From plasma cutters to politics
Snips has covered a lot of unique subjects and events in the last 75 years.
Where else were sheet metal and HVAC contractors going to read about dealer open houses, projects that used miles of ductwork or what happened at the Kansas contractor association’s golf outing?
But with so many other things going on in the world, it’s easy to forget what was in Snips decades ago or just last month.
In many ways, Snips was - and is - a news world unto itself. No matter what was going on in the rest of the country, readers could always count on Snips to tell them what those in the sheet metal and HVAC trade were up to.
That doesn’t mean the outside world didn’t impact the magazine. U.S. involvement in World War II curtailed travel and forced the magazine to reduce printing costs. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks led to canceled conventions, and economic recessions affect everyone.
However, for the most part, the news in Snips, especially its earlier incarnations, was written to be “friendly (and) close to the reader,” to use the phrase coined by founder Ed Carter. It stayed focused on the sheet metal industry and the people in it.
Here, then, is a sometimes-lighthearted look at some of the notable events of the last three quarters of a century and what appeared in Snips around the same time.
1930sNov. 8, 1932
Former New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt wins the 1932 U.S. presidential election, defeating incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt’s win is said to be a landslide victory. In his inauguration speech, Roosevelt says, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
During the past month, a rattling good time was enjoyed by some 80 Indianapolis dealers who attended a special gathering in the warehouse of the Capital Furnace and Stove Repair Co., on Meridian Street, Indianapolis.
_“80 Indiana dealers attend big party,” Hoosier Doings, November 1932 Snips, page 28
Nov. 5, 1935
Parker Bros. releases the board game Monopoly. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, over 500 million people have played Monopoly since Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935.
One of the most interesting trends in the oil marketing trade has been that toward concentrating the sale of oil burners in the hands of the distributors of domestic fuel oil. This consolidation of these two allied types of business has only just started and is due for a much more far-reaching development in the opinion of oil burner authorities who have studied the two fields in light of the problems they present.
_November 1935 Snips editorial, page 9
May 27, 1937
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrians. The next day, the bridge was opened to commuter traffic. Construction started on the bridge in 1933. The center span of the bridge was the longest of any suspension bridge until 1964, when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was erected in New York City.
The average-sized saloon or tavern, as we know it today, offers a remarkable field for the sale of air-cooling equipment. Last summer in St. Louis, we saw that the idea of blower-cooled taverns was pretty generally adopted. In some cases the blower was hooked up with ductwork, while in other cases it was in one end of the room, with the equipment forcing air across the entire place.
_“Watch air flow direction in tavern cooling,” May 1937 Snips, page 15.
Oct. 30, 1938
Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of the “War of the Worlds” hits the airwaves. The famous broadcast creates panic among radio listeners who believed that a real Martian attack was under way.
We are indebted to Walter Joy, Republic Metals & Roofing Materials Inc., large jobbers of Chicago, for the following recent report of the Department of Commerce on why sales are lost and why customers fail to come back. It should interest every reader. The report follows.
The facts presented in this survey of the reasons why customers don’t come back and the percentage of customers affected by the 15 different reasons are:
1. High prices 14%
2. Delays in service 11%
3. Poor condition of materials 11%
4. Errors 10%
5. Warehouse appearance 8%
6. Indifference of clerks 7%
7. Haughtiness of clerks 6%
8. Attempted substitution 6%
9. Wrong management policies 6%
10. Misrepresentation 5%
11. Tricky methods 5%
12. Overinsistence of clerks 4%
13. Reluctance to exchange items 4%
14. Ignorance of merchandise 2%
15. Poor advertising 1%
“Why customers fail to come back,”_October 1938 Snips, page 9
Sept. 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland, which leads to the onset of World War II.
We all remember a few years ago when the motion picture theaters used to close during the summer season. The one and only thing that revived their business was air conditioning. As soon as the public learns that they can bowl the year ’round and be comfortable, they will bowl.
_“Discussing the heating and cooling system installed in Michigan bowling alley,” by Bert Bernstrom, September 1939 Snips, page 18.
