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Dexter Press, Inc.

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Does anyone know whatever became of Dexter Press, Inc., the publisher of many NYWF postcards? An acquaintance told me that they went out of business. I do not find them listed in the curent phone directory for Nyack, NY, where they used to do business. Does anyone have any information regarding Dexter?

Thanks Much,

Stan Horzepa

Wolcott, CT

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I wonder if this is them 40 years later?

<a href="http://www.dexterpress.com/category.aspx?cid=11" target="_blank">http://www.dexterpress.com/category.aspx?cid=11</a>

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Sad to say but Dexter went out of business quite a few years ago - 20 maybe? I had tried to find them when I was putting my postcard list together and was surprised that they were gone, as they were such a major player in the postcard field. I eventually found a dealer (name escapes me at the minute) who had bought their file copies of cards and was able to get some I needed, but he didn't have any idea what had happened to any of their other files, negatives, etc. If anyone has more info I would love to hear it.

Bill

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Don't think there's any connection, Doug. This is from their "about us" page:

For over 40 years MWM Dexter has provided church supply products for the Christian community. From worship bulletins to offering envelopes, we have endeavored to bring you the finest quality and theme appropriate materials available.

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A postcard of a postcard maker. Dexter Press in West Nyack. Not sure of the date but look at that great truck. I had emailed them last year to show them this picture and the president said he remembered the old building. Unfortunately it was torn down years ago being on the outskirts of the land that the huge Palisades Center Mall now stands.

Now I live in the area and I remember the building on Rte 303 right across from a hotel my wife and I stayed at before we were married, oops, I mean a hotel we passed by...

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The rest of the story...

After investigating this matter further this afternoon, I discovered that Dexter lives! In 1980, Dexter merged with MWM, a publisher of road maps, and became MWM Dexter (http://www.mwmdexter.com) of Aurora, Missouri. The Dexter Press web site mentioned earlier is the religious branch of MWM Dexter.

Stan Horzepa

Wolcott, CT

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Hey Mitch,

Remember the 303 Drive-in movie theater? And the big "golf ball" (radar?) on top of the hill? My youth too, but in the back of my parents' station wagon in my pajamas. (Get your mind out of the gutter, I was 10! smile.gif )

Pete

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Pete,

The screen for the drive in may still be there although the grounds are now an office park and golf driving range. I've only been in this area for about 20 years, grew up in the drive in's onnLong Island. There's a drive in on rte 59 in Monsey that's been in an abandoned state for what seems forever too.

Interesting though that Dexter was in West Nyack and Letster Associates who built the Panorama model was there too.

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My Grandfather, Thomas A. Dexter, founded and ran Dexter Press. As a young boy I grew up in the printing plant in West Nyack. It was a very interesting and successful business. In the early 1970's my Grandfather sold Dexter Press to Consolidated Foods, which had a graphics arts division. My father, Robert Reardon, managed Dexter Press for Consolidated Foods until 1977, when Consolidated Foods sold Dexter Press to an individual whose name escapes me. This individual borrowed a significant amount of money to buy Dexter Press and unfortunately the venture was not successful. This individual sold Dexter Press to a printing company in Missouri who adopted the Dexter Press name. I believe this is the Dexter Press that currently prints church related documents. Some of the Dexter Press files and color seperations went to Missouri but there was no interest in the older files and color seperations. My mother and aunt have some of the earliest files and cards. Long term employees also received some of the older files. The Dexter building in West Nyack was sold to a beer distributor but it was eventually torn down so a shopping mall could be built.

My mother has stories about how she and my Grandfather used Kodak chemistry and film to perfect the color seperation process, using the bathtub in their house to perform the work in because the bathroom could be made dark and the bathtub prevented spills from making a mess, which my Grandmother was not fond of! After perfecting his technique, my Grandfather developed different ways to market and sell the postcards. He began in Pearl River, NY and after the business had grown and he needed a larger facility, he bought land in West Nyack on Rt 303 and had a new building constructed. As I grew up I usually spent Saturday mornings at the plant with my father, absorbing the workings of the plant without even knowing it. I have many fond memories of Dexter Press and am proud of what my Grandfather and all of the wonderful people who worked there created.

With respect to the 1963 Wordls Fair, my Grandfather and Father paid a fee to be the supplier of postcards at the Worlds Fair. Dexter Press sold postcards directly to the vendors at teh Fair. They parked an 18 wheeler trailer in a parking lot and kept it filled with postcards. Every day an employee would call on each vendor on the faigrounds and resupply their stores with postcards. By selling directly to the retailers Dexter Press made a handsome profit on the postcards at the Fair.

