Revisiting SNIPS' 75th Anniversary
This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in March 2007 as part of Snips’ 75th anniversary.
The ‘baby' debuts
It debuted in April 1932. “The baby makes its bow!” was the headline that welcomed readers to that first 36-page issue. In the opening editorial, Carter, who went by “Ed,” said he hoped the publication would serve the industry well.
Snips makes its bow this month - the baby of the publications serving the sheet metal and warm-air heating industry. In presenting this and succeeding issues, every effort will be made to provide for the craft in the 200-mile circle of Chicago a periodical worthy of their respect and support.
In this opening message, we hesitate to make numerous promises as to what we expect to accomplish, preferring to let Snips enjoy popularity, prestige, reader interest and advertising patronage in direct proportion to the service it is able to perform.
Editorially, Snips will cover the entire sheet metal and warm-air heating industry in the locality wherein the paper is distributed, in the belief that the two crafts are solidly entwined, and will continue to function in that manner.
Snips enters the picture at what is generally considered a critical time for our craft - a time when new interests and outsiders would suggest that work, which in the past unquestionably belonged to our industry, would go to specialty shops: plumbers, steam fitters, structural iron workers, shoe stores, grocery stores, and what have you.
The editor and publisher of this new journal has veritably lived with the sheet metal industry for the past 10 years, glorifying its achievements, accomplishments and progress, and at the same time grieving with the trade over its natural shortcomings. With the great majority of his friends and personal acquaintances within this industry, little need be said here about the editorial policy of this magazine, nor of the jealous manner in which Snips will guard the work of our craft.
In this opening editorial, and in connection with the above reference to our many friends in this industry, we want it known that this periodical came into being largely through their support, and as a result of their remittances for advance or charter subscriptions to Snips, before the paper ever made its appearance. This generous advance support from our prospective readers gives us a feeling of confidence beyond our feelings of expression here. It bespeaks well for the reader interest to be enjoyed by Snips. Likewise it obligates the editor and publisher to carry through with his promised activity, namely to keep every piece of work which should go to our craft strictly within those channels where it has been in the past and where it is destined to stay in the future.
To those hundreds of readers, who favored Snips with their subscription patronage, to the readers whose subscriptions we earnestly solicit in the area we will cover, and to the advertising patrons of this issue, who inserted their copy before knowing what the paper would even look like, we promise to faithfully live up to this obligation.
That first issue included news on lawyers’ collection “rackets” that were plaguing area contractors. Carter reported that attorneys, “with nothing to do,” were soliciting furnace dealers to assign them their past-due accounts. Then, the lawyers would return in a few days asking the dealers for money to start the collection process.
Before entering into such an agreement, Carter advised, check with the Chicago Better Business Bureau and only work with well-regarded firms.
Carter also included an article on the resurgence of metal-clad towers in building design, illustrated with a picture of a spire-topped Milwaukee gas station.
A letter from a reader suggested the magazine’s name be changed. He worried people might confuse it with Ballyhoo, a humor magazine of the era known for ribald jokes.