As a descendent of Civil War and American Revolution veterans, Mark Waterman grew up with an admiration for America’s history and its protectors. Today, he owns History America, a company that honors and showcases patriotic heroes throughout the decades. The company sells American history prints with timelines of iconic American images.
Before Mark started the company in 2005, he dreamt of using his creativity to honor American servicemen and women. It wasn’t until the tragic aftermath of 9/11 when Mark noticed that some of the New York City firefighters were wearing older looking uniforms than those used in his hometown.
“I looked up images of firefighters from all different states, and all their uniforms were different,” said Mark. “New York firefighters looked like they were wearing turnout gear from the 70’s. It was so interesting that I decided to create a timeline of the American firefighter.”
The firefighter timeline then inspired an array of other poster ideas to honor different areas of U.S. history. Currently, History America sells 12 different prints with a detailed timeline of different topics.
“It’s fun to decide which prints we do next because we work closely with a historian to make sure everything’s accurate. Right now, we’re working on the History of Women in the U.S. Military.”
The prints are sold all over the country in specialty shops and museums as well known as the Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetary. For Mark, the most rewarding part of the business is hearing stories from the heroes themselves. One instance that stayed close to Mark’s heart was a man who purchased the U.S. Navy print who was on the first wave of boats landing in Normandy during World War II.
While business has steadily picked up since the initial launch in 2005, Mark stays true to his America first mentality and sources and manufactures in the U.S. He makes the prints in Michigan and sources from all over the U.S. for paper, frames, and other materials. While it may be more expensive to make the prints in the U.S., he says it’s worth it to keep the products American made.
At a time when American politics are so polarized, Mark says it’s refreshing to create something that’s enjoyed by everyone.
“Having our product and being a very patriotic company, I’ve seen so many amazing people who love Made in America on both sides of the divide.”