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The 1950s...
Known as an era of conservatism and wholesome values, the 1950s is a decade in history that can only be described as the springboard for many things to come. The Korean War sees 70% of America’s armed forces fighting overseas. McCarthyism runs rampant as the Cold War sends fears of communism across the nation. The treatment of blacks in America comes under fire as the civil rights movement takes shape with a series of high profile events including the desegregation of schools in 1954 and a bus boycott sparked by a black seamstress’ refusal to move to the back of an Alabama bus. The mid ’50s would change popular culture forever as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and a hip-swiveling rocker from Memphis named Elvis introduce Rock ’n’ Roll to the masses. The Space Race gets underway as Russia launches Sputnik, and America rushes to stay a step ahead.

Early 50s
Stanford Engineering introduces the first Doctor Machine, a salvage rewinder designed to reclaim scrap rolls of material due to defective printing.

March 1950
Crawford Inc. offers a quick-change rotary press. Company says press can change from gravure/offset to letterpress in 20 minutes.

April 1950
Transparent Products Co. Inc. introduces the Pamarco Auto Printer, a narrow web machine able to print two colors using aniline ink and rubber plates on all types of cellulose, acetate, paper or cloth, up to six feet per minute.

Mid-States Gummed Paper Co. adds PE to its production line.

May 1950
J. S. Peacock is elected president and a director of
L. Q. Yowell relinquishes the editor’s chair to devote full time to the editorship of the American Paper Merchant. W. S. Young, Jr., who joined the company in 1937, served as production manager since April 1938 and business manager from March 1947, is named editor.

June 1950
People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) invades the Republic of Korea (South Korea) at the 48th parallel. The U.N. Security Council declares the Communist action a breach of peace and authorizes military intervention.

F. L. Smithe Machine Co., NY, NY, creates the new hydraulic die press featuring hydraulically operated ram. The cutting board is said to move in and out automatically, but the ram does not move except when a cut is being made.

July 1950
American Bag and Paper Corp. introduces Kard-o-Pak, a plastic-lined, lightweight bag able to stand rigid for filling. A major innovation in flexible packaging, the company says the new bag combats the problem of nonrigidity in plastic bags.

September 1950
Important to paper converters and the nation’s business at large was the formation of the National Production Authority on Sept 8. Defense mobilization and industry regulations under the agency develops rapidly. Under the NPA the converted paper products industry fell under tow classifications. (1) Paper and Board Converted Products, and (2) Containers.

The National Flexible Packaging Assn. is formed in 1950 by manufacturers of glassine, waxed, cellophane and window bags.

December 1950
Champlain introduces a high-speed rotary letterpress with interchangeable units.

By the end of the year experts agree that 1950 has been one of the most remarkable years that the paper and pulp industry had experienced during the 20th century due in large part to the end of the paper shortages that dominated the 1940’s.

AT&T becomes the first corporation to have over 1,000,000 stockholders.

January 1951
Films, which had become increasingly important to converters, reported increased capacity output during 1951. New facilities were expected to up production of cellophane by 20%. Acetate film gained by approximately 70%.

Our new logo appears.

HB Fuller opens new plant.

Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., (3M) premiers double-coated “Scotch” tape, a thin, transparent cellophane tape for splicing page “invisibly and permanently.”

February 1951
On February 8, the National Production Authority issued Order M-36 requiring producers of paper to establish reserves of designated grades in percentages of their monthly production to fill qualified government orders.

June 1951
Dusenbery introduces a slitter/rewinder for acetate, increasingly popular PE, and other films of thicknesses from .001-inch to .020 inch.

July 1951
The Envelope Manufacturers Convention hosts “The Envelope Follies of 1950,” a musical featuring such songs as "The Glue Suppliers’ Song"; "Song of the Envelope Widows"; and "The Paper Suppliers’ Song."

New method of coating paper with PE involves the lamination of hot, extruded film directly to paper as the film is produced by a screw-type extruder. This method is based on studies made the labs of Bakelite Co.

