Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Annual Report listing

Here is the list of Polychrome Annual Reports you can find in this blog.   We can trace the growth of the company year by year through the pages of the annual reports.       My first copy of the Annual Report was from 1966.      There must have been several years' worth annual reports prior to this date since the company was listed on the American Stock Exchange.           Since the acquisition of the company by DIC in 1979, there were no requirements for publishing stand alone annual reports but the management kept publishing ones reportedly to be ready for an eventual re-listing on the stock market, which never happened and the publication stopped in 1987.      
The blue underlined year is linked to the corresponding blog page and you can access entire annual reports in PDF format.        Those not underlined are missing from this blog and if anyone can contribute a copy I would be much obliged.     (After writing this I found there are at least two libraries, Stanford University Library and Western University "Bud" Library have copies or in microfilm form.    I hope to get to them one of these days to get them scanned for uploading)


Saturday, February 6, 2016

More 1991 pictures from Al Wierling

Al Wierling of Florida continues to dig into his file and sent in valuable old pics.
These pics are from 1991 seminar organized in Ft Lauderdale for operations staff by Ralph Gigi and a very nice woman speaker who's name escapes Al.   (Ralph was a long time R&D member started as an analytical chemist and moved on to regulatory compliance manager position.     He would have easily recalled the speaker but unfortunately he passed away few years ago.)
Al believes the meeting was for implementation of new OSHA regs.       Also pictured are some of our branch staff.         THANKS! Al!

Ralph Gigi

Steve Rothenberg, office manager

Bonnie Gallagher, order desk and Nick Cristancho, sales

Ron Mangis, sales

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mr. Robert Gumbiner now 96, the architect of Polychrome Engineering

Mr. Guminner beams broadly in these pictures from his 95 years old birthday party held last year.      Although he now lives in an assisted living housing, his mind is still as sharp as he was during his Polychrome days.        Although he was my first contact at Polychrome, the one who offered me the job and met me and my wife at the JFK airport on Oct 25, 1965 with Mr. Halpern, I do not know much about his background.          He was one of the very early employees of Mr. Haplern but he kept his background rather vague to all of us perhaps because of his involvement with the Manhattan Project during the WWII on which he will not talk about long after the war perhaps still honoring the secrecy agreement he had .        One can only surmise that he was a brilliant engineer to be tapped for the job.         Walking around Yonkers plant one could see his fingerprint all over the production lines .         All automated one-of-a-kind stencil packaging line must have been his brainchild.       He was probably a one man engineering dept. for a long time during the formative Polychrome years and must have contributed a great deal starting from a scratch (batch process0 to completely automated line both in stencil and plate line (D line and on).            He was my boss for a long time and I was always amazed how quickly he reads my report which I labored to write.          He was a dedicated lieutenant for Mr. Halpern and he too resigned when Mr. Halpern resigned from his post and joined his new company called Universal High Technology.           He retired in Virginia and enjoys the company of his son Fred and his niece AnnJ.

With Fred

with AnnJ  and Fred

Friday, January 1, 2016

March 1991 Plate Training Session

Another contribution from Al Wierling... Thanks  Al

This was a plate training session in Ft Lauderdale which was conducted in two sessions.      I think this may have been an introduction to the Columbus made plates.     Not sure of the names of all the attendees but they came from Miami, Tampa, Charlotte and Atlanta branches.   In the first session, the trainers were Mike Yatsko and Mark Osier.   Second session trainers were Don Reilly and Sal Lombardo.

The office at Ft. Lauderdale was new at that time and was using the PC type logo which was later replaced by the newer version which was polychrome with the red underline.

Mike Yatsko,Mark Osier, Ed Fran , Al Wierling, Mike Moya, Jim Fidanza, Bert Luis

Ray Schotler, Sal Lombardo
Jack Caufield, Don Reilly, Chuck Bingham
Robert Hollis, John Ferraiuolo

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dr. Bown eipsode

Nick Godano who used to work in our lab sent in his recollection of Dr. Bown.      Thank you Nick!

