Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Offset plate (part 1)

Offset plate (part 1)

Paper Offset Plates:

Mr. Halpern even in the late 1940’s realized that offset would take over the stencil market. He hired Bob Teichner, who had worked for Remington Rand, the typewriter company that had made stencils and paper offset plates. He brought the Remington Rand stencil formula which was based on cellulose acetate, not nitrocellulose. We set up a pilot coater to evaluate it. They were not as good as ours. He gave us a formula for stencil duplicating inks base on derivatives of castor oil made by Hercules, which we manufactured.

He also had a formula for paper offset plates. Addressograph-Multigraph had patented casein coated direct image offset plates. The plate Bob Teichner developed was based on starch carbonate. We installed two coating machines with gas heated drying tunnels, which were built by Pot Devin in the space where the stencil finishing operation had been. The first tunnel was used for applying a ureaformaldehyde base coat on paper bought from Crocker Burbank, a paper mill in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, which I visited several times. The second coater applied the pigmented starch carbonate coating. The time between the two coats was critical. It had to be between two and seven days for the urea formaldehyde resin to cure, but before it became hydrophobic. We started to sell the direct image offset plates in 1950. Our largest customer for these plates was a company in Massachusetts that printed telephone directories. They set type in a proof press and printed it on our plates, which were then run on an offset press.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Opticopy System

Good folks at Heidelberg saved some of the videos from Opticopy.      Opticopy was acquired during 1980's and formed the basis of Polychrome system division.    

Opticopy made its name in providing sturdy film to film step and repeat exposure machine.    This video shows it in action.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A note from Ricardo

Hi Ken,

Was reading your blog on Polychrome and it brings lots of memories.

I started with Polychrome as an Office Manager in 1972 in Miami.  Went into sales
on June 1976. That year that only had six months, I ended up number one in equipment sales in the country and again in 1977  For those efforts, the late Larry Golusinski  took me out to dinner with the rest of the sales force at that branch.  In 1979 I became Polychrome Top Salesman in the USA, beating Bert Burros of Short Hills, New Jersey becoming a member of the Millionaire's Club in only my third year in sales with the company.

This time I was invited to dinner together with my wife by Mr. Enrique Levy, who was
running Polychrome at the time.

During my time with Polychrome, I've met many great people for whom I have very good
memories like Mr. Gregory Halpern, Mr.James Graves, Mr. George Dakos, Mr. Bill Young, 
Mr. Victor Tkachenko, Mr. Nick Izzi and others, who were so much part of success.

Polychrome was a great company to work for, until changes were made and Mr. Halpern
was no longer involved

Left Polychrome in 1980 to establish the Pitman Company Miami Branch, where I work
for 5 years as their active branch manager.
I'm still very active in the business, where I preside over my company with my son and we
are representing first line products for the industry.

Best regards
Ricardo 'Rick' Dieguez - President
Grafix World LLC
Manufacturer Representatives
and Printing Consultants

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Promotional playing card 1960 vintage

Apparently the company distributed these cards at one of the trade shows.     See the old Polychrome logo and a few promotional extra cards.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 9)

Stencil Manufacturing ( part 9)

In the 1970s, the demand for stencils decreased. People used the plain paper electrostatic copiers and metal offset plates for making copies. We stopped coating stencils about 1978. For a short time we mounted stencils for Gestetner using rolls of coated stencils sent to us from their Tottenham Plant There were many complaints since they were not as good as the Polychrome coated stencils. Gestetner bought our stencil mounting equipment and sent it to the Marr factory in Middletown Connecticut. I went there several times to set up the equipment and teach their personnel how to operate it.

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