Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

ChemArt: Etching Success

December 24, 2014 by cgrosch

A decorated Christmas tree adorns the ChemArt lobby year-round. Beside it hangs a painting of founder Richard Beaupre and an almost life-size statue of Boris, Beaupre’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Occupying two buildings on New England Way in Lincoln, ChemArt has – among other things – designed and manufactured the official White House Christmas ornament every year since its inception in 1981.

Working with the White House Historical Association, ChemArt’s design staff starts the process. “When you have a president like Washington or Lincoln, it’s fairly easy,” says ChemArt President David Marquis. “But when you get to a Garfield or a Coolidge or a Harding, researching these lesser-known presidents to find out how their lives were touched during the holiday season can be quite a challenge.”

ChemArt’s largest business segment is creating custom products one project, one customer at a time: keepsakes like ornaments, bookmarks, lapel pins, and money clips for civic and cultural groups, government agencies, colleges and universities, philanthropic organizations. A fully vertical operation, ChemArt touches all aspects of development from design, tooling, etching, plating, screening, finishing, assembly, packaging, and distribution.

Richard Beaupre, the company’s founder and CEO, invented the formula and process for a light-sensitive dry film making the photo-etch production process more efficient and consistent. In 1976, his desire to move back to Rhode Island took him on a journey from research chemist to successful entrepreneur, and, today, Beaupre oversees this multi-million dollar company recognized as a world leader in the photochemical etching field.

The 2014 White House Christmas ornament honors the administration of Warren G. Harding – the twenty-ninth president of the United States who served from 1921 to 1923. The story goes  – according to the brochure that is carefully packed with each ornament, that “as a young boy, Harding dreamed of being a locomotive engineer—a wish that was to come true for 51 minutes when as president, he took over the controls on the Alaskan railroad during the “Voyage of Understanding,” his famous transcontinental speaking and sightseeing tour. The Presidential Special, the train that carried President Harding west at the outset of his ambitious voyage and that would tragically carry his casket back east following his sudden death, just two months later, is the inspiration for our 2014 ornament.”