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Rite in the Rain History

EARLY 1900

The story of Rite in the Rain began when Alec Polson, of the Polson Lumber Company of Washington, posed the following question to Jerry Darling:

“Isn’t there a better way to record the scaling of logs and the tallying of lumber in the inclement Pacific Northwest weather?”

Jerry’s search began...
THE PROBLEM

A Timber Cruiser was tasked with determining the total board feet represented in a stack of logs. Typically, the result was recorded on the smooth side of a painted shingle, called a tally board using a hard pencil.

Preparing tally boards was time consuming and they required ample space for storage.
THE SOLUTION

Rite in the Rain was born in Raymond, WA when a printer named Herbert Buffington connected with Jerry Darling. Herbert had worked with printers who were attempting to develop a “painted paper” to replace the tally board.

Jerry was inspired and formed a company to produce paper that could stand up to severe rains.
THE EARLY PROCESS 1916-30

The first step was to drill a small hole in a sheet’s corner, then dip it by hand into a tray of waterproofing solution. A wire s-hook was then inserted into the hole and the sheets were hung to dry on long wood rods suspended from racks across a pair of continuous bicycle chains. A hand-crank advanced the drying rods.

Early production space was shared with the Tacoma Printing & Binding Co., until Jerry decided to move across the street from his home at Browns Point, in Tacoma WA.
1950 UPGRADES

Jerry hired Bill Sny, a local machinist, to design and build a web-coating machine to replace the cumbersome hand-dipping process.

The new coating machine was the only one of its kind, since JL Darling Corp. was the only company in the world making waterproof paper.

An offset printing press and paper cutter from Weyerhaeuser’s print shop was also installed. The product line grew to include a forest and engineer line.
THE SILVER YEARS

At age 68, Jerry was eager to retire and looking for someone to run the business. He was introduced to Lloyd Silver, a sales manager for Day’s Clothing. Jerry and Lloyd hit it off, thus began a meaningful friendship and business relationship.

Lloyd Silver was eventually named President in 1958. Within five years, the business had more than doubled. Lloyd was now a 50% shareholder.

A site was then purchased on the Port of Tacoma Road, WA. The new building, with a 6,000' production area and 1,200' of office, was ready to occupy in April of 1965.
SILVER BROTHERS

In the mid-70s, Lloyd’s sons, Todd and Scott, asked to join the JL Darling team. After consideration, Lloyd felt it was a great opportunity and gladly accepted their offer.

“We do really well together,” agrees Scott. I guess we got all our wrestling and tussling out of the way when we were kids.”

Over the next few years, Todd and Scott assumed more and more company responsibility, eventually buying all shares of the business in 1993. The brothers discovered working as co-presidents was enjoyable both as family members and business partners.
A NEW PLANT & PATENT

In 1996, the Silver Brothers moved to a new facility and redesigned all production processes to be energy efficient, having an ultra-low impact on the environment - beginning the “Rite Green” initiative.

The Environmentally Responsible Coating was perfected in 2000 and a Patent was registered in 2005.

The water-based coating process emits only steam and all mill off-cuts are recycled. All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled and 100% of printing inks are soy based.
AN IMPRESSIVE MILESTONE

Proudly made in America for over a century, Rite in the Rain has proven to be an indispensable tool for tough working conditions preserving notes through rain, sweat, mud, and the passage of time.
EQUIPPING INDUSTRIES WORLD-WIDE

For over a century, our all-weather products have proven to be an essential tool for those working and playing outdoors. From our humble beginnings in the logging industry, Rite in the Rain has expanded to serve multiple industries world-wide. This was especially evident when Rite in the Rain was awarded a GSA Contract in 2002. US Federal Government agencies such as the U.S. Military, The Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife, and our National Parks could now buy Rite in the Rain directly. Regardless of what you use Rite in the Rain for, you need a proven way to save your hard-earned work. You can count on Rite in the Rain,
Defying Mother Nature since 1916.

