Mr. James Shurtleff started working for ANSCO-GAF in 1960, after he graduated from Broome Community College in 1959, holding a degree in chemical engineering. His relation with the company goes a little earlier. He took part in couple of coop-assignments in the photo lab where he was processing film strips as a technician for three months. As a chemical process engineer at ANSCO, Mr. Shurtleff and his team's task was to test the formulations of photographic emulsion (light sensitive portion applied to film), which were developed in the R&D building in the manufacturing plant. Then they would convert the formulations into continuous process. What they were looking particularly into was how to improve the efficiency and the reproducibility of the pilot plans, as described "applied development". A typical pilot project would entail people coming together and discussing the concepts, and what kinds of equipment they would need that are available on the market. Then a group of 4 or 5 photographic emulsion technicians would design a small scale unit, a small reaction chamber, first using plastic, then glassware. Then they would go to a larger size and would purchase commercial products such as pumps and pipes. By then they were also using engineering programs, IBM computers and punched cards. In the 1960s, while Mr. Shurtleff was employed as a chemical engineer, he would come to the office and have a conversation with the manager about ongoing projects. When he became the section manager, he would have about 15 engineers under his supervision.
After Mr. Shurtleff completed an M.A. in engineering administration in Syracuse University in 1970, he became a section manager. His lab did also move to a special plant for process engineering only. His job became involving with directing and interacting with engineers, writing reports and talking to, or "communicating with" the management. Until 1975-76 Mr. Shurtleff was coding -basic step in photographic film base- and developing small scale emulsions.
After 1975, he transferred to waste water treatment plant, the waste water that resulted from the film based manufacturing. It was the same job of section manager, with different responsibilities. James left ANSCO-GAF in the 1980s. Before he left the company he became a licensed professional engineer in 1979, something he values highly that ANSCO was interested in sending employees to schools and contributing into their professional development, which he didn't observe for IBM. What happened during the 1980s was that GAF went under demise and sold out ANSCO and the film division to ANATECH because it was not profitable. Mr. Shurtleff explained to me the reasons of this: the rate of silver, which was used in film processing, went from 5 to 60 per ounce. KODAK had its own silver mines or silver stocks and could go over this crisis. But ANSCO was buying all of its silver from the market. For sometime Mr. Shurtleff worked for finding ways to conserve silver, identifying leaks etc., which was an idea of the administration. He left ANSCO just before ANATECH took over.
Between 1981 and 1996, Mr. Shurtleff worked for IBM. He and his team were producing multi-layered circuit boards of copper clay for high speed for larger computers. His first couple of years at IBM was very successful that they managed to build 2000-2400 circuit boards. After two or three years he took a manager's job, when he completed a school in Manhattan for PC programming, where he also took some management courses. Then he became a section manager at IBM. He worked in IBM-Owego for three years in a task of making military circuit boards smaller. In concluding our interview when asked, James commented that he is from "older culture" when people would spend much time at work rather then with family.