Monday, August 14, 2017

Additinal memo from Mr. Gumbinner 4 Stencil sales

Most of the stencils were for the army.  The  inspectors  were  more interested in how the shipping cartons were marked than to test the stencil to determine whether they met the government standards.  Polychrome had an agent , Tom Wallace in Washington, D.C. who helped us get  the government business.  When I went to visit him,  he took me to the Bureau of engraving where the currency was printed and the Smithsonian.  The first building Polychrome erected was a small one to be the maintenance shop.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Additinal memo from Mr. Gumbinner 3 Stencil coatibng

The stencil coating solution was made by Fred Generlette in the first shed.  He also ran the roller mill in the brick building that was used to grind pigments and make duplicating ink.  Originally we bought nitrocellulose used motion picture film from Cellofilm.  We kept the film rolls in a pit in the yard.  Once it went on fire.  We then bought the nitrocellulose dissolved in ethyl acetate.  When the movies went to safety film.  Cellofilm bought solvent grade nitrocellulose from Hercules and Dupont.  Both Hercules and later Dupont stopped producing nitrocellulose.  Stan Eysman made an arrangement with a French company to be the sole importer of solvent grade nitrocellulose.  Stan Eysman lived in Scotch Plains, NJ.  His wife’s uncle was Julius Boros, one of the top professional tennis players.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Additinal memo from Mr. Gumbinner 2 Building at the corner of Alexander and Ashburton

Mr. Halpern bought a lot and building at the corner of Ashburton Avenue and Alexander streets  from an oil company.  The main building was a story and a half.  In the top half there was an office for Mr. Halpern , one for the sales department  Elmer Crabbs was the sales for the purchasing agent who was Kay Moutal, who I married, and a laboratory.  There was a brick building and three sheds.  In charge of the coating and solution making was Fred Pollack., who had made stencils in Austria. His brother in law was Ernest Brunner who supplied Polychrome with the backing sheet on which the stencil was mounted.  When I arrived they stared to make the stencils from a roll of tissue. Before that Polychrome used Yoshino tissue from Japanese mulberry trees, which was only available as sheets.  The Dexter paper company in Windsor Locks, Conn. Made a tissue from long fiber hemp that was suitable for stencils.  They used an uphill Fourdrinier  to do this.  Their main business was cigarette paper. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Additinal memo from Mr. Gumbinner 1 Mr. Gumbinner joins Polychrome

Additional memo  received from Mr. Bob Gumbinner on Dec 15, 2016

This is what I remember about Polychrome.. I may make additions or corrections in the future.

  After a few weeks an employment agency sent me to Polychrome Corporation that was located at the corner of Alexandra and Ashburton.  I was interviewed by Gregory Halpern and hired.  At that time they were coating tissue to be used as a duplicating (mimeograph) stencil.  The lot and building were bought from an oil company. There was a story and half main building.  A brick building which we designated as the ink house and a row of sheds.  Mr. Halpern had started Polychrome in lower Manhattan. First to rework excess printing ink.  He with Jimmy Marr, who coated duplicating stencils in Connecticut and Louis Mestre, a Cuban who had invented the night deposit box for banks made a mimeograph duplicator called the style.  When I arrived at Polychrome this had been discontinued .  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Numbers of companies interested in acquiring Polychrome 5

Numbers of companies interested in acquiring Polychrome 5 .      By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

Mr. Halpern met with Mr. Kawamura the president of Dainippon. Dainippon agreed to put ten million dollars of additional capital into the Polychrome operation. They did not expect Mr. Halpern to tender his stock. However he did so and resigned as CEO in 1980. Before resigning he forced Bernard Gold out of the company. We had a meeting at Mr. Halpern’s house to decide who should be the president of Polychrome.  He selected Henry Levy to be the president of Polychrome        Later Dainippon Ink and Chemicals made Joe Piot a friend of Mr. Kawamura the president of Polychrome.

After Mr. Halpern tendered his stock to Dainippon, the Polychrome board declared a reverse split of one share of stock for each share of Polychrome common stock to obtain 100% of the Polychrome shares.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Numbers of companies interested in acquiring Polychrome 4

Numbers of companies interested in acquiring Polychrome 4 .    By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In 1979, Rhodia  appointed Tony Perone as a director of Polychrome. Mr. Perone wanted Mr. Halpern to resign. They bought the Polychrome stock that the Englehard group owned. Then they made a tender offer to buy at $18 a share to buy a majority of the Polychrome stock. Mr. Halpern had had an understanding with Mr. Koyashi to merge Polychrome with Fuji Film. Unfortunately, Mr. Kobyashi had died by this time and Mr. Onishi was the president of Fuji. Mr. Onishi had been in charge of the Fuji United States operations. Although Jim Graves and Bernard Gold had cultivated Mr. Onishi, Mr. Halpern had ignored him. Mr. Halpern then turned to Dainippon Ink and Chemicals. They entered in a bidding war with Rhone Poulenc for the Polychrome stock. They finally offered $27 a share and bought the Rhodia shares and made a tender offer for the rest. During this period Mr. Picard supported Mr. Halpern rather than the Rhodia offer. Mr. Piani was neutral.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Joe Bonime collection at the BYU

Mr. and Mrs Halpern had a very nice Steinway grand piano in their Tarrytown, NY living room and they said it used to belong to their friend Mischa (Elman! the famous violinist). Recently, after seeing this blog, Dr. Rika Asai of Utah State University Music Department contacted me regarding the Josef Bonime Collection of Radio Music at Brigham Young University. It turns out Mrs. Halpern was a younger sister of Mr. Josef Bonime who spent about 10 years with Mischa Elman as his piano accompanist for Elman’s concert tour before he joined a prominent advertising agency McCann-Erickson where he composed, directed, played, and organized radio programs including "Edison Hour,” “Let's Dance" and many others. The radio music collection was donated to BYU by Polychrome where he joined after his retirement as the special assistant to the president. Apparently, Dr. Delos Bown who once taught at BYU was the bridge between Polychrome and the college. According to Dr. Asai's research the collection was almost forgotten and some of the documents were misplaced or disappeared. As the radio era progressed, early programs sponsored by only one single sponsor was gradually replaced by multi-sponsor or spot commercial format and then the radio program itself was taken over by the progress of television. Dr. Asai's 500+ page dissertation points out the  back stage activities of now almost forgotten era when Josef used segments of music composed for various "mood" of the scene and used effectively for the program.      
Her research appears to me almost an archaeological dig in a forgotten music field. Her findings brought out the lifework of this radio program pioneer in an almost fossilized record in this BYU collection.

I am happy to learn Polychrome was instrumental in safekeeping / time capsuling the record this way and also happy Dr. Asai was able to bring a new life into the historical background of early radio music. Thank you Dr. Asai as well as Erica B. who gave me her family background. (Erica's grandfather was a brother of Josef and another Polychrome employee Leopold "Lee" was Josef’s son.)

(I would be happy to forward you a copy of her dissertation upon request if you are interested in the subject further.     The blogger did not allow me to upload PDF file directly)