(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "A history of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers from 1880 to 1915"

\i:^ 






^^v^ 



11 v^ 



vX*,.-C. 




iviiv^;^^^^ 




do InAyi C . \S L^L^-t^-^cyT^ 



pREsiDENi iee< 



THC AMERICAN SOCIETY OF M ECMANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF 

MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

FROM 1880 TO 1915 



BY 

FREDERICK REMSEN BUTTON, Sc. D. 

Secretary of the Society, 1883-1906 

President, 1906 

Honorary Secretary from 1907 




PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 

29 WEST 39th STREET 

NEW YORK CITY 

1915 



TJ 

I 

^T? H y 



SEP? 1971 



"-Its 



•ny Of lo*: 



<»^-; 



This History of The American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers covering one-third of a century, from 1880 to 
the beginning of 1915, has been prepared under the direc- 
tion of the Council. It has been carried out under a com- 
mittee composed of Prof. John E. Sweet, one of the 
founders of the Society, Charles Wallace Hunt, Ambrose 
Swasey, Frederick Remsen Hutton, Past-Presidents of the 
Society, and Henry Harrison Suplee. The Committee is 
greatly indebted to Mr. Suplee for pioneer work in 
gathering material. The final preparation of the History 
was committed to Professor Hutton, who served the 
Society as its Secretary from 1883 to 1906 and as Presi- 
dent in 1906-1907. He has been Honorary Secretary of 
the Society since 1907. 



CONTENTS 



PAOE 

Chapter I 

Introduction 1 

Chapter II 

The Preliminary Steps Before the First Meeting 9 

Chapter III 

The First Meeting. The Organization 15 

Chapter IV 

Some Principles of Society Philosophy 22 

Chapter V 

Standing Committees of the Society 70 

Chapter VI 

Presidents of the Society. Some Significant Administrations 77 

Chapter VII 

The Council of the Society: Vice-Presidents, Managers, Secre- 
taries and Treasurers 134 

Chapter VIII 

Some Early Members of the Society — Honorary Members 153 

Chapter IX 

Some Notable Papers Read Before the Society 161 

Chapter X 

Internal or Office Activities of the Society for the Benefit of 
Members 167 

Chapter XI 

The Headquarters of the Society 173 

Chapter XII 

The Meetings of the Society and What Has Made Them Memorable 195 

Chapter XIII 

Early Monthly and Local Meetings 219 

V 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Chapter XIV 

European Trips, Joint Meetings and Engineering Congresses 226 

Chapter XV 

The Library of the Society 267 

Chapter XVI 

Some Professional Standards Eecommended by Committees of the 
Society 278 

Chapter XVII 

Professional Sections, Local Groups, Student Branches, Affiliates. . 290 

Chapter XVIII 

Historic Gifts to the Sdeiely 296 

Chapter XIX 

Prizes and Medals 307 

Chapter XX 

The John Fritz Medal — United Engineering Society 309 

Appendix 

The Mechanical Engineer and the Function of the Engineering 

Society 312 



A HISTORY OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF 

MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF 

MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

CHAPTER I 
Introdtjctobt 

The concept of an American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers took shape in the winter of 1879-1880. 

At that time there were two engineering societies in 
existence in the United States. The American Society of 
Civil Engineers had been founded in 1852 and on 
January 1, 1880, its total membership was 601. The 
American Institute of Mining Engineers had been or- 
ganized in 1871 and, on the same date, it numbered 1,031 
members. The transactions of both these societies were 
broad in their scope, but there were many who felt that 
in neither organization did the engineers of production 
and of the factory and power plant, and the designers and 
managers of the producing machine shop gather in 
sufficient numbers to induce the preparation of papers 
and the presentation of discussion in these particular 
fields. At a little dinner in 1879 one of the contributors 
to a mechanical journal met several of the officers of its 
company. A series of articles which had appeared in 
the publication were discussed and one of the partici- 
pants said, **I would give a ten dollar bill to meet the 
author of these papers and get acquainted with him; I 
like his style, and I think he must be a good fellow." 
Another said, ''That contributor is as anxious to meet 
you as you are to meet him. ' ' It was then recommended 
that the journal cooperate in getting up a subscription 

1 



2 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

dinner at which these contributors might be brought to- 
gether for mutual acquaintance. 

The idea of mutual acquaintance broadened out into 
the larger purpose of a Society through which engineers 
could contribute their experience for record and their 
creative work in design, and secure a discussion of their 
problems and achievements. The British journals, 
known as the Engineer and Engineering of London, were 
then established ; the Scientific American with its supple- 
ment, the Journal of The Franklin Institute, and Van 
Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine, together 
with certain specialized railroad papers and textile 
journals, were in the field, but were necessarily 
hampered by the limitation of technical journalism as to 
the permissible length and acceptable content in engi- 
neering papers. It had not then become the custom 
for engineers to contribute to periodicals of the weekly 
class. Mr. John C. Hoadley*s work in testing the pump- 
ing engines of New England waterworks was published 
in pamphlet form as a municipal document. The records 
of Mr. E. D. Leavitt's successes and economies in big 
engines at Lynn and Lawrence were not easy to find. 
Builders ' catalogue literature had scarcely begun or was 
on a very unimportant plane. Prof. R. H. Thurston had 
contributed his reports of tests on furnaces burning wet 
fuel to the Society of Civil Engineers and Mr. Alex. L. 
Holley had presented papers to the Mining Engineers 
on the machinery for the Bessemer steel industry. There 
was no organization of a distinctly professional sort as 
yet for the mechanical engineer. 

The volume of professional literature in English re- 
lating to mechanical engineering in its modern sense 
was decidedly limited up to this time. The libraries 
of the mechanical engineers doubtless contained the 
notable Manuals of Prof. R. H. Thurston, covering the 
design of the steam boiler and the steam engine. 
Joshua Rose, Egbert P. Watson and Coleman Sellers 
had made contributions with respect to tools and 
machine shop methods. John Richards had a book on 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 3 

Woodworking Tools, and Professor Willis* Treatise on 
Mechanism, and Goodeve's Mechanism covered well the 
ground of which they treated. The textbook on strains 
in material was Bindon B. Stoney's Treatise on Strains; 
Eankine's books and Weisbach's Mechanics of Engi- 
neering were the storage warehouses of formulae as re- 
spects dynamic problems. Certain French and German 
professors had written on machine design and Professor 
Reuleaux's Kinematics had appeared. Zeuner had 
written his Valve Gears and his Warmetheorie. D. K. 
Clark had published his Manual of Rules, Tables and 
Data ; in Germany Redtenbacher had issued his Machine 
Design, and in England Professor Unwin had produced 
his work on the same subject. John Bourne and John 
Farey of England had written historical treatises, but 
practice had far outrun them and was making little 
record of such progress. Trautwine and Haswell, Nys- 
trom and Molesworth were known for their Pocket- 
Books; and notable work of research had been done by 
Benj. F. Isherwood (Engineering Precedents), and 
Charles H. Loring and Charles E. Emery had made their 
historic investigations for the navy and other govern- 
mental departments. There was, however, no central 
organization to bring such material together and to claim 
it for its own. Spon's Encyclopedia and Knight's and 
Appleton's Dictionaries were in most libraries. 

The Centennial Exposition in 1876 in Philadelphia 
was responsible for a national quickening in mechanical 
matters and for a growing sense of latent power. The 
big central Corliss engine of Machinery Hall was a 
splendid object lesson and this Exposition was signalized 
by the single valve automatic engine with flywheel gov- 
ernor designed by John C. Hoadley, by Professor Sweet's 
design of the Straight Line engine, and by a series of 
boiler tests by Charles E. Emery, Charles T. Porter and 
Joseph Belknap. These all marked epochs in the engi- 
neering history of the United States. Moreover, in the 
fifteen years since the Civil War the enormous increase 
in size and productivity of industrial plants had just 



4 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

begun. The Land Grant colleges had their graduates of 
a dozen years practising their profession and by the 
natural processes of promotion the products of the older 
schools of engineering had attained positions of trust and 
influence. 

It was at this juncture that correspondence was be- 
gun between Prof. John E. Sweet and Mr. Jackson 
Bailey, then editor of the American Machinist of New 
York, looking to the formation of a national society to be 
devoted to the advancement of mechanical engineering. 
The Machinist had been started in 1877 and at its office, 
96 Fulton Street, New York, Mr. Bailey arranged to 
have Professor Sweet prepare a list of persons to whom 
invitations should be sent, asking them to come to a 
conference at the Machinist's office to discuss this ques- 
tion. Professor Sweet with characteristic modesty re- 
quired much persuasion to issue such a call on his own 
initiative. In fact a personal visit from Mr. Bailey to 
him at Syracuse was necessary, Mr. Bailey being in- 
structed to place the services of the American Machinist 
at Professor Sweet's command in furtherance of the 
plan. The result of this visit was that steps were taken 
for the active development of plans for such a meeting. 

Instead of acting alone, Professor Sweet communi- 
cated with Mr. Alexander L. HoUey and Prof. R. H. 
Thurston, and it was arranged that a call for a meeting 
be issued by Professor Sweet. As will be seen by the 
following copy of the call, it was thought best not to 
make the matter too public until the extent of the re- 
sponse should be ascertained. The letter, one of the 
original copies of which has fortunately been preserved, 
read as follows : 

11 Eldridge Street, Syracuse, N. Y. 

January 18, 1880. 
Dear Sir, 

It having been suggested by several prominent 
engineers that a national sissociation of mechanical en- 
gineers would be desirable, and a meeting for the purpose 
of taking steps to organize such a society being in order, 
your presence is hereby requested at the office of the 
American 2lachini$t, 96 Fulton Street, New York, the 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 



sixteenth day of February, 1880, at 1 o'clock sharp, at 
which time the necessary steps for organizing such an 
association will be made. 

Any inquiries in regard to the meeting wiU be cheer- 
fully answered. 

Please avoid allowing this to be made public. 

Very truly yours, 
{Signed) John E. Sweet. 

