Pettingell Book Bindery was founded by Luis Pettingell in 1926 in Berkeley, California, as a trade shop. It was first located on University Avenue, later relocated to Center Street, and again to its current location at 2181 Bancroft Way. Coy Johnson bought it from Luis Pettingell; Johnson’s wife in turn sold it to Theodore and Shirley Hirshberg, who came from Ohio to California in 1952. Theodore and Shirley ran it until 1994 when it was sold to Klaus Rötzscher Bookbinding, Inc., who owns it today.
Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher was born in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany in 1955. He entered an apprenticeship in 1972 with Schürer Bookbindery in Leipzig and stayed on after his graduation as a journeyman. Klaus and his family moved to Frankfurt/ Main in 1976. He worked for Weber Bookbindery until September 1978. At that time, he enrolled in the master course in book binding at the Academy of Applied Arts in Munich, Bavaria. He graduated with two master degrees in bookbinding.
In 1980 came the big move to San Francisco, California, where he was hired at Schuberth’s Bookbindery. In 1986, he opened his own business in San Francisco at 45 Sheridan Street. A growth in the business made it necessary to move to larger quarters, to 665 Third Street in San Francisco. There he trained John Demerritt, who is a master bookbinder in his own right. The business was consolidated with Pettingell Book Bindery in 1994.