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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Name Change! It's 1989 and this Factory Sign is being taken Down - But what is the Company's Name?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

GuesterTester80 - It's a company with an interesting history that finally closed in 2007 - Updated with extra clues & Winner!

Photo: Regular Sleuth Tom Chilton spotted this pic in an archive & pixellated the name to create a frustrating Tester - frustrating to me because I'm sure I know this story but I can't think of the company name, nor what it produced.

Tom writes that this factory was built by the UK subsidiary of a big US firm. Construction started in 1913 but the factory only started production in 1922. The British management abandoned the factory in the first year of WW2 and it was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in December 1944.

The company was nationalised in 1948. At it's peak in 1972, it was exporting 45% of its output to 74 countries. It was stil exporting to 50 counties in 1997 but demand for its products suddenly collapsed and the company ceased operations in 2007.

I'm guessing the pic was taken in Budapest, but I'm not absolutely sure about that. I think most of us will need a few more clues to nail this one - Tom has said he will sort that one out.

I'm not sure what the name was or what it became, so I'll accept any of it's official names from 1913 - 2007.

Over to the many sleuths among the readership - please write KT80 in your answers to help me avoid missing your entry.

As for Socialist-Realist man on his wall - KT79 - is still open for entries, although a surprising number have located it, somewhat to my surprise, so I don't think I need to add any more clues - but you still have a chance of global celebrity fame with that one.

And if you would like to read a bit about the subject of KT78 - that's the one of the happy fellow swigging back the plonk at the Törley pezsgő (sparkling wine) cellar's garden, here's a link to the story I did about the Museum visit you can take if the fancy takes you to jump on the 47 tram all the way to Budafok.

Apolgies for paucity of posts of late, time seems to forever be accerlarating, and energy levels are not what they were.

I'm off to see what how the latest KATA protest develops this evening. Enjoy the weekend!

UPDATE: I do apologise for the delay in adding clues, and in truth, what I now give you is not much help.

However, Mr Chilton wrote to me later to say: "I had assumed that the lads in the original pic are taking down the sign (á la 1989), but other pics taken at the time suggest that they were in fact erecting a new sign.

And I may have misled some sleuths in that - if this sign is being erected at the company's main production centre - it is not in Budapest.

UPDATE2: Here's another clue:

Photo This young lad is part of a marketing campaign for the company's products.

And now, for the contestants and WINNER!

Well, this Tester had most stumped – including myself!

But Albyn Austin was willing to have a crack. Was it Hetherington Machine Lace Manufacturer in Raab, he asked?

I've never heard of that one, Albyn, and I suspect there is a very good story there. (Do you know it?) But this case, no, I'm afraid it wasn't.

Then we had György Drucker, who wrote:

Dear Kester,

As to KT80 my guess is Forte (ex Kodak) film making company.(

And a few days later, Zsolt Maroti followed suit

Szia Kester

The name of the company was originally Kodak later it became Forte, and the factory was based in Vác.

And that, dear readers, was the sum of contestants. And the first valid number out of the EU-approved Black Woolly Draw Hat, with celebrity status awaiting you, …. number 1 …. Step forward György Drucker!

Shame on me – I have boxes labelled Forte which used to contain silver-halide printing paper, but I didn't get it without an extra clue. I used their B&W printing paper, but not their film.

Yes, indeed, Forte went under, I presume because of the near extinction of analogue photography with the rise of digital photography in the 2000s. The photo is from Vác.

Congratulations to György on his sleuthing, and sorry to Zsolt for being so cluse, but …. whose number did not come up.

I have posted extra clue to KT80 and will post another later this week. Meanwhile, KT81 is also up there. So get your sleuthing caps on and post some answers, please!

Finally, here's another Forte marketing advert sent in by Tom Chilton.

All piccies are from the Fortepan website, here

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