One of the most honored duties that falls to the editor of a long-serving trade magazine is the opportunity to mark a major milestone. This issue celebrates the 120th anniversary of Rock Products.
Before there was Rock Products, there was Cement & Engineering News. Founded in July 1896 by William Seafert, the journal set out to serve a fledgling cement industry whose primary work involved the construction of sidewalks and foundations.
April 1902 saw the first issue of Rock Products, published in Louisville, Ky., by E.H. Defebaugh. The mission statement stated, among other things, that the magazine would “serve the trade in every honorable way possible, and to do it so persistently and thoroughly as to not only merit the support of the trade, but get it. We know there are already other papers covering parts of the field before us, but we propose to cover the whole field; not in a lifeless manner, but we will cooperate with will, both editorially and personally, in any and all movements to better the conditions in any branch of the trade.”
Cement & Engineering News would ultimately be purchased by and merged into Rock Products, which continues to this day.
As the latest in a lineage of editors that began with William Seafert and E.H. Defebaugh, I have the utmost respect for the importance of this position, and I have always tried to uphold the lofty standards those early trailblazers set in stone.
Staying in business for 120 years is no small feat, and as the industry’s first trade magazine, we decided that a single commemorative publication wasn’t going to be enough. Thus, over the past year, we have published a decade-by-decade history of the aggregates and cement industries as a prelude to this issue. We will soon offer all of those historical articles together in one package. Stay tuned for more information on that.
Rock Products can rightfully claim to be not only the longest-serving industry magazine, but the most comprehensive, covering multiple branches of the industry; publishing more equipment-and-technology-specific topics; and reaching more stone producers than any other industry magazine today.
I am certain that Mr. Seafert and Mr. Defebaugh would be astounded at the industry that now exists. And I am sure they would find comfort in the fact that it is has remained a vital national industry that at its heart, still turns big rocks into small rocks.
Here’s to the next 120 years.