Since the early days of our company, news of the latest product and process innovations and the employees behind all that great work has been preserved in a variety of company publications. Hundreds of articles and images recorded our rich history over the last eight decades and captured major events such as our involvement in the NASA space program beginning with the Mercury program in the 1950s.
As the digital chapter for sharing important Rockwell Collins stories unfolds, we thought
it would be interesting to take a look back at the publications and moments in time that helped shape how we viewed our company.
The first issue
In February 1933, a bulletin called the Collins Signal was published and distributed to customers of a young Collins Radio Company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This first issue came out seven months before founder Arthur A. Collins would incorporate his company with eight employees and $29,000 in capital.
Articles in the Collins Signal described the attributes of Collins Radio equipment. The second issue, published in March 1933, remarked that two new Collins Transmitters — the 32A and 32B — “embody many new refinements” at prices that “are astonishingly low, so that practically every amateur (radio operator) may now enjoy brilliant performance at moderate cost.”
As the Collins Signal matured, it included news about employees who received patents and an occasional employee spotlight. There were periodic disruptions in publication before the bulletin had an extensive run from 1952 to 1971.
In the early 1940s, World War II prompted creation of a second publication with hometown and workplace news that was also shared with Collins Radio employees serving in the military. The Collins Column contained news from every department, scores from men’s and women’s sports league teams, and notes from employees stationed at military bases throughout the United States and the world.
Collins Duke and Duchess
In the 1950s, the Collins Column evolved to highlight new company products and contracts, while employee news reflected the social norms of the decade. One such social event was the nomination of employee candidates for Collins Duke and Duchess. This man and woman represented the company at the Cedar Rapids Industrial League Ball where they were royal candidates for king and queen of the event.
With the arrival of the ‘60s, the Collins Column was replaced by Pulse, a monthly four-page newspaper that ran from 1961 to 1975. The news mirrored the growth of the company and included articles about our locations in Dallas, Texas; Newport Beach, California; New York, New York; and Toronto, Canada. Running almost concurrently with Pulse was Contact, a publication designed for pilots and aircraft owners.
Collins Radio was acquired by Rockwell International in 1973, prompting a change in the name of the newspaper in 1976 to Rockwell News. An edition was published for the various Rockwell divisions created over the years, such as Collins Commercial Avionics, government avionics and telecommunications.
In addition to the company newspaper, those working at Rockwell in the late ’70s and early ’80s might also recall a magazine called Pride. This publication was created as part of an internal campaign celebrating the accomplishments of employees.
After a couple of decades of the Rockwell News newspaper, the format gradually evolved to a glossy magazine with Visions in 1995, followed by Millennium in 1997. Horizons magazine began in 2001, reflecting another company milestone — the spin-off from Rockwell International.
A new era
Today, the digital chapter of Horizons begins. This exciting, new format offers expanded opportunities to provide engaging and interactive content that can be accessed from a smartphone or mobile device, shared with family and friends, and commented on.
Dedicated Rockwell Collins volunteers are in the process of posting our history of publications on the Rockwell Collins museum website. The Index and Research links on the Collins Column and Collins Signal pages can be used to locate people, products and events featured in those issues.
Do you have a story about how you, a relative or colleague was featured in one of our previous company publications? Share it in the “Comment” section below and enjoy the new era of expanded Horizons.
-Annette Juergens Busbee