Once upon a time there was an American industry that conducted itself with a level of conservatism and a modicum of class and dignity. Despite the hard and steady work of the professionals who toiled within the industry, many people made jokes about it, called it boring and stuffy, and scoffed that this industry did not have a certain level of prestige. This industry might not have had the broad respect of the public at large but amomg its practitioners and adherents it tended to be more respected than even some of its former and current membership gave credit. For decades this industry chugged along at steady clip, slow to change with the times but managed to keep up with them nonetheless, creating its own titans and smaller player, superstars and valued employees. Most important of all, this industry acted as an "invisible hand," producing enough revenue to fuel other industries, including many of those that openly ridiculed it. The industry was popular almost in spite of itself and was spectacularly profitable.  The industry seemed as if it would go on forever.