A century in the making

Long-time readers of Cabling Installation & Maintenance may remember that a few of our issues over the years have fallen into the category of “commemorative anniversary.”

Long-time readers of Cabling Installation & Maintenance may remember that a few of our issues over the years have fallen into the category of “commemorative anniversary.”

Established in 1993, this magazine has taken the look-back/look-ahead approach to our 5-, 10-, and 15-year anniversary issues. This month we’ve used our front cover not to recognize any particular milestone of the magazine itself, but rather to acknowledge the 100th birthday of PennWell, the company that owns this title.

Telephone deregulation, which took effect in the 1980s, was really the watershed event that eventually brought this publication to fruition.

When our parent company PennWell was born 100 years ago there was no concept of an information source for building owners who were challenged to operate the growing and changing cabling systems within their properties. As the image on the left side of this month’s cover depicts, communications systems within buildings were, well, different from what they are now. American Telephone and Telegraph was a mere 25 years old then. Alexander Graham Bell’s patent on the telephone was still in effect.

Today, as the image on the right side of this month’s cover illustrates, premises communications systems are intricate and complex, to put it mildly. The magazine that could not have been conceived in 1910 is, at least I like to think, a worthwhile use of its readers’ time and an information source that helps cabling-industry professionals gain intelligence about the trade.

The “Penn” in PennWell comes from Pennsylvania, where the company originated. The “Well” refers to oil wells. Incorporated as the Petroleum Publishing Company, my employer’s deepest roots are in the oil and gas industries. As I write this column in May 2010 the BP oil spill continues to belch from the ocean floor, and also continues to dominate headlines in every form of media, from newscasts to newspapers and across the Web.

While retelling the state of communications in 1910 earlier, I was tempted to include a sarcastic comment like, “A lot can happen in 100 years.” But in light of the current state of affairs off the coast of Louisiana, it’s more appropriate to remind myself that a lot can happen in one second. This publication, its parent company, and I bet most of you reading this column have learned that lesson, perhaps the hard way. In this brief space where I recognize a company’s 100th birthday, I’ll ask each of you to make every second of every day of all your years, count.

PATRICK McLAUGHLIN
Chief Editor
patrick@pennwell.com

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