Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Florida party to say goodbye to Polychrome

Polychrome's joint venture was a big event for the company.      The fact that Kodak and Polychrome arranged 50:50 partnership indicated our strength in our standing and we should be proud of the outcome.           In the detail of the joint venture, however, there were many personal hardship through "streamlining" (reduction in personnel and plant/office shut down),      
Al Wierling sent in  his experience at that time.

Here is my perspective and some pics of the last days of Polychome in Florida.     I realize that others may have seen these events differently, but this is how I saw the demise of Polychrome as a stand alone company.

In January of 1998, we became officially Kodak Polychrome Graphics.       In February of the year, we had our first joint meeting with our new Kodak partners at the downtown Atlanta Marriott Hotel.    As I recall the attendees included sales, tech support and product managers from the Southeastern region.     We were scheduled for two days of presentation about the new company and our array of products.    Surprisingly to me, the first day and a half were all about Kodak with nary a mention of Polychrome.      On the second afternoon the Polychrome part started and was even cut short due to attendees flight times.    All the presenters were staking out their claim for a job and their product in the new company.     During the meetings there were bickerings about who would sell what products and the role of Pitman, the favored Kodak dealer.     Very disappointed, I left feeling like I would be now working for "KODAK Polychrome" Graphics.

Shortly after that we were advised that KPG would be evaluating all positions and would likely make some layoffs.    We had three sales positions in South Florida and curiously all three of us were each invited to a private lunch with Pete Stephens, the local Pitman manager.

Back in Tampa, Dick Hall, himself a former Kodak employee was lamenting the demise of Polychrome, so he decided to hold a goodbye Polychrome party in Tampa in May 1998 and invited only the Polychrome employees.     Dick was very proud of the success we had in Florida and had a cake decorated saying "to the best damn team a Kodak Polychrome will ever have.  Their Loss!!"

Two weeks after the party, the layoffs came down, with most from the Polychrome side.    I was laid off with a generous termination package and KPG  had arranged a job for me at Pitman.    After two weeks of consideration I said no and found employment elesewhere.

Dick Hall at his best

Al + Pat Wierling

Balfe Bradley + Wife

Wyatt Gordon + wife

John Sturgis + friend

Jim Hewitt + ???


Sandy Humphlies + ?+ Barbara Homer

Mrs Ferraiuolo, Wierling, Hall

Saturday, October 3, 2015

another Clark photo

Since I found only a few photos from my Clark days, even this single copy of instant Polaroid photo is quite valuable as a rare memorabilia.     This appears to be from one of the many parties, perhaps from the year end Christmas party.       I can only point out Marv Lieberman, Phil Yamin, Enrique Levy among the people at this table.      My face-name recognition ability has deteriorated by the years passed.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

DIC personnel in Polychrome 1984

After the take over of Polychrome as in case of other companies they acquired, DIC sent in teams of technical personnel to Polychrome for technical exchange.        Many stayed for a few weeks to a few month and some stayed a few years actually working in our lab.       On their return, they became key technical management personnel there.      Polychrome apparently served as an excellent on the job management school for DIC personnel.

Simon Chu,  me, Mr. Konishi, Mr. Suwa, Gene Golda

Gene, Mr. Yao, Simon, me and Mr. Konishi

Friday, September 18, 2015

1994 DIC World Wide Technical Forum

DIC organized a technical forum ... a poster session at the Kawamura Institute inviting all the group companies to participate.        Dan Carlick of Sun Chemical earlier organized successful world wide ink technology meetings aiding technical information flow among the group company.       So this world wide DIC technical forum was said to be the DIC's response.        I believe it lasted about 3 years and died quietly while John Rooney continued ink tech meetings.      Perhaps the focused meeting was more effective than the general forum as DIC's business coverage was quite wide from basic resin to graphic arts to health supplement.          In 1994 there were groups of DIC personnel in Polychrome R&D.    This was a good forum for them to highlight their work at a very visible internal meeting.      

