Monday, October 16, 2017
One day I was called into Mr. Halpern’s office to meet the owner of Alum-lith. He had been making direct image aluminum plates and now was making presensitized aluminum printing plates. He told us he had found out how 3M was making theirs and for a royalty he would explain the process to us. He also wanted a small royalty if we used the light sensitive diazo on our paper products para diazodiphenylame and formaldehyde. which was supplied by a company in Chicago . Later Gene Golda worked out the method of condensing the para formaldehyde with the diazo . I designed a plant to make this which was erected at Cellomer. I and Fred Hozeny, who was the maintenance superintendent and had a license to operate a boiler went to the Alum-o-lith plant. It was in a suburb of Los Angeles. I believe Alhambra. We took notes and duplicated the tanks and racks. To make room. We leased the basement of a vacant school building on Prospect Street. We moved the stencil finishing operations there. Later they were moved to Saw Mill River road. We built a series of tanks and a squeeze roll coater with infra red bulbs to apply the diazo. We put the first tank line in the space where the stencil finishing operation had been.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Polychrome hired Robert Techno and his assistant. They had worked for Remington Rand which had made stencils and direct image paper offset plates. We tried the stencil coating but it was not as good as we were making. Teichner made a direct image offset plate using starch carbonate . This had two coatings. The first was a urea-formaldehyde coating which was cured for a day before applying the starch carbonate coating. Pot-Devin built the two coaters with a direct gas fired tunnel. To have enough gas we built a small building for the gas reducers. Half of this building was used as a lab. Later it was used to make the photo-sensitive coatings. One of the main usages of this plate was to update telephone directories.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Thanks to Doug Chu, Simon's son, I now have the Polychrome Directory 1970. I would be happy to send you any information relating to the personnel then on this directory; please write to me I will respond asap. In view of the privacy issue I will not post the entire list although it is already 47 years old! as I know a few who still live in the same address.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
While Speed-O-Print and Gestetner were by far our biggest customers others were Rochester Stencils, Canadian Polychrome stencils and several New York City dealers. While a large percentage of the stencils we coated were blue we also coated green, white and yellow stencils. We occasionally coated black cushion sheets which were mounted between the stencil and backing sheet. To completely prevent type filling we would for the premium stencils mount a sheet of pliofilm, rubber hydrochloride made by Goodyear, on top of the stencil. It was attached with removable glue dots so correction fluid could be applied if an error was made. We later glued the pliofilm to a folded tab. It could be used for several stencils. Louis Mestre made a machine to make the tabs. He had also made a machine to assemble the stencil and backing sheet. A roll of backing sheet paper and a roll of the stencil tissue were mounted on the machine. A keyhole was punched in the backing sheet and a line of glue was applied. After the he stencil and backing sheet were cut off, the direction was changed at a right angle and then fed through two multigraphs to print the heading and scale, and then a unit that punched the mounting holes on the backing sheet. The ink for printing the scale was purchased from IPI. But I found that if we used paralac it worked as well. The pliofilm machine was installed on the second floor of an old school building on Prospect street. It was operated by Ray Lauzon.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Gestetner which made a two drum stencil duplicator in the Tottenham section of London had made a number of years ago an agreement with A B Dick not to compete in the American market. This agreement was now ended and Gestetner made an arrangement with Polychrome for Polychrome to furnish the stencils for the Americas. Polychrome had a dealer in Chicago, Arnold Rose, who sold a large number of die impressed stencils when he visited us in Yonkers we offered to take him to lunch. He asked for a drink. We had a half bottle of Scotch. He finished it and said he was still hungry. We sent out to buy another which he finished. He said he had cut down on drinking. He had been drinking two bottles of whiskey and a case of beer a day.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Our tests showed excessive type filling. I made a solution that was coated on one side by a coating unit installed at the back end of the coating tunnels which consisted only of nitrocellulose and a plasticizer. As this coating had a lot of glare I had diatomaceous earth solution put in the middle of the drying tunnel which solved the problem. For the lower price Polychrome label stencils this was added to the back coating solution. Later when we made the stencils for the Gestetner duplicator we added an anti-static coating in the middle of the tunnel. Mr. Halpern made an arrangement with Speed-O-Print that made a hand operated stencil duplicator and was located in a former Bell and Howell building on Larchmont Street, Chicago to take over their stencil coating and mounting facilities. Speed-O-Print sales manager was Gibby Grant. We moved their finishing equipment to Yonkers. They had an 18 inch multigraph to print the heading and scale on the stencils. The man who ran this press was brought to Yonkers.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Polychrome hired a paper cutter. He was a recruiter for the paper makers union who got the other employees to join. When the officers of the union were indicted for using the unions money for themselves, they fled to an African country. The employees then joined a teamster local that was not involved with truck drivers. I believe it may have been the same local that the Cellofilm employees belonged to. Bernie Gold and I visited the building the local owned in Fort Lee. We offered to take them out to dinner. We went to a nearby Italian restaurant. I went in and asked for a table. The maître d’ said there would be a 45 minute wait . When the men from the union entered, he asked whether they were with me. When I said yes, he said I will have a table for you in five minutes. We engaged an experienced labor lawyer to help us negotiate with the union. Another year when we settled on a ten cent raise for the year and another ten cents for the following year, the man who was assigned by the teamster union to negotiate with Polychrome after four months came to us shaking. He said we must pay something to the welfare fund or they will kill me. We agreed to pay a nickel an employee that year and a nickel next.