CHICAGO - Arrem Plastics Inc. has a slight case of the blues, which it will pay $1,000 to remove. Missing from its 50th anniversary display of products on exhibit at the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago, was an original, pressure-formed lens the company produced in 1959 for use in fluorescent lighting fixtures for architectural applications.
The firm produced 3,000 of the 1- by 4-foot lenses between 1959 and 1966 for Lighting Products Inc. of Highland Park, Ill. Two of the unique parts remained in operation at the company's Addison, Ill., headquarters until recently.
``While we were renovating our offices, we set the historic lenses aside,'' said Jack Schrieffer, Arrem's sales manager. ``Appar-ently, an energetic cleaning person thought they were refuse and discarded both of them.''
The loss is not insignificant to Arrem, which began pressure forming in 1959 and produces custom pressure formed components for medical, computer and telecommunications equipment, and lenses and parts for lighting fixture manufacturers.
The company noted it has received six Thermoformed Part of the Year awards from the Society of Plastics Engineers during the past decade and is the first pressure former to win both SPE and Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. design competitions for a part it produced.
The Chicago exhibit's missing link is the first-ever pressure formed part, according to Schrieffer, and replicated the then-unavailable Albalite glass lens for fluorescent lights.
The part was produced in two styles by Arrem from one-eighth-inch-thick starting gauge in clear or translucent acrylic. It has a 1-inch concave shape with pressure formed one-eighth-inch linear lenticular prisms along its full length.
Schrieffer said Arrem will pay $1,000 ``upon receipt of the first lens submitted and upon verification of its authenticity.''
The firm is located at 502 S. Vista Ave., Addison, Ill. 60101; tel. (708) 628-2450; fax (708) 628-1855.