Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on December 16, 1984 · Page 113
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 113

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 16, 1984
Page 113
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IOF SUNDAY DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE, ROCHESTER, N.Y., DECEMBER 16, 1984 David Thurston is steam dreamer FROM PAGE 1F "We're just about to get the business really moving," Thurston said. He hopes to expand the most promising aspect of the business, contracts in which he guarantees a certain amount of energy savings in return for a portion of the money 6aved. Thurston now monitors the energy use of more than 15 Rochester buildings through a phone hookup to his computer. An unusual blip in the numbers can be traced to a precise time and location, then fixed by a phone call or a trip to the site. This year, for example, Thurston expects to shave $45,000 off the $150,000 annual utility bill for the owners of the Powers Building at Main and Exchange streets. On a similar energy management system Thurston installed in October at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 17 S. Fitzhugh St, he will take 70 percent of the money saved on heating, up to $6,000. After that his share drops to 15 percent WHILE HE LEAVES the computer programming and bookkeeping to his children, fiddling with steam traps comes naturally to Thurston. His father was a millwright who returned from installing hospital boilers in France during World War I to Irondequoit, where he worked for a company that made power laundry equipment. For about a decade before World War II, Thurston's mother ran her own business with a crew and three trucks that sterilized garbage cans Cornell seeking supercomputer FROM PAGE 1F But Wilson claims the Theory Center will be especially beneficial to the economy of upstate New York because: Many of the large companies that are interested in the Theory Center happen to be located in upstate New York. The spinoff companies that can be expected to spring up to exploit the center's research would logically be located in the upstate New York region, though not necessarily in , Tompkins County. Supercomputers could be used for high-speed data communication, linking Conrell with the University of Rochester, University of Syracuse, Faber pencil in By Bob Pvorchak Associated Press MOUNTAINTOP, Pa. For 135 years, Eberhard Faber has made a tool that is portable, needs no electricity, works with the flick of the wrist, deletes its own errors and can be cheaply and easily replaced. It's the wooden, graphite filled pencil an ordinary device that has demonstrated extraordinary staying power in the face of fancy gadgets that threaten to make it obsolete. "People have been predicting the demise of the pencil for ages, but it hasn't happened," said Eberhard Faber IV, 49, a member of the fourth generation of the family that built the nation's first mass production pencil factory in 1849. "First, it was the typewriter, then the ballpoint pen. Now it's the computer. But we don't feel the computer is going to put the pencil out of business. The paperless office is not paperless," Faber said. "Over the last decade, the pencil market has been growing by smaller percentages. But the market isn't shrinking." In October, Eberhard Faber Inc. won an exporting award from the federal Department of Commerce. The company's exports had increased 119 percent over the four years through 1982. "For a company our size, we do a lot of exporting," said Faber. "The first writing instrument used in developing countries is the one that gives the most value for the money. There's a burgeoning market for pencils out there, particularly in the Third World." The family-owned company, with $28 million in annual gross sales, has partnerships in Venezuela and Colombia and license agreements in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Peru, the Philippines, Syria and Japan. Originally located in New York City, the company relocated in 1956 five miles south of Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania. If the 323,800-square-foot factory ran around the clock at full throttle, it could make a million pencils a day. But the pencil is no longer the biggest selling item for Eberhard Faber, which touts itself as a graphics communications company and sees its biggest growth potential in art products. The company newsletter 7Vi Pencilvanian was even renamed E.F. Communicator. Pens and markers are 34 percent of the company's sales, and erasers make up 27 percent. The company calls itself the world's largest producer of erasers and the second biggest maker of rubber bands. Pencils are third with 25 percent of sales. But the writing tool hefted by millions of school children and office secretaries is the company's most renowned product "Pencils give you recognition. There are so many units out there with the name on them," said Faber. with steam heat. After graduating from Aquinas Institute in 1947, Thurston went to the University of Toronto, where he studied philosophy and became active in Catholic Action, a lay Catholic organization patterned after Communist Party cells. A motorboat accident left his father disabled with carbon monoxide poisoning and Thurston, one year short of a degree, returned home to run the family laundry business. Thurston, Anne and their first two children moved in 1954 to the farm, and Thurston took a job as maintenance supervisor at Myers Community Hospital. From their high school days, when they argued over whether Latin Masses were too florid, the Thur-stons had become more political Catholics. They helped poor Puerto Rican migrant farm workers in Wayne County. They opened their farmhouse to Ukrainian refugees. Several events, all