Looking At Argus
At the last Employee Meetings we had a good opportunity to discuss the status of our business and
the future prospects for Argus. One of the points that I briefly reviewed was the concern that we
have shown over the tariff laws of our country. On a number of occasions during recent years we have
been confronted with a desire by our government people to reduce tariff s and thus, supposedly,
increase world trade. During these discussions both Bob Lewis and myself have testified in
Washington against possible reductions in the existing tariffs on photographic products. I doubt
whether I have to go into very much detail to express the reasons for our concern in this matter.
The table shown on this page will give you some idea of the problem. Of course it is expected that
reduced tariffs might increase sales for American businesses as well as foreign companies. The
theory is that by reducing our tariffs we can get other countries to reduce theirs. The theory may
be good, but it doesn't work in this industry. We are not allowed to export into East Germany which
is under Soviet control. We also are aware that in Japan the government gives favorable tax
treatment to photographic manufacturers who are exporting their products. Most Japanese products
exported are sold in the United States. We do not receive similar treatment by our government in
respect to our exports . I do not believe that a high tariff
structure is always sound. As consumers, we all like to buy as much as we can for our hard-earned
dollars. On the other hand, we do not believe it is fair for all photographic trade to go in one
direction. There have already been substantial reductions in photographic tariffs during the last
thirty years. For example, in 1930, cameras of which the lens is the component of chief value had a
tariff rate of 45%. They now have a rate of 25%. Still cameras valued at $10 or more had a tariff
rate of 20% in 1930, and now have a rate of 15%. Lenses had a rate in 1930 of 45% against a current
rate of 25%. Further reductions in the tariff rates seem to be uncalled for under the existing
conditions of the photographic market. The reasons for this discussion is to emphasize once again
the importance of maintaining an efficiënt oper ation here. Our government cannot
and will not protect us if our costs are higher than our foreign competitors even though Japanese
wage rates are only 10% of ours. The volume of photographic products imported emphasizes the
importance for us to be constantly improving our operation, and I cali on e ach person at Argus to
contribute new ideas and cost-saving methods as frequently as possible. We have the Suggestion Plan
and Profit Improvement Plan available for submitting such ideas, lt ís important that we use
these plans to strengthen our business position. In the long run the only one who can guar antee our
security is our customer.
We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Edward Girvan who died unexpectedly July 20 while
visiting his parents in his native Scotland. At the time of his death Ed held the position of Chief
Inspector of Final Product Control, and was completing his 19 years of service as an Argus
Importation Of Still Cameras Valued At More Than $10 Each
1954 1955 1956 1957 Source - East Germany $1,672,000 $1,842,000 $2,014,000 $1,094,000 WestGermany
6,456,000 8,165,000 8,848,000 9,250,000 Japan 210,000 1,021,000 2,788,000 6,037,000 Others 406,000
632,000 1,250,000 1,265,000 Total $8,744,000 $11,660,000 $14,900,000 $17,646,000 Compare the above
with the approximate value of Argus Sales of 35mm cameras 1954 1955 1956 1957 Argus $10,044,000
$9,654,000 $8,537,000 $7,747,000
Abaut The Cover
Robert Camburn (Customer Service) took this month's cover photo while visiting the Brussels World
Fair with five other Argus employees (see story, page 6). Using a C44 camera with an fl.9 lens, Bob
shot this picture on Kodachrome film, from which we made the black and white print.
You Asked Andy
While almost everyone is busily involved in getting the heavy dealer orders filled, all of us are
still wondering why there were layoffs and , the realignment of certain job responsibilities only a
few weeks ago. The answers to these questions are both simple and complex. Simple, in that four or
five major factors can explain what happened, and complex because of the varied conditions that
contributed to the problems . Our sales for the year of 1958 are running at approximately the same
rate as 1957. The latter certainly wasn't our best year, but plenty good enough in view of the
general economie slowdown. It would seem to follow then, that with this year 's sales equal to last
we should be without problems, relatively speaking. liis is just where the problem exists. For us to
have even a moderately successful year (possibly equal to that of 1957) our sales must be
substantially more than they were last year. Why? Well, it is just a simple matter of costs.
