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In Memory of Melvin E. Green

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Melvin E. Green, screen printing pioneer and former owner of Advance Process Supply Co. in Chicago, died May 14. He was 91.

He and his brother, Sheldon Green, founded Advance Process Supply in the 1940s. The company, which manufactured screen printing inks, equipment and supplies, quickly became known throughout the industry as “Screen Print University,” and was the place many people in the industry today learned and honed their craft.

Melvin E. Green, screen printing pioneer and former owner of Advance Process Supply Co. in Chicago, died May 14. He was 91.

He and his brother, Sheldon Green, founded Advance Process Supply in the 1940s. The company, which manufactured screen printing inks, equipment and supplies, quickly became known throughout the industry as “Screen Print University,” and was the place many people in the industry today learned and honed their craft.

A self-taught inventor, Mel held more than 100 patents related to screen printing equipment and supplies. His many innovations include puff ink, colored inks for screen printing, scratch-and-sniff printing and many advances in screen printing equipment, such as the multi-color T-shirt printer. His family grew accustomed to seeing him work seven days a week. “His work was his passion,” son Robert Green said.

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Mel typically started his days just after dawn in the ink lab, experimenting with additives and mixing inks. He’d get home after 7 or 8 p.m. On weekends, he’d tackle projects like designing a floor plan for a new factory or preparing his bi-annual, 125-page catalog. “To Dad, special work projects were the whipped cream of life, and he couldn’t wait to dig in,” his son Cary said.

Advance operated for more than 50 years, expanded to some sixteen branch locations, and grew to be one of the largest screen print manufacturers in the world.

In 1987, Mel sold the Advance ink and supplies business. In 1990 he started Sias America. Sias manufactured screen printing equipment, and was later sold to M&R.

Alumni of “Screen Print University” – the many people Mel taught, fostered, and helped to build businesses of their own – will no doubt remember him for his innovation, his constant quest for improvements, and the personal interest he took in their advancement. His son Cary continues to work in the field his father influenced so much, as founder and president of LRi in Skokie, Ill., a dye sublimation supplier and coating company.

Mel was born in the Bronx in New York City and moved to Chicago as a teen. He served for three years in the Army during World War II in the Pacific theater.

After retirement, Mel and his wife, Jean, traveled and enjoyed time with their family, which includes his children Marsha, Carol (Tom), Cary (Carol), and Robert (Valery), six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his sister, Barbara. His brother, Sheldon, passed away in 2003.

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