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My name is Malcolm Roebuck and after a career in engineering, aircraft, math, design, computers, and Functional Analysis. For the past 8 years, I have been generating algorithms for investing. You can follow my results if you want to and sign up for free information.
Born in 1940 in Coventry, England, I was about 6 weeks old when we were first bombed in World War 2. I spent a fair amount of time in our garden air-raid shelter like the one pictured here. Ours was called an Anderson Shelter, named after the Home Secretary John Anderson. In 1940 John Anderson was replaced by Herbert Morrison who also had the steel Morrison Table Shelter named after him. People slept under it at night when most of the air raids took place or sheltered under it during any air-raids. Chicken wire was placed around the sides to protect from falling rubble.
My father was a Gear Specialist and Engineer at the Standard Motor Company where aircraft engines were then being built and as a specialist, he had to stay there and remain in the war effort. In this position he was also required to have a second job as a fire engine driver for the NFS National Fire Service and remained at that job for the duration of the blitz and war on Coventry. At that time, the Germans were dropping a mixture of explosive bombs, delayed fuse bombs and incendiary bombs causing fires everywhere.
At age eleven, I took exams and received a scholarship to the Bablake Grammar School, which dates from early in the 16 th. century. The School was mostly dependent on charitable gifts until 1563, when Thomas Wheatley, who had been Mayor of Coventry in 1556, endowed it with much of his estate. I played Rugby Football for the Old Boys Club known as the Old Wheatleyans.
After about 4 years, I left home in 1955 and started a 5-year Scholarship Apprenticeship with Alfred Herbert Ltd as a "Machinist, Fitter and Mechanical Draughtsman". I had a scholarship and started with Alfred Herbert who were then the largest machine tool company in the world. They were centered in Coventry and were building and selling industrial machinery of their own as well as many American and foreign brands on every continent.
This scholarship entitled me to work in all major production and technical departments and required that I attend College for an Engineering education one day and three nights each week. My most memorable job was installing Datatrol Computer Positioning devices on an American Devlieg Jig Boring Machine at the Aston Martin plant in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. They were producing the DB4 model engines at that time.
I studied Mechanical Engineering and Production Engineering and moved homes or digs as we called them quite often. I also managed to get a Saturday job at Jackson the Tailor and a Sunday lunchtime job waiting tables at the Earlsdon Working Menís Club. For another period I had a weekend job opening and closing a Social Club at St. Patrick Church in Bell Green.
Following 4 years at Coventry Technical College, I went on to Lanchester College of Science and Technology and completed a further 2 years in Production Engineering with a distinction in Mathematics.
In 1963 I was selected to emigrate to Mexico City as Technical Director to Bristol Aeroplane Company or Bristol de Mexico S.A., through a license arrangement between Alfred Herbert and Bristol. I applied for Mexican Citizenship to take this job.
The older guy sitting next to my right in the middle is George Burrell. He was a Navigator in the 1000 bomber raids in WW2 and was shot down and became a POW. If you saw the movie The Great Escape, he worked on the bellows to pump air into the tunnels. I met other WW2 heroes in that job.
Bristol de Mexico was a division of Bristol Canada in Montreal and were overhauling aircraft engines and wanted to start a Machine Tool Manufacturing operation at their plant on Aeropuerto Central which was then on the outskirts of Mexico City.
It was mainly set up to overhaul engines for Cuban Airlines but was a link to the Bristol plan to exchange their Bristol Britannia Turbo Jet planes that had been sold in central and south America. The exchange was for the new Bristol BAC 111 Jets which competed with new American Jets.
Castro shut down Bristol in Cuba and the whole process was moved to Mexico City. We were to manufacture Alfred Herbert Machine Tools and I also arranged to manufacture tooling for Ford Motor Company for their worldwide auto dealerships outside of the USA. In 1965 I had my second visit to the USA and the Ford Glass House in Detroit on this project.
In 1965 I met a family on vacation in Mexico City who turned out to be with Union Carbide Corporation in New York and was offered a job in the USA after completing my Mexico contract.
Consequently in 1966, rather than returning to Alfred Herbert as expected, I emigrated from Mexico (where my oldest son was born)
into the USA with a new job at their Chemicals Division in Charleston West Virginia. A year later I was transferred to their Bakelite Plastics Division in Ottawa IL where Glad Bags, Glad Wrap and Glad Straws were being produced or distributed along with their vinyl planishing facilities and blown film.
In 1969 I briefly went to Triangle Industries who were reorganizing Victor Products in Hagerstown MD for the manufacture of IBM computer cabinetry. During this period, I had been developing plans to start my own manufacturing business for badge making equipment. I was designing a product called Badge-A-Minit that I patented.
We developed various badge making machines along with the 4 in 1 Identification Camera which would make up to 4 different instant images for ID needs. Unfortunately, after too much patenting costs, this Camera did not make the grade as a successful venture.
I had been designing Badge-A-Minit
which was my first patent. It was also the first opportunity to start my own manufacturing business and I returned to the tri-town area of LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby Illinois.
Still successfully operating and now available on Amazon, Badge-a-Minit is a part of Malcolm Group Inc.
Additional patents for Canada and Japan were also obtained as Badge-a-Minit was launched in early 1970.
Malcolm Marketing & Communications was a full-service multi-location Advertising Agency in Illinois and Wisconsin which serviced many branded clients. We eventually bought Hagen Advertising and two others in Racine and Madison. Unfortunately, the Internet devastated that Industry as most of those services could be easily and efficiently provided by small entrepreneurial companies.
Other startups now include Best Impressions Inc
from early 1983, which became a large catalog-based specialty advertising business. We now produce - The Annual Sourcebook - with over 200 pages of advertising products for large and small companies.
More recent products include a Pad Printing System for printing images on irregular shaped objects by Imprintor Inc
This is sold through many trade shows around the country.
Ariva Skin Care & Day Spa Inc
. started in 2003 is based out of Central Illinois and is also a salon and internet-based company that offers nearly 200 Brands of beauty supplies.
I also have had a hobby website since the early internet days at Stevengraphs
This relates to Thomas Stevens, also from my home town of Coventry. He started a weaving business in the 1854 which unfortunately was bombed out of business when I was 6 weeks old in 1940. He was well known in America as he had a booth at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in the year 1893.
He revolutionized the weaving industry by introducing 10 or more colors of silk into a single weaving and has a wonderful exhibition in the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.
-- and "Yes" --
This is the Herbert from Alfred Herbert Ltd. who is the benefactor of the Herbert Museum and was my Employer for my apprenticeship in 1956 and who sent me to Mexico in 1963 with the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is a small world.
Meanwhile other interests have always centered around Investing but never as a career, but times have changed.
I have enthusiastically invested in early Horizontal Drilling of Oil Wells in Texas, Real Estate projects from Massachusetts to California, Black Angus Cattle in Indiana, Water-slides in Illinois, Flying and Aircraft Leasing in Virginia and Illinois, Marinas in Maryland and Virginia, Ski Resorts in Colorado, RV Campsites in Virginia and Card Counting in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, London and Monaco.
Card Counting was the most fun but little of this contributed to my IRA.
Functional Analysis teaches - "There is always a better way"