January 23, 2007
Given below are some stories about the Upson company and its products,
which were submitted by visitors to the TUCO Puzzle Site.
"I like the Dubl Thiks because they are so short and sweet. ...
I have been known to take them to doctors offices with me. I use a lap tray with a piece of old table cover that fits right inside the rim like a cover to keep the pieces safe in transit.
People always get interested wherever I take them!"
"I am originally from Barker, New York near the town of Lockport. I worked at The Upson Company in Lockport, the home of The Tuco Workshops, from 1965 to 1967 after graduating from high school. I was office messenger and delivered mail throughout the executive offices and the factory.
I remember watching the puzzles being cut on the diecut machine, and the pieces being boxed for delivery; a fascinating process. I have a few of the older puzzles, but I am not really a collector of them; they are more for my own personal memorabilia than true collectibles.
It was a good place to work, more like a friendly family business than an impersonal corporation. I may have stayed on to try and ascend the corporate ladder, but was drafted in 1967 during the Vietnam conflict.
Thanks for the memories, and for the effort involved in assembling your website."
If any of you remember Dale, he would like to correspond with you.
Click below to get his email address from the webmaster.
Keith in the U.K. writes regarding whether Tuco Puzzles were sent out to the armed services during World War:
"I have eleven Tuco puzzles in LG14 & LG15 boxes with titles such as 'Daring Death in a Jeep', Golden Days, Swinging Down the Lane, & Out of the Sky. They have dates on some of the boxes showing they had been put together in the late 40's early 50's. I think we can safely say that Tuco Puzzles were with the Forces in the U.K. during this time."
A former TUCO employee, now living in Florida, writes:
My first Tuco Puzzle was "Pirate Sweetheart;" this was in 1934.
I worked at the TUCO factory in maintenance and took care of the 2 presses.
The dies were made there for the puzzles. The puzzle room was run by 12 employees.
The puzzles were cut dry. The puzzle press was electric motor driven.
There were 2 dies in the press: one made the horizonal cuts & the other the vertical cuts.
So with each stroke half of the cuts were made.
I helped to install the first overhead conveyor used to carry puzzles in 1951.
The board the puzzles were cut from was made in the paper mill and laminating dept.
They were cut to size in the specialty dept. which was separate from the puzzle dept.
The box material was made, and the sheets were cut to size, in the paper mill.
The color pink was added to the backing of the puzzles when the sheets were made in the paper mill.
TUCO was separate from the rest of the Upson company. It was owned by the Upson family.
They were the ones that received the profits.
I left working there in 1955. After that the presses were moved out of the Upson Factory.
The TUCO expert, and major TUCO collector, Bill Able supplied us with this picture
of a puzzle which was mis-struck. Thank you, Bill!
Apparently it was given 3 die cuts instead of the required 2.
For further explanation of the die-cutting process used by TUCO see our 'Number Of Pieces' page.
A child of a former Upson employee owns the checkerboard and tokens shown below, and a collection of TUCO puzzles. The father worked for Upson a portion of the years 1937-1940. The checker set advertised Upson's ceiling materials. Nothing is known about the orange tokens.
The red & black tokens were used as checkers on the Upson board.
If you can help date these items, would you email us?
This envelope contains your set of checkers
for use with your Upson Board checker board...
Nothing Better for Ceilings at Any Price...
The UPSON Company
Lockport, New York
To send info to the site-master, click on the mailbox below.