EARLY 1900

The story of Rite in the Rain began when Alec Polson, of the Polson Lumber Company of Washington, posed the following question to Jerry Darling:

“Isn’t there a better way to record the scaling of logs and the tallying of lumber in the inclement Pacific Northwest weather?”


Jerry’s search began...

THE PROBLEM

A Timber Cruiser was tasked with determining the total board feet represented in a stack of logs. Typically, the result was recorded on the smooth side of a painted shingle, called a tally board using a hard pencil.

Preparing tally boards was time consuming and they required ample space for storage.

THE SOLUTION

Rite in the Rain was born in Raymond, WA when a printer named Herbert Buffington connected with Jerry Darling. Herbert had worked with printers who were attempting to develop a “painted paper” to replace the tally board.

Jerry was inspired and formed a company to produce paper that could stand up to severe rains.

THE EARLY PROCESS 1916-30

The first step was to drill a small hole in a sheet’s corner, then dip it by hand into a tray of waterproofing solution. A wire s-hook was then inserted into the hole and the sheets were hung to dry on long wood rods suspended from racks across a pair of continuous bicycle chains. A hand-crank advanced the drying rods.

Early production space was shared with the Tacoma Printing & Binding Co., until Jerry decided to move across the street from his home at Browns Point, in Tacoma WA.

1950 UPGRADES

Jerry hired Bill Sny, a local machinist, to design and build a web-coating machine to replace the cumbersome hand-dipping process.

The new coating machine was the only one of its kind, since JL Darling Corp. was the only company in the world making waterproof paper.

An offset printing press and paper cutter from Weyerhaeuser’s print shop was also installed. The product line grew to include a forest and engineer line.

THE SILVER YEARS

At age 68, Jerry was eager to retire and looking for someone to run the business. He was introduced to Lloyd Silver, a sales manager for Day’s Clothing. Jerry and Lloyd hit it off, thus began a meaningful friendship and business relationship.

Lloyd Silver was eventually named President in 1958. Within five years, the business had more than doubled. Lloyd was now a 50% shareholder.

A site was then purchased on the Port of Tacoma Road, WA. The new building, with a 6,000' production area and 1,200' of office, was ready to occupy in April of 1965.

SILVER BROTHERS

In the mid-70s, Lloyd’s sons, Todd and Scott, asked to join the JL Darling team. After consideration, Lloyd felt it was a great opportunity and gladly accepted their offer.

“We do really well together,” agrees Scott. I guess we got all our wrestling and tussling out of the way when we were kids.”

Over the next few years, Todd and Scott assumed more and more company responsibility, eventually buying all shares of the business in 1993. The brothers discovered working as co-presidents was enjoyable both as family members and business partners.

A NEW PLANT & PATENT

In 1996, the Silver Brothers moved to a new facility and redesigned all production processes to be energy efficient, having an ultra-low impact on the environment - beginning the “Rite Green” initiative.

The Environmentally Responsible Coating was perfected in 2000 and a Patent was registered in 2005.

The water-based coating process emits only steam and all mill off-cuts are recycled. All printing plates and processing liquids are recycled and 100% of printing inks are soy based.

AN IMPRESSIVE MILESTONE

Proudly made in America for over a century, Rite in the Rain has proven to be an indispensable tool for tough working conditions preserving notes through rain, sweat, mud, and the passage of time.

EQUIPPING INDUSTRIES WORLD-WIDE

For over a century, our all-weather products have proven to be an essential tool for those working and playing outdoors. From our humble beginnings in the logging industry, Rite in the Rain has expanded to serve multiple industries world-wide. This was especially evident when Rite in the Rain was awarded a GSA Contract in 2002. US Federal Government agencies such as the U.S. Military, The Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife, and our National Parks could now buy Rite in the Rain directly. Regardless of what you use Rite in the Rain for, you need a proven way to save your hard-earned work. You can count on Rite in the Rain, Defying Mother Nature since 1916.