1971
Don Forst
Bill Kinney

Microtek Formed

Rochester Institute of Technology photo-scientists Don Forst (’62) and Bill Kinney (’64) working for Itek in Lexington, MA, with aerial reconnaissance systems decide to start their own business. Their experience with high-quality filming techniques lends itself to the microfilming of medical X-rays.

1972

After a year of perfecting a two-stage microfilm process in Kinney’s garage, they set up shop in an old WWII Air Force barracks in Grenier Field (now Manchester-Boston Regional Airport). Selling X-ray microfilming services becomes a long process; to pay the bills they offer Fuji microfilm and processing services to banks in New Hampshire. The company produces microfilm duplication for Yale University’s library. After a year, the first X-ray microfilm customer is St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lowell, MA.

1973

Microtek Designs and Manufactures Diagraph X Reader

A unique design, the Diagraph X provided high-quality display of the microfilmed X-ray. The high-mounted microfiche holder was awkward to use. It was replaced two years later by the Model II, a rear-projection design which was produced until the early 80’s when Grayscale Labs readers and reader / printers were sold.

Nineteen-year-old New Hampshire College business student Nick Brattan joins the company for the summers. Putting his experience as the high school photographer to use, he worked as a photographic technician.

1974

Microtek Moves to the Millyard

The company outgrew its space in Grenier Field with additional hospital X-ray microfilm customers and the new chemistry business.

The company rented out half of the first floor of the old BeeBee Shoe factory on Bedford Street. At its peak in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the company occupied six floors and had more than 150 employees working three shifts and microfilmed over 30 million X-rays a year.


Partners with US Microfilm Prostar and COM Chemistry.

Microtek Chemistries

US Microfilm, the distributor of Fuji microfilm in the US, partners with Microtek to manufacture and sell processing chemistries. Microtek formulates chemistry (Protek) for the highly popular Kodak Prostar, Unitek for conventional processors and Rev / Com for the COM (computer output on microfilm) service bureaus.

1975

Radiofiche Process Introduced

The technology of microfilming medical X-rays takes a giant step

The two-stage microfilming technology was replaced with a single-step reversal process formulated by Don Forst. For the first time, high-resolution microfilm was processed with a continuous tone (grayscale) by a reversal technique where the camera film became the end product. Not only was the quality superior, but the production cost was significantly reduced. Within five years over 50 microfilm service bureaus would use the process. It is estimated that more than a billion X-rays were microfilmed as Radiofiche.

1976

After graduating from New Hampshire College (SNHU), Nick Brattan joins Microtek as bookkeeper.

Bill Kinney leaves Microtek to start Grayscale Labs in Atlanta, GA. Grayscale provides continuous-tone X-ray microfilm processing to companies throughout the country.

1978

Victor Reyer

Eikon Technology

Microtek expands its market to sell the Radiofiche technology to independent service bureau; Victor Reyer joins

The demand for the Radiofiche technology is more than Microtek can supply. The company expands with a name change to Eikon Technology which licenses its technology with independent service bureaus. The Microtek name is retained as a Victor Reyer division of Eikon Technology.


The company hires as its president, Victor Reyer, who within two years triples sales; more than 30 million X-rays are microfilmed yearly.


Don Forst sets up Eikon “shared service” dealers throughout the US who send their microfilm for processing to Eikon in Manchester, and later, to a satellite lab in Valporizzo, IN.

1979

Grayscale CTRX-Ray Reader introduced

The CRT-II was developed for x-ray microfilm viewing using both sound optical principles and subjective input from radiologists and x-ray microfilm experts.

1980

The firm’s name changes from Eikon Technologies to Eikon Radiographics and later to ADPACS.

Transition to ADPACS

Eikon Technologies sells to Anacomp, an industry leader in microfilm equipment and com services. As Anacomp grew its national presence, it expanded its market to include the X-ray minification market.

Don Forst leaves Eikon and joins Grayscale Labs to engineer new products.

1981

Ara Hourdajian

In New Jersey, Micro-Color partners with Bowditch to produce naval nautical navigation systems. The process combined color microfiche with GPS coordinates. This worked in conjunction with the Loran Radar Systems.


Don Forst becomes a shareholder and provides consulting services for Micro-Color.


Micro-Color goes on to produce color microfiche for Toyota Motor Corporation, encompassing all their wiring schematics for their entire Toyota fleet. The fiche is distributed nationally to all dealerships.

1982

Grayscale CRT/P X-ray Duplicator (upside-down enlarger design) is introduced. Don Forst becomes president of Grayscale Labs and moves the company to Sarasota, Florida.

1983

Nick Brattan

Nick Brattan and Don Forst form New England Micrographics

After five years working for Hertz Truck Division, Nick Brattan returns to micrographics. The Grayscale problems with processing effluent in Sarasota County provide the seed business for the new company. The company rents one unit at 750 E. Industrial Park Drive in Manchester. Processing of X-ray microfilm for Grayscale’s northern customers begins. Brattan, wearing many hats, becomes the book-keeper for Grayscale Labs, Microcolor International, as well as running the new company. Forst remains in Florida. The company expands into the micro-film service business.

NEM sets the standard, offering high quality microfilming services through the exclusive use of planetary cameras, thus changing the face of microfilming in New England.