July 27, 1940
Cartoon character Bugs Bunny makes debut in a short film called “A Wild Hare.” The film centered on hunter Elmer Fudd’s pursuit of the rabbit, and became the template for many Loony Tunes cartoons. The animated icon was originally voiced by Mel Blanc.
One of the big events of the year in the St. Louis area is the annual sheet metal picnic. Plans are already under way to make this one of the biggest and best picnics ever held in this area. It is scheduled to be held at the Ferguson Country Club, at Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 11, 1940. A report on the affair will appear in our August issue.
- News from St. Louis Area, Missouri, Kansas and Southwest, July 1940 Snips, page 54.
Dec. 7, 1941
Japan attacks the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 2,000 Americans died in the attack, which happened just before 8 a.m.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor saw crystallize, overnight, a spirit of unity among the American people, never before dreamed possible. Knowing thousands in the sheet metal trade as we do
- employing contractors, workmen and the leaders of these workmen
- we see developing spontaneously, a similar most encouraging spirit of unity,within our own craft.
- Editor’s Page, December 1941 Snips, page 21.
April 12, 1945
Harry S. Truman becomes president of the United States following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Truman was Roosevelt’s vice president in the 1944 presidential election. In the 1948 election, Truman wins a second term by defeating Republican Thomas Dewey in a close election.
We believe all our readers are interested in matters having to do with the absorption of disabled veterans of the present war into gainful employment. With this thought in mind, we present some of the ideas worked out by the Dunwoodie Industrial Institute of Minneapolis, Minn., as a help to enable employers to determine whether a disabled person is physically able to do the work required in a specific payroll job.
- “Analyzing job demands and physical handicaps of returning vets for the industry,” April 1945 Snips, page 36.
June 8, 1949
George Orwell publishes 1984. The story of a future totalitarian state has a cultural impact and is even banned from libraries in some countries. The book leads to terms such as “Orwellian” and “Big Brother.” The Metal Craft Club met in May at the home of Mrs. Joe Mattingly, assisted by Mrs. Geo Joslin. A delicious luncheon was served to 15 ladies. We had a short business meeting and the social hour was spent playing Monte Carlo bridge with lovely prizes awarded the winners.
- Ladies and Social News of the Industry, June 1949 Snips, page 188.
1950sJune 25, 1950
The Korean War begins with North Korea crossing the 38th parallel and attacking South Korea. President Harry S. Truman later orders the deployment of the U.S. Navy and Air Force in response to North Korea’s advancement.
(A) 40- by 100-foot Quonset hut is headquarters for one of the most progressive sheet metal concerns in Stockton, California. Owned and operated by Gus Madsack, the Delta Sheet Metal Works has played an important role in the industrial growth of the city. In addition to sheet metal work, the firm does considerable work in grain and milling transport, and restaurants.
- Western and Pacific Coast News, June 1950 Snips, page 76.
Feb. 6, 1952
Queen Elizabeth II takes the throne of England upon the death of her father, King George IV. She is officially crowned June 2. In 2002, she celebrated her golden jubilee, marking her 50th anniversary as queen.
The annual convention of the New York State Sheet Metal, Roofing and Air Conditioning Contractors Association at Albany, N.Y., just adjourned as this issue was being put to bed. Details of the affair will appear in our next issue, although we thought our readers would like to know that Bill Steinhorst and all other offices were re-elected to serve for 1952.
- Snips Late News Flash, February 1952 Snips, insert.
July 18, 1955
Disneyland opens to the public in Anaheim, Calif. Construction on the park started one year earlier and cost over $17 million to complete. It would go on to be one of the most successful tourist attractions of all time and led to the creation of similiar parks in Florida, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Interest continues high in the National Warm Air Heating & Air Conditioning Association’sManual 11, the third or 1955 edition of which came out recently. Manual 11 coversthe design and installation of summer air-conditioning systems in both new andexisting houses.
- Popular Industry Books, July 1955 Snips, page 30.
Sept. 9, 1956
A 21-year-old Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” In 1957, Presley was shown only from the waist up so his trademark on-stage gyrations would not offend the television audience.
A “learn by doing” program for building construction students at Pasadena City College is resulting in better acquainting them with the techniques and standards of installing plumbing, heating and air-conditioning products, according to Robert G. Moses, chairman, engineering and technology department.
