During the many years that this magazine has been in existence, I have been one of its many subscribers and readers. Today the circulation is 15,000 strong and growing.
As I begin the journey of looking back over the years, I would be remise, if I did not mention the many writers, advertisers and technicians that have passed on, leaving a few of us to carry what I will call the FON torch. I also remember the day, several years ago, while attending what at the time was the Service Managers Association Convention, when I spoke with FON Publisher Bill Straub and he asked me to write an article pertaining to the oil industry Thus began my writing journey for Fuel Oil News. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been 15 years of writing and over 40 of the eighty years reading FON.
When I first started reading, the publications were strictly focused on anything and everything pertaining to oil as was the National Convention. However, we are seeing what I have written about in the past, and that is diversification. A must for any business in order to remain competitive and financially stable.
FON is now focusing on areas such as propane and natural gas, A/C central and mini splits, biofuels and solar–to name a few. The articles are often focused on technical, financial and business disciplines. We have also seen many articles on new products, such as controls and burners, that have helped to improve the efficiency and service challenges that we face on a daily basis.
Looking back, I would ask how many of you remember the Williams Oil O Matic, Winkler, Detroit, or the Rotary Type Burner. How about the RA 117A and putting the four wire on three for constant ignition, or the Mercury, Penn, Detroit or the first generation Honeywell Line Voltage Clock Thermostats? How about the kerosene floor furnaces or the wick supported kerosene kitchen ranges? Remember those? I do! Today, we have diagnostic controls that will help do the troubleshooting for us, which makes our jobs a tad easier.
In my day, I also remember running several feet of three wire to the thermostats with a switching relay for each zone. Who would ever have thought that today we would have wireless controls that can control an unlimited number of zones? Who would have believed in the 1960s that we would have boilers with as little as two gallons of water for the total content heating 3000 sq. foot homes, or combo heat and hot water boilers that hang on a wall or a duct-less Mini Split also hanging on a wall? I guess buy now you may be wondering our writers’ age. Here is a hint, to my knowledge none of us are in our eighties.
I would also like to thanks the many technician, managers and owners who have allowed us to display their pictures on the front page over the past years, and the challenges that we as writers have encountered along the way. We will never always be right nor do we claim to be. Thanks also from all of us at FON for sharing your own many personal experiences and please keep them coming for the next 80 years.