Century Strand Sicodim

microstar

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I recently ran across this ad in an old Theatre Crafts magazine and can't figure out what "Sicodim" refers to. Back in the 1960's, I attended an Ice Capades show in Kansas City and remember seeing some dark green castered dimmer racks with "Sicodim" or "Sic-O-Dim" stenciled on them. I thought maybe it was a trade name derived from Silicon Controlled Dimming. They looked pretty industrial-strength at the time. Does anyone know anything about Sicodim?
 

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RonHebbard

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I recently ran across this ad in an old Theatre Crafts magazine and can't figure out what "Sicodim" refers to. Back in the 1960's, I attended an Ice Capades show in Kansas City and remember seeing some dark green castered dimmer racks with "Sicodim" or "Sic-O-Dim" stenciled on them. I thought maybe it was a trade name derived from Silicon Controlled Dimming. They looked pretty industrial-strength at the time. Does anyone know anything about Sicodim?
Calling @Ron Foley and / or @bharrell Can either of you speak to OP @microstar 's Query?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

mrtrudeau23

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Here is a full digital copy of that magazine. Super interesting stuff in it, but no other mention of Sicodim. A google search was less than helpful as well.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

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i think sicodim was a manufacturer, not a product. Perhaps mag amps? This was 1970. https://www.jensen-transformers.com/full-history/

And on page 62 - lighting controls in conjunction with ColorTran https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1968/1968-06-03-BC.pdf

And in an article in Directory of the american Educational Theatre Association which mentions working with George F. Van Buren https://www.jstor.org/stable/3205860?seq=1 (I was not interested in signing in, so not sure.) Van Buren did quite a lot of theatre lighting work long ago - https://www.theunion.com/news/obituaries/obituary-of-george-van-buren/

From a 1968 manufacturer directory for broadcast industry: https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Broadcast-Engineering/BE/60s/BE-1968-01.pdf
SICODIM, INC. SALES MANAGER GEORGE VAN BUREN
COMPANY ADDRESS 7351 RADFORD AVE. N. HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. 91605
213 765-0551
LIGHTING, TV, COMPONENTS LIGHTING, TV, CONTROLS LIGHTING, TV, SYSTEMS

get your google fu on!

PS - 1970 annual report of the Rank Organisation - search for "sico" https://memoriesofrxmp.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Rank-Organisation-ARA-1970.pdf
 

RonHebbard

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i think sicodim was a manufacturer, not a product. Perhaps mag amps? This was 1970. https://www.jensen-transformers.com/full-history/

And on page 62 - lighting controls in conjunction with ColorTran https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1968/1968-06-03-BC.pdf

And in an article in Directory of the american Educational Theatre Association which mentions working with George F. Van Buren https://www.jstor.org/stable/3205860?seq=1 (I was not interested in signing in, so not sure.) Van Buren did quite a lot of theatre lighting work long ago - https://www.theunion.com/news/obituaries/obituary-of-george-van-buren/

From a 1968 manufacturer directory for broadcast industry: https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Broadcast-Engineering/BE/60s/BE-1968-01.pdf
SICODIM, INC. SALES MANAGER GEORGE VAN BUREN
COMPANY ADDRESS 7351 RADFORD AVE. N. HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. 91605
213 765-0551
LIGHTING, TV, COMPONENTS LIGHTING, TV, CONTROLS LIGHTING, TV, SYSTEMS

get your google fu on!

PS - 1970 annual report of the Rank Organisation - search for "sico" https://memoriesofrxmp.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Rank-Organisation-ARA-1970.pdf
The advertisement in Post #1 clearly mentions this is a Century Strand product.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

microstar

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Lawton, OK
i think sicodim was a manufacturer, not a product. Perhaps mag amps? This was 1970. https://www.jensen-transformers.com/full-history/

And on page 62 - lighting controls in conjunction with ColorTran https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1968/1968-06-03-BC.pdf

And in an article in Directory of the american Educational Theatre Association which mentions working with George F. Van Buren https://www.jstor.org/stable/3205860?seq=1 (I was not interested in signing in, so not sure.) Van Buren did quite a lot of theatre lighting work long ago - https://www.theunion.com/news/obituaries/obituary-of-george-van-buren/

From a 1968 manufacturer directory for broadcast industry: https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Broadcast-Engineering/BE/60s/BE-1968-01.pdf
SICODIM, INC. SALES MANAGER GEORGE VAN BUREN
COMPANY ADDRESS 7351 RADFORD AVE. N. HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. 91605
213 765-0551
LIGHTING, TV, COMPONENTS LIGHTING, TV, CONTROLS LIGHTING, TV, SYSTEMS

get your google fu on!

PS - 1970 annual report of the Rank Organisation - search for "sico" https://memoriesofrxmp.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Rank-Organisation-ARA-1970.pdf
It does appear my Google fu suffered a major failure, but good to know that my (dim) memory of the company Sicodim was pretty much correct. Now if we can just find a picture of one of those dark green dimmer racks!! Thanks for finding the answer Bill.
 

