The John D. Lucas Printing Co. and A. Hoen & Co., two of Baltimore's oldest companies, recently have agreed to merge, creating a new holding company that will coordinate the operations of the two firms.

Under the agreement, A. Hoen will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the holding company.Mark A. Krieger Jr. will continue as president of the John D. Lucas Printing Co. as well as chief executive officer of the holding company. T. Townsend Hoen will stay on as president of A. Hoen & Co.

Last year, the two firms had combined sales of more than $14.5 million. Krieger said that his company has been looking for a company to acquire for the past two years to "complement our organization and provide additional opportunities for future security and growth."

Krieger added that the merger would give A. Hoen more financial support, and expressed the intention of pursuing a more cohesive marketing strategy.

The John D. Lucas Printing Co. was founded in Baltimore in 1830. A. Hoen was established five years later and is the oldest lighographic firm in continuous operation in United States.

Krieger said that both firms intend to remain in Baltimore City. "Mr. Hoen and I are excited about Baltimore City's future, and we hope that our organization may contribute significantly to the area's economy in the future as we have in the past," he said.

A. Hoen & Co., which currently has 56-book publishing clients, lithographed colored posters for Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show" in 1880 as well as the first official map of the Lewis and Clark Expedition for the federal government. One of the firm's recent books is "Photographs for the Tsar," a collection of color photography of Russia commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II in 1909.

Lucas' facilities include complete camera, stripping and platemaking equipment, a bindery and versatile press equipment consisting of sheet-fed two-color and four-color presses, Web press and perfector presses.

"Our two companies have been compatible for a long time," Krieger said. "During the Civil War we both printed money for the Confederate states."