Stan Talks: Getting Into The Business Of Color Filters

Episode #2 of Stan Talks not only examines how Rosco got into the gel business, but also how Stan Miller got into it too and how he came to own the company.

While Rosco was providing the lacquer bulb-dip that allowed theaters to light up their beautifully colored marquee signs, there was a demand coming from inside the theater for color filters to light the actual productions.

At the time, most of the gels used on stage came from a company in Germany. With the onset of World War I, however, the producers needed to find a new supplier. Rosco, who was already known as a solution for colored light, seemed like the perfect solution.

Although the transition seemed difficult, Mr. Rosenstein decided to take on this task and after a great amount of work and development, he released Gelatine, which was Rosco’s first line of gels that consisted of around a dozen colors.


Stan Miller, along with his cousin Len Kraft, purchased Rosco from Mr. Rosenstein in 1958. He believed that the company had the potential to provide for the growing need for gels in the industry.

Rosenstein stayed on for a month after the sale to teach the new owner’s the business. It was difficult to hand over the company that he had nurtured for 48 years, and often pointed out to the new owners “We don’t do it that way” whenever they would try to present a new idea. After the month was up, Rosenstein relocated and Miller & Kraft began to form Rosco into what it would become today.

Stan Miller (L) and Len Kraft (R) in the mid-late 70's

In the next episode of “Stan Talks,” you will learn about how the company’s name “Rosco Laboratories, Inc.” enabled it to expand into a variety of different products for a variety of different customers – including an interesting request from the United States Navy.





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