in the 1970s, pushed Thurston away from Catholicism. His two eldest children were stricken by sudden illnesses and died. In 1977, Thurston started his own mechanical contracting firm after leaving a job with Hershey Energy Systems in Fairport That same year he had a heart attack, leading to open heart surgery. With a family to feed and an imminent property tax bill that had tripled because of a new assessment on the farm, Thurston desperately needed to finish his first system overhaul, in the Powers Building. From his hospital bed that November 1977, Thurston drew sketches to guide two of his children in repairing the boiler system. The next month, RG&E stepped Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other upstate New York universities. Nowadays computer programs simulate everything from the economy of the whole world to the DNA molecule and the atomic nucleus. Safeguards at a nuclear power plant or performance of new aircraft at supersonic speeds are tested in computer simulations before they're ever tried out in reality. These simulations aren't possible on standard large office computer systems used in business, which make 1 million or fewer calculations a second. Even on today's most powerful computers, "supercomputers" that can make up to a billion calculations a second, many large-scale problems require hundreds or even thousands of hours of computaton, according to Wilson. Supercomputers shouldn't be con- no danger of becoming obsolete "We'll always make pencils, so long as there is a market for them, because our name is so strongly associated with them." What's in a name? The name Eberhard Faber is a registered U.S. trademark, which has subjected Eberhard Faber IV to a 6lew of pencil-pusher jokes. In the Army, drill sergeants called him "Leadhead," a misnomer because pencils are filled with graphite and clay, not lead. "Ever since I was a little kid, my name has been instantly recognized. Good or bad, it definitely shapes your existence," said Faber, who is nicknamed Timmy and has a son named Eberhard. "It's a little bit clanky. But nevertheless it's eminently remembered. Whatever inconveniences there might be are powerfully outweighed. I'm very proud of the name." The company's most illustrious product is the Eberhard Faber yellow Mongol No. 2 a medium graphite that is not too hard and not too smudgy. When it was first made in 1900, it sold for a nickel. You can buy one today for a dime. The Mongol No. 2 is listed in a book called Quintessence, which was written by Betty Cornfield and Owen Edwards about familiar products that do more than specifically asked of them. The pencil shared pages with such items as Hershey's Electronic Office Typewriter Electronic Memory Typewriter kZkiIJ3LD into Thurston's life with a $6,723 mistake. An RG&E meter reader discovered a low reading in the Powers Building. Then in January 1978 another meter reader found an unusually high reading, and both Thurston and RG&E agreed the building couldn't have used that much steam in one month. RG&E contended the first meter reader could have misread the numbers, and the utility added steam usage to the bill, at a cost to the landlords of $6,723. Thurston's reputation, and his solvency, were on the line. THURSTON LAUNCHED a logical, deliberate attack. He moved a cot into a vacant office at the Powers Building, camping out for two weeks while he attempted to reproduce heating conditions at the time of the disputed reading. He slept next to the pipes so he could hear the steam rise. Armed with cardboard boxes full of readings at the subsequent hearings, Thurston bested a table full of RG&E officials and the company's lawyers from Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle. Neither side could account for the high January reading, but an administrative law judge accepted Thurston's records as evidence that the building could be heated with the lower amount of steam. The PSC ordered RG&E to refund its overcharge. That case earned Thurston the reputation as a scrapper. "David was the best steam lawyer I'd ever seen," said Herbert N. Stern, co-owner of the Powers Building and himself a lawyer. "He put all the fancy experts from Nixon, Hargrave on their ear." fused with artificial intelligence, whioh is another frontier of computer science. Artificial intelligence research seeks to develop computers that can imitate the complexity and subtlety of human thought Supercomputers perform simple calculations, but at enormous speed. The supercomputer was invented by Seymour Cray of Control Data Cprp. of Minneapolis, who later broke away to form his own company, Cray Research Inc. Control Data, Cray and Denelcor Inc. of Aurora, Colo., are the major U.S. makers of supercomputers. Three Japanese electronics companies, Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Ltd. and Nippon Electric Co., also make supercomputers. Wilson said Japanese industry is carrying on a joint research project to produce a supercomputer 100 times as fast as a Cray-1. Kisses, Zippo lighters, Ace combs, Ivory soap and the Oreo cookie. "The Mongol No. 2 draws the finest line between possibility and certainty. They are the instruments of the mind's music," the book says. What helps distinguish the Mongol No. 2 is a black and gold fastener called a ferrule that joins the eraser to the wood. The fancy ferrule is unmatched by the 17 domestic pencil makers and numerous foreign competitors. "It costs a lot of money for that ferrule. We've been tempted to change it, but we think it's the best looking ferrule in the industry. It's a trademark we're not going to change," said Faber, whose first job with the company was shipping clerk. The basics for making wood encased pencils were developed nearly 200 years ago, although pencil-like tools were used by the