These letters, sent out during the latter part of 
January 1880, led to a meeting on the date set, February 
16, 1880, in the editorial rooms of the American Machinist 
on the third floor of the building at the southeast corner 
of Fulton and William Streets in the City of New York. 
The effort resulted in an attendance of thirty, with 
letters from eighteen others. The list is appended: 



Baldwin, Stephen W. 
Barnard, George A. 
Church, William Lee 
CopELAND, George M. 
Copeland, Charles W. 
Coon, J. S. 
Couch, A. B. 
Emery, Charles E. 
Fish, John 
Forney, M. N. 
Grimshaw, Robert 
Hemenway, F, F. 

HiNES, D. S. 

Hoffman, Wm. H. 
holley, a. l. 

Letters were read from : 
Cooper, John H. 
Hague, Chas. A. 
Hill, J. W. 
hoadley, j. c. 
Kent, William 
Le Van, W. Baenet 
Lyman, E. 
Norman, Geo. H. 
Parks, E. H. 



Kraus, H. T. C. 
Leavitt, E. D., Jr. 
Lyne, Lewis F. 
Newton, C. C. 
Odell, W. H. 
Pickering, T. R. 
Porter, Chas. T. 
Smith, Frank C. 
Sweet, John E. 
Trowbridge, W. P. 
Watson, Egbert P. 
Webber, Samuel S. 
Webber, Samuel 
Wolff, Alfred R. 
Worthington, Henry R. 



Penney, Edgar 
Pond, Frank H. 
Richards, Chas. B. 
Robbins, a. H. 
See, J. W. 
SwASEY, Ambrose 
Warner, Worcester B. 
Williams, W. J. 
Woodward, F. G. 



It may be interesting to glance briefly at the me- 
chanical engineering standards and achievements of this 
period. The battle of the three-high roll train for the 
steel mill against the two-high reversing mill had only 
recently been fought. The Holley type of smelting plant 



6 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

for the Bessemer practice was contesting with the John 
Fritz design for supremacy. All Bessemer steel was 
acid. The Lucy furnaces of Pittsburg were in the height 
of their importance as rapid producers of pig-iron. The 
Bush Hill Iron Works of Philadelphia and the name of 
Robert Moore were identified with steel and iron works 
machinery. Waterworks pumping was still done with 
Gornish pumps or by big beam-engines, and Mr. Worth- 
ington's arguments to secure consideration for his tj^e 
of horizontal duplex non-flywheel pumps for this service 
had the old conservatism to overcome. Worthington 
pumps of large capacity were still something of a 
novelty. The New York Steam Company was beginning 
to introduce the HoUy-Lockport system of distribution 
of high-pressure steam through pipes buried in the 
street with definite anchorages against expansion; and 
Mr. Charles E. Emery had just completed his re- 
searches as to the best non-conducting material. William 
Sellers and Company of Philadelphia were urging the 
flat top for the shears of lathe beds, as against the in- 
verted V-type of the New Englander, and had introduced 
the worm-gear drive for planers. 

Geo. H. Corliss had a practical monopoly of large 
New England mill-engines, although the Brown engine 
of Fitchburg, Woodruff and Beach, and the Putnam 
Machine Company were pressing him hard, and the 
rivalries of the Harris-Corliss and Hewes and Phillips 
types were in the field. The Ohio types of Corliss were 
little known outside their own territory. Edison was 
installing isolated plants for electric lighting with 
Armington and Sims or Sweet Straight Line engines. 
A downtown central station for the sale of lighting 
current was about to be built in New York. Mr. Edward 
Weston's regulator for variable demand of current was 
the successful solution for small plants, and a big battery 
of lamps was installed to take excess current in larger 
installations. Charles T. Porter was having his high- 
speed engines built under contract on orders ; the Con- 
tinental Iron Works had a shipyard, although they were 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 7 

swinging over to gas works machinery ; John Roach and 
Sons were operating the Morgan Iron Works and build- 
ing marine engines in New York and ship hulls at 
Chester, Pa. Air compressors of small capacity were 
built by both Rand and IngersoU for their rock drill 
business, but for little other use. Mackintosh-Hemphill 
and Company of Pittsburgh, and the Cuyahoga Works of 
Cleveland had a large part of the blast-furnace ma- 
chinery work of the Middle West of that day. Fraser 
and Chalmers of Chicago had the lion's share of the 
machinery for the mining, smelting and ore-dressing 
business of the West and South America. 

The great development of the big engine for deep 
mining by the Calumet and Hecla Company was on Mr. 
Leavitt's drawing boards at Cambridgeport, and I. P. 
Morris and Company were the important builders of big 
machinery in their territory. The Delamater Iron 
Works of New York were just about to pass from the 
manufacture on special orders and designs for John 
Ericsson and others, to the production of standard ma- 
chinery of uniform or repeated duplicate type. Duplica- 
tion of standard forms by milling machine and turret 
lathe was an established art in New England for gun 
parts and sewing machines; the yearly output of type- 
writers was not large and was made by two or three 
concerns only. Engines of large cylinder volume were 
to be found in slow-moving blowing engines of the in- 
verted vertical or horizontal type for blast furnaces; 
in the beam engines for paddle-wheel driven vessels and 
for waterworks pumping engines. Locomotive boilers 
had the narrow fire-box which followed the necessity of 
keeping it between the frames, except where the Wootten 
type for fine anthracite slack had made its way. The 
compound inverted vertical type of engine was the stand- 
ard for transatlantic deep-water screw-propelled ships. 
All locomotives were simple single-expansion engines, 
with Stephenson link motion for the valves. All power 
plants were isolated units. The gas-engine was in small 



8 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

sizes only, single-cylinders with sliding valves and few in 
use. There were no motor vehicles of any type. 

Mr. Samuel Webber, named in the foregoing list, was 
almost the only exponent of turbine waterwheel prac- 
tice, although there were many builders of small wheels 
in an empirical way, in New England and Ohio. Of the 
others who were present at this preliminary conference, 
Messrs. Grimshaw, Hemenway and Odell were experts 
specializing in the application of the indicator to the slow 
or moderate speed engines of that day. Mr. Forney was 
easily the best informed person on the locomotive engine. 
Mr. Thos. R. Pickering in Connecticut was making and 
marketing his design of steam engine governor with flat 
spring arms. Mr. George H. Norman was a success- 
ful and wealthy builder of private waterworks for towns 
and villages. Professor Trowbridge had recently be- 
came professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia 
University, having previously been vice-president of the 
Novelty Iron Works of New York, of which the veteran 
Horatio Allen had been president. Horatio Allen ran 
the first locomotive imported from England which drew 
a train of cars on this side of the Atlantic. Messrs. 
Couch and Newton represented machine-tool building; 
Messrs. Leavitt, Copeland, Porter, Sweet, Worthington 
and Coon were in the class of designers of engines. Mr. 
HoUey was the exponent of the mechanical engineering 
of steel production. Messrs. Lyne and Watson, together 
with the American Machinist staff, represented the 
modest technical journalism of that day. It was a rep- 
resentative gathering in many ways, but could not have 
realized its own significance. 



CHAPTER II 
The Preliminary Steps Before the First Meeting 

The conference summoned by Professor Sweet at the 
American Machinist office at 96 Fulton Street, New York, 
on February 16, 1880, was called to order by him, and 
Mr. Alexander L. Holley was nominated for chairman. 

Mr. Holley was a man of most pleasing personality, 
a universal favorite by reason of his character, his gifts 
and his unselfishness. He was, moreover, a most talented 
and persuasive speaker. Mr. Samuel S. Webber, a 
young son of the veteran Samuel Webber of Charles- 
town, New Hampshire, was chosen as Secretary. 

Mr. Holley made an opening address on the Field of 
Mechanical Engineering, covering his conception of it 
and the type of man from which such a society, if organ- 
ized, might draw its membership. The engineer of fixed 
works, usually called the civil engineer, he said, has his 
structures built for him by mechanical means. The 
military engineer has his fort or gun-carriage made by 
machines. In bridge-building the shop is the economic 
factor ; in mining the work of mining ore is done by the 
machine drill, the steam hoist, the power transportation 
system. In metallurgy and the rolling-mill, in the 
foundry and the forge, there are thousands of special ma- 
chines and tools at once presented to the mind. In rail- 
ways and in transportation by water the structures and 
the working are all in the field of mechanics and 
dynamics, and the railway master mechanics are one of 
the largest defined classes of mechanical engineers. 

In agriculture, architecture, and in the industries in 
general, the textile mill, the paper mill and the factory 
of all kinds, the motive power and most of the equipment 
are the creative and the operative burden of the me- 



10 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

chanical engineer. Hence, the Society proposed should 
find no lack of membership material/ 

Mr. HoUey also reviewed the advantages and char- 
acter of such an organization as proposed, dividing them 
as follows : 

(a) The collection and diffusion of knowledge 

(&) The advantages from personal acquaintance 
among the members 

(c) The educational value of the habit of writing 
papers and of debate upon them 

{d) The significance of the endorsement of a high 
quality of elected membership. 

Finally he referred to the tendency of mechanical 
engineering in America to combine the professional 
scientifically trained mind with the qualities of leader- 
ship in the processes of production, so that the engineer 
is often also a business man. Hence, the necessity was 
plainly present to his mind, that membership should be 
sought for two classes: for the professional man en- 
gaged in an office practice, either by himself or in the 
employ of an industrial corporation; and for the exec- 
utive type of man whose compensation was for his 
talents and success on the business side of industry. The 
Junior membership for the young man in the shop and 
for the young graduate of engineering schools was 
obviously necessary. He urged the policy of a member- 
ship vote on candidates, the significance of representa- 
tive engineers for office in the new organization, and the 
advisability of frequent meetings. The value of the first 
papers as setting a standard of excellence for the future 
and securing interest for the Society and its work was 
his closing word. 