Increased costs to be exact. What are these increased costs? The answer is that they are many in
number and varied in amount, but they all are costs that we previously did not have. NewProducts
There is probably no better example of added costs than our new products program. We know that the
development and introduction of new models is the ver y life blood of our business. However, today
they are not earning a di me for us and instead are requiring a tremendous investment in design,
tooiing, and production facilities. Bef ore the f irst production models of any new product reach
the hands of our customers we may have between $20,000 and $500,000 tied up in the development of
the product. Öbviously, these new products will soon be returning their investment and
providing funds for the development of future new products, but today they are a cost. Consider that
we will have up to twenty new products introduced this year and you can understand the heavy outlay
in working capital required to support such an under taking.
Wages Wage increases are another added cost that cuts into the working capital provided by each
sales dollar. In looking back just a little over one year we find annual improvement increases and
cost of living adjustments have added over $400,000 to our payroll costs. This figure does not
include the increase in material and parts costs which reflect the wage increases paid by our
suppliers to their employees. Inventories It has been our practice to build inventories during the
slow sales period (early spring) each year in an effort to maintain a fairly steady employment
level. However, each camera andor projector placed into inventory represente an investment in
materials, labor, and potential profit on which no return can be expected until the unit is sold,
which may be two, three, or maybe even f our months later. By the time June or July rolls around our
warehouses are getting pretty full and our capital investment is extremely high. When sales f all
short of our forecast for a given period these unsold inventories become a cost instead of earnings.
What To Do Earlier this year Joe Detweiller explained to all of us, through the Argus Eyes and
employee meetings, about the need to cut operating cost
wherever possible. Fm happy to report that much has been accomplished along these lines through
efforts and cooperation of everyone. A particular example of a cost reduction idea put into
operation this year was our leasing of trucks for long distance hauling of finished goods. This
system replaces the use of common carrier truck lines, with a resulting annual savings of $20,000.
Many other ideas submitted through the Profit Improvement Program, the Employee Suggestion System,
and general cost reduction channels have resulted in cutting our general operating
costssubstantially. Another way to increase profits is to increase the selling price of our
products. Here, however, is the classical "easier said than done" situation. We simply
cannnot set our prices without regard to what our competition is doing. The customer demands and
gets value for the dollars he spends which, after all, is the same attitude you and I have when we
are in a buying mood. The photographic equipment market is so highly competitive that a general
price increase on our products seems to be out of the question at this time. The Future One of the
real bright lights we can see ahead is continuing increase in the field of amateur photography. Over
the past few years there has been a steady increase in the consumption of cameras, projectors, and
related items. While the surge has been less than sensational, it has been steady. A continued
growth is readily assured by the ever-increasing leisure time available tothe American public. The
portion of the photographic market showing the most promise is amateur movie camera equipment, and
it is our intention to make our presence known in this field, as evidenced by our new M500
projector. In summing up the situation, it is safe to say that the customers are ready to buy and it
is up to each of us to make sure that Argus is there with the best products and prices when they put
their money down on the counter.
Service ...with An Argus Smile!
Service ...with An Argus Smile!
"Service" as defined by Mr. Webster (in his 17th version of the word) is,
"Accommodation to a dealer or consumer to promote the sale and use of a product." This
certainly applies to the Argus Customer Service Department, but it hardly tells the whole story of
the multitude of activities taking place on the upper floor of Plant III. Under the experienced
guidance of Department Head, Jim Rohrbaugh, our Service group is constantly ready to stand behind
our Lifetime Guarantee against imperfections in materials or workmanship. This unique Argus policy
naturally creates enthusiastic boosters for Argus. But the really amazing thing is that since the
beginning of our Life time Guarantee offer, the percentage of cameras returned for service has
actually declined due to the success of Argus quality control efforts. Our service percentage is
considered to be f ar lower than the industry average.
The group of skilled repair personnel also make friends by regularly performing near miracles on
Argus products which have been dropped from high windows, doused in lakes, dusted with sand or
otherwise abused. These "wrecks" are returned usually in less than one week, in good
working order, looking years younger, and with an extremely reasonable invoice. Repair service is
available for all Argus products including those which have not been manufactured for many years.
Another extremely important Service activity is the handling of all technical correspondence with
consumers and the publication of all technical, repair and product instruction mater ials. This, of
cour se, requires some real "answer men" plus art talent and expert ability to put
informatibn across to the public . Our Customer Service Department is one of the Argus
"faces" seen by the public . . . .it is a face with a smile and a readiness to help.
