Forgotten Serials of Rochester 3: Tycos

In our continuing series on some of the more “colorful” publications of our city, one has stood out for me as a particularly decorative one. It wasn’t something commonly seen on newsstands but rather an in-house organ, touting the achievements of what was once the world’s largest manufacturer of meteorological equipment.

Taylor Instruments was founded as Kendall & Taylor in 1851, in a single room over the Post Drug Store on Exchange Street. Kendall had come from a thermometer family; his father, Thomas Jr., founded one of the very first thermometer factories in the U.S. With Taylor’s business acumen, they aimed to make a superior and inexpensive instrument that would equal the then-currently available expensive imports. One hundred years later they had a 400,000 square-foot factory on Ames Street employing 2,000 people (now an empty space of course). By 1968, they had merged with Ritter Pfaudler to form Sybron, and continue to this day, after a variety of sales and mergers, to operate out of Oak Brook, Illinois. (A good thumbnail history is available at http://www.taylorusa.com/taylor-about).

“Tycos” was a trademark of Taylor in the early part of the twentieth century, used to differentiate their products from subsidiary companies that had their own trademarks. It was also used as the title for their journal for a couple of decades  until the trademark was phased out. Early issues of the publication showed a stylish graphic sensibility on par with other Art-Deco-inspired magazines of the day. Herewith, we present a sampling of covers from this lovely forgotten serial (click on image to make larger).

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A couple of lovely interiors:

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And who doesn’t love a dancing thermometer:

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The last issue:

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Other Taylor publications followed but they lacked the graphic style of those earlier issues, which demise can be seen by Tycos-Rochester’s finale.

Stay tuned for more lost publications from Rochester’s past!

—Bob Scheffel, Local History Division

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Published in: on February 12, 2014 at 9:51 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bob, Thank you for scanning the delightful covers from the Taylor company magazine. I am writing to ask if there were artist’s credit given to them inside the magazine. I only saw one with the small initials “HL” in the corner. These are truly high quality graphics. You’ve made my day a little brighter by including them on your site. Bravo.

    • Sadly, Barbara, no, no artist’s credits were available. Glad you enjoy them!


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