JohnD

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Doddering off topic, but I wonder if Century Strand ever made Century Stands?

EDIT: Oh and thanks to @mrtrudeau23 for the link, which had this page next to the one posted above:
Solmatic.PNG
 
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RonHebbard

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Doddering off topic, but I wonder if Century Strand ever made Century Stands?

EDIT: Oh and thanks to @mrtrudeau23 for the link, which had this page next to the one posted above:
View attachment 20073
Thank you @JohnD and @mrtrudeau23 Managed to read ALL of the itty bitty fine print; don't recall John Barnes, mentioned as the manufacturer's contact person but DEFINITELY remember Bruce Whitehead who was instrumental in the development, fabrication, and commissioning of at least two of Ward Leonard's previous consoles, one installed in Kitchener Waterloo's U of W in 1969 and a second installed in Hamilton, Ontario's Sir Allan MacNab secondary school in 1970. The console pictured was close to vapor-ware in 1970 but Ward Leonard's VP of sales was beating the bushes promoting his about to be released new product to any and all who may potentially be interested / able to fund its purchase. For several years Ward Leonard's U of W installation was their showpiece install in the Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo, London, Ontario area.
Ward Leonard kept Sir John A's behemoth operational for approximately five years after a Strand GSX was purchased along with a DMX to analog protocol converter diode coupled to provide an either / or HTP choice and backup. The GSX would've been purchased and installed in '92 or '93 and was used to light an amateur production of Chorus Line as its inaugural debut.

Bruce Whitehead, remains high on my list of manufacturer's reps who gave you his home number, his wife's name, and instructions to have her rouse him anytime you had reason to phone him: GOOD GUY, providing ETC level after sales support decades before the world had heard of ETC.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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microstar

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Lawton, OK
Thank you @JohnD and @mrtrudeau23 Managed to read ALL of the itty bitty fine print; don't recall John Barnes, mentioned as the manufacturer's contact person but DEFINITELY remember Bruce Whitehead who was instrumental in the development, fabrication, and commissioning of at least two of Ward Leonard's previous consoles, one installed in Kitchener Waterloo's U of W in 1969 and a second installed in Hamilton, Ontario's Sir Allan MacNab secondary school in 1970. The console pictured was close to vapor-ware in 1970 but Ward Leonard's VP of sales was beating the bushes promoting his about to be released new product to any and all who may potentially be interested / able to fund its purchase. For several years Ward Leonard's U of W installation was their showpiece install in the Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo, London, Ontario area.
Ward Leonard kept Sir John A's behemoth operational for approximately five years after a Strand GSX was purchased along with a DMX to analog protocol converter diode coupled to provide an either / or HTP choice and backup. The GSX would've been purchased and installed in '92 or '93 and was used to light an amateur production of Chorus Line as its inaugural debut.

Bruce Whitehead, remains high on my list of manufacturer's reps who gave you his home number, his wife's name, and instructions to have her rouse him anytime you had reason to phone him: GOOD GUY, providing ETC level after sales support decades before the world had heard of ETC.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Some photos of an actual Ward Leonard Solmatic console in the Paul Pelletier lighting console photo collection:


There are a couple of close-ups there also.
Very interesting collection of console and fixture photos.
 

STEVETERRY

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Location
New York
I recently ran across this ad in an old Theatre Crafts magazine and can't figure out what "Sicodim" refers to. Back in the 1960's, I attended an Ice Capades show in Kansas City and remember seeing some dark green castered dimmer racks with "Sicodim" or "Sic-O-Dim" stenciled on them. I thought maybe it was a trade name derived from Silicon Controlled Dimming. They looked pretty industrial-strength at the time. Does anyone know anything about Sicodim?
Sicodim was George Van Buren's company which later turned into Van Buren Industries. Siltron Illumination then acquired Van Buren Industries and began selling "George Van Buren Signature Series" products. In 1971, I toured with the Dance Theatre of Harlem using two 24x3000 watt Sicodim dimmer racks. Later on, Production Arts manufactured VanBuren dimmers under license from Siltron (3600W, 6000w, 12000W) and they were the basis of our many analog touring racks during the 1980's. They were displaced in our rental stock by LMI and then ETC high-density digital dimmers.

The LA connection between Van Buren and Century Strand gets muddier. Dave Cunningham designed the Sweet 16 and Compuset 2000 consoles for Van Buren. These were the dark days of dimming for Century, and Van Buren and Century may have collaborated on some projects with each supplying consoles or dimmers. Of course, Cunningham went on to design many landmark consoles and dimmers (CD80 and Light Palette were the history-makers) as the head of R&D for Century when Wally Russell was the president.

ST
 

microstar

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Lawton, OK
Interesting article on George Van Buren in the Spring 2010 ESTA "Protocol". Covers his creation of Sicodim and the products @STEVETERRY mentioned:

You will have to go to the "Archive" tab in upper right and navigate to the Spring 2010 issue.
He died in 2015 after a long illness. Quite a career.