Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 8)

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 8)

Gestetner was the main manufacturer of stencil duplicating supplies equipment and supplies outside of the United States. Their main competitor was Roneo. Sigmund Gestetner, the president, was a son of David Gestetner, who invented the Gestetner two drum duplicator. He with his wife, Henny, came to the United states several times. Once they came to my house at 10 Baldwin Place for dinner. When I went to the back to open the front door, they followed me through the kitchen. On one of their trips, their niece Ellen Buhler came with them. Many of the top managers of Gestetner were Sigmund’s nephews. Ralph
(Rafe) Barnett was the manager of the United States operations. His brother Jeffery also worked for the US division. The sales manager, Cummings, was the son of one of the directors of Gestetner. For awhile he lived in Tarrytown, NY.

I was sent to England in 1951 to exchange technical information. At that time there were no jets. The planes called flying boats had to stop in Newfoundland or Labrador for refueling and sometimes also in Prestwick, Scotland. I am fairly sure the London airport was Heathrow. The Gestetner factory was in the Totenham section of London. I stayed at the Green Park hotel on Piccadilly. To get to Totenham it was necessary to take the London Underground to Three Sisters and then a bus. On later visit’s, the Underground had been extended to a station close to the factory. I worked with Willy Proudfoot, Gestetner research director. At that time food was scarce. Mr.Gestetner sent me to the Savoy for a dinner.
He also took me to his farm at Bosham on the south coast of England. This was one of the first automated farms in England. The Gestetners were strong supporters of Israel.

I then flew to Paris, Orly airport, with one of Gestetner’s chemists Bob Hughes. I stayed at the Royal Monceau, near the Etoile. We went to Gestetner’s factory in MalMaison where stencils were being coated. This factory was run by either a Buhler or Barnett brother. Another Gestetner nephew, who worked in the laboratory was Weil, whose father was connected to the Weil perfume company. Bob Hughes took me one evening to a restaurant which was sort of diagonally across from the Follies Bergere. On my subsequent visits to Paris, I looked for it and was disappointed when I could not find it. When I again met Bob Hughes, he told me the owner and his wife had a fight two years after we were there and closed the restaurant. Gestetner’s niece, Ellen Buhler, met me in Paris and took me to a restaurant that served an excellent Bouillabaisse. When I brought her back to her hotel room, she tried to seduce me. When I didn’t respond somehow she knew I was in love with Kay. Ellen later married her cousin Jeffery Barnett.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Note and picture from Joe Scimeca

Joe, who worked in our lab as a tech assistant, sent in the following update and photos from his collection.      
He wrote 
Ken, I recently stumbled upon your Polychrome archive and blog. I felt a bit of happiness and melancholy viewing some of the photos you posted. My 8 year tenure at Polychrome was one of the best  environments I ever had the pleasure of working in. I learned very valuable  lessons(both life and professional) working under the direction of Gene Golda, Alan and of course yourself. I attribute much of what I learned to the blessed life I have been able to live.
 I have some work photos of the lab from the early eightys and some of a company softball game. i will be happy to scan them and forward them to you if you would like.

Thanks Joe for sharing these memories.

Joe then

Joe now

Don Reilly in the background

John Loftus

Rich Cohen


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 7)

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 7)

(For those who had witnessed automatic mounting machines on the first floor of headquarter would be interested in the history of this machine, KS)

Mr. Halpern together with Jimmy Marr, who made stencils, had worked with Louis Mestre before World War 2 to build a stencil duplicator which they named “Style”. When I joined Polychrome this was past history. Louis Mestre was born in Cuba and smoked several cigars a day. He was a designer-inventor of office related machinery. He did work for Diebold Safe. He built the night depository for banks. He designed and made two stencil mounting machines. These machines included a station for mounting the backing sheet rolls, a station for mounting the rolls of coated stencils (I believe a third unwind station may have been available). The backing sheet passed over a roll where it were a light mineral oil was applied. A thumbhole was punched in the bottom of the backing sheet and the sheet was perforated to form the stub. A line of glue was applied to the stub and then the stencil was attached and the assembly cut to the correct width. And dropped on conveyor rolls. After a short distance, the assembled stencil was pushed at a right angle and fed through a multigraph with a rubber printing plate which printed the stub and a second one which printed the scale. They then dropped in a stacker, which the operator rolled away and replaced when filled. Louis Mestre also built a machine to attach the pliofilm sheet to the stencil. Ray Lauzon worked at Louis Mestre’s shop for several months getting this machine operational and later it was installed on an upper floor in the school building on Hawthorn Ave. When the stencil finishing operation was moved to Alexander Street, we bought a mounting machine from the Vertex Co. of Montvale New Jersey who had been making carbon paper collating machines. This machine did all the operations in line and had stations for mounting the playful either by gluing on the stub or gluing the pliofilm to a separate parchment tab which was folded over the stencil after the scale had been printed. A register mark was printed with the scale and an electric eye controlled the cut off blade to insure accurate alignment of the scale and heading.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Farewell Dr. Delos Bown

I am very sorry to report Dr. Delos Bown passed away this past March.    Here is the obituary found in the Desert News. March 10, 2016
He was my earliest boss at Polychrome.      He was the roll-up-his-sleeve and show how things should be done kind of leader.        The obituary did not mention the fact that he has served as the distinguished Research Director of Polychrome Corporation.    I am sure that because of his usual modesty he did not tell his accomplishments even within his closest circle.       As I mentioned elsewhere, he may be remembered by some as the creator of the PC-11 desktop processor which he built in his garage in his White Plains house.         
He is greatly missed by all those who worked under and with him throughout the company wherever he worked, R&D, Technical Service, China Partner liaison, etc.