- Industry Education Work, September 1956 Snips, page 43.
1960sJune 16, 1960
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” opens in movie theaters. Film reviews were mixedwhen the film was released, but audiences lined up outside theaters. Hitchcockfollowed up the success of “Psycho” with “The Birds” in 1963.
_National Warm Air Heating & Air Conditioning Association of Canada reportsthat the summer air-conditioning school conducted by the association was highlysuccessful. The school was well received and may become an annual feature.
- Canadian and Foreign News, June 1960 Snips, page 48.
Aug. 28, 1963
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” outside theLincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Over 200,000 demonstrators gather in Washingtonin support of civil rights legislation.
Just as this issue goes to press we find that something went haywire somewherealong the line in the news-gathering program when someone sent us the news aboutBill Waddell of XXth Century Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Asheville, N.C.,and said he had passed away. In a letter which came from Bill Waddell at Asheville,N.C., we were emphatically reminded that he was very much alive. Among otherthings he said:
“Please run a retraction in your next issue. I was very ill for several weeks,but am now at home and up and about some. A lot of friends have called aboutthis notice. I should say I am glad that you were wrongly informed.”
- News From the Southern States, August 1963 Snips, page 82.
April 4, 1964
The Beatles make music history by holding the top five positions inthe Billboard U.S. Top 40 singles chart. The songs were, in order: “Can’t BuyMe Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Please,Please Me.”
At the invitation of Oliver-Beckman Inc., management council for U.S. Trade Centerat Milan, Italy, Snips magazine was displayed at the center’s recent Air Conditioning & RefrigerationEquipment Exhibit. Snips was invited as one of the trade publications which playa vital role in the U.S. market.
- Canadian and Foreign News, April 1964 Snips, page 47.
Oct. 2, 1967
Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American SupremeCourt justice. He is appointed by President Lyndon Johnson and serves until June28, 1991.
Modern technology permitted George S. Fawcett Inc., San Francisco, Calif., toapply nearly a million feet of metal roofing to five local Army Street Terminalpier sheds. The job, which would normally take 6 1/2 months to complete, washandled in 4 1/2 months.
- “One million feet of hole-proof roofing panels put on San Francisco pier shedroofs,” October 1967 Snips, page 28.
July 20, 1969
The United States is the first country to put a man on the moon. Thelanding is broadcast on American radio and television and astronaut Neil Armstrongis the first person to walk on the moon.
“Gear up for tomorrow today” was the theme of the first back-to-back spring conventionsof the Northamerican Association of Sheet Metal Distributors and the NorthamericanHeating & Airconditioning Wholesalers Association staged in the Poconos inPennsylvania. The affair drew a record crowd of nearly 600.
- “Sheet metal distributors and heating-air conditioning wholesalers stage informativespring conventions back-to-back,” July 1969 Snips, page 18.
1970sJune 17, 1972
Burglars are caught installing eavesdropping equipment at the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Investigative reporting by the Washington Post would eventually implicate the White House, leading to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon two years later.
The Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association will hold its 29th annual convention on Oct. 3-5, 1972, at the Century Plaza and Beverly Hilton hotels in Los Angeles, Calif. An outstanding program for both men and women is planned with Earl Nightingale, dean of personal motivation, addressing the opening session. Topics such as labor relations, business management and time management will be covered as the convention progresses.
- National Association News, June 1972 Snips, page 24.
Sept. 20, 1973
The famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match pits Bobby Riggs against Billy Jean King. The event was nationally televised from the Houston Astrodome. King beat Riggs in three matches.
The last industry event ever attended by the late publisher of Snips, Ed Carter, was the annual convention of the Roofing, Sheet Metal, Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors Association of Alabama which was held at Panama City, Fla., late in July. This group had been close to his heart since he had attended the first convention many years ago, and he rarely missed any of them.
- “Most successful and innovative convention held by Alabama association in Panama City, Fla.,” September 1973 Snips, page 64.
June 20, 1975
“Jaws,” directed by Steven Spielberg, makes its way into movie theaters. The film is a massive hit. At a cost of $9 million, it is said to usher in the era of big-budget blockbusters, and paves the way for “Star Wars” two years later.
