We just received our 2006 edition of the Thomas Register. I was pleasantly surprised to open the carton and see hardbound books, since last year’s edition was a floppy paperback set that was nearly impossible to shelve. My pleasure faded, though, when I saw the enclosed announcement. After 100 years of providing the industry-standard directory of American manufacturers, Thomas will cease publication of its print edition in favor of its online product, ThomasNet.

The press release linked at ThomasNet leads to a blank page at press time, but the letter printed in the front of each volume paints this as simply an inevitable move toward digital publication. I can’t help but see it as another sign of the fading of the U.S. as a world industrial power.

Source: LisNews (http://www.lisnews.com)

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