Everything and nothing's changed since PUBLIC WORKS was launched in 1896. Hanley Wood LLC bought the magazine from the third generation of the founder's family in 2003. I searched in vain for someone who could tell me about this man. Why this particular topic? Was he an engineer who wanted to fill a unique information void? Or a publisher who'd spied a potentially profitable market?
Stymied, I turned to the magazine itself (we have every issue going back to January 1920). Though I didn't find an answer, I spent hours lost in fascinated wonder. Materials and tools have evolved, but a century later the concerns are the same. In 1920:
Readers generated most of the content, using the magazine to communicate their experiments and comment on each other's experience:
Though engrossed in local needs and local politics, they were all planning, designing, building, and maintaining the nation's lifelines as growth spread from east to west. The magazine you hold was the only way they could learn from each other's successes and failures vis-à-vis new processes, equipment, and technologies.
Your role — and ours here at PUBLIC WORKS — remains remarkably unchanged. Though we both have new tools at our disposal, sometimes the oldest and simplest option provides the optimum solution. With each communication innovation — telegraph to telephone to personal computer and the Internet — this magazine remains the jumping-off point for continuing your dialogue in the medium you prefer.
I know because I receive them all: telephone calls, letters, and e-mails. Call my direct line at 773-824-2507; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to Hanley Wood Business Media, 8725 W. Higgins Road, Suite 600, Chicago, Ill., 60631.
Editor in Chief
Whatever works for you
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