There were no published minutes of this preliminary 



*It may be interesting to compare the viewpoint of this address with 
the address of the President of the Society on laying down his of&ce in 
1907, in which the development of the mechanical engineer during a period 
of twenty -five years is discussed in detail: The Mechanical Engineer and 
the Function of the Engineering Society, Trans. Am. Soc. M. E., vol. 29, 
p. 627, reproduced as an Appendix to this History. 




No. 96 Fulton Street, New York. Place of Preliminary Meeting 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 11 

meeting, but from manuscripts and other sources there is 
a record of a discussion as to the name to be given to the 
new body. Professor Trowbridge, familiar with the 
practice at that time in Yale University, urged the term 
''dynamical" in lieu of "mechanical" as the qualifying 
adjective for the proposed type of engineer, on the 
ground that the higher field of such persons was the 
generation and control of power. The inevitable con- 
fusion with the name dynamo as a machine for converting 
mechanical energy into electrical was argued against this 
suggestion, and finally, at the suggestion of Mr. Chas. W. 
Copeland, the meeting accepted the name, American So- 
ciety of Mechanical Engineers, following the example set 
by the American Society of Civil Engineers, already well 
and favorably known. 

This meeting thus practically decided that there was 
to he such a society; it only remained to formulate the 
details. 

The first step was to appoint a committee to draw 
up the basis of organization and formulate its rules ; this 
was done by making Messrs. Henry R. Worthington, 
Eckley B. Coxe, Jackson Bailey, Genl. Quincy A. Gill- 
more, Prof. W. P. Trowbridge, M. N. Forney and A. L. 
Holley such a committee. A committee to nominate 
officers under such organization was appointed also, con- 
sisting of Messrs. A. L. Holley, John L. Sweet, E. D. 
Leavitt, C. T. Porter and H. R. "Worthington. An ad- 
journment was then taken to April 7 to hear the reports 
of these committees, to act thereon and to effect a perma- 
nent organization thereunder. 

It may be helpful to stop a moment to consider who 
these men were who had in their hands the creation of the 
first standards and policies of the new society, and the 
selection of the first officers, who were to guide its initial 
procedure. 

Mr. Alexander L. Holley had brought over the Bes- 
semer process from England and was the first consulting 
engineer for the Bessemer association which had been 
formed to administer and control the patents and ma- 



12 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

chinery. He had broken away from the slower British 
standards of machinery and had created a distinctly 
American plant, utilizing gravity largely in handling the 
fluid metal and hydraulic power in cranes and con- 
vertors. Beside his engineering ability he was a man of 
rare personal qualities. He had been active in the In- 
stitute of Mining Engineers and was a member of the 
Civil Engineers. He was then in the prime of his life and 
full of intense professional activity. 

Mr. Henry R. Worthington was the founder of the 
duplex pump industry, and the originator of the type of 
pump using no flywheel to carry the piston past its dead 
point at the end of the stroke. He had succeeded in 
convincing municipalities and villages that his system 
was reliable and of low operating cost when its initial 
cost was considered. His hair and beard had grown 
white. 

Mr. Eckley B. Coxe was a mining engineer, owner and 
operator. He had translated Weisbach's Mechanics of 
Engineering into English and was a leader in the In- 
stitute of Mining Engineers. A splendid figure of a 
man, philanthropic among his work people, his State had 
sent him to its legislature and he was a power in his 
bailiwick. The new Society made him its president in the 
year when the country was celebrating the four- 
hundredth year of its discovery and many foreigners 
were to be expected. Educated in Germany and in 
France, he was well and favorably known on both sides 
of the Atlantic. 

Genl. Quincy A. Gillmore was an authority and writer 
on cements, paving stone, masonry and similar details 
of fixed structures, a trained army officer and a civilian 
practitioner. 

Mr. M. N. Forney was trained under Ross Winans 
and Benj. H. Latrobe on the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road. He had been a leading figure in journalism as 
editor of the Railroad Gazette and had compiled his well- 
known Catechism of the Locomotive. He was a leading 
spirit in the Railway Master Mechanics Association and 



A HISTOBY OP THE SOCIETY 13 

the Master Car Builders Association; had served on 
many of their important committees to formulate stand- 
ards of practice, and was an expert on the conduct of 
technical conventions. 

General Trowbridge was a West Pointer, a specialist 
in fortifications of cities, professor at the Sheffield School 
of Yale University and later at Columbia University, 
where he was laboring at the time of his death. He was 
a man of the soundest judgment and broad experience. 

Mr. E. D. Leavitt was best known for his notable 
successes in the design of high-duty compound pumping 
engines for city waterworks service ; he was then on the 
point of completing The Superior, the great engine for 
the Calumet and Hecla Copper Mining Company. He 
stood for high economy in slow stroke engines and with 
an elaborated valve-gear, just as Mr. Charles T. Porter 
stood for economy in the type operating at high rotative 
speeds with simple valve gear. 

Mr. Jackson Bailey represented the practical type of 
engineering as it had developed in the machine shop and 
the factory. He stood also for the advantages which the 
new movement was to offer to technical journalism and 
for the effective cooperation in the new Society of the 
American Machinist. 

Prof. John E. Sweet had been for several years the 
beloved head of the shop department of Cornell Uni- 
versity. He had recently resigned to enter on the manu- 
facture of his design of the Straight Line engine, em- 
bodying certain new solutions of the problems of stress in 
the bed-plate, of governing, and of long life of details of 
construction and adjustment. 

These men were the founders of the Society. Two 
of them, Holley and Worthington, were made Honorary 
Members in Perpetuity by vote of the Council after the 
death of Mr. Holley in 1882 (Mr. Worthington died in 
1880). Professor Sweet (long may he survive) is un- 
doubtedly entitled to a similar honor. 

On the evening of this day of the preliminary con- 
ference, the gentlemen who had thus far taken the 



14 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

initiative gathered for a dinner at the Astor House at 
Broadway and Barclay Street in New York to talk their 
achievement over and plan for the next steps to be taken. 
A menu of this dinner is preserved in the archives of the 
Society. 



CHAPTER in 
The First Meeting. The Obganization 

The preliminary conference of February 16, 1880, 
decided that there was to be an American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers. It appointed committees to draft 
by-laws to organize the new body, and to present 
a board of officers for its first year, such committees to 
report at a meeting for organization on April 7. 

Mr. HoUey in cooperation with Professor Thurston 
conferred with President Henry Morton of the Stevens 
Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N. J., with the result 
that Dr. Morton invited the holding of the meeting in the 
large assembly hall of the Institute, thus adding another 
helpful factor to the success of the movement. A photo- 
graph of this hall as it then appeared and before the 
later extensive alterations were even projected will be 
studied with interest. 

Mr. Holley's call as chairman of the preliminary con- 
ference for the organization meeting was issued on 
March 15. It went not only to those represented at the 
February meeting, but to a number of others among the 
acquaintance of the committees who were likely to be in- 
terested. 

The meeting was called for eleven o'clock on April 7. 
Mr. Holley was detained by illness, but Mr. Henry R. 
Worthington took the chair, and Mr. James C. Bayles, 
editor of the Iron Age, was chosen to act as secretary. 

Eighty persons responded to the call for this meeting, 
among them the following : 

Bacon, P. W. Bayles, J. C. 

Bailey, Jackson Bogakt, John 

Baldwin, S. W. Briqgs, Robt. 

Barnard, George A. Brown, C. H. 

Barrows, Wm. E. Buchanan, Chas. G. 

15 



16 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 



Burden, Jas. A. 
Church, Wm. Lee 
Cloud, J. W. 
Collins, C. C. 
CoPELAND, Geo. M. 
Cotter, John 
Couch, A. B. 
Davis, David P. 

DURFEE, W. F. 

Emery, A. H. 
Ewer, B. G. 
Faur, a. Fabee du 
Firmstone, F. 
Fish, John 
Forney, M. N. 
Galloupe, F. E. 
Gill, John L., Jr. 
Grimshaw, Robt, 
Hayward, H. S. 
Hawkins, G. C. 
Hemenwat, F. F. 
Hewitt, Wm. 
Hill, H. A. 
Hoffman, W. H. 
Hunt, R. W. 

ISBELL, ChAS. W. 

Jones, Washington 
Keppy, Frederick 
Leavitt, E. D., Jr. 
LeVan, W. B. 
Leverich, G. 
Logan, W. G. 
Lyne, Lewis F. 
Mallory, G. B. 
Melvin, David N. 
Miller, Horace B. 
Moore, Chas. A. 



Moore, L. B. 
Morton, Henry 
Nason, Carleton W. 
Newton, C. C. 
Parson, H. E. 
Pickering, Thos. B. 
Porter, Chas. T. 

POWEL, S. W. 

Richards, Chas. B. 
Richards, F. H. 
Robinson, S. W. 
Rose, Joshua 
Scott, John 
Scranton, W. H. 
See, Horace 

SOULE, R. H. 

Sperry, Chas. 
Stearns, Albert 
Strong, Geo. S. 
Sweet, John E. 
sweetland, w. l. 
Tabor, Harris 
Terry, Charles P. 
Thomas, Ed. W. 
Thompson, Chas. T. 
Vanderbilt, a. 
Wallis, John M. 
Ward, John F. 
Ward, W. E. 
Webber, Samuel S. 
Weightman, W. H. 
Wells, Eben F. 
Wheeler, F. M. 
Wheelock, Jerome 
White, Jos. J. 
Wiley, W. H. 
Wood, DeVolson 
Worthington, H. R. 



