History tells us that screen printing methods were used over a 1000 years ago. The year was around 960 AD. These methods were used in China under the Song Dynasty which were very advanced. They used paper money and also had a Navy.
Screen Printing was broadly introduced to Western Europe in the 1800's but wasn't popular until more tools, such as the silkscreen mesh were more available and the process became more profitable.
Screen Printing was largely used in the USA in the 1960's around the civil rights era. Lots of demonstrators such as the anti-war and women's rights supporters found that screenprinting could produce shirts a lot faster than trying to manually paint each shirt, poster and other medias that were used.
In 2014 there are a lot of successful companies that focus on screen printing. One of the companies is Ryonet. Ryonet is one of the more popular companies that sells screen printing presses and supplies that are used today.