SNATCHES OF Already we are referring to it as last summer and for all practical purposes it is
gone. It hardly seems possible that a season can pass so rapidly. The pictures on these pages
certainly indicate the Argus employees mads the most of the warm weather and xtra daylight hours. A
real high-spot among the varied summer activities enjoyed by Argus employees was a European tour
which took six of them to London, Amsterdam, Brussels (World's Fair), and Paris. Participants were
Bev Martin (Accounting), Gert North (Machine Shop), Viola Curtis (Optical
Snatches Of Summer
Already we are referring to it as last summer and for all practical purposes it is gone. It
hardly seems possible that a season can pass so rapidly. The pictures on these pages certainly
indicate the Argus employees mad the most of the warm weather and fxtra daylight hours. A real
higti-spot among the varied summer activities enjoyed by Argus employees was a European tour which
took six of them to London, Amsterdam, Brussels (World's Fair), and Paris. Participants were Bev
Martin (Accounting), Gert North (Machine Shop), Viola Curtis (Optical
Assembly), Rachel Rodriquez (Personnel), Bob Camburn (Service), and Cal Foster (Shipping). The
tour group members were not the only ones who spent a lot of the summer air-borne. Dick Guarino
(shown with a Novion) is only one of several dozen employees active in light aircraft flying
locally. Camping is another of the favorite summer pastimes, and Paul Haines does it in style with
his compact 14 ft. unit shown pictured on this page.
Congratulations! Argus Anniversaries
Not Pictured: Joseph Majewski - Toolroom - 15 yrs. Milton Campbell - Service - 5 yrs. Donald
Hochgreve - Tool Engineering - 5 yrs. Patrick Donahue - Plant Security - 5 yrs. Charles Thomas -
Distribution Service - 5 yrs. Virginia Adams - Camera Assembly - 5 yrs. Lydia Karn - Optical
Assembly - 5 yrs. Richard Weber - Grinding - 5 yrs, Billy Baker - Camera Assembly - 5 yrs.
Herb Pfabe (Customer Service Dept.) has won the Argus Hole-in-one Contest by placing the best of
3 iron shots just 2 ft. 8 in. f rom the pin on the 155 yard fifth hole at Huron Hills Golf Cour se.
In doing so, he earned himself a table model radio as first prize (see photo). His shot was enetered
in the Corporation's Hole-in-one Contest, but at this writing we do not know how well his effort
compares with the top entries f rom the other Company divisions. Herb's golfing prowess is one of
long standing in the Argus Men's Golf League and in local golfing eire les. He has played among the
leaders in the Ann Arbor city tournaments for many years and has finished first in the Argus League
Edward H. Kuehn, Shipping, was recently installed as Worthy President of the Fraternal Order of
Eagles. Ed has served as Trustee of the Ann Arbor Aerie for the past year and has been a member of
the organization since 1943. Congratulations, Ed! WINS ESSAY CONTEST
Dianna Cooper, daughter of Lorene in Camera Assembly and Floyd, Machine Shop, won first place in
an essay contest sponsored by the Women's Auxiliary to the Erwin Prieskown Post of the American
Legion. Topic of the essays was "Citizenship, An Honor ed Privilege."
Presented to Norm Symons
A gold projector case, the 100,000th, was presented to Norm Symons, Purchasing, by Mr.
Stonecifer, Vice President of Arvin Industries, manufacturers of our projector case. MISS FRASER
GRADUATES Patricia Fraser, daughter of William Fraser, Toolroom, andWinifred Fraser, f ormer Argus
employee, graduated July 17 from the Grace Downs Modeling and Air Hostess School. We extend our
congratulations and best wishes to Patricia.
Nanette Lavon Rusha, daughter of Fred, Maintenance, was married on August 16 to Orien Nelson
Collom. The ceremony took place at the First Baptist Church in Howell, Michigan. The wedding was a
candlelight service with eight attendants. A reception was held following the service at the Knights
of Columbus Hall. The couple will honeymoon through the south for two weeks. On their return they
will make their home at Sunrise Park, Howell, Michigan. The bride was given away by her father.
Congratulations to you, Nanette and Orien! WENZEL-ALT UNITED IN YPSI Barbara Wenzel, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Floyd Wenzel, and Glenn Alt, Maintenance, were united in marriage on July 26 at Ypsilanti.