According to news received from the Home Ventilating Institute, Chicago, Ill., the U.S. government has issued new housing standards requiring uniform testing of powered attic-space ventilation and barring “free air” ratings.
- Ventilation News, June 1975 Snips, page 10.
June 5, 1977
The Apple II computer goes on sale to the public. Manufactured by Apple Computer, it was one of the first “personal” computers, then a novel concept. The computer was the first and only to use VisiCalc, the first computer spreadsheet program. Production ended in 1993 with over 2 million produced.
The idea that problems relating to rising costs of natural gas, heating oil and electricity for heating and air conditioning can be solved by using “free” power from the sun has captured the imaginations of homeowners, builders, architects, government officials, etc., but relatively few sheet metal contractors or warm-air heating and air-conditioning dealer-contractors have made the transition from interested observer to practicing solar-heating technician.
- “Opportunities await sheet metal and HVAC contractors learning solar heating and air-conditioning technology,” June 1977 Snips, page 20.
1980sJune 1, 1980
The Cable News Network is launched on this day. The channel, later called CNN, is founded by Ted Turner and is a division of Turner Broadcasting, now owned by Time Warner. It is the first channel to broadcast 24-hour news.
Climate Equipment & Supply Co., wholesalers in Rochester, N.Y., and with a branch in Buffalo, hosted its fourth annual open house and trade show in Rochester, during the past month. The affair, held at the Americana Hotel in downtown Rochester, was a big success with over 300 in attendance.
- East Coast News, June 1980 Snips, page 73.
Nov. 13, 1982
The Vietnam War Memorial is unveiled in Washington, D.C. The memorial is designed by Maya Lin and contains the names of all U.S. soldiers killed during the war.
Perth, Western Australia, has been chosen as the site for the 1983 International Solar Energy Exhibition. The show is scheduled for Aug. 14-18 in Perth’s Gloucester Park. In conjunction with the exhibition will be a series of daily technical conferences, which will be held at the University of Western Australia.
- Solar Heating News, November 1982 Snips, page 58.
Oct. 18, 1985
The first Nintendo home video game system is available for consumers in limited quantities. In February, the system becomes widely available, along with popular game titles such as “Super Mario Bros.” and “Donkey Kong Jr.”
On a recent journey to Holland, Mich., Snips paid a visit to Hamstra Associates Inc. to determine how that successful heating and air-conditioning company got that way.
- Little Journeys to Interesting Places, October 1985 Snips, page 28.
Jan. 20, 1989
George Herbert Walker Bush is sworn in as the 41st U.S. president. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan, whom he served under as vice president. President Bush defeated Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis to win the presidency.
Thirty-two members of the Denver chapter of the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association, plus volunteers from local businesses, unions and utilities, gathered together during November to donate their services and skills for the maintenance of heating systems for low-income elderly homeowners. The volunteers serviced 194 homes in the Denver area and 75 homes in the Fort Collins area.
- Mountain State News, January 1989 Snips, page 113.
1990sApril 24, 1990
The Hubble space telescope is launched and becomes one of the most important tools for astronomers, taking pictures of the outer reaches of space. The telescope is named after Edwin Hubble, who discovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way.
The past couple of months have been extremely busy ones for the Snips staff. In this April issue, we have reports of 12 industry events that were personally attended by the Snips staff - Nick Carter, Bob Murphy, Bob Senkel and Todd Leslie. In addition, this April issue also carries reports of several other gatherings which we were unable to attend, with information and pictures of them being forwarded to us.
- Editor’s Page, April 1990 Snips, page 14.
Aug. 10, 1993
Ruth Bader Ginsberg becomes the second woman and first Jewish woman to sit on the Supreme Court. She was nominated for the position by President Bill Clinton and was preceded by Byron White.
In order to accommodate the increasing interest in geothermal energy, HVAC contractors, distributors, manufacturers and utilities have established Michigan Geothermal Energy Association. The objective of the new association is to support and promote the installation and use of high-quality geothermal systems in the state of Michigan.
- Michigan News, August 1990 Snips, page 81.
July 5, 1996
Dolly the sheep is cloned. It is reported to be the first animal created from an adult cell. She is cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. The sheep dies in 2003 and her stuffed remains were put on display at the Edinburgh Royal Museum in Scotland.
