On May 8, 2019, two years ago, four of us launched the American Business History Center. As enumerated below, we are pleased with the growth of our weekly newsletter and our website traffic (shown above). Your donations have helped us continue our work and will help us keep moving forward.
Two months ago, we announced our essay contest for high school students. The best history story of a local business will earn the writer $3000, with seventeen other prizes ranging from $200 to $1000. The deadline for submissions is now just two months away, on July 9, so please tell your student friends and relatives. Winners will be announced in late September. We believe it important to our society that more young people understand business, understand history, and learn from the successes and failures of the past.
Much of our website content cannot be found anywhere else on the Internet. A year ago at this time, our website was garnering 40-50 pageviews a day. Today, many of our stories are showing up on the first page of Google searches. Our pages are viewed 360-380 times a day, a 600% increase compared with last year. The website pages have been viewed over 110,000 times by more than 70,000 people since inception. Over ninety percent of our visitors are first-time users, but repeat visits are growing. May 2021 is running ahead of April and might set a record high number of monthly users and pageviews.
This is the ninety-seventh newsletter we have published, weekly except for a few holidays. Our average issue is read over 1800 times, with some issues exceeding 2700 readers. Newsletter “reads” since inception total more than 170,000. The number of subscribers has risen 10% so far in 2021. We receive many positive comments on the newsletter, and it has been re-posted on other sites. Please encourage your friends to subscribe!
In this age of multi-million-subscriber services, these numbers may seem small. But, as “old school” entrepreneurs, we believe in building “the business” one step at a time, keeping our eye on growth. From tiny acorns come tall trees.
This spring, I appeared as a business history expert on the History Channel’s hit series The Food that Built America. Last week, I was in studio in Brooklyn recording more programs for the History Channel, focusing on the automobile and aviation industries. This new series should be broadcast later this year. We will continue to seek opportunities to publicize business history.
We presently plan on turning some of our best stories into a book, to be available on Amazon in both print and e-book forms, in time for the 2021 holiday season. We’ve had numerous requests for such a book and think it would make a great gift!
We have dozens of other ideas about how to promote interest in business history and celebrate the great entrepreneurs and businesses of the past and present. Your donation will help us keep moving forward on our many goals. We recently fixed a glitch on the donations page and are now ready to take your credit card for one-time or monthly donations. Every dollar helps us and goes a long way.
Thank you in advance for your help in sending us essay contest entrants, newsletter readers, and donations.
American Business History Center