This list brings names from outside the narrower 
limits of the first reunion. Professor Robinson was at 
the Ohio State University at Columbus ; C. H. Brown was 
the designer of the Brown Engine at Fitchburg; Frank 
Firmstone represented blast-furnace engineering around 
Easton, Pa. ; James A. Burden was of the Burden Iron 
Works of Troy ; J. W. Cloud stood for the motive power 
practice of the Pennsylvania Railroad ; R. H. Soule was 
superintendent of motive power for the West Shore 
Railroad; Albert Stearns stood for chemical manufac- 




Assembly Hall, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboeen, in 1880. 
president morton on the platform 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 17 

turing; Washington Jones, a veteran, and Chas. T. 
Thompson, much his junior, represented I. P. Morris of 
Philadelphia ; W. F. Durf ee had been identified with iron 
metallurgy and the early struggle of the Kelly steel pro- 
cess, and was then engineer for the Wheeler and Wilson 
sewing machine in Bridgeport ; R. W. Hunt was engineer 
for the Troy Bessemer plant; S. W. Baldwin was agent 
for the Pennsylvania Steel Company ; Wm. H. Wiley was 
an ex-railroad man with a war record as officer of 
artillery, in which he had risen to the rank of major, 
and was later to serve the Society as Treasurer for many 
terms; Mr. Ward was making bolts and nuts at Port 
Chester and was the first man to build and live in a 
cement concrete residence; Jerome Wheelock was build- 
ing engines in Worcester ; Horace See was winning fame 
as a shipbuilder in Philadelphia ; Robert Briggs of Phila- 
delphia had established a standard pipe thread and 
system of pipe fittings ; Geo. S. Strong was planning his 
corrugated locomotive firebox and his complicated but 
economical valve gear ; David P. Davis was shortly to be 
in charge of the engineering of the telephone and its ex- 
changes; Harris Tabor was soon to bring out his im- 
provement in the steam engine indicator, the second not- 
able advance in it since Chas. B. Richards had changed its 
form from the early design, in order to meet Mr. Chas. T. 
Porter's need for an instrument to test the distribution 
of steam at high rotative speed, and following the work 
of Mr. Joseph W. Thompson of the Buckeye Engine Com- 
pany. There were others also who had won distinction, 
each in his own field. Mr. Charles A. Moore represented 
the business end of the profession, at the head of a suc- 
cessful supply house, distributing manufactured engi- 
neering products and contracting for engineering instal- 
lations. 

In his opening address, Mr. Worthington reported 
two decisions reached in the conferences which had pre- 
ceded the meeting. The first was that a policy of broad 
interpretation of the troublesome problem of eligibility 
to membership had been settled by ruling against a 



18 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

specific wording of qualifications, leaving the Council 
free when acting as a membership committee to settle 
each case by itself. The Society did not create a Mem- 
bership Committee for many years (1904), but the 
Council had one for its own convenience long before the 
Constitution recognized it and fixed its method of pro- 
cedure. The policy of broad interpretation of the 
eligibility requirement has been one of the corner-stones 
of the success of the Society. Nothing could have been 
more fatal than the forcing of a Procrustean uniformity 
of training and experience. 

The other policy was that of recognizing that the gov- 
erning Council of the Society should be the persons who 
would know best whether the Secretary of the Society 
when he was found, was a person whose methods were 
building up the Society or blocking its progress. If he 
was elected by the Society at large, it would be difficult 
to make changes which the best interests of the Society 
might require, without a publicity for the reasons for 
such change from which both parties would shrink. On 
the other side, gusts of prejudice or favoritism among 
the voting membership should not be capable of unseat- 
ing a Secretary simply by the processes known to skilful 
and assiduous electioneering. It was best therefore to 
take the office of the Secretary out of Society politics, 
and make him the appointee of the elected officers who 
form the Council. The Council also, having definite ad- 
ministrative responsibility as well as legal obligations, 
would be cautious and painstaking in choosing their 
executive to a degree which the irresponsible voter at 
large could neither recognize nor live up to. Subsequent 
experience has fully justified the wisdom of this decision, 
and the plan then inaugurated has been the example of 
all later organizations. 

The Committee on By-Laws then presented its report 
through Mr. M. N. Forney. There seems little doubt 
that these rules were drafted by Mr. HoUey, and sent for 
criticism to his colleagues, and found acceptable by them. 
The ideas embodied the successful features of method in 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 19 

use by the then existing engineering societies, with the 
additions and changes to meet the special group of con- 
ditions. It may be said in the light of later knowledge 
and experience that they did not differentiate between 
the organic law of such an organization, and the detail 
of procedure under it. The headings were: (a) objects, 
(b) membership, (c) procedure of election, (d) fees and 
dues, (e) officers of the Society, (/) procedure of elec- 
tion of officers, (g) meetings, (h) papers, (i) amend- 
ments. There was a wise simplicity about them, and 
some features deserving special comment will be re- 
viewed in a later chapter. 

At once an interesting question arose in this gather- 
ing of eighty men. Who were qualified to vote on the 
adoption of the proposed report and its rules for con- 
duct of the Society, and who could vote and elect the 
officers to be reported as recommended by the other com- 
mittee soon to be heard from! The question was dis- 
cussed back and forth, until Mr. W. F. Durfee arose. He 
was a distinguished student of antiquarian Americana, 
and stated that the method followed by pioneer pilgrims 
could be presented in the following syllogism: 

Major Premise : The highest authority states : ' * The earth is 
the Lord 's and is the inheritance of the Saints. ' ' 

Minor Premise: We are the Saints! 

Conclusion: There could be no question to whom the earth 

belonged. 

Amid much laughter the meeting decided by a rising 
vote that all who were then present and those who had 
attended or sent letters to the preliminary meeting and 
who subsequently qualified by paying the required initia- 
tion fee of $15, were proposed by the Committee on 
Organization as charter members and were entitled to 
vote. The Rules were thereupon adopted, and made the 
organic law of the new Society. This adopted the name 
of the Society, also as incorporated into the first article. 

The Committee to nominate officers for the first year 
under the adopted Rules had sought a name for presi- 
dent which should stand for achievement in mechanical 



20 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

engineering which was conspicuously American and 
which should be so recognized abroad. The one 
preeminent person in this group was Mr. Geo. H. Corliss 
of Providence, R. I. He had introduced a trip-valve gear 
in 1849, and had many successful mill installations as 
well as notable steam economy to his credit. His valve 
gear had been copied and modified and re-designed in all 
industrial Europe, and an important engine builder of 
Belgium had received an exposition medal "for his suc- 
cessful adaptation of the inventions of one Corliss, an 
American." But the juncture was an unfortunate one. 
Mr. Corliss had just had an unpleasant experience in 
relation to an acceptance of an engine and was vexed 
with the representatives of his profession. He did not 
cooperate easily with colleagues by temperament; and 
his letter of refusal of the honor would have been called 
"sassy" by the irreverent. Messrs. Holley and Sweet 
with characteristic modesty refused peremptorily to 
undertake the duty of representing the new movement 
publicly and of making such addresses as the new presi- 
dent must be ready to make. Hence, the choice fell upon 
Prof. Robert H. Thurston, a naval engineer during the 
Civil War, with an engine-builders' training ashore, the 
author of textbooks of acceptance and repute both at 
home and abroad, and then the head of the engineering 
department of Stevens Institute of Technology. Always 
ready in speech, felicitous in expression and much be- 
loved for his genial personality and tact, he made an ideal 
choice for the difficult first year. The full ticket pre- 
sented by the Committee was as follows : 

PRESIDENT 

Robert H. Thurston 

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N. J. 

VICE-PRESIDENTS 

Henry R. Worthington New York 

Coleman Sellers Philadelphia, Pa. 

BcKLEY B, CoxE Drif ton, Pa. 

QuiNCY A. GtLLMORE U. S. Army 

Wm. H. Shock U. S. Navy 

Alexander L. Holley New York 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 21 

MANAGERS 

Wm. p. Trowbridge New York 

Theo. N. Ely Altoona, Pa. 

John C. Hoadley Lawrence, Mass. 

Washington Jones Philadelphia, Pa. 

Wm. B. Cogswell Syracuse, N. Y. 

Francis A. Pratt Hartford, Conn. 

Charles B. Richards Hartford, Conn. 

S. B. Whiting Pottsville, Pa. 

TREASURER 
Lycurgus B. Moore 96 Fulton Street, New York 

It was understood that Mr. Lycurgus B. Moore, 
treasurer of the American Machinist Company, elected 
Treasurer of the Society, should continue to act as its 
Secretary and without compensation, as he had been 
doing during the preceding months, until a successor 
should be chosen. 

This first ticket shows also Mr. Holley's administra- 
tive hand, and his first memorandum of recommendations 
has been modified above only in one or two exceptions. 
The representative character of the persons chosen will 
be apparent: Messrs. Thurston and Trowbridge stood 
for engineering education; Messrs. Sellers and Pratt 
for the machine tool designer and builder ; Messrs. Coxe 
and Whiting for the mechanical engineering of mining; 
Messrs. HoUey and Cogswell for metallurgy and chem- 
ical engineering; Messrs. Hoadley and Jones for the 
builders of engines large and small; Messrs. Ely and 
Richards for the railway and the manufacture of small 
arms; Messrs. Gillmore and Shock for the achievements 
of mechanical engineering in the army and navy. 

The meeting then adjourned, referring to the Council, 
which consisted of the newly elected officers, all details 
to be considered, and the arrangements for the first pro- 
fessional meeting in the autumn. 

The next step was the promotion of membership and 
the discussion of policies in advance of such a meeting. 



CHAPTER IV 

Some Peinciples of Society Philosophy 

The original rules of The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers, as provided by Mr. Holley at the 
meeting of organization on April 7, 1880, incorporated 
and formulated certain principles which were in fact a 
philosophy for the conduct of such a body. Around these 
standards the years have developed additional inter- 
pretations or deductions by a process of normal growth. 
Some of these it may be serviceable to emphasize. 

The Rules of 1880 were slightly amended from time 
to time, notably in 1884, 1894 and 1904. The most 
significant change was that of 1894, whereby the dues of 
all members were increased by $5 per year. The Junior 
dues were raised from $5 to $10 and the Member's dues 
from $10 to $15. The initiation fee was increased from 
$15 to $25 for Members and from $10 to $15 for Juniors. 

