Oildom Publishing was founded in 1908 by Oliver Klinger, the grandfather of our current publisher, Oliver Klinger III. Below is an article printed in the November 2008 issues of Underground Construction and Pipeline & Gas Journal on the 100th anniversary year of the company.
1908 – 2008: 100 Year History Of Oildom Publishing Company
by Oliver Klinger, III
I will never know precisely what was on my grandfather’s mind that day in 1908 when he decided it was time for a career change.
Oliver C. Klinger Sr., the 30-year-old engineer for Standard Oil Company (forerunner to Exxon) had already written several energy-related articles. He recognized a need for a special journal to focus on the rapidly growing petroleum industry. This was only eight years after the discovery of oil at Spindletop, TX, changed the face of the industry forever.
It has been 100 years since he created Oildom Publishing Company in the landmark Woolworth building in New York City. During that century, two constants have marked this unique company’s history. The first is a continuing tradition of publishing excellence; the second is that an Oliver C. Klinger is still the president and publisher.
Let’s go back to those early years and revisit my grandfather. His first venture was Oildom, a monthly magazine that covered a variety of petroleum-related issues. As World War I ended, he built a printing plant in Bayonne, NJ, which was Oildom’s headquarters for more than 50 years.
Klinger Sr. gradually added different publications including Oildom Daily Service and The Oildom Marketer. In 1928 he began publishing Pipeline News monthly in order to track construction jobs. We still publish Pipeline News.
Perhaps a bit ahead of his time, my grandfather started a natural gas magazine in the early years of the Great Depression, but the industry was still in its infancy and the magazine didn’t quite take off until years later. Today, Pipeline & Gas Journal, known as P&GJ, is the world’s largest, oldest and most-respected magazine that covers the natural gas and oil products pipeline businesses.
During the 1930s, my grandfather was joined by his son (my father), Oliver Jr., a journalism graduate of Columbia University, and they began publishing Fuel Oil News to cover the heating oil market. That publication was well-received by dealers throughout the Northeast.
In 1949, Oildom acquired Pipeliner, now published as Underground Construction, a leader in that sector of the industry. That purchase also gave the company a significant foothold in Houston, which was becoming the world’s oil capital. As the pipeline business continued to boom, Oildom added several petroleum-related directories and books to its mix.
The publishing patriarch died in 1954 and ownership of the business passed to his three sons. In 1956, John Klinger sold his interest to Oliver Jr. and Curtis Klinger. They divided the business until Oliver Jr. assumed control in the early 1970s. I (Oliver III) joined the company in 1971 after graduating with a marketing degree from Lehigh University. We soon sold the printing plant and consolidated the company in Houston.
By 1991, my father had semi-retired and I was running the company. That year we completed the most important deal in the company’s history by acquiring P&GJ, which traces its history to a Wall Street newsletter first published in 1859. Oildom Publishing Co of Texas, Inc. was now the world’s largest publisher of pipeline magazines.
In addition to magazines, Oildom sponsors two successful industry conferences. Our Pipeline Opportunities Conference has become a premiere event for the industry since its inception in 2005. The company’s Underground Construction Technology conference began in 1995 and is the largest trade show and conference for that market.
Very few privately held companies make it to this milestone, and it would not have been possible without the incredible people we have had helping us over the years and continue to have.