Flashback

History of the American Window Cleaner Magazine Written by Michael Draper Rod Woodward preparing his squeegees Sometimes you have to stop and reflect. I was doing some online stuff when a message popped up unexpectedly by a woman named Kami. I didn’t recognize the name at first but later in our chat I found out she was the Daughter of Rod Woodward one of the co-founders of AWC Magazine. We are hoping to have her on AWCTV soon. We at the Magazine decided to go back to 1990 and rerun an article that was in the Jan-Feb Edition about the Man himself Rod Woodward. I appreciated that we wrote out his goals for the industry and its interesting to reflect and see just where we have been and how far we have come. These are Rod’s words as published in the very first AWC Magazine Newsletter as it was called then. Enjoy.

If someone had told me last year that I would be publisher of a nationwide newsletter for window cleaners, I would have thought he was crazy. But here I am pounding away at this computer.

I’m really excited about this newsletter. I’ve been in the trade for over 18 years and have enjoyed the freedom and opportunities it has presented me. I started out by operating my own business in the Portland Oregon area. Later I mastered high-rise work in San Jose California. Last year was most gratifying. An invention I had developed over the years was accepted and manufactured by “Steccone”. I spent a year working for them promoting it all over the country. It’s known as the Super System.


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Pole Window Cleaning in the 90s

During that time, I was able to chat with a great many of you. From these conversations I realized that like myself just about all of us get a great deal of satisfaction from our work. But I also heard many express concerns you have for the industry. Most common examples were: lack of industry-wide communication, not enough professional training and no consistent Code of Standards. Most other trades have such a code. Why can’t ours? I hope this newsletter will in some way, help provide solutions to these concerns.

First and foremost, I see this newsletter serving as a nationwide communication link for the industry. Not only can it be used for reading informative articles, but just as importantly, by encouraging active participation: writing in your ideas, tips, and opinions; publicizing your events; letting us know of anything you need (jobs, equipment, etc.) or want to sell. With all this increased communication with one another, we’ll hopefully begin to view each other more as colleagues with similar goals and needs, rather than just competitors to outbid. Once this happens, the industry as a whole, wins. And when the industry wins, we all gain.

A more unified trade has many benefits. We can act as an effective lobby to change safety regulations that are not in the best interests of window cleaners. And who knows more about safety equipment than the people who are risking their own necks every day? We can challenge the insurance companies who charge us more than our fair share by providing up to date statistics that prove we are not such a bad risk. We can keep each other informed of especially good products and services so that more of us will use them. Better products bring about better results. Better results encourage better industry-wide standards. And better industry standards bring about a better public image towards our trade.

This newsletter is designed for all window cleaners who see themselves as or want to become-Professionals. From part time independent sole proprietor just starting out, to the large long- established companies with many accounts, employees, and years behind them, this newsletter is for you.

Be safe and prosperous, and I’ll be talking to you again in the next issue.

--Rod Woodward (1950-1989)
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Gutter Tool
This month’s Tools of the Trade was submitted by an AWC Magazine subscriber and I thought it valuable enough to show to our readers even though usually we have product reviewed by three or four cleaners.

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