Songs of Angry Men

As has been the case almost all this year, the news just keeps coming and today there is something for everyone. As you might know, our company publishes a number of magazines concerning glass and we have a breaking story in almost every one. So here’s my take on a few of them: 1. To Thine Own Self be Trulite (USGlass magazine)—Sun Capital announced the highly anticipated new name for the trinity of  Arch-UGC-ACI Products (Vitro America’s new name). Which name emerged victorious? None of the above. The company’s new name is Trulite, which is actually an old name that Arch Aluminum acquired when it purchased a company of that… Read More »

Loyalty Oath?

If you are in the East, you know it is sweltering today, and that most human beings who’ve been outside for more than ten minutes share a striking resemblance to a spent dishrag. So it was that the decision was made to forego a more usual luncheon salad for a climate-appropriate small Vanilla Milwaukee Cream Custard. It was the only sensible thing to do. You see, my plan was to eat said custard and write today’s blog. Well, the custard had long since cooled my parched, dry throat as I continued to wrestle with the topic of what to write about today. News wise, we are awaiting a major story,… Read More »

Time Will Tell

Few in our business remain unaware of the announced purchase of U.S. Aluminum by C.R. Laurence (CRL) last week. Actually, the purchase was met with a sigh of relief in many circles because CRL is known as extremely well-run company. And the idea that there will be another quality metal supplier around with knowledgeable industry veterans such as Tom Harris running it is both comforting and exciting to many. It’s a brilliant move by CRL for sure. The purchase, though, has left a fair number of people wondering what the “new U.S. Aluminum” will look like. Certain assets of the company were purchased by UMEX late last month. At the… Read More »

Happy Holiday!

      Happy Canada Day today to our Canadian Readers!              And The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., features what may just be the largest stained glass American flag in the world.                   Happy 4th of July on Monday to our U.S. readers!                     We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday weekend from everyone here at Key Communications!

Odds Are

The recent purchase of Vitro America’s assets by Sun Capital got me to thinking about Mickey Binswanger the other day. He was winding down his career about the time I got into the glass industry. Even at that young age, it was easy to recognize what a powerful force he, his family and his company were in the glass industry. So I figure he would be wondering right about now: What’s going to happen to Binswanger? For now, let me just focus on Binswanger the retailer and save the distribution company ACI for another time. Primarily a nationwide chain of auto and flat glass retail locations, Binswanger has particular strength… Read More »

Postcard from GPD

Thanks to everyone who wrote looking for me this week …. I gave my Monday blog spot to editor Megan Headley to guest blog from Glass Performance Days in Tampere, Finland. In case you missed it here’s Megan’s report on Russ Ebeid’s farewell address.

Guessing Game

Riddle me three: 1.  My posts and our related stories about the deletion of glass from the podium level of One World Trade Center have generated a lot feedback, much of it curious, and all of it on background. Atleast one knowledgeable person with whom I spoke insists that the glass can be made and that, even though we are being told it can’t, that’s not the real reason for the change.  It was also suggested that we look at what type of company, exactly, was to do the work. Was it really to be done by a glass company? Or perhaps the company involved is more comfortable in the… Read More »

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

We don’t often talk about it, but our parent company, Key Communications Inc. offers quite a number of services and products. The magazines are listed to my right. We also have very popular daily e-news services for both the architectural glass industry ( and the auto glass industry ( … among a variety of other things people might not know about such as market research and studies, focus groups, customized research and a variety of other marketing services. In fact, my own name on Twitter is Keycomm (follow me @Keycomm) and today I tried a social media experiment and tweeted each new thing I did today. Now granted, today was… Read More »

Getting Burned

I know, I know, I usually blog on Mondays. Since this past Monday was a holiday here in the States (which I happily took because an upper respiratory infection had decided to spend the weekend with me), and since we have a rare day this month where we have no regularly scheduled blogger, I am weighing in on three matters, one heavy and two light: 1.  First, the heavy one: I caught up a few weeks ago with a new employee at Vitro America who was very excited to be there having just been recruited from another lucrative, long term position in the glass industry. He’d literally started with the… Read More »

Some Thoughts on AIA

As is the case most years, I attended the American Institute of Architects’ Annual Convention, in New Orleans two weeks ago, and saw a number of trends, some good and some worrisome. Specifically: 1.  The number of practicing architects seemed significantly lower than in previous years. Our stand, which is listed under our sister publication the Architect’s Guide to Glass magazine, was visited by many in the “architecture” field—students, professors, academicians, suppliers and consultants, but not very many pen-to-paper architects.  The economy has something to do with this, for sure, (because if you have no projects to design you have no money to spend on travel), but I think there… Read More »

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