Welcome to our 75th anniversary issue. Not many editors get to write that sentence.
Edward C. Carter started this magazine in 1932, which was among the worst years of the Depression. He aimed it at HVAC and sheet metal contractors, an industry that already had plenty of periodicals competing for their attention.
He wanted it to be “friendly” and “close to the reader,” which meant it would be different from the dry, technical journals that most contractors read at the time. Instead of page after page of abstract articles on installing furnaces, it would feature the people who did such work. News and pictures from a small company Halloween party would have just as much chance of appearing in Snips as a successful big-city project.
To people who don’t understand this magazine or the industry it covers, the approach might have seemed foolish. But Snips was a niche publication before the term was even common. Today of course, the consumer and trade media are filled with narrowly tailored magazines: Cigar Aficionado, Memory Makers (for scrapbook hobbyists), Modern Dog - yes, it exists - and all of the 40-plus trade publications produced by BNP Media, Snips’ parent company.
Snips grew and succeeded because it never lost sight of its mission or roots. When I started, former editor and publisher Ed Bas told me to think of Snips as a community newspaper, one with the kind of local people stories bigger papers wouldn’t cover. This magazine is likely the only place you’ll read contractors bragging about how nice their ductwork looks or what issues most concern them.
That was true in Ed Carter’s era and after his son Edward C. “Nick” Carter Jr. took over the magazine. I hope it will be the case decades from now.
Readers are the reasonAnd readers like you are a big reason why. Associate editor James J. Siegel and I can’t be everywhere - although it seems Ed and Nick Carter tried - and we rely on you to send in your news items and story ideas. In past years, we’ve written about contractors who worked on the Statue of Liberty’s window latches and hung ductwork in airports because of your tips.
To all of our many loyal readers and advertisers, thanks for helping make Snips reach its diamond anniversary.
I would also like to acknowledge Edward C. Carter III, Nick Carter’s son, for his assistance in putting together one of this month’s anniversary articles.
He contributed a detailed outline that served as the basis for the Snips history article that starts on page 20. Without it, a detailed piece on the magazine’s evolution would have been almost impossible, especially since Nick Carter died Nov. 5, just as we were starting to plan this issue.
When we were discussing a cover for our 75th anniversary issue, some members of the staff wanted to use a design that mirrored the look Snips had from about 1950 until 1997: a baby blue, pink or yellow background and an off-center photo. As you saw, we decided instead to use a design created by art director Nicole Kevonian that shows the magazine’s evolving appearance and the involvement of Ed and Nick Carter.
But I thought the retro cover was too much fun to waste, so you’ll find it on page 6. We also used it as an opportunity to show most of the people involved in getting this magazine to your homes and businesses on time each month. The photo was taken by Lindsay Leusby.
Snips’ staff includes: Eleanor Johnson (back row, left), sales and marketing assistant; Kathleen Peacock, production services; Petra Cady, marketing manager; Michael McConnell, editor; Karen Coppins, advertising production manager; Janel Webster, audience development manager; and Angelique Bugeja, trade show coordinator.
Seated are: Mary Wray, HVACR production director; Sally Fraser, publisher and national advertising manager; and Nicole Kevonian, art director.
Associate editor James J. Siegel, corporate reprint manager Jill DeVries and classified advertising manager Michael O’Connor are not pictured.
So here’s our 75th anniversary special. I hope you have as much fun reading it as we did putting it together.