1999 Frank S. Child Award

SGCDpro Honors James Keegan

James Keegan (left) accepts Frank S. Child Award from SGCDpro Past President Wayne Zitkus.

SGCDpro presented the annual Frank S. Child Award to James Keegan at its Annual Banquet in Pittsburgh on September 28. The Board of Directors selected Keegan to recognize his groundbreaking impact on the development of the heat-release decal process in the United States.

Keegan launched his career at The Franklin Mint in 1964 where he was responsible for many of the company's most successful products and the development of an imaging and printing process to apply liquid burnished gold to gloss and bisque porcelain surfaces.

In 1981, Keegan joined The Pfaltzgraff Co. where he was decorating manager. In the following years, he worked to streamline the company's decorating operations including the development of an automatic process to decorate 30 dinner plates, salad bowls or saucers per minute. Of even greater significance, Keegan, in cooperation with paper makers, decal printers and equipment makers, developed a highly productive heat-release transfer process on a single machine which was quickly adapted for five machines to increase production rates. Each of his machines decorated at a rate of seven pieces or more per minute which was a tremendous improvement from the water-slide process where average hand application rates were 25-35 per hour. The process also reduced loss to a mere 0.2 percent of ware.

Keegan remains one of the leading experts on the heat-release process, and he is now an independent consultant based in York, PA. The award is presented in honor of Frank Child -- SGCDpro's first executive secretary. The Homer Laughlin China Co., was the recipient in 1998, and Carl Strutz Jr., president of Carl Strutz & Co., received the award in 1997.

Frank S. Child Awards

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Ed Weiner ('16)
Nancy Klinefelter ('14)
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reprinted from Ceramic Industry Magazine