The original policies of administration were not 
amended to any great extent until 1904. At this time 
and after a year's work of an important and assiduous 
committee, of which Messrs. C. W. Hunt, Henry R. 
Towne, R. H. Soule, Jesse M. Smith, D. S. Jacobus, Geo. 
M. Basford and F. R. Hutton were members from time 
to time, a new instrument was created and submitted to 
the Society in which was recognized the distinction be- 
tween the fundamentals of Society law capable of 
amendment only by vote of the entire membership after 
exhaustive discussion and full apprehension of the issues 
involved; and another group of standards of procedure 
which should be capable of more easy amendment. The 
standards of the first group were called the Constitu- 
tion. The standards of the second group were called 
By-Laws and were created for the guidance of the 

22 



T 





A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 23 

officers charged with the administrative conduct of 
Society affairs and of the members where they come 
in touch with it. The By-Laws would be amendable by 
the Council but without consulting necessarily the mem- 
bership at large, whose interests and rights would not be 
affected by such changes. There was also a third group 
of precedents and standards aiming to secure uniformity 
in the way in which office and convention business was 
carried on. 

The revision of 1904 introduced also a great change 
in policy and principle whereby the duties of Society 
administration would be apportioned among a group of 
Standing Committees. Previous to this the policy had 
been to make the Secretary of the Society not only thfl 
executive of the legislation by the Council, but also a 
sort of prime minister originating policies and recom- 
mending them for adoption by the Council. This made 
the Secretary something of a foster brother in a large 
family. But the great growth of the Society about the 
beginning of the twentieth century made the time seem 
ripe to change from the personal to the more official con- 
duct of Society business. With this exception and 
without attempting to make the discussion conform to 
any historic succession or any contemporary character 
as to developments on different lines, the following 
. headings will be referred to in detail : 
1^ (a) The membership, grades and qualifications 

(h) Presentation of papers at meetings 

(c) The Journal 

(d) The copyright of papers presented at meetings 

(e) The danger of self-advertisement in papers 
(/) The procedure at Society meetings 

(g) Registration at meetings; program 

(h) Entertainment of the Society at meetings 

(i) The banquet at conventions 

(j) Vive voce legislation at meetings 

(k) Standards created by committees 

(l) Insignia of the Society, seal, badge, diploma, card 

(m) Necrological notices. 



24 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 
THE MEMBERSHIP, GRADES AND QUALIFICATIONS 

Broadly speaking there are two great philosophies 
under which a national society of professional men may 
be organized. While the distinction is not exact and to 
this extent misleading, the one philosophy may be called 
British and the other German. The British philosophy 
seeks for a professional solidarity which can be secured 
only by a union of membership reasonably homogeneous 
in character. It seeks to have membership in the organi- 
zation a sort of "cachet" or guarantee of a high standard 
of professional qualifications. This implies a rigid 
scrutiny of the achievements of all candidates for mem- 
bership in the Society before they can be admitted. It 
carries with it a minimum age limit in order that profes- 
sional reputation shall be secured before the candidate 
applies for membership. It involves a loyalty to an or- 
ganization national in character which shall be superior 
to any adherence to local groups or sections, if such 
there be. 

The other, which has been called above the German 
philosophy, is that the engineering society is a great pub- 
lishing association whose prime function and purpose is 
the procuring, printing and circulating of professional 
literature. The members are subscribers to this expense 
of publishing, and accomplish by their union what indi- 
vidually they could not do. There is less adherence to 
the ideal of professional achievement, but rather to the 
advantage of frequent local assemblies for exchange of 
ideas and for the mutual advantage which is supplied 
most effectively by organizing sections or groups or 
branches, which will meet frequently and will be made 
up of members of kindred interests. There is, of course, 
a middle path where both ideals are sought and where a 
library and a center of influence will be the obvious func- 
tions of central executive offices and the national body 
will seek to secure the advantage from the strength of the 
constituent units. 

The founders of The American Society of Mechanical 




HONORARY MEMBER IN PERPETUITY 
DECEASED FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 25 

Engineers selected the first ideal and purpose, and have 
adhered thereto. It has made the candidate for member- 
ship in the Society undergo a strict scrutiny on the basis 
of a proposal backed by five Members. After scrutiny by 
the Committee on Membership, the name of the candidate 
is published so that if anything is known which is unfav- 
orable to such candidacy, it may be revealed under proper 
confidential safeguards. At first the voting on members 
was carried on by letter ballot with full information as 
to professional achievement. The practical and economic 
difficulties connected with this method of election in a 
society of large size, due to the cost of election, printing 
and postage, have induced a change whereby the final 
action is taken by the Council of the Society. 

Grave difficulties faced the organizers of the Society 
in deciding upon the criterion of eligibility. The condi- 
tions of production in the United States are different 
from those in Europe. The Society came into being when 
the manufacture of standard products of special ma- 
chinery and the use of jig and template, combined with 
a fine subdivision of labor, had proved its economy by its 
successful operation in New England and elsewhere. The 
manufacture of gun parts, sewing machines, locks, type- 
writers, bicycles and the like, leading up to the manu- 
facture of steam engines, machine tools and locomotives 
on that principle, had made it clear that commercial suc- 
cess lay in eliminating the special design of each unit, 
limiting the number of sizes, and substituting for contract 
manufacture, the production and sale of large numbers of 
duplicate units, uniform and standardized. The principle 
was insisted on that the buyer was not to be allowed to 
modify the standard of the seller by imposing his whim 
as to form or his preference for personal originality in 
arrangement. The principle, however, had not been 
formulated at the time as that of the American system 
of production, that it was the seller who created the 
specifications for the product which he submitted to the 
buyer. The other and older system still largely prevalent 
in Europe, is to have the buyer write the specifications 



26 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

and send them to the producer to bid on. The buyer and 
his engineer, as consultant, are expected to enforce such 
requirements on the manufacturer as to productive pro- 
cesses as the engineer might impose. 

This economic principle that economy of production 
lies in making a standard product which is ready before 
it is sold or contracted for, has had an effect on the work 
and duties of the mechanical engineer in America in 
many directions. He is less of a shop craftsman and 
more of a worker with his brain, a creator and an execu- 
tive. He is less an office practitioner and more a re- 
sponsible scientific leader in the production process itself. 
In fact, the consequence of the great aggregations of 
capital which have been a feature of American progress 
has been to force the corporations to employ the entire 
time of persons of ability and experience who fifty years 
ago would have been serving as consulting engineers for 
many individual producers but in the exclusive service of 
none. Thence it follows in modern practice that an 
increasing number of mechanical engineers will be com- 
bining machinery already designed by others, and will be 
to a less degree creating for themselves from the lowest 
unit up to the aggregate machinery of the plant as a 
whole. 

The founders of the Society foresaw this tendency 
with rare clearness of vision and shaped their policy ac- 
cordingly. The Society would have been a small one and 
of limited influence had its membership been restricted 
to the type of consulting or creative engineer alone. The 
factory engineer is more and more a manager of men, 
and for him the various developments of his great plant 
are the tools of his professional achievement. The engi- 
neer must be what he is often called, a business man. 

Furthermore, there was a duty owed by the Society to 
the Juniors in age and engineering experience. The 
Society means more to a Junior than his membership or 
his dues or his capacity to contribute papers can mean to 
the Society. This grade must exist also to provide for 
the recent graduate of the engineering schools to whom 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 27 

Society membersMp and its privileges of acquaintance 
with the leaders of the profession and of visits to engi- 
neering centers will have the greatest value. Later 
(1907) came the idea of the Student Branch whereby the 
candidate for an engineering degree can be enrolled in 
the Student Branches of the various engineering schools 
and universities, with the privileges of a badge (1909) 
and a subscription to the monthly Journal of the Society. 

The Associate grade was first established to fit the 
needs of the business man, not an engineer, who was in- 
terested and desirous of cooperating with engineers by 
reason of his financial and commercial relations. Later 
the idea was extended (1908) to include also engineers 
who were in important positions but too young in years 
to be eligible to the Member's grade. Editors were also 
elected to this grade, patent experts and attorneys, and 
some teachers of engineering. Still later the embarrass- 
ments from this double use of the term of Associate 
brought about the creation of the grade of Associate- 
Member (1912) to meet the case of a man in too re- 
sponsible a position to be classed as a Junior, and by age 
and duties not yet in the full Member's grade. Under 
this policy the Associate is not supposed to be eligible for 
transfer to the Member's grade. 

The Member's age was put at thirty years as a mini- 
mum limit in 1890, and in 1914 was placed at thirty-two 
years. A later qualification or precedent introduced the 
idea of sole and responsible professional charge of work 
as necessary for the Member. It was explained that such 
responsibility in general meant that the member did not 
as a rule have to submit his professional work to a re- 
vision by an official superior who could thereby make 
himself responsible for the excellencies (and also for the 
defects) of the Member's professional work. 

The early rules provided originally that Members had 
to be proposed by three and seconded by two others in 
the same grade. The seconders did not have to know the 
candidate but must have confidence in the work of the 
proposers and approve their action. In 1890 it was ruled 



28 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

that the entire group of live proposers must know the 
candidate well enough to answer urgent questions as to 
his eligibility. Juniors were proposed by three members 
only and no seconders were required, a plan which still 
remains in force. 

The Council was at first a committee of the whole 
on membership. A sub-committee of the Council was ap- 
pointed about 1888 to scrutinize the applications and en- 
dorsements of the proposers before the names were sub- 
mitted to the full board. Such subdivision was made im- 
perative by the increasing volume and importance of 
Council business. This sub-committee on membership 
in the Council was developed into the standing Member- 
ship Committee by the revision of the Constitution in 
1904. 

The duty of electing members to the Society by letter 
ballot was given to the Members and Associates by the 
first rules. The policy was a middle course between that 
then followed by the Civil and Mining Engineers. It 
made the voting membership primarily responsible for 
the quality of the enrolled membership. It exposed every 
candidate's professional record to a scrutiny as of 
Argus' eyes. It was a measure of popular and demo- 
cratic control and government. Lists of names only were 
sent out at first ; later the record of professional experi- 
ence was appended to each name. Finally the profes- 
sional service sheet was made a separate document from 
the ballot list so that those interested might retain these 
biographical notices for their information and for future 
use. 

