Irving, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, formerly of Pompano Beach, FL, passed away at age 100 on November 19, 2012.
Irving, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, formerly of Pompano Beach, FL, passed away at age 100 on November 19, 2012. Mr. Glickman was born in New Brunswick, NJ, in 1912. One of six siblings, starting before and after school work at the age of 13, he put himself through Rutgers College during the Great Depression of the early 1930's. His first job was with the Post Office, delivering heavy parcel post special delivery packages on his bicycle for a penny a parcel. He continued with this through high school, including taking a year off after graduation to earn money for tuition at Rutgers. Despite the heavy work schedule and study requirements, Mr. Glickman was able to participate in other activities, such as being part of the New Brunswick YMCA basketball club, where, of average height for the time, he excelled in the old style two handed set shot. Also, while at Rutgers, Mr. Glickman learned to play bridge by sitting behind and watching future Nobel Prize winner, Milton Friedman. Upon graduation from Rutgers with a degree in biology in 1934, he was unable to afford either medical or dental school. He therefore went to work as a chemist for his uncle's rubber goods manufacturing company in New Brunswick, where he learned the techniques for formulating rubber compounds for various uses. Mr. Glickman moved to Philadelphia and soon worked for Franklin Rubber Company, a Philadelphia based rubber goods manufacturing company, where he developed materials and manufacturing processes for making high speed conveyor belts used for on-site transport of concrete for building large dams, such as the Grand Coulee. In a few years, Mr. Glickman had the opportunity to move to a larger, more prestigious rubber goods manufacturer, Quaker Rubber, located in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. As World War II loomed, natural rubber, mostly from the Far East, was becoming difficult to procure. One of the few people in America having specialized knowledge about synthetic rubber, Mr. Glickman was instrumental in developing the formula for synthetic rubber hoses that were highly resistant to deterioration from petroleum and seawater. He also developed their copper reinforced internal physical configuration, and the complex method used for manufacturing them: all became official specifications issued by the US Navy as 50 foot long hoses with 10 inch diameter. These hoses became absolutely essential for use in wartime, as they were used in the off-loading of oil from tankers to beachheads in Europe, and ship to ship refueling. The basic chemical formula for the hose is still in use in gasoline stations. His employer was producing huge volumes of the synthetic rubber hose, as well as fire hoses being shipped for use in London. The company was shipping by railcar loads. One Sunday, as Mr. Glickman was alone in the factory, on his own time, repairing one of the machines needed for production the next day, the company owner happened in to the plant. He told Mr. Glickman the company was losing money, and could only give him a two dollar a week raise. As the owner had driven to the factory in his Rolls Royce, Mr. Glickman knew he could do better on his own, and with a partner, Leon Coltman, he began Elgo Rubber Products in 1939, working his main job during the day, and working at Elgo into the late evening. During the period of World War II, Mr. Glickman was able to use his specialized expertise of molding rubber products in extremely complex and difficult-to-mold forms, such as machine gun recoil bellows for the Army, which other molders were unable to accomplish. Subsequent to WWII, Mr. Glickman and his partner took out a business loan of $5,000 under the provisions of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but quickly paid it back, as they were limited by the terms of the loan to a salary of $50.00 per week. Elgo made small rubber products, including baton ends for marching band twirling batons, and rubber tank balls, which were used in toilet mechanisms. He was astonished at the number of tank balls he would make annually: one for every man, woman, and child in America, year in and year out. Elgo Rubber was located on the north side of Washington Avenue between Moyamensing and Third Street, in a series of contiguous buildings, housing the huge rubber mills, which were deeply embedded in concrete to keep them from moving. To allow significant widening of Washington Avenue, the City of Philadelphia condemned the property under the then relatively new Pennsylvania Eminent Domain law. The City attempted to take just half of the property, and, in the first jury trial under that Eminent Domain law, the jury found that the City could not take just half of an operating manufacturing facility, since it was an organic whole, and that taking half would in effect put the company out of business. In the mid-1950's, with imports from Japan threatening the molded rubber goods business, and, no doubt anticipating the famous line in the movie "The Graduate," Mr. Glickman perceived that "plastics" was indeed the best option for the future, and in 1956, he and his partner started Rodon Products, an injection molding company. Rodon continues today in Hatfield PA as the molder for K'NEX construction toys, and as supplier of plastic components to industrial and commercial products companies nationwide. Mr. Glickman was very adept at mechanical implements, and created or adapted a number of machines for the growing Rodon plastics business. The injection molding process creates excess plastic that needs to be ground up to be reused. The machinery commercially available was largely inadequate to the task. Mr. Glickman recalled the simple, well known, and effective concept of a flywheel, used as part of the starting system on the earliest cars, and adapted the concept to the existing motors in the company's grinding equipment. This easily provided the force necessary to grind the excess plastic, while using a minimum of electricity. He laughed out loud twenty years later when shown an advertisement in an industry journal about a “revolutionary new concept" for adding power to the machinery – by use of a flywheel! Mr. Glickman retired in his early 60's. An avid golfer, Mr. Glickman was playing golf until his early 90's; to his great regret, he never did achieve great putting. Mr. Glickman was preceded in death by his wife Marion, and is survived by sons Joel (Brenda) Glickman, Bob (Candy Bernard) Glickman, and his daughter, Elaine Berk, five grandchildren, Ellen (Michael) Araten, Nancy (Garrett) Talley, Stephanie McKinney, Doug and Andy Berk, and seven great-grand children, Jessica and Daniel Araten, Jackson, Samuel and Ryan Talley, and Kaitlin and Cassidy McKinney. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, 367 East Street Road, Trevose, PA, 19053 or any charity of the donor's choice.
GOLDSTEINS’ ROSENBERG’S RAPHAEL-SACKS