A Problem for All Time

Saint-Gobain had a problem—and a very big one at that. In fact it’s a problem no primary manufacturer in North America has ever had to face, so there was no precedent and no playbook for how to handle it. And to make matters worse, the problem was time-sensitive and therefore, so was the solution. Yes, the French building products manufacturer had a happy problem to solve. At issue: how to celebrate its 350th anniversary. In October 1665, Louis XIV signed the Letters Patent, creating the Manufacture des Glaces de Miroirs in Paris, 350 years ago this year. Few companies in existence on the globe today come close to Saint-Gobain in… Read More »

Legal? Ethical?

The sad case of the professor from Slippery Rock, Pa., who came in contact with an old door at a sandwich shop in 2013 bears a closer look. The professor, Glen Brunken, tripped and fell through the glass door at Bob’s Sub and Sandwich Shop, suffering severe lacerations and trauma to his neck and head. He died later at a local hospital after succumbing to his injuries, and his wife, Cynthia, has since sued multiple parties for negligence. At first glance, it seems to simply be a case of an old door glazed long before anyone ever heard of 16CFR 1201 (the original CPSC Federal Safety Glazing Regulations), long before… Read More »

Gorillas in the Midst

The wide expanse that was AIA 2015 in Atlanta last week ...

There were new ones and improved ones, and there were variations on a theme. There were enhancements and enrichments, as well as unique colors and new sizes. And, while they were all good, there was only one product at the AIA show that literally stopped me in my tracks. It was in, of all things, the booth of the panel supplier SnapCab. Snapcab displayed its patented system of interlocking panels designed to make any panel job, well, a snap. “The panels (layers) simply stack one on top of the other, and installation can be completed inside of a day, including demolition and installing a new ceiling,” says the company on its website…. Read More »

Counting to Ten

Doug DeRusha presents a seminar at Glass Expo Northeast '15.

I’d always known him as a steady, quiet man of few, but powerful words. Unfailingly polite and professional, I’d never seen him lose his cool—until last Thursday, that is. As I heard his voice rise way above its normal corporate cadence, my head snapped around in response. “What,” I thought, “had this longtime C.R. Laurence employee so upset?” If you attended Glass Expo Northeast ’15 on Long Island last week, you know what had CRL veteran Doug DeRusha so animated. And, as many things are, it was all about money—money left on the table by our industry. “We miss a lot of business opportunities,” DeRusha said during his seminar. Though… Read More »

Lessons Learned

It was to be a very lazy Saturday morning, just a month ago now. At least that’s how I thought it would go. Except that it didn’t. The week ending was a busy one, as it included the Glass Expo West™ show in Irvine, Calif., which had been exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. But it was Saturday now—the show over—and I could sleep in a bit in my big, fluffy, hotel bed. Then the phone rang. At least I thought it might have, because I heard it while in that semi-conscious state that bops back and forth between asleep and awake. I bolted up, even though I had… Read More »

Next Year is Here

Opening day at Nationals Park.

In baseball, it’s always, “Wait ‘til next year.” Well, no more waiting. Next year is here. It started last night, in fact, with a win by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Chicago Cubs. Which brings me to this week’s blog. It’s short, real short. In fact, this is the whole blog. And that is because I am continuing a tradition of attending the Washington Nationals’ home-opener. I have done so every year (… except for the year I was stuck right outside the stadium because President Obama was throwing out the first pitch. Security would not let anyone into the parking spaces, even though people had bought them online, and… Read More »


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  There’s a reason they call James O’Callaghan, director, Eckersley O’Callaghan, “the big O” in the glass industry. Well, they really don’t. But you will after I explain why he deserves the title. O’Callaghan’s presentation at the Glass Association of North America’s Building Envelope Contractors Conference was both enlightening and exasperating, and it detailed the inspirational and the insurmountable. In a thought-provoking presentation, O’Callaghan chronicled the growth trajectory of some of the projects he has done for a certain large international company named after a fruit that possesses the largest cash reserves ever. Yeah, that one. O’Callaghan discussed the creation of the first Apple stores and the advancement of technology,… Read More »

Golden Year

The August 1967 cover of USGlass magazine.

You’ve done it. You know you have. Because everyone does, and you can’t help it. You’ve engaged in goal talk. You’ve set ‘em, made ‘em and missed ‘em. And you have done so with every type of goal there is—personal, professional, realistic and lofty. So have I. When I started with USGlass magazine nearly 23 years ago, I had a lot of goals. My first one was to keep the doors open, one day at a time (USGlass wasn’t in the best shape then). Funny how ignorant I was about starting a business. I thought you started it, worked like crazy to get it going, then you could sort of, well,… Read More »

Glasses with the Stars

Apogee CEO Joseph Puishys waltzes through his presentation at GANA

It takes a skilled dancer to make a presentation before a crowd full of those who consider themselves competitors. Apogee CEO Joe Puishys executed that dance successfully this morning and walked away with the “Glasses with the Stars” equivalent of the Mirror Ball trophy. Anyone attending who expected a tap dance, or side step, was sorely disappointed, as Puishys delivered a solid waltz through a number of topics. Puishys opened day two of GANA’s Building Envelope Conference (BEC) in Las Vegas. Apogee owns business segments as diverse as Viracon, Tubelite, Wausau, Linetec and one of the largest contract glazing companies in the world, Harmon. His talk this morning before nearly… Read More »

Snow and Sky

Ice on the roof

I am rather proud of our assistant editor Nick St. Denis. Last week, he did something that just might save some lives. Nick noticed there had been reporting on an avalanche of instances in which people have fallen through skylights over the last few weeks—particularly in the New England region. And he saw such an increase in the number of injuries (and sadly one fatality) from falls through said skylights that he thought the trend was newsworthy. The main cause of all the accidents seemed to be the same: people clearing snow off roofs, and by last Wednesday, there had been six related skylight falls in six days—in New England alone. I… Read More »