A reception was held at the VFW Hall in Carelton, Michigan. We offer our congratulations and best
wishes to the happy couple. TREPP-GILLIGAN UNITED JUNE 28 George J. R. Gilligan, son of George
Gilligan, Toolroom, was married to Mary Trepp, daughter of Alice Trepp and the late Dr. Samuel
Trepp, on June 28 at the Douglas Memorial Chapel of the Congregational Church. A reception was held
in the Mayflower Room of the church following the ceremony. Congratulations and best wishes to the
bride and gr oom! WEDDING CELEBRATED
Mary Ann Uban and Henry N. Smith, Jr., son of Henry Smith of Engineering and Rosetta Smith of
Movie Projector Assembly, were married at the Smith home, 1523 Kirtland Drive, on July 18 at 7:00
p.m. A reception was held immediately following the ceremony. Congratulations Mary and Henry!
DOUGLAS ANDREW CAMERON Born July 1 - Weight 7 lbs. 2-12 oz, Mother, Silvey Sue, formerly of
Sales. CHARLES EDWIN "CHIP" ROSS Bom July 24, Weight 7 lbs. Father - Pat Ross, Wholesale
Sales. This is Pat's second son. CURTÍS B. HILL, JR. Born in May, the first child of Curt
HUI, Sales. SUSAN MARIE DEVROY Born July 15 - Weight 7 lbs. Father is Floyd Devroy, Sales. Susan
Marie has a brother, Michael. THEODORE ROBERT INGLING Born July 21 - Weight 7 lbs. 13 oz. Father is
Bob Ingling, Purchasing. IHOR ALEXANDER HUMECKY Born July 15 - Weight 8 lbs. 12 oz. Father, Eugene
JAMES L. HAARER at five months Born November 14, 1957 - 5 lbs. Mother - Dorothy Haarer,
SHELIA ALAINE RAYMOND Born June 15 - weighing 7 Ibs. Father is William Raymond, Toolroom. Shelia
was born on Fathers' Day. SUSAN MARIE METZGER Born August 10. Father - Martin Metzger, Accounting.
Susan has an older sister, Diane Lynn.
GWEN ANN GRAHAM Daughter of Brice Graham, Plant Protection, was born June 16. Weight 6 lbs. 8
MICHAEL LEE STAPLETON Born March 18. Weighed in at 6 lbs. 8 oz. Father, Leo J. Stapleton of Final
After an absence from softball competí tion last year, Argus fielded a team in the
American División of the City Recreation League. Manager Joe O'Donnell has BillStephens, Gary
Dresselhouse and Dick Butcher as his moundmen. In Max Robinson, Argus has the outstanding receiver
in the league, and his hustling type of play has given the rest of the team the intense desire so
necessary for a winning combination. Clint Etienne and Don Hinz have been alternating at first and
right field with each turning in very good play. George Bock has held down the keystone sack, with
heavy hitting Jack Townsley at third and the fleetfooted Jim Yates at short. This infield compared
favorably with the outstanding Argus teams ofpastyears. The outer gardens are being well taken care
of by Johnnie Kokinakes in left, the reliable strong-throwing Bob Shankland in center, and either
Clint or Don in right. When occasion arises, O'Donnell can go to the bench for help. Don Zemke,
Larry LaVoie, Leo Stapleton, and Norm Bowerman have all played their part in the success of the ball
club. Although the team did not end up in the top spot, the entire squad has earned congratulations
for their fine sportsmanship in competition. Golf MEN'S GOLF LEAGUE In the Tuesday League (Red
División), Tower - Swanson and Spitier - Rossbach were tied for first place at the completion
of regular league play. A play-off was arranged, with the team of Tower and Swanson winning the
match and becoming the Champs of that league. All leagues went to the last night before the winners
were established, with the exception of the Wednesday 3:30 league. With the completion of the Golf
Leagues, the champs of each league have been established.
Tuesday Red División
Final Standings: Team Points 1. Tower - Swanson 81 2. Spitler - Rossbach 80 3. Borger son -
Isaacson 76 4. M. Geiger - K. Geiger 72 5. Sealscott - Kerns 72 6. Brinkerhoff - Detweiller 64 7.
