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Say Goodnight, Chrome.

Ted Mooney, P.E. <mooney@finishing.com>

August 16, 1999

With mixed emotions I look at the new headlights on automobiles. You've seen them on some models. Instead of the more familiar wavy glass lens of the past, they have a crystal clear lens, behind which is the full juke-box look of those bright silver reticulated reflectors.

Mixed emotions because, on the one hand, I love the brilliant "chrome-y" look of the things. But on the other hand I can see that this technology may soon be able to fully satisfy the public's thirst for shine. Add something similar to the backup lights, and probably the tail lights and side marker lights, maybe carriage lights on the upscale models, perhaps even build it in as the edging on the windows, and there just won't be much need for chrome plating to brighten up an automobile anymore.

To me, this sharp new development doesn't bode well for decorative chrome platers. Am I right or wrong?


There's no place like chrome
(and you can take that to the bank)

Tom Pullizzi <pullizzi@verizon.net>

On the way in to the office today, I snapped this photo of the back of this Snap-On® truck.

The ad reads "There is no place like chrome", and "Snap-On®, nothing even comes close". For those of us who use tools (that's all human beings, some other primates, no aardvarks, some birds) we know that chrome plating on polished steel rules.

The latest craze in automobiles means that chrome bumpers are hanging, front and back, from those gas guzzling, scenery gobbling, moving billboards of conspicuous consumption otherwise known as $40,000 utility vehicles.

So let the new headlights be shiny behind the glass, chrome will come around in the fashion cycle as a symbol of toughness, beauty, and as a touch of class, in turn, on utility vehicles, luxury cars, and the low end of the manufacturer's line.


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