The last stage which is in operation at this writing 
is the procedure of voting members into the Society by 
the Council after the membership has been advised of 
their candidacy in The Journal and opportunity has been 
given to show cause why such persons should not be ad- 
mitted. The candidate will then pass four scrutinies : his 
proposers must act first, then the Committee on Mem- 
bership, then the members at large, should they desire 
to do so, and lastly the members of the Council who will 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 29 

cast the final and declarative ballot. This plan saves 
much office expense in printing and postage ; and with the 
great numbers now on every ballot, it is believed that it 
secures equal if not even more effective scrutiny. 

At first two negative ballots and later seven cast 
against a name prevented an election. There have been 
very few cases where the right of the member to cast a 
black-ball has been used to work out a grudge or obtain 
revenge for some alleged wrong. While a provision has 
always existed to enable the Council to right an injustice 
in an adverse vote, an experience of some years has 
shown that the membership has usually been right where 
it exercised its strength in this way. When the member- 
ship voted on candidates, a negative vote of 2 per cent 
of the ballots cast would defeat an election. 

The votes of the members were at first scrutinized by 
tellers appointed at the meeting of the Society after it 
had convened. There were advantages in notifying the 
member elected in time so that he might arrange to be 
absent from his work and attend the meeting then in 
progress. This resulted in the practice of closing the 
voting three or four days in advance of the date set for 
the meeting. The tellers could then be appointed in ad- 
vance, the ballots counted and immediate advice could 
be sent to the candidate of the favorable action on his 
name. The meeting was formally notified by the tellers 
as though they had just acted under the previous system, 
and the procedure of election was consummated by a 
formal declarative act of the President to the meeting. 
The By-Laws in 1904 made the Tellers of Election ap- 
pointees of the President for the Society year before 
their services were required and crystallized the former 
practice. For several years a number of ballots for 
membership were issued during the year and for con- 
venience these were usually printed on paper of different 
colors so that there might be no confusion. At present 
the Council elects members at its monthly meetings. 

Many members regarded the duty of electing members 
to the Society to be somewhat formal so far as they were 



30 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

concerned, particularly when the practice prevailed which 
called for no act of the voting member except to return 
the list of names in an envelope by mail. There was a 
short period when the member was instructed to mark 
an affirmative cross in front of each name on the ballot. 
This requirement led to confusion and was abandoned 
for the simpler practice of making the affirmative vote 
one in which the name was left unmarked on the voting 
list. Formerly only about 20 per cent of the membership 
voted for candidates. 

The first applications for membership were letters. 
The first printed form of application blank was a dupli- 
cate letter sheet 8 inches by 10 inches in size. The four- 
page note sheet was adopted in 1890. The applications 
of all members except the very earliest are on file. 

PRESENTATION OF PAPERS AT MEETINGS 

The original method of presenting papers before an 
audience was the reading from a manuscript by the 
author or by the Secretary of the Society from the plat- 
form at the meeting. This may be called the ''natural" 
method. If illustrations were required, the author or the 
Society had wall diagrams made on paper or linen with 
greater or less elaboration, or the author crudely made 
the necessary sketches upon the blackboard which must 
always be an article of platform furniture. An early 
apparatus for diagrams was a map frame to carry spring 
shade rollers and on the rollers was a black silicate sur- 
face on which the diagrams were painted in white lines. 
These diagrams were a great burden and expense. There 
were many assembly halls ill-adapted for their exhibition 
because the walls must not be defaced. Many meeting 
halls are badly lighted, particularly in the day-time, so 
that many persons could not see charts. There was often 
little time for the draftsman to make wall charts before 
the meeting and in any case they must be reproduced 
again for the Transactions and any technical journals 
wanting to use them. 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 31 

Little argument is required to present the disadvan- 
tages of this system. The tedium of prosy reading is 
hard to bear. Many engineers are not trained to read 
pleasantly or to fill large halls with the voice. Mathe- 
matical papers cannot be followed even by experts. In- 
telligent discussion is marred or diluted by a failure to 
grasp exactly what the author says. There were few 
copies, or only one for use by the journals who might 
desire to republish. 

The argument for the system is that the content of 
the paper is presented to the listener for the first time 
at the meeting and is therefore a novelty to him. He must 
attend in person the meeting where it is read if he wants 
to hear it. The meeting is therefore alleged to offer 
greater attraction than under the plan of printing and 
distributing the papers by mail previous to the meeting. 
On the other hand if intelligent discussion is the object 
sought to make a meeting interesting, the participants 
in debate should have an opportunity to consult their 
records and data on the topic in question before leaving 
home, and far more valuable contributions will be made 
if the proposed discussion is elaborated under more 
favorable conditions than on the floor of a meeting. 

The first steps of progress away from the natural 
method were taken when the second Secretary of the So- 
ciety was elected in 1883. The papers were set up in 
galley form for the Cleveland meeting in that year by 
the Society's printer and were brought in this shape to 
the convention for those present to read and study. The 
paper was read in full as before and there was no advance 
distribution, but every one interested had a copy in his 
hand. This move was enthusiastically approved by the 
journals. Accompanying this manifolding of the text 
was the plan of reproducing the drawings or diagrams 
by photo-engraving processes or redrawing by the wax 
process from blueprints or photographs. The half-tone 
or Ives engraving process was then just coming in. These 
cuts were made as for the book illustration of the paper 
when published and prints were made in a sufficient 



32 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

number to distribute to every one at the session when the 
paper was read. The journals were allowed to have re- 
productions from these blocks at their cost, plus 10 per 
cent. The wall diagram had disappeared and every 
member could study the clear illustrations closely. For 
discussion viva voce the blackboard, however, must re- 
main, and contributed discussion could rarely be illus- 
trated for lack of time. These two moves were 
enthusiastically approved by the journals. They now had 
all that heart could desire except the text of the oral 
discussion at the meeting, which they had to secure labori- 
ously for themselves. 

The following successive steps of method of presenta- 
tion of papers after this were easy and unavoidable : 

(a) The printing of the paper and its illustrations as 
for the Transactions in pamphlet form ; and having these 
pamphlets on hand at the headquarters of the meeting, 
to be taken by the members and also distributed at the 
full reading. All members present received both paper 
and diagrams. 

(b) The distribution of such advance pamphlets by 
mail to those members who said they would be in at- 
tendance at the meeting. So many members left their 
papers at home and had to be supplied with additional 
copies at the meeting that there was duplicate distribu- 
tion at each session as in the first case. 

(c) The advance distribution by mail to all members 
of the Society whether they had or had not announced 
their purpose to attend the meeting or made any requests 
for such pamphlets. This involved also the necessity of a 
second distribution of copies at the meeting. 

This system compels authors of the papers at any 
meeting to send in their manuscript and illustrations 
usually thirty days in advance of the date of the meeting. 
Some authors find it temperamentally difficult to turn out 
work except under the pressure of the last limits of avail- 
able time. But this system may be regarded as the high 
water mark of the philosophy of securing well-considered 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 38 

and pointed discussion of papers by interested experts. 
In comment on this system it may be said in its favor: 

(a) Every member gets Ms Society papers fresh from 
the press as soon as they are issued 

(6) Every member is treated alike by an automatic 
process and those residing at a distance get the same 
return in the matter of papers and publication matter as 
those who reside close to the Society headquarters or to 
the place of meetings and reading 

(c) Every member is relieved from exertion to take 
action in order to get his Society papers 

(d) Well-considered discussion with data from 
sources of reference in a library or works is stimulated 

(e) Discussion can be invited from persons particu- 
larly qualified to speak who perhaps are not to be present 
in person at the meeting or may not be members of the 
Society at all 

(/) The tedium of full reading of the paper becomes 
unnecessary, particularly if the voice is monotonous, slow 
and hardly audible. If this plan is followed, the paper 
can be presented in abstract or by title and the time so 
saved can be devoted to live discussion 

The considerations in opposition are : 

(o) It is costly in regard to paper, presswork and 
postage 

(h) All papers are not of equal interest to every 
member ; to send papers which do not interest a member 
and which he consigns to waste is extravagant and foolish 

(c) If all papers are read by all members before the 
meeting, the charm of anticipation and novelty is dissi- 
pated. Why should a member attend a meeting for the 
presentation of papers when he can in his library more 
cheaply and with less exertion taste what the meeting is 
to set forth? 

In weighing these advantages and attendant draw- 
backs, the Society has regarded that the stimulus to dis- 
cussion of advance distribution outweighs by far any of 
its disadvantages. Next to that was the saving of time 
and the stimulating of interest in a liveliness of discus- 



34 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

sion for which time was allowed and which came fresh 
from the attrition of minds in conference. 

As an administrative question this system of advance 
distribution and full oral discussion meant that the text 
of all papers printed before the meeting must be kept 
standing in type after the meeting until all contributed 
discussion had been revised and such revised form had 
been sent to the author for his closure of the debate. The 
entire membership therefore did not receive the complete 
revised debate until the bound volume was distributed, 
although any member could have reprints from the com- 
bined papers and discussion when the plates were made. 

The method of revising the stenographer's report of 
discussions at the meeting was to have him make his type- 
written report in duplicate at first and later in triplicate. 
One copy was kept as the Secretary's original. The 
duplicate was numbered by paragraphs in parallel with 
the original and was then cut up and classified by the 
names of the participants. Each participant then re- 
ceived his share by mail and might correct or rewrite 
what he was reported to have said. Three weeks were 
usually allowed to the debating members and a week to 
the author. Hence the first complete papers which had 
been discussed were ready to be sent to the printer about 
one month after the meeting had closed. 

THE JOURNAL. THE TRANSACTIONS 

By the system discussed above, the papers and their 
discussions were sent to the members on request or as 
a matter of routine. Other communications from the 
Society's office, covering news items, dates and programs 
and routine communications of general interest, were 
individually circularized and sent by third-class mail as 
often as necessary or desirable. These were items of 
expense for job printing, and the pamphlets could not 
demand the second-class rate or regular postage which 
would be given to stated issues to subscribers. 

