Our 50th anniversary was a pretty big deal for us. In fact, it played a big part in the production of an episode of Modern Marvels, “Hydraulics,” which has aired several times a year for the past four years. It began with a phone call from Scott Goldie, of Actuality Productions. Actuality Productions has produced many episodes of Modern Marvels, and Scott’s task was to delve into hydraulics.

Naturally, Scott began his research on the web, and he quickly found our website. After a little browsing, he found the main feature article from our 50th anniversary issue, originally published in March 1998. This article summarizes the impact hydraulics has had on major industries, such as construction, mining, food production, and more. Scott said this was just the type of information he was looking for, so he inquired by e-mail, and a phone call later, we were both laying the groundwork for the project.

One of the main points brought up in the episode was that World War II brought about the modern age of hydraulics. Aircraft, vehicles, ships, and other equipment began making extensive use of hydraulics to make them more powerful, maneuverable, and reliable. It’s no wonder, then, that this explosion of technology would demand a publication where industry professionals could share ideas and learn about the latest developments, applications, products, and events.

I don’t expect our 60th anniversary issue to give birth to anything as dramatic as another episode of Modern Marvels. For one, we don’t really have a comprehensive article dedicated to our 60-year existence. Instead, we open our news section with material taken from our first issue. An article summarizing salvage efforts at Pearl Harbor serves as a stern reminder that Hydraulics & Pneumatics began less than three years after the end of World War II.

But as with our 50th anniversary issue, we want to look ahead, so we’re publishing an article (beginning on page 48) on current and future trends in the control of mobile hydraulics. And the view ahead looks pretty good right now. Hybrid vehicle drives and variablespeed fan drives are just two applications that hold great promise for new applications of hydraulics. And new and improved (yes, some are new, and others are improved) filtration and electronic control products — especially in pneumatics — present some great opportunities to expand the use of fluid power in existing applications.