Mr. Merchant has worked in the security
industry for nearly 30 years.
He was employed by the US Government for 20 years where his career
began as a quality control inspector for US Passports. He later became
the principal technical specialist in charge of design specifications
many US security documents including Passports, Non-Immigrant and
Immigrant Visas, Border Crossing Cards, Birth and Death Certificates.
He received numerous awards and
accommodations for his work in the
security document field including the Vice-Presidential Hammer Award for
the design specifications of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics ID.
His development work has brought
many innovations to the security
industry. Among these was the first use of synthetic paper Teslin used
manufacturing machine readable visas and border crossing cards. This
product later became widely used in the security industry for ID card
His manufacturing experience has
led to adaptations and patents of
several security manufacturing techniques including sewing; die cutting;
and production of latent images that have all been manufactured in
various US security documents.
He was responsible for the
requirements specifications that led to the
automation of machine readable passports for the US Government. After
completing this project in the US Government, he was sent on sabbatical
to assist Her Majesty's Stationary Office in the UK with automation of
machine readable passports.
Served as principal US technical
representative on the Technical Advisory
Group to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) in Montreal.
UN group is responsible for travel document standards for passports,
visas and ID.
Served for more than 7 years in the
commercial sector where he held
senior management positions responsible for technical design
specifications, product development and sales. Mr. Merchant has
experience in working for three multi-national security printers coming
from three different continents.
Having focused his efforts
principally in Asia for the last ten years,
Mr. Merchant has provided consultation and assisted in technical design
specifications for many projects. He has provided consultation to
numerous corporations on anti-counterfeit technology and provided
services to assist in the implementation of brand protection programs.
Tribute to Robert K. Merchant /
August 4, 1919 – February 1, 2002
In most every person's life
there is someone special, a person who helps
to shape your future and what you become in life. Often you don't
it until that person is no longer with you. It is so easy to overlook
have them in your life, but then one day they are no longer with you.
are fortunate, you have shared your feelings with them and made it known
how special they are to you. I was fortunate in this manner to have had
that very special relationship with a person in my life. He was not
person who helped to shape my future, but he was also my father and my
best friend. I would like to pay tribute here and share some of his
Robert K. Merchant or Bob as he
was known to all his friends was born
in Muncie, Indiana August 4, 1919. He grew up with his brother loving
baseball and spending much of his youth on the ball field. Late in his
teenage years, he joined the Crosley Company and became a pressman
while playing semi-professional baseball for their team in
He enlisted in the Navy during
World War II and served for two years as a
gunner on board a cruise ship before coming back to Cincinnati, Ohio
where he resumed work for the Kroger Company, married and started his
family. He was offered a job in printing by the Government and moved
the family to Washington in 1950 where he had a successful career of 30
During his career, he received
numerous awards including the Horace
Hart Award for distinguished service in the Graphic Arts Industry. He
served as President of the Washington Chapter of the National Litho
Club for 3 years and was active in the Litho Club throughout his career.
He testified before Congressional Committees on several occasions
helping to shape the direction of Government printing facilities across
United States. He retired from Government service in January of 1980
and settled in Sumter, South Carolina where he enjoyed much time with
family members and his favorite pastime, playing golf. He enjoyed 20
plus years in retirement being fortunate to have good health for those
years as he did throughout his life.
I was very privileged to not
only have a wonderful father that shaped my
future, my interests and my career, but also to have a best friend who
taught me much about life, the value of friendship and how important it
to care for others. He was always there for me in every way. Though
he has moved on to a better place and is missed tremendously, the
memories will remain with me forever and his spirit will always have
special place in my mind and heart. Dad, thank you for all you did. I
you and miss you.