the advisability of inviting tag manufacturers to organize a trade association to enjoy the privileges of the then-impending Industrial Recovery Act. On June 15, it was unanimously voted by roll call to immediately organize a trade association to be known as the Tag Manufacturers Institute — the forerunner of today's Tag and Label Manufacturer's Institute.

In attendance at that meeting were representatives of the following companies:

Acme Tag Co.
Allen-Bailey Tag Co.
American Tag Co. (2 attendees)
Campbell Paper Box Co.
Central Tag Co.
Samuel Cupples Envelope Co.
Dancyger Safety Pin Ticket Co.
Dennison Mfg. Co.
Ennis Tag & Printing Co.
Harry M. Gifford Mfg. Co. (2 attendees)
Haywood Tag Co.
International Tag Co.
Keener Mfg. Co.
Keystone Tag Co.
Michigan Tag Co.
National Tag Mfg. Corp.
Reyburn Mfg. Co.
Robinson Tag & Label Co.
Waterbury Buckle Co.

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