A. Joseph Kinkel maintains an art studio in Longmont, Colo., where he has immortalized sheet metal craftsmen in true-to-life bronze sculptures. If you would walk through Kinkel’s workplace, you would find all of the tools, ductwork, equipment and employees common to a typical sheet metal shop. Over in one corner, a sheet metal worker works at his bench top soldering an ornate cornice assembly with sheet metal tools scattered on the countertop, the shelf beneath it and on the floor.
- “A. Joseph Kinkel, Longmont, Colo., immortalizes early sheet metal craftsmen with bronze sculptures,” July 1996 Snips, page 16.
Dec. 19, 1998
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach President Bill Clinton. He is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. The move stems from an independent investigation and his testimony regarding a sexual relationship he had with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern. On Feb. 12, 1999, the U.S. Senate acquits Clinton of the charges.
A technical glutton could easily overindulge, if not careful, at ASHRAE’s winter meeting set for Jan. 24-27 in the Windy City. From safe ventilation in nuclear facilities to engineering for quieter schoolrooms, and air quality in aircraft cabins, to nationwide energy savings and global warming, this is a diverse program indeed.
- “From soup to nuts: ASHRAE’s winter program offers a weighty mix of topics indeed,” by Ed Bas, December 1998 Snips, page 6.
2000Jan. 1, 2000
The Year 2000 problem, or Y2K, ended with no problems at all. In the months leading up to New Year’s, there was widespread speculation that many older computer programs that used only two digits to signify the year would not recognize 2000’s double zeros and stop working. Such a scenario was predicted to cause computers around the world to crash. But midnight Dec. 31, 1999, passed with few reported troubles.
The architectural forum at SMACNA’s national convention here in October presented a rare opportunity to view some finished projects that aren’t concealed above drop ceilings or hauled up 13 stories out of sight onto a roof curb.
- “Metal in architecture: It’s looking up,” January 2000 Snips, page 34.
Oct. 23, 2001
The Apple iPod hits the market. Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Computers, introduced the digital music player as a Macintosh computer-compatible product that could put “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
When Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. took over the Players Island riverboat casino here last year, it announced a new name: Harrah’s Metropolis Casino. The company also announced a $67 million expansion project. In addition to new gaming facilities, three former fuel barges would be welded together to create the platform for a 72,000-square-foot, 2-story floating administration building and entertainment complex, to be built adjacent to the docked casino.
- “Casino expansion took more than luck to complete,” by Michael McConnell, October 2001 Snips, page 22.
June 10, 2003
NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, named “Spirit,” is launched. It records atmospheric information and takes images of Mars’ surface. One month later, the rover “Opportunity” is sent to the opposite side of the planet.
Members of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of ACCA heard a presentation during the April meeting on “Time Management: Organizing for Success” from Dennis Snedden of Time Management Services.
- Regional News, June 2003 Snips, page 97.
Jan. 19, 2004
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign peters out when he places third in the Iowa Democratic Caucus, behind senators John Kerry and John Edwards. It is also the day that an overenthusiastic Dean made his infamous “Dean scream,” which some believe led to end of his presidential run.
One building prohibits smoking, while another permits it throughout. Still another allows smoking only in certain areas. Which of these buildings can comply with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ new ventilation standard? According to the society, all of them.
- Indoor Air Quality, January 2004 Snips, page 86.
Oct. 19, 2006
Internet search engine Google buys the Web site YouTube for $1.65 billion. YouTube allows Internet users to view and upload video clips, including everything from television shows to amateur short movies. The YouTube site is named Invention of the Year by Time magazine.
Last May, Renee Kerckhoff officially became part of the national debate on health care. Kerckhoff is the second-generation owner of Rudoff Heating & Air Conditioning in Belton, Mo. The company is like many small heating and air-conditioning businesses across the country: It has been family owned since 1959, has six employees, specializes in residential retrofit work, and is unable to cover the full cost of health insurance for employees.
- “Hurting for a health plan: Contractors push lawmakers for lower cost insurance options,” by James J. Siegel, October 2006 Snips, page 22.