Sunday, August 7, 2011

Perfect Film & Chemical Company (1967- 1970)

Perfect Film and Chemical Company was created in early June 1967, when  United Whelan  changed their name, since they no longer owned the former Whelan and United Cigar stores.  And that pretty much describes the entire philosophy behind the buisness:   buy a company and then sell or dump it - all for the short term, nothing for the long term.  Martin S. Ackerman (c1932-1993) was the boy wonder behind the wheelings and dealings of PF&C.
  Lets look at some of the companies  that they bought and sold: Pathe, Plume and Atwood, Perfect Film, Hudson Vitamins, Culver Studios,  Downe Communications,  and most important to our topic Curtis Publications, Curtis Circulation, and Magazine Management   
     The Curtis folks had been one of the most dominate publisher for the past century, but it's flagship title,
The Saturday Evening Post was running out of steam, losing money hand over fist due to decrease in advertising.
PF&C didn't want to buy Curtis - they just wanted to loan them lots of money - and have Martin Ackerman be the president of Curtis as well, which happened in April 1968.   This resulted in SEP going to a specialized  market only (disclaimer: my family was one of the many who didn't live in the right area to subscribe),  and then led to SEP no longer being published.  They sold lots of good real estate, they sold their other magazines, they spent a lot of time in board meetings and then eventually in court.
    Circa May 1968 the Curtis Circulation Company is transfered to PF&C.
   In July 1968, PF&C finalized a deal with Martin Goodman for Magazine Management (which included Marvel Comics), and they over running the company by September 1968.
     (cover date - actual date circa September) December 1968 -February 1969, Marvel comics were listed in the indicia, that they were being published by PF&C. This was then changed to PF&C's division, Magazine Management.
    In January 1969 it was announced that PF&C was taking over the publication of several Curtis magazines,
Jack and Jill, Holiday, and Status. This lasted until October.
    Martin Ackerman stepped down (a wealthy man) in May 1969, although he continued to consult for the company.  Sheldon Feinberg became President in June 1969 and then Chairman.
     October 1969 (cover date - actual date circa July ) Marvel Comics and the magazine line began to be distributed by the  Curtis Circulation Company, which was  owned by PF&C.
     In April 1970, PF&C reported a 35 million dollar loss for the year  1969.
     Between October 20, 1970 and January 24, 1971 PF&C changes their name to Cadence Industries Corporation,  They sell off Perfect Film not too long after.
       Martin Goodman is still on board, but his (presumed) 5 year contract is  ticking away.  Cadence enters the 1970s  ready for growth with Marvel Comics, Magazine Management, and Curtis Circulation.

Martin Ackerman died  in August 1993 at age 61.

All information is as best known - and taken from newspaper and magazine accounts from the late 1960s.