Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Additional memo from Mr. Gumbinner 14 3M

  One of our users in Ohio, our dealer in Texas, and our Chicago office were sued by 3M for infringing their Jewitt and Case patent.  We then set up Polychrome offices to sell direct to the printer in many cities.  3M won the Texas and later the Chicago case.  The judge had 3M write the findings but when they put in silicate and others, he throw out the others.  We had put the Polychrome lab on finding a substitute for silicate.  We tried a number of organic compounds without success.  We had hired a chemist (Cohen) and Ibert  Mellan, who had written several books about solvents.  He and I found that potassium zirconium fluoride could be used instead of silicate. And started to make plates using this.  We patented this not only in the US and Japan but other countries. 

3 M sued our Chicago office  for patent infringement.  They claimed that the interlayer was actually silicate.  The Chicago judge approved Professor Linford as the master.  We made and 3M made plates using very small amounts of sodium silicate and using potassium zirconium fluoride. The zirconium treated plates performed better. Professor Linford never informed us of his findings.  Before He could the United States found 3M guilty of being a monopoly. Later we appointed Professor Linford as the Polychrome director of research.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Additional memo from Mr. Gumbinner 13 smooth plates

 In order to make so called smooth plates we installed a caustic etch tank rinse and de smut and rinse tank over the graining section.  At some point Brushes were added to brush the bottom side of the plates.  The aluminum from either the brush or chemically etch section was passed around a copper clad roller to make electrical contact, we later put carbon brush contractors on the aluminum.  Since aluminum does not plate we were able to place aluminum bars above and below the aluminum sheet from the roll.    This was followed by the interlayer solution and then the light sensitive diazo coating. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Presidents listing

There were eight presidents who served Polychrome during the 54 years of activity.     .    Here is the listing of the blog pages describing them.

Mr. Gregory Halpern    There are numerous references about the founder in this blog, HERE is one.
Mr. Wesley Hennessey  HERE
Mr. Enrique Levy         HERE
Mr. Joseph Piot           HERE
Mr. Donald Wheeler      HERE
Mr. Mel Ettinger          HERE
Mr. Thomas Bittner     HERE
Mr. Robert Hallman     HERE

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mr. Halpern


Mr. Gregory Halpern was born in Gdansk, Poland and immigrated to US before the WW 2.       His major source of education was, like his very prominent contemporary Dr. Edwin Land of Polaroid, the New York Public Library.         While Dr. Land was an inventor Mr. Halpern was a marketeer.        I know his first venture was to sell inks for stencil process which he started with $500 borrowed from his wife Freda who was working for a telephone company at that time.  (perhaps $50,000 worth at today's value?).

Although the Polychrome History 1935-1988 HERE (one of the most read post of this blog) does not mention it, the company grew through timely acquisitions such as Chromatone (offset ink manufacture ) and Speidel (diazo paper coating) and others.         As Mr. Bob Gumbinner's memoir points out, Mr. Halpern often seemed to have acted on his hunch and intuition rather than thorough business analysis popular in business schools nowadays.       

He has often overridden objections from his lieutenants to make his business decisions which  caused considerable pain in business but as the history shows his decision turned out to be important for the company's success.       (Although I was not there, formation of German company was mostly out of his vision and poured million of dollars as well as manpower to make it successful.     Film venture is another example.     Hardly anyone was in agreement in getting into the business.       He railroaded through objections as well as pouring millions into the venture.        I am quite sure that the film business was a very important part of later joint venture with Kodak.         If there were no film part of business which brought immediate savings to the joint venture, Polychrome may have seen the same fate as once mighty 3M who quietly sold its plate business to the joint venture later on.)

Although Mr. Halpern lost control of Polychrome he may have a satisfaction of knowing that  Kodak came out of bankruptcy focusing on the business around the graphic arts business Polychrome brought into the joint venture.




Friday, November 10, 2017

Additional memo from Mr. Gumbinner 12 Anodized plate


I brought some chemically etched sheets to a company in Mount Vernon that did anodizing.  After they were anodized we put them through the silicate and coated them with the diazo.  They produced many more copies than the plates that were not anodized.  Therefore when Century Engineering built the next six brush line to process rolls of aluminum  after the brushing section we installed two deep tanks which had lead pipe lining connected to an anodizer cabinet.  There were 4 foot rubber covered rolls in each tank and a copper clad roll to complete the circuit.  While this worked well, there was considerable leakage of the sulfuric acid solution so we could only use the bottom half of the tanks.  About a year later we had Century Engineering build a third line. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

At the annual Polychrome lunch 10/30/2017 


As in past years, Manny Roth of Chicago has organized another Polychrome lunch this year.
Here is the group photos of young looking Polychromers.
Thanks Manny 




From left, Manny Roth, Joe Piel, John Raglione, Jim Fidanza, Fred Marocchi Dominick Cotrano and John Williams.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Additional memo from Mr. Gumbinner 11 Polychrome stock and the first graining machine

Before this Mr.  Mr. Halpern sold me and my wife Kay  some shares of Polychrome stock for three dollars a share.  We needed more space.  To raise money we made a public offering of twenty five percent of the Polychrome stock. It was sold by a brokerage firm in Ohio.  I believe it was Hayden-Stone.  The price was either 7 or 9 dollars a share.  We hired Joe Roth who had designed a building around the corner to be the architect for a new building on the lot.  Mr, Halpern through one of his wife brothers who made purses connected him with Century Engineering which was owned by Ed Harris and made brushing machines to polish the back of the mirrors used in the purses.  .  He built first a one brush machine to experiment with.  He then built a six brush machine in which an aluminum plate was carried by a belt under the brushes.  After which rollers carried the plate through a series of tanks and the solution and rinses were sprayed on. Then the plate went through a squeeze roll coater and infra-red bulb drier.  Unfortunetly we could not process the 4 and 6 inch thick plates.  Even with hold down rollers the ends would curl up’