Its cover is shedding the sheepskin coat. The pages are weathered. The binding is hanging on by a literal thread, and the penciled words are starting to fade.
This is a field book, used for surveying and planning. Scribed on the first page is a date: April 18, 1919. Atop one of the pages is the signature of the author and owner: H.H. Henningson. Founder of Henningson Engineering Company.
The book tells the story of two projects: one in Oshkosh, Nebraska; the other in Pine Bluff, Wyoming. Two small Midwestern towns that represent HDR’s early days. We sought out small municipal projects—and we executed them with precision.
Henningson’s journal is meticulous. The notebook is filled with street names and measurements. It’s complete with sketches of sewer systems, elevation tables, even geotechnical surveys.
This journal showcases the early philosophy of our company. A philosophy of building strong relationships. A philosophy of staying within budget and meeting schedules. A philosophy of work well done. Philosophies that are still alive within our company today.
This book has survived through backchannels for 98 years. It’s gone from hand to hand, from mentor to protégé, from founder to future.
Like this journal, our company has also survived the test of time. We have adapted, kept our footings and pressed forward. Sure, there will always be rips and tears along the way. But if we stick to our roots, we will continue to stand for another 100 years—and beyond.