Delos Edward Bown Obituary
1923 ~ 2016
Delos Edward Bown passed away on March 2, 2016. He was born May 21, 1923 in Provo, Utah to William Bown and Hattie Andersen. He married Margaret Hales on December 27, 1949 in the Salt Lake Temple. They have four children: Stephen, Isabel, David, and Ann and nineteen grandchildren.
During World War II Delos enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served in England as a navigator-bombardier flying in a B-17. After the war he returned to Provo where he studied chemistry at Brigham Young University. After earning a bachelor's and master's degree at BYU, Delos continued his education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated from MIT with a PhD in organic chemistry. During his professional career Delos worked for Exxon in Texas and later for Polychrome Corporation in New York as a research chemist.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Delos loved Scouting. As a boy he was a Sea Scout and as an adult he served many years as a Scoutmaster. His hobbies included woodworking, tending his rose garden, fishing, skiing well into his 70's, playing cards and reading. Delos was also an expert handyman; he could fix anything.
Delos was preceded in death by his wife Margaret and his eight brothers and three sisters.
A graveside service will be held at the Provo City Cemetery on Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers please donate to Honor Flight, Inc. a non-profit organization that honors American Veterans by providing transportation to Washington, D.C. to visit their war and service memorials or a charity of your choice .
Published in Deseret News on Mar. 10, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 6)

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 6)

With increase in stencil sales, there was not enough room in the building at 2 Ashburton Ave. to finish the stencils. The bottom floor of a former school building at the corner of Hawthorn and Prospect was rented and the finishing operations moved there. From there the stencil finishing was moved into the 12,000 sq. ft. building we had erected on the Ashburton lot. In June 1961, this operation was moved to a building on Saw Mill River Road. After we erected a building on Alexander Street diagonally across from 2 Ashburton, the stencil finishing operations were moved there. At the height of the stencil duplicating usage, we had four coating machine, which coated double width rolls of tissue 24 hours a day for five days. These rolls were put on racks and transported to the finishing area where they were sheeted or split and rewound.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 5)

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 5)

Mr. Halpern obtained two major customers, who manufactured stencil duplicators. The first was Speed-O-Print. Speed-O-Print made a regular size and a small note size hand -operated Stencil Duplicator. Speed-O-Print had been mounting their stencils. Mr. Halpern sold Abe Samuels, the owner of Speed-O-Print, that Polychrome should do this. At the time Speed-O-Print was moving to a building at 1801 W Larchmont, Chicago, IL, which they purchased from Bell and Howell. Polychrome bought the equipment and stock. One
of Speed-O-Print’s employee who printed the scale on the stencil using a 11 by 19 Multilith which was converted to print from the blanket cylinder joined Polychrome.

Abe Samuels was a big time gambler. He had owned 15 percent of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Los Vegas. He took us to dinner at Gibys a restaurant in the loop on the Chicago River. He ate little but placed bets. He gave college football players summer jobs.

Mr. Halpern had met Sigmund Gestetner. Gestetner was the largest seller of Stencil Duplicating machines outside of the United States. Gestetner had made an agreement with A B Dick in the early 1930’s whereby Gestetner would not sell in the United States and Dick would not sell in Europe. When this agreement expired, Gestetner arranged to work with Polychrome to supply them with Gestetner labeled stencils for the United States market. They rented space in one of the Alexander Carpet Shop Buildings on Nepperhan Ave. Later Gestetner erected a building on part of the property which the Boyce Thomas Institute sold, when they moved their research to upstate New York in conjunction with Cornell University.

Monday, May 23, 2016

stencil manufacturing 4

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 4)

I (Mr. Gumbinner) invented and patented a stencil with a yellow top coat and a heavier black coat on the underside. These stencils were sold to Weber Addressing and Sten-C-Label who made a small device to mark shipping cartons. They mounted the stencils to a backing sheet, which when the address was typed could be kept in the office and the stencil be sent to the shipping department to mark the packages. This reduced the possibility of shipping errors as well as saving the time of making a Marsh stencil. We used Marsh stencils to mark our shipping cartons. In the 1940s, much of Polychromes production was for the armed forces. An inspector would check the shipments before it was released. They always accepted our test results. When a new inspector came, he would make us remark the cartons. The inspectors weren’t consistent.
We were not patent conscious in the forties, so we did not patent several other of my stencil inventions. Two other products that we produced on the stencil coating machine were a clear stencilizing coating on a heavy tissue for strain gauges. This was for a company in Eddystone, Pennsylvania and a heat sensitive paper which was used in cardiograph machines and similar marking applications. The black tracing was made by a heated sapphire stylus.