There Ain’t No Eraser on an Etching Machine

Winter 1990

Dick Shute, Director-Business Development, Vacca/Emerson Electric Company

1990, My God! Over half a lifetime spent observing the changes in our industry,” I marvel when I think back to the day in 1960 when I first met Bill Eburn of Eburn Industrial Research, and he tried to explain to me how he was going to make some parts I needed out of 8-mil, dead soft copper. “First”, he said, ‘TB make a scale drawing of your part with India Ink on heavy Bristol Board”. He then went through the entire process of how he would make the sheet of metal like the film in a camera, print a picture of the part on it, splash some acid on it, and would have the part I needed. Yeah! Sure, I thought, this I gotta see! (I had already bought a couple of used cars in my life.) After giving the purchase order to Bill, I went to his shop in Hingham, Mass., just to see this “magic” process. I was so intrigued by what I saw, that I took a couple of vacation days to help produce the parts I had purchased. Shortly thereafter, I accepted Bill’s offer to become Sales Manager of his fledgling company. Little did I know how I would become caught up in an industry that would grow from a few small companies serving local markets, to one that now has its own SIC number, and is international in scope.