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Reinventing the wheel


On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2011, as exhibitors finished assembling their booths in the usual mad dash to opening day, a sharp-eyed security guard noticed flashes of light coming from under the Barkow truck in the 800 aisle of the GlassBuild America show floor. As he approached, two men ran off, one from under the truck where he was apparently taking pictures.

Given the anniversary of the infamous date, this event brought in the Georgia police, who scanned the truck's chassis with mirrors. They quickly concluded that it was a botched job of glass truck espionage by two local yahoos.

Why the interest? For 2011, General Motors widened its truck body. Barkow's solution: "Super single" rear tires that buy enough room between the body and the outside of the tires. With President John Weise's permission, I snapped this photo with my handy iPad so I could instantly upload this trade show tale of innovation and attempted copycatting.

Steve Jobs famously said that innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower, a sentiment that resonates at every trade show, perhaps more so when times are tough. This year's GlassBuild America welcomes attendees to visit Barkow and the 392 other companies--including 73 new exhibitors--for the up-close, kick-the-tires experience only a trade show offers.

Glass Magazine extends that welcome with its own latest innovation (thank you Mr. Jobs): the glass industry's first magazine Apple app. You can download it free here.

Androiders, your tablet app is coming very soon.

Just a few years ago, the thought of reinventing the wheel was preceded by the question why. But the road keeps changing, and speed and traffic keep increasing. In our 24/7/365, post-9/11 world, news about reinvented wheels is delivered and received however you need and want to learn about it—in print, on your computer, smartphone or tablet. So whether you're delivering or receiving a load of glass, or needing to know what technology will be on it tomorrow, you have more choices. And that's a beautiful thing about innovation. 

Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine. Write her at



October 6, 2011

Dear James,

You just finished our arched frameless double shower

door and we must tell you, we are extremely pleased

with the finished product. Better than we

envisioned! This is the “icing on the cake” to a major

bathroom renovation.

We had several bids on this project and are so glad

that we chose FastGlass.

From our initial meeting to the project’s completion

we were impressed with you and your assistant “Five

Star’s”! Professionalism, excitement for your craft

and the need to make the project perfect. It was a

pleasure to watch true craftsman at work.

Honesty and integrity are obviously at the top of your

list. From pricing and scheduling to answering

questions with excitement… Wow! How refreshing to do business with a company like

FastGlass. A company with old fashioned business ethics.

Peg and I can’t thank you enough for a job well done. We will have no reservations in referring

you and FastGlass to friends, family and business acquaintances. Also, I will be placing a quick

link to the FastGlass website on our company website.

Major Kudos James

To your continued success

Peg and Rick Damalak