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Wow, we've been interested in finding you for a long time! So glad you've joined us here.

That's a great story about the 18-wheeler in the parking lot. Looking at the numbering systems used, I think we had concluded that Dexter dealt directly with a number of the pavilions, and now you've confirmed it.

I have a color postcard showing a Dexter delivery truck in front of the plant in West Nyack.

We've heard about the court battle that Dexter waged against competing postcard companies who ignored Dexter's exclusivity clause in their contract with the World's Fair Corporation. Notably Polychrome out of Boston who tried all kinds of tricks like publishing postcards of pavilions shot over the fence from outside the fairgrounds boundaries and claiming it wasn't a violation. Some of those court documents are in the Fair Corporation's archives at the New York Public Library.

We've also noted that Dexter seemed to have some kind of arrangement with Manhattan Postcard Co. for the sale of World's Fair postcards *outside* the fairgrounds. These often carried an additional imprint for Manhattan and sometimes a dual serial number as well. But other than those observations, there's very little we know about the arrangement with Manhattan, who was one of the big postcard producers for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.

I guess one of our big questions will be- did any records survive sbowing all the different postcards Dexter produced (particularly for the World's Fair) by their serial numbers?

The first effort I'm aware of by anybody outside of Dexter to compile such a list was published by a New York area postcard collectors club in 1966, and they really did a superb job with it. But in the years since, we've discovered a number of postcards that were missed in that 1966 compilation, so a few of us have expanded the list several times as new postcards get discovered. But we've never had a master list to refer to that was produced by Dexter itself. I'd bet my bottom dollar that such a list would reveal the existence of postcards that we don't even know about.

Tell us all you can! :)

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It's great that you found us. As Randy said a lot of have had fun collecting the postcards over the years, and we're still trying to figure out if there are others out there. Any information you can add would greatly be appreciated.

Do you know what happened to the rights to the postcard images with all of the sales of Dexter over the years? I've written twice to the current company and they don't bother to answer.

Dexter also printed a number of cards from my Boy Scout Council. They did great work! I'm glad your family turned out such a high quality product.

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Hi all, I'm interested in potentially publishing a small book of images from Dexter color postcards from the mid-to-late 60s, particularly the advertisements for small businesses, which often included beautiful photographs of merchandise or objects. I'm curious if RReardon or others here may know of an archive of these postcards or photographs that could potentially be accessed for this book. RReardon, do you think your mother or aunt might be open to talking? I'd love to chat with anyone interested in this possibility, particularly folks who may know details about the original photographers. I've found quite a few cards on ebay but I'd rather work directly with the family or someone involved with the press.

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My grandfather, Joe Capicotto, had a small photography and advertising business in Miami, Fl from after WWII through the mid 70's and did alot of work for Dexter Press, mainly post cards of Florida hotels and tourist attractions. He was also hired by Dexter to take player photos of 4 baseball teams for the Coke baseball card promotion in 1967. My mother (Joe's daughter) has many letters between my grandfather and Dexter executives and I have many uncirculated postcards of businesses and tourist attractions as well as the negatives that my grandfather kept over the years. I also want to add that it's great to find a forum like this and I look forward to many discussions regarding Dexter and my grandfather's contribution to the business.

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I am just beginning to collect the 1964 NYWF postcards and notice several references in this thread to lists or catalogues of the postcards issued for the Fair.  (Apparently created by several folks.)  I know of course there are numerous Dexter cards, cards by other manufacturers, and the cards issued specifically for Pavilions or businesses.  I think I heard once there were over 600 different cards but I suspect the number is higher than that, espe4cially if one includes the variations between straight edge and scalloped edge and other varieties.

Is there a comprehensive list of the cards created for the Fair and if so how may I obtain/purchase a copy?  I would love to know what's "out there" as I begin my search.

Thanks

Ron Klimley

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Bill Cotter created a comprehensive list of the NYWF 64-65 postcards a number of years back. I'm sure if you contact him by private email he can assist you.

 

 

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RReardon, great to see you here, its Clark. Don't forget your great grandfather, of the Dexter Folder Co, manufacturer in New York of the folding machine, back in the late 1800s. Great family, and happy I was given the Dexter name as my middle name. The old Pearl River Dexter factory still stands today, right by the train station. 

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