17 July 2006 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]
The 19th century was drawing to a close, and the great American Dream was being powered by a rapidly expanding complement of industries. As the smokestack industries of the era poured out wealth, the need for information on the activities surrounding them became ever more critical.
"We are confident that (the markets) need and can well sustain a paper devoted exclusively to their own interests, for when immense sums of money are invested, and this market fluctuates and prices vary so frequently, a discriminating report is indispensable to every buyer and seller in the business," said founder and publisher William O. Allison in the first issue of OPD in 1871.
At a subscription price of just $3 per year, OPD offered weekly updates on prices, market analysis and news on oils, paints, drugs and chemicals.
OPD covered everything from linseed oil, sperm and whale oil, tar, rosins, petroleum, beeswax, caustic soda, soda ash, rubber, liquorice paste, perfumery, guano, turpentine, dyes and paints, glues, arsenic, camphor, brimstone, gum arabic, citric acid and alum, to bicarbonate of soda.
Think crude oil prices are high today? The price of petroleum in 1871 was $4.70 per barrel, or about $115 in today's dollars.
Just a year earlier, John D. Rockefeller entered the oil refining business, forming Standard Oil to produce kerosene. Until the advent of the automobile in 1896, lighting and heating were oil's primary uses.
Already international in flavor, one of the first features of OPD was to list shipments of chemicals from Liverpool, England, to the US market to inform readers several weeks in advance of "the principal chemicals on the way, their quality and in some cases, their consignees."
Allison was a man ahead of his time, foreseeing changes to the publication as the needs of the market warranted. In 1871, OPD was just four pages in length.
"The size of our paper was fixed by the matter it was to contain. It will be enlarged from time to time, as the necessity may arise, for we are determined to furnish the trade with a satisfactory weekly journal containing all the information which such a journal should contain, alive to every new idea, and in the best sense of the word, progressive."
The publication immediately found success. By 1875, its size expanded to 20 pages and then varied in length depending on the need for coverage.
New York City in the late 1800s and early 1900s was a hotbed of oil, paint, drug and chemical activity with hundreds of firms headquartered downtown.
Among the companies listed in OPD's Business Directory of 1871 was a Pfizer, Charles & Co., at 17 Beekman Street.
Advertisers in OPD at first consisted of natural oils and wax traders and distributors, but by its 25th anniversary issue in 1897, the breadth of advertisers widened to drug, paint and chemical companies such as Merck & Co.; Chas. Pfizer & Co.; Smith, Kline & French Co.; Parke, Davis & Company; The Solvay Process Co.; Brunner, Mond & Co.; National Lead; and even confectioner H.L. Hildreth, which made and sold "satisfying and delicious" Velvet Molasses Candy.
CMR today-and soon ICIS Chemical Business (Americas)-carries forward this tradition with continuing expert coverage of the pharmaceutical, food ingredients, and oils, fats & waxes markets-unique within the industry and unique among competitors.
Our traditionally strong presence at major trade shows goes back many years. In 1930, OPD produced a supplement covering the 56th convention of the National Wholesale Druggists Association in Chicago.
Today's Global and Focus Reports carry that tradition with special editorial features on key topics such as petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, distribution and logistics, and soaps and detergents-many distributed at major trade shows such as NPRA, the ACC Annual Meeting, DCAT Week, Informex, CPhI, EPCA, SDA and NACD.
CMR's unparalleled coverage of regulatory issues in Washington goes back to the 1920s when OPD started devoting special attention to Washington news.
In 1997, I joined CMR as Financial Editor. In my first column, fine chemicals firm ChiRex went public at $9.50 and Ferro embarked on a major restructuring. Some things have changed, and some haven't!
In 2005, CMR became a magazine with a major redesign converting the publication from tabloid newspaper format to magazine format. As part of ICIS, the world's largest chemical information provider, CMR started to leverage the global editorial resources within the group, offering up expanded coverage of Europe, Asia and the Middle East to complement its strong North American focus.
The new magazine was a hit among readers, who appreciated the coverage of key news events and analysis of major markets in an easier-to-read and digest format.
Today we are changing once again. The new ICIS Chemical Business (Americas) will be the most comprehensive publication in the sector, bringing you all the news, scoops and insights you need in order to succeed in today's dynamic and global chemical industry.
We will leverage the global strengths of the ICIS group and reflect this in our branding. With more than 100 dedicated journalists on the ICIS team stationed around the world in New York, Houston, Washington D.C., London, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai and other regions, we will bring you unparalleled coverage of the industry.
You will get all the content you've grown to rely upon from CMR plus much more. We trust that you will enjoy and be delighted with our exciting new branding and format. As we head boldly into the future, we reach back into the past and bring with us a tradition of excellence.
Look for the new ICIS Chemical Business (Americas) on September 4, 2006.
1871On October 18, 1871, William O. Allison launches the Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter. From its offices at 79 and 81 William Street in downtown New York, OPD gives the lowdown on "actual commercial conditions" of the growing oils, paints, drugs and chemicals markets.
1966 After a number of format changes, OPD starts calling itself "OPD, The Chemical Marketing Newspaper," reflecting a growing emphasis on the chemical industry, which was entering its golden age. Editorial coverage focused on inorganics, aliphatic organics, agricultural chemicals, drugs and fine chemicals, perfume and flavoring materials, coating materials, and oils, fats & waxes.
1972 OPD officially changed its name to Chemical Marketing Reporter, and CMR was born.
1989 Chemical Marketing Reporter underwent a major redesign, with a new logo and for the first time, a glossy color front cover leading off the newspaper. Coverage of petrochemicals such as paraxylene, benzene, styrene and phenol expanded as demand for these products grew rapidly.
1997 Chemical Marketing Reporter dropped the "ing" and became Chemical Market Reporter. And reflecting an increasing shift towards news coverage, news articles dominated the cover page, replacing ads. Heading toward magazine status, CMR also ditched the newsprint and converted to a full glossy publication.
2000 Chemical Market Reporter is purchased by Reed Business Information, ending 129 years of private ownership. Reed Business Information brings existing chemical titles in Europe and Asia into the mix, with CMR being the North American arm of the Reed Chemical Publications group.
2001 A new look is unveiled along with its first online edition, www.chemicalmarketreporter.com
2005 Chemical Market Reporter is relaunched on May 16 with a major redesign converting the publication from tabloid newspaper format to magazine format. As part of ICIS, the world's largest chemical information provider, CMR started to leverage the global editorial resources within the group
2006 September 4. ICIS Chemical Business (Americas) will assume its position in the ICIS portfolio in its new guise.
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