Reading about Dr. Bown reminded me of another story about him.  If you recall, we had a number of wet toner copying machines in our lab--for testing the paper masters you were developing, with John Rahimi as your tech.  There was one tabletop copier on the end of the bench near Tony Calamia's desk that was notorious for eating originals.  I guess copy machine technology was not what it is today.  I was alone in the lab one day when Dr. Bown came in, wanting to use one of our copiers to copy some of his hand-written, original notes.  He went directly to that copier; and, before I could warn him, fed it his original work.  In this case, "fed" is the right word, because the sounds that came from that machine left no doubt that it was enjoying the meal.  

Poor Dr. Bown's face paled and his jaw dropped; but not a single bad word was uttered.


As you recall Dr. Bown was a devoted Mormon and as such he lived a clean life, no alcohol, no tobacco, no bad word.  So this episode vividly portray his way of living.

Yes the modern copiers , even the lowest cost ones, are made so that the original never goes inside the machine.   There must have been people, unlike Dr. Bown, who voiced their frustration louder in a colorful languages! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dr. Delos Bown

Dr. Bown joined Polychrome in 1966 and became the head of R&D, he soon showed his leadership by examples of hard working.         It was just the time our partner Fuji developed positive sensitizer which was outside of then strong Kalle patent.        He had worked day and night and on many occasions over the weekend to get the required sensitizer synthesized in his lab.      Some of the plates  made in our Yonkers and Osterode production line actually used sensitizer handmade by him within the lab.    (This tradition actually continued later in our lab.     When we needed new resin for the thermal plate developed by My Nguyen, it was S. Saraya and his assistants who made it within the lab and later by Mr. Hayakawa in Gunma to do the similar practical speedy new product development process.)  
I did not have synthetic background so I could not offer him any help then but I was able to make contribution in the use of sensitizer in actual plate making and in the evaluation so I often worked side by side late in the night or over the weekend.       One anecdote I told numbers of times later on was that I developed lash from being exposed to this environment (probably from some special solvent he used.)        When I asked him what to do, he said that I should have a drink and go to sleep.      I obliged and had a few bottle of beer and the lash went away.         However, I learned subsequently that he was a Mormon and when he said a drink he meant milk not alcohol!
His work started in the corner of Yonkers production plant actually mushroomed to a very substantial business in Europe and then worldwide for a multibillion dollar business.      On his retirement party (from the lab and to move to the plate marketing) I commented that by then his contribution was over  a billion dollars in sales.      By now it must have grown to tens of billions of dollars.
Some may remember him as the inventor of a unique upright small plate processor called PC-11.     Small duplicator size plates were generally processed by hand then and was not well controlled.    When he moved to head plate marketing, he quickly saw the need for an inexpensive, maintenance-free processor with small foot print.        He solved the problem and produced a vertical dip tank type processor in his garage at home as we had no way of prototype building within our lab.         An exposed plate was simply dropped in a small vertical tray and a pair of rollers simply squeezed the plate dry as it comes out of the tank.       There was no need for a  complicated replenishment of developer solution, only a minimum moving parts and this brilliantly conceived plate processor made an important impact in our  small size plate market.
Although he held PhD from MIT, he was never a chemist just to give instructions to his assistants.  As this episode highlights, he liked to get his hands dirty so to speak and get the results quickly.
After his real retirement, Simon drafted him to help China project and he impressed Chinese friends with his very high work ethics and hard work.         With his Boy Scout Master background he did not mind traveling and staying where accommodation then was not yet up to American standard.   Some of his American engineer assistants complained about the condition but he apparently told him it is just like a Boy Scout outing so do not complain!
His actual retirement was in his native Utah where he enjoyed skiing.      Unfortunately, when I spoke to him a few years ago he said he became blind  and he never picked up his phone afterwards again. 

Dr. Delos Bown

My wife, Dr. Bown and Mrs. Bown

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Florida Branch Party Dec. 1996

Here is another contribution from Al Wierling

This picture is from our Florida Branch party in December 1996.       That year, our manager Dick Hall promised to take all staff and spouses to Key West for a weekend if we hit our sales goals for the year.      We easily surpassed that goal, and true to his word we all spent a lovely weekend in Key West in December  1996.     The picture shows all of us before a dinner on the waterfront in our new Polychrome knit shirts with Polychrome Florida Team embroidered on the front.      In the forefront is Mike Popper who was our regional manager at the time, with Dick Hall being at the very top of the picture.