Revisiting SNIPS' 75th Anniversary
This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in March 2007 as part of Snips’ 75th anniversary.
A ‘handmade' publication
A little over a year after Snips went into production, the magazine had a crisis when its printing company went out of business just before an issue was to come out. With nowhere else available to print it on short notice, Carter picked up the forms from the defunct printer. With the help of two neighbors, he printed the issue himself, two pages at a time, on the small, hand-fed press he used to print the time cards and business forms he sold to local contractors.
With the March 1935 issue, Snips became a monthly publication.
By 1937, Snips had proven so successful, it moved out of Carter’s basement and into two offices on the third floor of a Lake Street building on Chicago’s west side. It would stay there the next 35 years. Eventually, the magazine would rent the entire third floor.
Around this time, Snips hired its first employee, Lois Kalvog, niece of the owner of Chicago’s Austin Sheet Metal Works. Another longtime employee, Harold Hoy, was hired as advertising salesman. He had worked with Carter on Furnaces & Sheet Metals, and would remain with the magazine until his retirement in 1965.
By the end of the 1930s, some were starting to call Snips “the bible” of the sheet metal industry, a term that is still occasionally heard today. Fueling the trend was its rapidly increasing circulation. Although he only planned to focus coverage on the 200 miles surrounding the Windy City, Snips proved so popular that the magazine soon had readers throughout the Midwest and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.