August 1951
George Gorton Machine Co., creates a new gearless Pantograph machine, which is said to produce printing, embossing, and die-cutting cylinders faster and with semi-skilled operators.

September 1951
Continuing developments in the use of high-frequency electronic heating equipment to facilitate the polymerization or fusion of resins are finding useful applications in the manufacture of paper products.

Studies conducted by Lowell Textile Institute’s Paper Engineering Dept. indicate that factors such as the characteristics of the material to be treated and the wave-lengths produced by the infrared heater, must be considered in evaluating this drying method.

October 1951
Dow Chemical develops vinyl chloride-vinylidene chloride latex, which is said to have a number of properties that suggest possible uses as a general-purpose vinyl resin for protective and decorative paper coatings.

November 1951
First National FPA meeting is held.

December 1951
The tag line -- "A Production and Management Magazine for Converters of Paper - Films - Foil" -- appears on bottom of our front cover.

Background 1952
Tetra Pak launches the first Tetra Classic package for milk and cream designed to replace glass bottles.

Mr. Potato Head is the first toy advertised on television. The ad campaign is so successful, nearly a quarter of TV’s advertising and programming would be aimed at children within a few years.

January 1952
Envelope Mfrs. Assn. of America held annual fall meeting at Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago.

Williamson & Co., Caldwell, N.J begins handling US sales of the “Minuprint,” miniature two-color aniline press, manufactured by Strachan & Henshaw Ltd of Bristol, England.

Dewey & Almy Chemical Co. begins testing the use of Cry-O-Rap plastic bags for cooking poultry. The Cry-O-Rap bags are a part of the company’s Cry-O-Vac process in which the item to be packaged is placed in the bag, vacuum sealed, and flash dipped in hot water which shrinks the bag around the product “like a second skin.”

May 1952
An internal reorganization necessitated by the consistent growth of the company is announced by J. S. Peacock, publisher of American Paper Converter.
W. S. Young Jr. is promoted to business manager of the company.
Harold R. Stoakes, who served as managing editor for three of the company’s magazines, is named editor.

June 1952
PCMC unveils four-color aniline printing press designed for high speed printing on 36-in. web widths.

Sorg Paper celebrates 100 years.

July 1952
Dixie Cup Co. debuts television ad campaign as a sponsor of PI program “Hollywood Off-Beat,” featuring movie actor Melvyn Douglas.

A new hot drink “Handle-Cup” has been introduced by Continental Can Co.’s Paper Container Div. The company is promoting the extended use of paper cups for home use. Cups are double-wrap containers available in pastel shades of blue, yellow, green, and pink. They come wrapped in cellophane packages of eight cups. Continental says the “noiseless” feature of paper cups are particularly attractive for television entertaining in the home.

August 1952
American Paper Converter addresses the booming market of frozen food packaging in the article, “Frozen Foods…a Dynamic Packaging Potential,” by Gene Bremer, Containers and Packaging Div., US Dept. of Commerce.

September 1952
The National Printing Ink Research Inst. (NPIRI) develops the planetary Rubometer designed to provide a suitable standard for measurement of rub resistance.

November 1952
Under the campaign slogan “I Like Ike,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President.

American Paper Converter celebrates its 25th anniversary. The magazine’s commemorative issue discusses the history of industry associations.

February 1953
D.E. Nebergall Meat Co. adopts new merchandising idea by packaging its sliced bacon in a cellophane bag, which opens with Zip Tape, used on cigarette packages. The package is said to be the first of its kind on the West Coast.

March 1953
Bob Hope hosted the first coast-to-coast telecast of The Academy Awards on NBC-TV.

Heat-seal labels, developed by Lloyd Perry, chief chemist at Nashua Corp., increase in popularity. These special labels have resins that allow the labels to remain "nonsticky" when stored at room temperature, but when heated, become a permanent adhesive.

The Pressure Sensitive Tape Council is founded.

