Eva-Tone Inc. is a company based in Florida
, perhaps most famous for manufacturing flexidisc
s -- which the company called "Soundsheets" -- but their money today comes from services such as duplication of compact disc
s and cassette
s. They've also gone into the printing business.
Founded in 1925, Eva-Tone's first product was a moulding used for rubber stamps, a technology innovative enough to be shown off at the 1933 World's Fair. Around 1958, Eva-Tone founder Dick Evans started experimenting with the moulding technology, known as Evatype, and came up with the Soundsheet, better known to the rest of us as a flexidisc.
Because Eva-Tone is a private company, there's no available data on what percentage of revenues came from flexidiscs. But flexidiscs are what made Eva-Tone's name; a 1962 debut ad for them in Advertising Age drew a record number of reader responses. Flexidiscs may have been invented by that time, but Evans' innovation was to press them in such a way that they could be inserted in books and magazines -- hence the appeal to the advertising industry.
Like any business, Eva-Tone grew and diversified. In 1979 it moved from its Deerhead, Ill. hometown to Clearwater, Fla., and by 1984 its music-related business had expanded into cassette duplication; compact disc manufacturing and duplication would come in 1993, as Soundsheet demand continued to fall. In August 2000, Eva-Tone officially shut down the Soundsheet production lines, honoring its contract with Talking Books until December 2000.
A nice bit of history, if obscure. Eva-Tone was not the only flexidisc manufacturer, nor am I certain that they invented the idea -- it may be that Evans was improving on the concept, not creating it from scratch. The company lives on, anyway.