In 1907-1908 the Society created its Journal of ten 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 35 

or twelve issues in each year. It was intended to effect 
the distribution of all papers to all members as by all 
previous pamphlet processes, and in addition to secure 
prompt issue and distribution of all contributed discus- 
sion as soon as read without waiting for the complete 
paper; and also to be the channel of communication be- 
tween the Society headquarters and all members on all 
professional matters of Society concern. This included 
pretty much everything which had hitherto been trans- 
acted by circular letter, leaving in the individual class 
only the procedure of election of officers and communica- 
tions relating to the collection of income. By the fact of 
stated issue the second-class postage rate could be secured 
and a considerable economy effected. The Journal could 
also become a publication worth while to non-members in 
a subscribing class, and thus again enabled to under- 
take new functions of usefulness to the membership. 
Among these directions of activity for The Journal may 
be listed: 

(a) Editorial report by the Secretary of the Society 
to its members and others on the activities in progress 
and incidents at headquarters with comment thereon. 
This will keep members at a distance in touch with the 
Society and maintain the warmth of their interest in its 
affairs and welfare 

(b) Editorial comment and report on current inci- 
dents outside of the Society but along engineering or 
allied professional lines. This will be of greatest signifi- 
cance to designers and those making scientific research. 

(c) Editorial or direct intercourse between members 
through the Society office, in topical discussion, query and 
answer, and brief record of fact or procedure for the com- 
mon welfare 

(d) Digests or short summaries of papers presented 
before other societies at home and abroad, and particu- 
larly translations from papers in foreign languages ap- 
pearing both in periodicals and in transactions or bul- 
letins 

(e) Bibliographies or summaries of literature in 



36 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

books and periodicals on particular topics and engineer- 
ing matters, especially indices of selected topics 

(/) Book reviews and criticisms 

It has not been possible at the time of the preparation 
of this paragraph to enter upon all of these lines of ac- 
tivity, but the summary of papers from foreign period- 
icals has been regularly issued, and with the practice of 
giving so far as practicable the data and results embodied 
in the original paper instead of a mere description of 
their contents. As the library of the Society shall be 
developed and particularly the concept of the joint 
library of all engineering societies under the Trustees 
of the United Engineering Society, the usefulness of The 
Journal can be greatly increased, making it a directory 
of engineering information along professional and 
technical lines. The Journal will always be differentiated 
from the commercial or trade newspapers, in that the 
latter will be specialized as news distributors respecting 
enterprises or products, dealing also with the commercial 
side of the profession. The time or novelty element 
enters also into the activities of the trade newspaper. 
The Society Journal on the other hand will also be sought 
in its highly developed state by persons not members of 
the Society, serving in this way to make its work and 
value more widely known. 

Furthermore, The Journal, or reprints from its pages, 
can be used at meetings of the Society, at meetings of 
Student Branches, geographical groups or professional 
sections. It will doubtless before long contain engineering 
matter which there will be no time to present and discuss 
at even the multiplying number of reunions of members 
in the various cities. 

The increasing circulation of The Journal by the in- 
crease of membership and the growth of the subscribers' 
list opened the door to the canvass for advertisers in 
its issues and the attendant income devotable to Society 
uses and needs. This became at once a commercial suc- 
cess, since The Journal is in a distinctly preferred class, 
as it is not thrown away at once or remains unread, but 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 37 

is in the class which remains upon desk and table 
ready to be consulted, not once but frequently. The types 
of the advertisements included are : Power plant equip- 
ment, power transmission, hoisting, elevating and con- 
veying machinery, industrial railway equipment, metal 
working machinery, machine shop and foundry equip- 
ment, pumping and hydraulic machinery, electric power 
equipment, air compressors and pneumatic tools. 

The keynote of the work of the Society in connection 
with advertising in The Journal has been to render 
service to the advertiser. It was felt at the outset that 
anything resembling an effort to induce manufacturers 
who were members of the Society to advertise, simply 
because they were members, would be taking an unjusti- 
fiable position and one subject to severe criticism. This 
view early led to the adoption of what has been called 
Condensed Catalogue pages, which consist of engineering 
data from the catalogues of manufacturers, paid for and 
inserted among the advertising pages of The Journal 
and later distributed in book form. When thus issued 
they constitute a convenient desk book for reference, 
covering a wide variety of appliances and giving sufficient 
information for preliminary layouts of mechanical plants 
without having to consult manufacturers ' catalogues. 

Various other useful plans have been followed, among 
them the preparation and issue of Directory Cards, con- 
venient for reference and containing brief statements of 
the main products of different manufacturers. The busi- 
ness of the advertising department is done mainly by 
correspondence. 

The Transactions is the official name of the bound and 
indexed volume of papers with their appended discus- 
sions which are the result of the assembling of the mem- 
bers at Society Meetings. They embody for reference 
and record so much of the work of any year as the 
Committee on Publication decides to be worthy of such 
permanent preservation. At present it is limited to one 
volume a year, but its inconvenient size and weight is 
likely soon to lead to the issue of more than one. It is 



38 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

bound in half morocco and is sent to every member of 
any grade. The value of the Transactions has been 
the great claim of the Society for recognition outside of 
its own members, and it is the glory of the Society that 
they should have been kept all through the years on an 
elevated plane. 

Monographs have been issued in addition to the 
Transactions, perhaps the most notable of which is the 
Autobiography of Mr. John Fritz, Honorary Member 
and Past-President of the Society. This is the first of 
what it is hoped will be a creditable series of such Society 
publications through the years. 

THE COPYEIGHT OP PAPERS PRESENTED AT MEETINGS 

A problem or principle to be thought out arose as 
soon as papers began to be submitted to the Society. 
The question was threefold : 

(o) Should the Society reserve to itself the copyright 
of author's papers in all their forms of publication 

(fe) Should the author have the right to reserve to 
himself any financial advantage from his labor in pre- 
paring the paper that it might be presented through the 
Society 

(c) Should the technical journals have the right of 
republication of such papers in their current issues 
immediately after the presentation of the paper before 
the Society without invading the copyright obligations 
of any of the three parties interested 

The Society should plainly have control over the use 
to be made of papers read before it. It should not be 
used as a medium of advertising business interests ; yet 
on the other hand its reputation would be extended and 
its influence exerted for good if in addition to the official 
publication in a pamphlet or in a bound volume, a paper 
could also be made to reach the thousands whom the 
technical magazines serve. The author's principal re- 
turn from a scientific paper should be in reputation and 
the recognition of good work by his colleagues. It is 
often the case on the other hand that the research or the 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 39 

conclusions which the paper embodies may have cost the 
client or the corporation who has authorized and financed 
them a sum on which they may consider themselves en- 
titled to an interest. Some will not regard a reputation 
for breadth of view as an asset which a corporation can 
capitalize. 

The technical journals took a keen interest in the 
discussions on amendments to the rules which should 
wisely dispose of this question. Dr. James C. Bayles, 
then editor of Iron Age and associated with Mr. David 
Williams, was a principal advocate of the broad policy 
of widest publication. It was finally settled that the 
Society was to claim no exclusive copyright except in 
the form of the completed bound volume of the Trans- 
actions; but that the privilege of immediate republica- 
tion of papers read and discussed before meetings of the 
Society should be allowed to those who might desire to 
do so. This policy precluded the practice of an author's 
selecting the journal which should first publish his paper 
to the disadvantage of others. It was left to the Secre- 
tary to see that all journals were treated alike. This 
necessity led to a policy adhered to for many years and 
first recommended by the practice of the American 
Machinist, that there should not be appointed to service 
on Society committees or to office in the Council, any rep- 
resentative of technical journalism. This was not so 
much for fear of any undue advantage to such a journal 
from an intimate knowledge of Society affairs, as to pre- 
vent any feeling on the part of other journals that there 
might be such advantage to the person so appointed. 
With the growth of the Society this practice fell away, 
and later methods of publication and the growing 
strength of the journals themselves made this form of 
the problem of no significance. 

THE DANGER OF SELF-ADVERTISEMENT IN PAPERS 

Business or commercial interests could not fail to 
see what neat, effective and unobtrusive forms of ad- 
vertising would be offered by having the matters in 



40 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

which they were interested presented in papers before 
the new Society. This recognition may take form in 
many ways, beginning with a pressure upon their 
engineers to keep in the area of strong illumination by 
the frequent offering and reading of good papers, down 
through less defensible methods to the frank advertising 
write-up of a new invention, product or design. It is not 
defensible to say that a paper will not be accepted from 
an engineer who is financially interested in the subject 
which he presents, or who is in the employ of such 
persons as their designer and creator of solutions of new 
problems. It is often the case that the men are best 
informed on any subject whose business makes them so. 
The Society needs and in debate will ask for just the 
knowledge and experience which producer and user are 
best qualified to furnish. If the opposition to personal 
interest was adhered to, the difficulty would be dodged 
by having the paper chargeable as an advertising or pro- 
moting contribution presented by some other member 
who could not be charged with having a personal 
interest. In the same group of problems is that offered 
when the monopoly of the patent system has been 
secured for the design and invention of the product so 
that rights to use it can only be secured through the 
patentee. Shall this Society refuse papers of real value 
because some one may be commercially or financially 
benefitted by their reading? 

The first principle to be adopted was that papers 
should not be accepted which discussed new propositions 
as yet untried in practice. This ruled out processes not 
scientifically sound, inventions which could not be made 
to work, and mere ideas. Once in a long while through 
the years a great invention will come before the Society 
in a paper which it will honor that body to accept before 
it has been put to the crucial test. Such was Sir Henry 
Bessemer 's paper on his New Pneumatic Process for 
Making Steel. Should such a rare case arise, the pre- 
cedent may be weU departed from, but in general the re- 





iS_j:2^^cA^^^ 



HE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 41 

striction is sound and should prevent the Society and 
its standing from being used as factors to enlist capital 
by persons of the promoter class. 