June 1953
The Hershey Chocolate Corp. unveils its new wrapper produced on a four-color flexographic press.

July 1953
The Korean War ends when an armistice is signed, but President Eisenhower cautions that the free world had only won a battle-not the whole war-against Communist oppression.

August 1953
American Cyanamid Co., in collaboration with other paper manufacturers and converters, announces an extensive promotional campaign to build broader markets for paper. The program, educational in nature, is to explain to the retail trade and consumers the full meaning of “wet strength” as applied to paper. To promote this campaign, the company develops Melostrength resin treated paper.

September 1953
American Paper Converter becomes Paper, Film & Foil Converter.
"Over the past several years, the converting of film and foil has had a healthy growth, and many paper converters have expanded in that direction, both in combining these materials with paper and in converting them separately.
This is a natural growth, for the processes and equipment for the converting of films and foil are similar to, and in many cases, identical to, those for paper…in printing, forming, cutting, laminating, embossing, gluing etc.
It is because of this that we are changing the name of our publication to Paper, Film and Foil Converter -- to more truly describe the scope of interests in our field."

Editor Harold R. Stoakes writes, “At first glance the new title may seem overly long-almost cumbersome. A closer examination reveals that Paper, Film, and Foil Converter actually possesses one less syllable than American Paper Converter.”

The U.S.’s first hydrogen bomb detonation took place at Eniwetok Atoll.

January 1954
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter editor Harold Stokes writes, “Housewives soon will be able to buy all their everyday purchases neatly packaged -- without the inconvenience of waiting for them to be wrapped, if the predictions of an official of the Warner Electric Brake and Clutch Co. come true. ...Automatic packaging will become industry wide within a year or two, [Norman K. Anderson] predicts.”

April 1954
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter editor Harold Stokes writes “the fact that there is no school which undertakes the training of flexographic printers has been called to the attention of the publishing staff of Paper, Film, and Foil Converter repeatedly during the past year ... and with this thought in minds conversations were recently undertaken with officials at Western Michigan College regarding the possibility of including such as a course in the printing department of the school.

May 1954
A survey conducted by the Field Research Div. of the Paper Cup and Container Inst. reveals more than 70% of American hospitals are using paper cups and containers in one or more ways, both for food service and for dispensing medications.

June 1954
Foil lined paperboard trays for rolls and bakery specialties are featured in a June 1954 issue of the magazine. The article reports: “The housewife likes the convenience of slipping the unit into the oven without transfer to a conventional baking pan.

September 1954
Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine, famous “frontier doctor" and public health pioneer, dies at the age of 91 in New York City, where he had been consultant to the public health committee of the Paper Cup and Container Inst.” Crumbine helped start use of disposable paper cups for health reasons.

As the company grows, Harold R. Stoakes is named manager of the new western office in San Francisco. Edgar C. Farren is appointed editor, joining the company after serving 20 years at Fritz Publications in editorial and production capacities.

Cupples-Hesse Corp. and Bartlett Potato Chip Co. have introduced a PE potato chip package. The 1-lb size bag is made from 2.5-mil PE, printed in three colors, red, green, and white. The 2.5-mil stock was selected for its stiffness, to prevent the chips from settling to the bottom of the bag when it is hung on a rack. The rigidity of this weight PE also retards chip breakage.

November 1954
Wolverine Paper Converting Machinery Corp. announces changes in the design of Model X-12 flexo press. The new model is equipped with electro-magnetic induction brake and clutch for automatic tension control on both unwind and rewind units. Both units are positive and self-energizing and claim to eliminate time-consuming adjustments as well as guarantee successful register in printing film and foil. Another change is new overhead flat structure, which gives approximately 20 ft of drying space. It is rigid and eliminates vibrations and can be completely enclosed as a drying tunnel.

Dr. Albert Einstein dies at age 76.

DJ Alan Freed coined the term “Rock & Roll." Bill Haley & the Comets had the first number-one rock hit, "Rock Around the Clock," which was first played on Freed’s radio show.

