Monday, April 24, 2017

Lith Film 1

Lith Film 1                By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In the late 1960s, we imported graphic arts film from our licensee in Japan, Fuji Photo Film, and sold it under the Polychrome label. After a number of years, Fuji asked us to sell film under the Fuji name, Mr. Halpern was reluctant to do this. We looked into acquiring a company which made graphic arts film. We went to Cleveland to visit the Brown film company, which 3M later bought; a company in eastern Long Island; and a plant in Rochester NY, which had been erected by Bell and Howell. I remember driving back from Rochester along route 17 in a heavy rain storm.

In 1973, we contacted Henry Levy and Gene Wilkerson who had a photographic film consulting business. They assured Mr. Halpern that they knew what was required to make graphic arts film. We hired Henry Levy to head up this operation. Gene Wilkerson preferred to remain as a consultant. As a site for manufacturing the graphic arts film we found a plant on Terminal Ave. in Clark N. J. on ten acres which had been built by the Celanese Co. This building had a number of well designed and furnished laboratories. To coat the film, Henry Levy recommended a spiral coater. We erected a three story annex along one end of the building for this purpose and ordered one from a company that had built these units. After it was operational, we hired one of the engineers who had worked on the design, Kurt Hausman. At the opposite end of the building a room was enclosed for mixing the various solutions used to process film and plates and other graphic art chemicals. Several tanks were installed outside the building for raw materials. We hired Bill Towns who had a small chemical mixing plant to run this operation. Originally, Mr. Halpern had expected to put a line for making presensitized plates in this building; but as the production of films advanced, all available space was taken. In laying out the building, it was necessary to provide light locks between sections to avoid exposing the film and the coating area had to be extremely clean and temperature and humidity controlled. A wall was erected between the drive motors and auxiliary equipment and the coaters and drying tunnel.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Luxury water front condo on Ashburton Ave?

Today April 18, 2017, I stopped by the old Polychrome HQ at Ashburton and Alexander.   I was able to drive in to the parking lot in front of the building facing Hudson.       There is a sign posted to show that the Northline Utilities operates here.      As you can see there are many electric power line related materials on the ground.      I found a trailer converted into office building and had chance to chat with a lady working in the office.     She said that the company is renting the space just for a while and she expects the property will be converted to a water front luxury apartment with a great water front view.       I did not see on my way in but she pointed out that there are many new apartment buildings being built along the Ashburton Ave.        Yes the gentrification may finally arrive in Yonkers!

Along the north side of Ashburton Ave. lined by new apartments!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Polychrome England

Polychrome England         By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

As Ilford did not actively pursue the sales of the presensitized plates, we opened a sales office in London. Soon after, we hired Tom Heckels to manage the office. In order to do some manufacturing, we rented space in Watford. Tom Heckels and his wife, Shiela, who came from Aberdeen, Scotland, lived in Watford. I went there a number of times to set up an operation to cut, punch and package paper offset plates. These were coated in Yonkers and the rolls sent to Watford. I also set up facilities to mix and bottle various solutions used in offset printing and printing inks. To get to Watford from London I usually took a train from Eustis station. Once I took the Metropolitan tube subway line.

To better serve the United Kingdom printers, Mr. Halpern decided to construct a plant in England as a subsidiary of Polychrome GMBH to manufacture presensitized plates. Tom Heckels, who had visited the plant in Yonkers several times and was familiar with the operation, was asked to locate a site for the factory. He chose a site in Berwick upon Tweed. This was in northern England on the border with Scotland. The authorities there welcomed us. They were happy to have an industry that would employ people. I worked with Tom Heckels and several people sent from Osterode to design the line. While it copied some of the features of the C-line in Yonkers, we left space to make electrolytic grained plates. Mr. Halpern and I went to the plant for the grand opening. A member of the Royal family was there as well as all of the Berwick officials.

We advertised for a chemist and hired Robert Armstrong, who had lived in Berwick. On one of my trips there he took me to a bar where we had fresh caught poached salmon. They had been poached - i.e., stolen - from the Tyne. When Berwick was closed, Armstrong and several others were relocated to the plant in Columbus, Georgia.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Polychrome GMBH 4

Polychrome GMBH 4               by Mr. Bob Gumbinner

After Kay had brain surgery in [1966], and was diagnosed with an astrocytoma, in order that I could take care of her, the direct responsibility for Polychrome GMBH was assigned to Simon Chu, who was made a vice-president. I did, however, still go to Germany a number of times, particularly when a DRUPA was scheduled. In order to make grained plates a building on a stream close to downtown Osterode which had been a furniture show room was purchased. A graining line was installed and a coater sent from Yonkers. The mechanical parts of the graining line were bought from Deprieux, and the anodizing section from Langbein. Both of these companies were in the Dusseldorf/Cologne area. I went several times to their factories. One time I rented a Mercedes and took a new autobahn between Kassel and Dortmund. There was very little traffic and the road had straight sections. I drove part of the way at over 125 miles per hour. For the B and C lines in Yonkers we bought two shaft revolving unwind stands and heat seal splicers from Deprieux. After Fred Hozeny retired, Mr. Brown took over the maintenance in Yonkers. I had him build an accumulator so there was no stopping of the lines when a new roll of aluminum was spliced to the web After a few years and several additions to the Osterode facility, land in a nearby town, Katzenstein, which had buildings for growing mushrooms, was bought A building was erected and an additional production line installed.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Polychrome GMBH 3

Polychrome GMBH 3           By Mr. Bob Gumbinner    

Mr. Feist and Mr. Aurich, who was the sales manager, were not successful in establishing dealers. Thus, we sent Seth Cross, who spoke German fluently, to help manage the operation and help Mr. Aurich to establish a network of dealers. Mr. Aurich’s son, Gunther Aurich, was employed as a salesman and to train the dealers. We advertised in the United States for an executive who would want to go to Germany to run Polychrome GMBH. Constantjin Van Lynden was selected for this position. Later, Konrad Richter was made the plant manager and Klaus Zimmermann the chief financial officer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Reunion in Chicago

Here is the announcement from Manny Roth who has been organizing reunion in Chicago for many years and this is the one for this year.        I look forward to receiving photos and comments.

Save the Date

Our annual lunch will be held
Monday, October 30, 2017
at the
HiView Restaurant
425 West St. Charles Rd.
Villa Park, IL
11:30 AM

If you are planning on attending please respond no later than October 21st so the restaurant can be notified of the number to expect.

Manny Roth

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Polyworld listing.

So far in this blog, numbers of Polyworld were uploaded but there are still many missing.        Below the volumes with link are what had been uploaded.      You can view the publication in full by clicking the link.       If any of the readers come across missing (the ones without links) issues, please share it with me so that they can be uploaded.     Ken

Polyworld listing in this blog.

1992 vol.11 no.1
1991 vol.10
1990 vol.9   no.1 no.2
1989 vol.8   no.1 no.2
1988 vol.7   no.1 no.2
1987 vol.6   no.1 no.2
1986 vol.5   no.1 no.2
1985 vol.4   no.1 no.2  vol.5.no1  vol.5 no4 
1984 vol.3   no.1 no.2  vol.3 vol4 no4 winter 84-85
1983 vol.2    vol.2 no.1 spring 84  vol.2 no2 summer 84
1983 vol.1   no.1 no.2
1982 vol.1   no.1 no.2