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mr. Stencil, Fred Pollak recognized

To me Fred was the Mr. Stencil when I first met him in Yonkers in the stencil coating department which was in the first floor of the old Ashburton main building.             Since the R&D department was on the 2nd floor I used to bump into him.     Our weekly cleaned  lab coats were in the 2nd floor and he used to come up to get his from our supply.        It was easy to see which one was  his as his was always soiled with various colored stencil coating solution but it showed his hard work behind his smiling eyes.      He must have been one of the earliest Polychrome employee as I learned from him the story of early days of stencil making by dipping tissue paper into coating solution.        When Mr. Gumbiner took me to England to visit our biggest stencil business partner Gestetner, Fred was the one to give me basics of stencil paper master making.

I believe  this photo was at his retirement.   With Mr. Gumbiner and Archie Anderson who took over the duty of overseeing stencil production.       The lady behind is Virginia Bradley, librarian turned into coating engineer who joined us around 1974 so dating of this should be around that time.

Just as the above was to be uploaded I received a mail from Fred's grandson Mark saying he came across one of the Christmas photo Fred Gumbiner contributed a few month ago in which he found his grandfather.      He also mentioned Fred had a patent granted while working for Polychrome.    I was able to dig up his patent, the United State Patent No. 3681112 titled Thermographic Stencil Sheet; you can view/download actual patent from the patent office HERE.          So this picture could be for the recognition of his getting this particular patent in 1972.        This may explain why Virginia then librarian was there as she was the keeper of patent files and other documents.      Fred's name is missing from Polychrome directory in 1979.      As I recall he was still around several years after we moved to new headquarter building on Alexander Street around 1972 so his retirement could have been in 1978.         Judging from Mark's note Fred passed away in early 80.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tampa office Christmas party 1997

Here is another valuable contribution from Al Wierling, he writes;

These are some pictures I found from a Christmas party for Polychrome employees of the Tampa office in 1997.    At that time the Miami and Tampa branches had merged and for some reason the Charlotte NC branch was also blended into the branch.    Richard(Dick) Hall was the manager and I was a salesman based in Miami.    I always found Dick to be great manager to work for, very supportive of his staff and a big proponent of entertaining customers.

In December 1997 we had a combined party for all involved and also invited the staff of our new dealer, berkshire Westwood which had and office in Tampa and salesman in South Florida.     Bernie Goldman, long time Polychrome salesman who had retired was also invited.     As I recall the party was held in the clubhouse of the golf club Dick belonged to in Clearwater..      Not sure of all the names, but perhaps some of your blogspot visitors can let us know.

We all had a good time and of course none of us knew that this would be the last Polychrome Christmas party.

Thanks Al for a glimpse  of Polychrome past which we would not have otherwise seen.     Nice to see old familiar faces and names.

Al and Pat Wireling

John and Vicky Ferraiuolo

 Berkshire Westwood staff

John Jordan, Everett Ammons and Bernie Goldman (deceesed)

Ferraivolos and NC salesmenand wife

Roger Riera and his wife, Berkshire Westwood

Barbara Homer, Jim Hewitt and his daughter

Richard Hall and his wife

Everett Ammons and his wife

John Jordan and his wife

Wyatt Gordon and his wife

??? (please help identify these young ladies1)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Osterode 1975

Osterode was one time a border town only a few miles from the east-west border.      One of the reason Polychrome set up a factory there was said to be the  tax incentive from German government to encourage business to be near such somewhat "undesirable" location.       When we first visited Osterode plant, the biggest attraction after work was to be taken to the fence dividing east-west and watch the East German guard watching us.          The town was not highly industrialized, then only one Panasonic factory and another small specialty factory were there.   (But two Chinese restaurants!)
This photo was from 1975 when the management organized soccer game between Osterode team and Berwick team.         The time was still "good old days" unlike the modern profit oriented businesslike era.  

Typical houses in Osterode and elsewhere in Germany    

te Brommelstrot chatting and Evangelos Karanastasis watching