This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in March 2007 as part of Snips’ 75th anniversary.
You can’t write a history of Snips magazine without including a lot about the Carter family.
A Carter was involved in its publication from 1932 until the day it was sold to BNP Media, then called Business News Publishing Co., in 1997. A fourth-generation Carter even helped close the magazine’s suburban Chicago offices.
Edward Charles Carter, the magazine’s founder and a name you’ll see often in this story, was born March 16, 1896, in Chicago. He attended college at what was then known as the Armour Institute, now called Illinois Institute of Technology. He majored in chemistry until leaving the college to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War I. He served in the 1st Gas Regiment and saw combat on the Western Front during 1917 and 1918.
He was gassed and wounded in battle, and received the Purple Heart.
Returning to Chicago after the war, Carter decided the world didn’t need any more chemists, so he decided to try publishing. His first job was as a writer for Feed & Grain Journal. As part of the job, Carter would travel by train - often in the caboose - visiting grain elevator operators in the Midwest. Many grain elevators were located near railroad tracks to make loading easier.
Carter would interview them for news while the train was stopped to take on water for its boilers.