Etienne - Stevens 60 8. Fraser - Moore 52 9. Cor ley - Pelton 44 10. Bye Tuesday Blue
Final Standings: Team Points 1. Leggett - Navarre 88 2. Van Dyke - Donaldson 86 3. Thomas -
Chapman 74 4. Haas - Ambrazevich 71 5. McClune - Thompson 69 6. Bullís - Selent 60 7. Miatech
- Wescott 54 8. Parker, Jr. - Keeny 50 9. Arnst - Green 49 10. R. J. Wilson - Hamilton 48 11.
Barsantee, Sr. - Smith 40 12. Hale - Chadwick 32
Wednesday 3130 League
Final Standings: Team Points 1. Betke - Peterson 102 2. Deyo - Towner 74 3. Crump - Soderholm 71
4. Shattuck - Stoner 60 5. Howe - Conn 57 6. Cope - Mitchell 56 7. Conley - Stotts 50 8. Flick -
Otts 45 Wednesday 5100 League
Final Standings: Team Points 1. Wellman - Zill 79 2. Ripple - Hall 76 3. Nickels - Heermans 70 4.
Dempsey - R. Ross 67 5. K. Kaufman - R. Kaufman 67 6. O'Neill - Rogers 62 7. Bradley - Cuny 55 8.
Carpenter - P. Ross 52 9. Solí - Gramprie 44 10. Mayer - Cooper 39 NOTICE: The Argus Two Ball
Mixed Foursome Tournament will be held on Saturday, September 20 at Inverness Golf Cour se. See the
bulletin boards for further information, or contact John Borger son or Don Crump.
Published every other month for the employees of Argus Cameras and their families.
Coördinator - Arthur Parker, Jr. REPORTERS: Machine Shop - DOROTHY LKEY, Purchasing - BETTY
FORSYTH, Lens Processing - BETTY SHATTUCK, Maintenance - JOHN KOKINAKES, Engineering - HÉCTOR
HAAS and JUNE FAIRCHILD, Standards and Production Planning - VIRGINIA BIRNEY, Toolroom - BILL FIKE,
Accounting - CAROL WHITE, Service - TOM KENTES, Suggestion Office - PAUL McCOY, C4 and C44 Assembly
- THRESSEL CONLEY, Sales - LOIS ELKINS, Paint Shop - ETHYL HUFFMAN, Night Shift - CONRAD GANZHORN.
Feature writers: Joe Detweiler Andy Argus: Don Crump Photoprinting: Jan Gala Photography: Wilma
Simmons Jan Gala MATERIAL MAY BE REPRINTED WITH CREDIT TO ARGUS EYES
División of Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN Return Postage
Sc 56, P. L. R. U. S. POSTAGE P A I D Aun Arfeor, MicKifn PfmH No. 59f
Three Win Argus Scholarships
Our three scholarship winners this year are Charlotte Graf, daughter of Al Graf (Engineering),
lillian Rutledge, daughter of Mary Jane Rutledge (Accounting), and James Eubank, son of Cecille
Lally (Movie Projector Assembly). The scholarships carry a stipend of $250.00 per year and are
renewable for an additional three years. They may be used at either the University of Michigan or
Eastern Michigan College. A total of 18 Argus scholarships have been awarded to Argus employees or
members of employee's families since the fund was established in 1953.
Mike Quinton Appointed To A.f. Academy
One of our seholarship winners last year has been appointed to the United States Air Force
Academy. Michael Quinton, sone of Gr ace Quinton (Projector Assembly), was appointed to the academy
through the efforts of Congressman George Meader (2nd Congressional District). This appointment fuif
ills a lif e-long ambition of Mike!s to become a flyer. His mother and we at Argus are justly proud
of his achievement.
Argus Sales Program Goes Into High Gear For Christmas Season
From now until Christmas Argus will appear on 107,000,000 printed pages in national magazines,
and 121,000 televisión screens on national net-works to pre-sell our products during this
most important sales season.
Virginia Brumley, Advertising department secretary, displays the three piece "Real
McCoys" display which is currently making its appearance in photography stores and departments
across the country. The displays feature photos of Walter Brennan as Grampa McCoy, and the headlines
are "comments" from Grampa about the merits of our new slide projectors. This is only one
of many Argus preChristmas merchandising activities.
OUR TV AD SCHEDULE "THE EEAL McCOYS" Channel 7 8:30 p,m. Thursdays Oct. 23 Dec. 4 Not.
6 Dec. 11 Nov, 13 Dec. 18 Not. 20 Dec. 25 Not. 27