Romans. Today, at least 40 automated steps are taken to make a pencil from Western incense cedar trees, which have a straight grain for easy sharpening. Basically, cedar slats are grooved and lined with graphite filling. A second grooved slat is added to make a sandwich that is shaped and cut into nine pencils. Each pencil then gets eight coats of paint, a ferrule and an eraser. III WAS '695 UAUI All Ml P nun vn que Centre -7 $RQR mooa CORRECTION MEMORY AUTO. CENTER, INDENT AUTO. CARRIAGE RETURN INTERFACES WITH COMPUTERS MUCH. MUCH MORE? Mi WAS945 NOW ON SALE ST SAVE 2 CORRECTION DISPLAY 2 K STORAGE EXPANDABLE CHANGEABLE DAISEYS INTERFACES WITH PC'S MUCH, MUCH, MORE In the arcane world of utility rate regulation, Thurston stands out for his blunt language. At a hearing last September, for example, he raised technical questions about the cost of certain RG&E equipment, peppered with jabs such as, "We have never actually known an overworked RG&E employee." "I'm a loose cannon," Thurston acknowledged. Several players in the steam system saga have urged him to spiff up his comments or even hire a lawyer. Thurston is "deft and sophisticated in one way," said Steven Blow, staff counsel of the PSC, "and in another way, naive. His comments could use some craftsmanship." Reisdorf, the former project manager for the Rochester Engineering Society, described Thurston as "perhaps too impatient for the political process if that's a fault" Yet for all his prickly public remarks, Thurston avoids the name-calling and nastiness that have crept into some rate hearings. David K. Laniak, vice president of corporate planning for RG&E, first encountered Thurston at a 1980 hearing, when Thurston cross-examined Laniak about how RG&E arrived at rates. . , , "He seemed to think we didn't know our calculations," Laniak recalled. "But even though we had different points of view, he was a gentleman about it." . Nor does Thurston condemn utilities out of hand. They're simply responsive to shareholders rather than ratepayers, he maintains. Thurston argues that utilities should compete with each other to produce power, ' but the "grid" to distribute electricity and natural gas should be owned by municipalities and other public bodies. Privatizing utilities, Thurston said, would force their lawyers, engineers and executives to "get out and smell the daisies." UNDsf., Rochester Tooling and Machining Institute Funds are immediately available for a limited number of unemployed Monroe County residents, not City. Six-month day Skilled Machinists course with guidance and placement supprt. Orientation & Free aptitude testing on January 3rd & 4th at 9 AM & 1 PM. 15 Boys1 Club Place, Rochester, N.Y. 546-8370 3-' r i 4 5 f f " ; : i r : J ' i' - " I ."lX ,fii " ! V "' " ' I -J . 1 J I .v x irv , . ! f ' V; As she's gotten older, it's become difficult for her to hear everything you say. Telephone conversations are particularly frustrating; she can't hear you and rather than ask you to speak up or repeat yourself, she just suffers in silence. , Rotelcom has the solution. Our ' Amplifier phone allows her to boost the volume of your voice up to three times that of normal by simply adjusting the volume control knob. Phone firms plan new businesses Associated Press WASHINGTON A federal judge granted 13 waivers Friday allowing six of the seven regional phone companies spun off in the Bell System breakup to enter new lines of business, inculding foreign ventures, real estate, cellular radio, office products and computer repair. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene ruled that the new ventures "will have no negative impact on domestic competitors of the regional holding companies." The waivers had been sought by Bell Atlantic Corp., US West, Pacific Telesis, Nynex, Ameritech and Bell South. CAT: area white paws BECOME A RACE HORSE OWNER! Partners will be licensed and owners have all benefits of ownerships - INCLUDING FREE ADMISSION & PARKING to Race Tracks and Farms You will share in 10 N.Y.S. Bred Thoroughbred Race Horses. 5-2 yr. olds; 5-3 yr. olds. No Costs after original investment. Tax Depreciation on Your Horses will be written off in 3 years under present tax laws. Then you need a skill ? Government Tuition SNA " ns. Our phone doesn't cost a fortune either. It looks like new and the inside has been rebuilt to meet telephone company standards. That's the Rotelcom guarantee: Telephone company quality at an affordable price. The AMPLIFIER PHONE from ROTELCOM - You'll feel better " knowing she hears better. The Amplifier Phone is available at Rochester Telephone Phone Centers Rotary $39.95 Touch Tone $59.95 Lost, Strayed Lost, Strayed CAT: Calico, missing over 3 wks . black t white, brown spot from middle of eyes to nose. Wearing red collar with bells, black spot on back foot Answers to "Rascal" 328-8085 CAT: All while female, answers to "Casper" lost Panorama Plaza area. Reward 246-3559 CAT Brown Tabby male, husky While feel, neck & stomach Answers to "Oliver". Lost Rt 19 S Ridge Rd Brockport area. REWARD 637-3803 CAT: Neutered male, black with white patch on chest. . gold eyes, claw on right front paw does not retract, reward, 647-3747 alter 5 30 CAT:. Siamese Chocolatepoinl, "Annie". Lost Rogers Pkwy area 1213. Reward 544-9171 DOG: small, white with tan markings. 10 yr. old male. Alexander Mam. 1213. 46 1-363 1 CarohneSeager St. Long haired. Wack. & grey striped, while Please call! 244-5886 DOG: Tan medium sized female. lost Bennett Ave. Irondequoit Child's pet 544-1044 Personals Personals WHEN YOU SEE JIM BALL TODAY WISH HIM A HAPPY 75th-T0M0RR0W From his slave. MARY E. Call or Write We have many more good things to tell you BOEIMAN FARMS 908 West Ave. Medina, N.Y. 14103 (716) 798-4857 DDI J

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