March 2, 2009
by Canadian Packaging Staff
Harry Kalish was a pharmacist turned inventor and CEO for a Quebec-based liquid-filling machine and label application that bore his name, the H.G. Kalish Company.
Starting in 1956, he helped orchestrate the transformation of a local packaging machine company into an international giant that posts over $50-million in annual sales.
Kalish passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer.
The youngest of two sons of a food wholesaler, Harry Gerhard Kalish was born in Berlin, Germany on August 5, 1925. He and his family fled Holland to England on the last ferry to leave the country on the day the WWII began.
Finishing his education in London, he earned a degree in pharmacy in 1948 before working for Richards & Curtis Chemists before immigrating to Canada in 1952.
One of his first inventions was the Billy Mop, a specially treated cloth to shine cars.
He started a pharmaceutical packaging machine importing company out of his apartment in 1956—soon developing his own Kalish liquid filling machines, adding conveyors, tablet counters and capping devices.
Retiring in 1989, Kalish was still active in many social causes, supporting doctors who worked in the mine-ladden fields of Cambodia and contributed to the research on mosquitoes in Africa.
He is survived by his brother Charles, sister in-law Maj-Britt in London, UK, and his partner Diane Robichaud of Montreal.
More information is available at www.harrygkalish.com.