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'Modern Casting' celebrates 60 years of service to metalcasters this month.

This issue marks modern casting's 60th anniversary of service to the North American foundry industry. Metalcasters' first received its forerunner, American Foundryman, in their mailboxes 60 years ago this month. Throughout its existence, it was there each month to foster a dialog and understanding on key industry developments, such as the production and application of ductile iron, flaskless molding, numerous chemical binder system developments, lost foam casting, computerization and casting simulation programs, to name just a few. It also has been a much turned-to source for foundry management issues, whether it was introducing new business or human resource concepts, forecasting demand, explaining compliance issues or rallying the industry to take a proactive stand in Washington.

From technical articles and case histories to new product information and vendor advertisements, many a foundryman started his problem-solving and process optimization journey by turning to the magazine.

After the short-lived publication attempts of The Journal of the American Foundrymen's Association (1896), Bulletin of the American Foundrymen's Association (1921) and Transactions and Bulletin (1924), the association's fourth try at launching a regular publication proved a charm. With the slow crawl out of the Depression, in July 1938, the first issue of the American Foundryman (17 pages) appeared in magazine for mat. The inaugural issue featured a president's message, conference schedules, new technical division appointments, an article on the dangers of heat sickness, new member listings, a chapter directory and chapter news (a unique "community" feature still found in the magazine today). Established first as a bimonthly, it had the original purpose "of presenting to members more frequent and timely news of the Association, its chapter and committee activities."

After seven years, the magazine began to spread its wings toward becoming the industry trade magazine it is today. It began to accept advertising in May 1945 - and attracted more than 50 full pages of advertising right off the bat in that issue alone. That same year, a "new product section" was added, further helping the publication live up to its dubbing as "The Foundryman's Own Magazine." By 1948, more than 10,500 copies were distributed internationally, and the following year, it began offering classified advertising to better serve readers' evolving needs.

In 1955, AFS changed the name of the publication to Modern Castings in order to better describe the purpose and appeal of the slick, monthly professional publication, now issued in a larger format that proved to be controversial. A smaller format was reintroduced in 1959, the industry's first "Buyer's Guide" was established in 1963, and an editor's page was added in 1965. In 1966, the "s" was dropped from Modern Castings and the magazine became simply modern casting, as it is known today. By 1980, circulation was at all-time high of 30,000.

Not unlike the industry that it covers, the magazine also has endured some very dire times. In the early 1980s, as many foundries closed their doors, the magazine suffered along with them, and the publication's advertising pages dropped 65% from 1980-83. Publisher/Editor Dave Kanicki was commanded by the AFS Board to "save it or close it." Two years later, the magazine found itself on profitable ground again, ensuring that the trusted and relied-upon magazine for news, technical and new product information would continue to arrive on foundry doorsteps each and every month.

In its long history, the magazine has only had four editors: Herb Scobie, Jack Schaum, Kanicki (who remains as publisher) and Mike Lessiter. In addition, the magazine and Advertising Services Manager Dick Reynolds have been together for more than half of both of their lives, with Reynolds joining the staff in 1963.

Today, the financially independent magazine (supported solely by display and classified advertising) is one of the top contributors to AFS operations, programs and services. Along with the record period of successes it is currently enjoying, the 24,000-circulation magazine's presence is continuing to be felt outside North America, as subscriptions are now held in 56 nations.

In recent years, the magazine has not found itself limited to the number of months on the calendar. Besides its eight-year-old Casting Source Directory (an annual casting reference directory aimed at end-users and potential end-users of castings) joint venture, it has produced a 13th edition on several occasions in recent years. In 1989, it produced its first-ever GIFA edition, a first-ever CastExpo issue in 1993, another all-GIFA edition again in 1994, a joint-venture issue translated in Chinese in conjunction with the World Foundry Congress in Beijing, China in 1995, and the first-ever product-oriented tabloid, Guide to Exhibits and Technology Showcase for CastExpo in 1996. And in staying with the latest in technology, modern casting launched its online version in 1996 (

In its 61st year and beyond, modern casting will continue to strive for ways to best serve its readership in its changing times, and embrace supplements, special editions and new media wherever appropriate.
COPYRIGHT 1998 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:July 1998
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jul 1, 1998
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