While researching some old issues of Products Finishing, I encountered an editorial by Jerry Poll, former publisher and editor. His editorial noted that October of 1971 marked the magazine's 35th year covering the finishing industry.
I did some quick, easy math and realized that 1996 marks PF's 60th anniversary. Don Gardner, founder of Gardner Publications, published the first issue of Products Finishing in October 1936.
In the issue, Mr. Gardner stated that the magazine would "assume the task of searching out and disseminating the newest and best information available concerning metal finishing, in all its various ramifications." In 1971, Mr. Poll re-dedicated that magazine to the continued fulfillment of that promise.
I continued my research of 1971. Then environmental regulations were knocking at the door. The January 1971 issue featured a story on Proctor-Silex in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The company installed a system that would accept toxic wastes (chromium, nickel, acids and alkalis) from its plating line and release a "harmless, clear effluent to a stream."
Another "new" topic was powder coating. The first powder coating conference was held in February 1971. The April issue provided 22 answers to the question "Why Powder Coat?" In the article, Ford Motor Company's Gilbert L. Burnside stated, "I believe powder coating will go. And I think it would go even if we did not have air pollution to contend with." And it has.
And advertising has changed as well. In 1971 many ads featured scantily clad women. You will not see that in the magazine in 1996. There are more women in the industry and the "Good Old Boy" attitude has faded.
Since 1936 and 1971, there has been much activity in the finishing industry. Despite all this activity, environmental regulations, energy shortages, recessions and prosperity, the finishing community has remained close. Associations cooperate, finishers collaborate and even finishing magazines work together.
You've heard the saying, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Again, Products Finishing re-dedicates itself to fulfilling Don Gardner's promise