Volume 50, Issue 6 - June 2015

USGlass at 50

As USGlass enters its 50th year, the magazine’s editors are taking a look back at how topics and issues have changed throughout the years. First is mirror. Once the topic of cover stories and news items, the majority of mirror production in the U.S. migrated offshore, leaving few mirror manufacturers left in North America. Here’s a sampling of how things have changed.

In the September/October 1981 issue, mirrors received no less than four cover stories. NAMM (The now defunct North American Mirror Manufacturers Association) was a group working for the industry. At that time, Robert Stroupe, NAMM president said, “Mirror usage is on the upswing as evidenced by the dramatic increase in square footage of mirror sales in recent years.”

Readers were told in September 1986 how to make money with mirrors ….

… and in September-October 1988 mirrors and auto glass reigned supreme.

You can’t sell more mirrors if you don’t know how to install them, so that was the topic in 1992.

In 1994, mirrors joined the green movement.

Mirrors were still going strong in 1997. In fact, USGlass wrote the book on mirrors in its March issue that year, and had a column by “Mr. Mirror,” Will Tiller.

In a 1998 interview with USGlass, Jim Charles, then director of sales and marketing at Binswanger
Mirror, noted that the use of mirrored glass was growing in square footage, but the prices were about the same as they were in the mid ’70s, because “there is so much production out there.”

Then in August 2003, USGlass started to inform readers how mirror companies could diversify.

In February 2006, Fred Wallin, vice president of marketing for AFG Industries Inc., tells USGlass that factory utilization for the mirror manufacturers has shrunk 40 percent due to foreign

… By October 2007, the report was simply how to “keep mirrors on the wall.” That was the last time this product category
appeared on the cover.

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