Grayscale chemistry manufacturing and processing services merged into NEM.

1985

MicroColor scans hundreds of out-of-print editions, the entire collection of original DC Comics’ Superman® comic books to microfiche to be made available to collectors.

1986

NEM partners with Polaroid driver’s license system: Polaroid provides the color photo for the license; NEM provides continuous-tone black & white image for law enforcement officials in Rhode Island, Ohio, Utah and Washington.

1989

Lynn Siska

NEM hires Lynn Siska as a full-time sales professional to drive microfilm and storage business. Lynn drives sales with her marketing skills, promoting the total business package of microfilming, storage, destruction and in later years – scanning and mailroom services. Incorporating trade shows as a marketing tool advances NEM as a trusted industry leader.

1990

New England Micrographics and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Huntington Library comes to New England Micrographics for help

The processing chemistry formulated for the Radiofiche system was also suited for providing high-resolution continuous-tone microfilms of some of the Dead Sea scrolls. A copy of the original exposure series used prior to sending the microfilm to NEM for processing is shown here.

1991

FBS Formed

FBS Realty is formed and buys 750 East Industrial Park Drive, which was the head- quarters for NEM, allowing for greater expansion of the business, increasing storage space and the production department.

1992

NEM responds to increased customer demand and expands staffing to include a second production shift operating until midnight.


NEM incorporates Computer Assisted Retrieval (CAR) systems for microfilm application, allowing customers to instantly search and retrieve data using microfilm in conjunction with a database.

1993

NEM becomes a VAR for the Fuji M Drive, and Lynn Siska sells the first unit in the United States to Star Market, later acquired by NEM’s customer, Shaw’s Supermarket. This equipment allows users to scan roll film images to a PC rather than relying solely on conventional printing. This results in reduced search time and improves image quality significantly.

1995

Seeing the potential in the industry, NEM launches a full-scale storage operation. The existing space at 750 Industrial Park Drive is retrofitted to acccommodate an increase in box-storage space. This expansion allows NEM to offer a storage-only option, increasing sales.


NEM acquires Microcolor filming and processing.

1996

NEM Builds Record Center

New England Micrographics builds at 3 Sutton Circle, Hooksett, New Hampshire

The company first began document storage in 1995 and within three years, over 20% of 750 E. Industrial Park Drive was filled with shelving dedicated to offsite box storage and retrieval. The building height was not conducive to maximum efficiency for this service, and therefore two building lots were purchased in Hooksett, NH. The first phase of the Record Center was completed in 2001, including a climate-controlled vault for media storage. Within two years, demand required expansion to double the size of the original building. The second adjoining building lot remains for future expansion.

1997

NEM Goes Digital

New England Micrographics provides digital scanning services

Remaining at the forefront of technology, NEM provides scanning and electronic retrieval services, while maintaining commitment to customer demand for microfilm formats.


NEM becomes the second Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Digitech Systems’ suite of document scanning and retrieval software. These products provide both in-house and outsourced scanning solutions.

2001

Donald Frost

Donald Forst takes on the responsibility of day-to-day finance operations.


NEM is instrumental in being one of the first to bring image retrieval through the hosted software model, developed by Digitech Systems, called ImageSilo. Now referred to as “cloud computing,” ImageSilo enables anyone, from any location worldwide, to access images 24 / 7 with individual passwords determining the security rights of each user.

2002

Anthony Cardosi

NEM Hires Director of Technology

As a result of technological advancements, NEM hires Anthony Cardosi as the Director of Technology. Cardosi develops technology solutions for customers while overseeing IT infrastructure and staff.

2003

NEM Global Opportunities

NEM’s technical expertise benefits its customer, WR Grace. The custom design provides an integration of its HR application with a customized workflow aided by the assistance of Digitech’s PaperVision. This process goes global, enhancing efficiencies in over 35 countries.

2004

NEM Becomes New England Document Systems

New England Micrographics changes its name to New England Document Systems

To better encompass the growing scanning and storage services offered, as well as the core focus and future direction of our business, a name change was in order. New England Document Systems was born. The new name better reflects the diverse business activities of the company, and options offered to our customers.


As the scanning business expands, NEdocs continues to invest in high-speed scanning equipment, thereby increasing output, turnaround time and quality.

2006

Luanne Hutchinson

Luanne Hutchinson becomes the first employee to celebrate her 20-year anniversary with the company. As of 2011, 10% of NEdocs’ employees have been with the company for 20 years or more, 25% for 11 years or more, and the average employee tenure is eight years.

NEdocs invests in new software and services dedicated to our growing expertise in the Accounts Payable vertical market. As one of the early adopters of this technology in the US, NEdocs provides AP Workflow and Automation Services, further streamlining the AP process and drastically reducing costs to customers.

2008

Nick Brattan and Don Forst

NEdocs celebrates its 25th anniversary with major renovations to facilities, which improve production and office efficiencies. Project is completed just prior to the significant economic downturn experienced this year.

2011

NEdocs continues to expand its Accounts Payable processing services with daily turnaround of mailed, emailed and electronic invoices using our core competencies in document and data capture to provide streamlined and cost-efficient AP operations for electronic workflow and approval processing.