What’s in a name?

Therese Dunphy

March 8, 2013

Earlier this week, I was reviewing data for the 2013 Aggregates Industry Atlas. As in years past, our June issue will feature the names, locations, and maps of crushed stone and sand and gravel operations throughout the United States.

We spend months checking the data to ensure that it’s as accurate and pristine as possible. As part of that effort, we review all the listings. You might think that scanning thousands of data fields would be mind numbing. And, I guess it could be, if it weren’t for the little things that catch my eye as I’m reading.

For example, I wonder what kind of behind-the-scenes drama led to one operation being named Swindle Lease. Sounds like it could be a story well suited to prime time.

Other operations are named like boats: after women. Take the Jenny Ann Pit or Miss Margie or Miss Vernette. I wonder about the women who inspired the original operator and am curious about their role with the site.

pioneer crusherIn yet other cases, reviewing the names seems like time travel. Many operators, you see, name their operations after the primary equipment, and there are many Svedala, Nordberg, Extec, Fintec, and Pioneer sites out there.

The only time my eyes glassed over were with the operations that were simply numbers; i.e., Plant #1, Plant #18, Plant #85. They aren’t nearly as fun, but I’m sure some accountant thought it was a good idea.

If your plant has a fun name, shoot me an email and tell me how it came about. I’d love to hear the true story behind Swindle Lease!


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