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William J. Spiegel, 85, Chairman of Packaging Firm

January 26, 2012
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William J. Spiegel, 85, chairman and senior managing director of CMS Gilbreth Packaging Systems, died Jan. 15.

Spiegel founded Gilbreth International Corp. in 1961 and managed the company as its president for 27 years. In April 1988, he negotiated the acquisition of Gilbreth by Culbro Corp.

He is responsible for the growth and integration of Culbro Machine Systems, Gilbreth International and Trine Manufacturing, the three member companies that comprise CMS Gilbreth.

While at Gilbreth, Spiegel pioneered the introduction of heat shrinkable plastic in the United States, at first for insulation purposes, and then for packaging products. He managed the transition from overseas importing to U.S. production by developing the technical capabilities and setting up a manufacturing operation.

This operation allowed Spiegel to respond to the 1982 packaging crisis by supplying Tylenol -- as well as the leading pharmaceutical and food companies throughout the United States and Canada -- with tamper-evident seals.

He also managed the new development of a technology required to replace metal battery jackets with plastic labels having the identical appearance. He received the Golden Cylinder Award from the Gravure Technical Association for this achievement.

Spiegel was awarded the Horatio Alger Award in 1984 from the Golden Slipper Club in recognition of his achievements.

Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University, he was a member of the board of trustees of Congregation Adath Jeshurun and the board of directors of the Uptown Home for the Aged.

Spiegel is survived by his wife, the former Sue Landes; daughter Adrianne Pass; son Philip Spiegel; sister Anne Pornoff; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be sent to: Congregation Adath Jeshurun, 7763 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027.

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