March 1955
Farren’s tenure is short-lived. By March, W. S. Young is editor again.

May 1955
After more than 30 years at the same address, our office moves to Park Ridge, IL, a suburb about 15 miles northwest of downtown (Chicago). The best rationale for that decision can probably be attributed to publisher Joe Peacock’s remark, “I live in Park Ridge and will walk to work.”

June 1955
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter publishes a feature on the rising trend of surface treating PE. The article discusses four methods: chlorination, differential heat treatment; oxidation; and electronic treatment.

September 1955
Leslie Forbes Clifford is named editor after W. S. Young leaves the company to devote himself fully to church activities.
Clifford, said to combine a triple threat background as editor, teacher, and engineer as editor-in-chief of National Engineer magazine, is gone by October.

October 1955
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter reports that a new resin -- polypropylene -- soon will be available and “is expected to compete price-wise and quality-wise with super polyethylene."

November 1955
Joe Peacock takes over the reins as editor and publisher.

April 1956
Lily-Tulip Cup Corp. introduces China-Cote plastic-coated hot drink cups designed to feel like china. The company claims no coffee stain remains in cup after use.

November 1956
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter features radiant energy drying system. Small quantities of paper can be coated economically with modern resins through new system of infrared air jets and infrared ovens.

December 1956
Researchers at Kimberly-Clark’s main plant in Neenah, WI, turn out the first all-paper clothing ever created. "K-200" is a fabric manufactured off ingredients squeezed from jackpine, balsam, and spruce and produced in high-speed papermaking machinery. Paper, Film, and Foil Converter reports: “Designed to be worn just one and then thrown away instead of being laundered, garments of K-200 will some day become an important factor in the nation’s clothing industry, it has been predicted. This will be true especially in those fields centering on hard-to-launder utility clothes, such as uniforms, hospital gowns, laboratory aprons, and restaurant garb.”

Seven earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks rock the San Francisco area.

The Society of Vacuum Coaters is founded.

January 1957
Kidder Press Co., Dover, NH, announces the installment of its eight-color, heavy-duty rotogravure presses at Specialty Papers Co., Dayton, OH. The press was one of the first of its kind to be used in the commercial printing industry.

February 1957
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter reports peacetime application of atomic energy as employed in radioactive gauges yields uniformly superior production.

July 1957
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter runs feature on gravure ink solvents discussing cost effectiveness and the hazards in using this material. One of the first major reports on the hazards of solvent inks.

PCMC adopts new logo.

October 1957
Paper, Film, and Foil Converter reports a 1957 Plymouth has been wrapped in flexible packaging and placed underground in Tulsa, OK, to see if it could be protected for 50 years…to be unearthed in 2007. The protective packaging of the car was undertaken jointly by Dobeckmum Co., Kennedy Car Liner and Bag Co., and Orchard Paper Co. Moisture vapor-proof barrier material was placed on steel platform and the car on it. Main material used is called Metalam, composed of cotton scrim laminated to PE sheeting, aluminum foil, and vinyl. Protection against rust and corrosion provided by sheets of VPI paper (volatile rust inhibitor) that cover the engine and interior areas of the car.

Alaska and Hawaii become America’s 49th and 50th states.

Rockers Buddy Holly, "The Big Bopper," and Richie Valens die in airplane. This day in history is known as “the day the music died."

Bonaza is the first television series filmed entirely in color.

January 1959
Vern Prescott, who served as managing editor since 1956, is now editor.

February 1959
First photo (in black and white) appears on the cover.

March 1959
Developed and produced by Sealright Co. cartons are coated inside and out with DuPont’s Alathon PE resin and are heat sealed at the side, top, and bottom. Said to be first quart-size paper milk container with a PE coating introduced in 25 cities.

The first meeting of Flexographic Technical Assn (FTA) is held on February 5 and 6 at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City.

Click here to view the 1960s.

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