Marine Log History

One of the largest circulation and most popular B to B marine magazines in the world, MARINE LOG carries on a tradition of marine industry journalism that extends back nearly 150 years to 1878.

In 1978, the magazine, then titled MARINE ENGINEERING/LOG, marked its centenary by publishing a history, researched by then senior editor the late Gene Heil, that began:

“Like the wonderful old New York marriages of the Cohens and the Kellys, and the Joneses and the Smiths, that later made it difficult for their descendants to trace their heritages, the many mergers, acquisitions, and name changes that occurred over a 100-year period led editors of Marine Engineering/Log down a winding and often confusing path when tracing the history of the magazine back to its beginning in 1878.”

The bound volumes of ME/LOG go back to only 1897, but it was known that there were predecessors, related by merger, reporting on maritime affairs some 19 years earlier. The task of finding them and establishing accurate dates was finally accomplished through sheer stubbornness–a trait that’s often confused with editorial integrity.”

The first of these predecessors was Marine Record, a tabloid “published every Thursday at 144 Superior Street (Leader Building), Cleveland, Ohio.” A copy of Volume VII, No. 19, dated May 7, 1885 was found in the archives of a library. Subtracting one volume a year for seven years from 1885 puts Volume I in the year 1878. A.A. Pomeroy was featured on the masthead as the “Editor and Proprietor.” Meanwhile, also in Cleveland, a second magazine called Marine Review was founded in 1891, that competed with Marine Record.

Both the Record and the Review welcomed Marine Engineering’s appearance in New York City in April 1897, praising the editorial content of its 40-page Volume I, No. 1, and noting that “…the first issue is worthy of the best support of advertisers and subscribers.” Extracts from these and many other notices from magazines and newspapers of the day were published on the back cover of Marine Engineering’s issue No. 2.

The magazine was published by Marine Publishing Company, which was located in the World Building in New York. H.M. Swetland was president and general manager, and H.L. Aldrich was vice president and business manager.

H.F. Donaldson, secretary and editor, led off the first issue of MARINE ENGINEERING by pointing out in his editorial that:

“Marine Engineering is a product of whatever carefulness and judgment the editors possess, modified only by the difficulties incident to the construction of a technical journal. The record of the trial trip (of a vessel as well as a magazine) is apparent; when the machinery shall have been in operation long enough to properly adjust the bearings, better performance will be possible.”

Back in Cleveland on August 14, 1902, Marine Review acquired the Record and changed its name to Marine Review and Marine Record. In January 1904, Marine Record was dropped from the masthead, and the magazine again was called Marine Review, retaining that name for 31 years.

As shipbuilding was evolving from the age of wooden vessels and iron steamships to steel-hulled vessels, by 1906, Marine Engineering had broadened both its editorial coverage and its circulation and changed its name to International Marine Engineering. The marine steam turbine had become widely accepted, and marine technology generally was advancing rapidly. In 1920, International Marine Engineering, by then a healthy 78-page magazine bound with several 24-inch folded inserts illustrating vessel hull details, was purchased from H.L. Aldrich, who by that time was president and treasurer of the Aldrich Publishing Company, by its present owner, Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation.

For the next 15 years, the magazine was published as Marine Engineering and Shipping Age, giving it a family resemblance to Simmons-Boardman’s very successful railroad industry magazine, Railway Age.

In the November 1935 issue of its marine magazine, Simmons-Boardman announced that Marine Review, formerly published by Penton Publishing company of Cleveland, was merged with Marine Engineering and Shipping Age in one publication under the title Marine Engineering and Shipping Review. The announcement emphasized that”…Marine Engineering and Shipping Review unites the strength of two leading publications to serve the interests of the marine field with a high-speed, modern tool.”

Another Simmons-Boardman acquisition in 1956 absorbed a western marine magazine, The Log, published by Miller-Freeman in San Francisco. As a result, Marine Engineering and Shipping Review was changed to Marine Engineering and The Log, then shortened to Marine Engineering/Log. The name was further shortened to Marine Log in November 1987.

Since 1987, the magazine has continued to mark significant milestones, including the launch of this website in 1996 and a Digital Edition of Marine Log in 2006.