A second and broader requirement was that the paper 
must present facts and data of scientific value and not 
merely opinions or commendatory language by an 
author." Some trade catalogue literature would fall 
under this last heading, but a trade catalogue which 
presents reliable scientific facts and data becomes pro- 
fessional literature. Hence, the form in which the paper 
appears will often have more to do with its acceptability 
than a conformity to an arbitrary standard as respects 
its contents. 

A third and broader and perhaps more compre- 
hensive principle has been that a paper which embodied 
an application of a newly discovered law, or a new ap- 
plication of an old law, must necessarily benefit whoever 
is fortunate enough to avail himself of it. The greater 
economy or efficiency will be that which results from the 
closer conformity to natural law. The Society could not 
prevent the advantage sure to follow from the step of 
progress by refusing to accept the publication of the 
paper. Conversely, the Society could not help it if this 
step of progress worked to the disadvantage of those who 
would be left behind by the march of advancement. It is 
not advertising to make public a fact. 

In many departments of applied science it costs 
money to make research into the facts which make for 
progress. Corporations make such investigations and 
research for their own interest and may properly claim 
that any advantage to themselves resulting therefrom is 
to be kept as their personal property. It is impossible 
to commend too highly the practice of some corporations 
which have directed their engineers to present to the 
world the results of such researches as contributions to 
progress along these lines, in the form of papers before 
the Society. It is not so long ago that material in this 
class would have been jealously guarded as an asset of its 



42 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

originators. It might have been kept so had there been 
no Society to receive, value and record it. It is in- 
creasingly true that with the advance of professional 
standards, a man who seeks to use the Society for selfish 
ends and personal purposes or who allows himself to 
be so used, does himself and his interests more harm 
than good. 

Belonging also under this same heading is the 
practice and philosophy as to the reprinting and sale of 
papers read and discussed which may be of commercial 
advantage to the author or to those to whom he is re- 
lated in business. The Society has taken the same view 
referred to above, that it cannot be responsible for 
physical laws nor for the fact that for some one these 
laws are acting to advantage. No permanent benefit 
would be secured to competitors by suppressing the new 
discovery or adaptation; it would get out in other 
channels; and the Society is benefited by being itself a 
channel for the dissemination of facts of progress. 

There are only two limitations. First, the publica- 
tion must be complete, including the discussion, and 
without any garbling or omissions, so as to be in the form 
in which it appears in the official volume. It must include 
any points raised which may appear to work to the dis- 
advantage of the topic under discussion. This is to main- 
tain the judicial attitude as respects the matter and re- 
move the possibility of a charge that the Society has lent 
itself to the work of advocating any one 's interests. The 
other requirement is that the Society shall do the re- 
printing under its own formularies and headings, in its 
own type and under its own standards. The person 
benefited may print separately any introduction or fore- 
word and insert it as a leaflet if desired, but such trans- 
mittal paragraphs must not be made a part of the paper, 
nor may the person benefited print the paper as a paper 
with its own headings and in its own type. The reasons 
for these restrictions will be apparent; the policy has 
worked safely and well. 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 4S 

THE PBOCBDUEE OF THE SOCIETY MEETINGS PROGBAM 

A convention of professional men, members of a 
national or international society should have at least the 
following five sides to it, or as many of them as possible : 

(a) The professional side, involving papers and dis- 
cussions and Society business. 

(b) The social side, giving members a chance to meet 
their colleagues and acquaintances. This is particularly 
significant to the younger men, and the older men owe it 
to the younger to favor it. 

(c) The visits to engineering or industrial productive 
plants. 

(d) The hotel side, involving comfortable housing 
and food. 

(e) The excursion side, involving visits of a non- 
professional sort to points of scenic, historic or other 
personal interest. 

The extremes of the above list are, at one end, the 
compact series of professional meetings, three sessions 
for papers in each day, unrelieved by any relaxations 
outside of the convention hall, and at the other extreme 
the so-called ''junket," when the members come together 
for a good time, all frolic and social intercourse and 
excursions, and the reading of papers is made a sec- 
ondary feature or forgotten in the pressure of other 
occupations. Wisdom lies in a safe middle path, where 
the enthusiastic devotee to engineering, earnest in his 
determination to get all he can from a meeting, shall not 
feel disappointed because the meeting was a frivolity and 
he has wasted precious time; and where, on the other 
hand, he who seeks relief from the exactions of his 
office shall not feel that he has only changed his latitude 
and longitude, but is in the same high-pressure atmo- 
sphere as before. Plainly, however, if anything is to be 
omitted from an over-full program of a meeting, it will 
be the non-professional excursion. 

The attitude of a society towards the proportioning of 
these elements will be greatly affected by the presence 



44 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

or absence of the ladies of the families of members. The 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers has favored 
the presence of ladies at its meetings from the very be- 
ginning. It followed in the first instance the precedents 
of the Civil and Mining Engineers. It did so for the 
pleasure of all parties in their presence. But as time 
went on there emerged certain advantages from their 
presence amounting to a philosophy of Society manage- 
ment. Among these were : 

(a) The woman is the social factor in the life of most 
busy men. She keeps track of things the man will forget. 
She has time to devote to amenities involving sacrifice 
of her energies which he finds it difficult to make. She 
keeps alive acquaintance and friendship which he is 
prone to neglect. 

(b) The woman's pleasure in the Society meetings 
will be an argument to bring the member with her, when 
he would perhaps otherwise allow pressure of other 
reasons to prevent his attending. A man's wife is thus 
an agent of the Society to secure his bodily presence and 
participation in discussions to which he is particularly 
competent to contribute in a valuable way. 

(c) The feminine influence of the right sort is always 
a restraining one, keeping the atmosphere of the 
meetings on a high level and preventing the noise and 
vulgarity to which some men descend when they forget 
to restrain themselves and when they are just a lot of 
men together. 

(d) The only argument against the presence of 
women at the meetings has been that as a class they are 
self-conscious as to differences in wealth or permissible 
expenditure for ornament or dress, in culture and in 
social position, to an extent which men ignore or which 
does not exist for them. So far as differences in educa- 
tion are concerned, these distinctions are rapidly disap- 
pearing; so far as the other differences may have ever 
existed, they are of no account. The restraint of the men 
from smoking at banquets is a difficulty to be met by 
substituting some other form of social festivity for the 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 46 

formal dinner. This will be referred to later in another 
connection. 

Taking up now the general question of the propor- 
tions to be allotted to the five points of view of a society 
meeting, it may be said that if there were no professional 
papers there would be no occasion for a meeting. With 
papers printed and distributed to all members and 
possible participants in debate on them, the professional 
necessity for the meeting is for discussion and additional 
contributed matter on the topics of papers, and the re- 
cording of experience in the solution of the problems 
which the paper starts. At first the satisfactory solution 
was to give two-thirds of each day to papers and one- 
third to excursion experiences. That is, there would be 
a professional session morning and evening, and a visit 
to an engineering plant in the afternoon. If some social 
function was assigned to the evening, then the sessions 
for papers and debate would be held in the morning and 
afternoon, and the plant visit cut out. If the plant visit or 
excursion called for both morning and afternoon, it was 
always put at the end of the week's program and after 
the papers and professional discussions had been com- 
pleted. Later, while keeping to the general philosophy 
of morning sessions for indoor sessions and of afternoon 
visits out-of-doors, the multiplication of sections and 
specialized topics has compelled synchronous holding of 
sessions in different rooms and halls, and the member 
must choose which of two or more papers under discus- 
sion at once he will prefer to hear. Synchronous sessions 
are held to enable many papers to be presented without 
extending the number of days which the complete pro- 
gram will require. They seem inevitable and are the 
normal method to follow where a wide range of topics 
and of interests is represented. They are costly to pro- 
vide for, and require a specially equipped convention 
hall, or several of them. 

For the success of the social side of a convention, 
seven factors have been found necessary and serviceable : 

{a) A convention headquarters, preferably in the 



46 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

hotel where the members are staying. Such headquarters 
form a rallying point, to which old and new members may 
come and register their names, find out who are in at- 
tendance and receive all bulletins and necessary papers, 
tickets, badges and the like. 

(fe) That so far as possible all members in attendance 
be housed in the same hotel. 

(c) That such hotel be equipped with a generous and 
hospitable foyer where the members can lounge and 
smoke between the stated events of the program; or, if 
the hotels cannot furnish this, the same sort of oppor- 
tunity may be given at the convention hall. It is tedious 
to sit for hours listening to papers and debate ; to relieve 
this tedium, let the member leave the audience room and 
find relaxation in a corridor while the paper which does 
not interest or concern him is in progress. 

(d) That the program be not arranged with such 
fullness that members are in breathless haste to be 
present on time at program assignment No. 2 as soon 
as No. 1 is concluded. A hasty meal in a crowded dining 
room with overburdened service, followed by a rush to be 
on time for the starting of an excursion does not favor 
the making of acquaintances. 

(e) That one excursion or visit to a plant per day 
be provided (or a limited number of choices). For all 
members to go together to a point of common interest is 
much more serviceable than to have the party divided 
into a large number of divergent groups. 

(/) That the arrangements be such as to favor a free 
circulation among the members of the party on excur- 
sions. This means that a trip by unit train or by boat is 
better than trips in carriages, motors or by separate 
trolleys. 

(g) That some one or several people on a committee 
make it a business to see that strangers or members of 
limited acquaintance are introduced with tact and discre- 
tion, so as to be made to come out of the shells of diffi- 
dence or self-distrust into which shy people are prone 
to retire. 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 47 

REGISTRATION AT MEETINGS 

Perhaps no one factor has had more to do with the 
social success of meetings of The American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers than the development of its 
system of registering members in attendance at these 
meetings. Such registration has an official and legal 
significance so that there can be no question before the 
law as to the presence of a voting quorum, or as to the 
persons who took action on any question brought up at 
such meeting. Above and beyond this, however, in 
practical influence is the social advantage of effective 
enrollment. 

At the first meeting of the Society in the autumn of 
1880, registration was secured by passing a sheet of 
letter paper from hand to hand, with the request that 
each man present sign it. There was no office or head- 
quarters of the Society at this meeting other than the 
convention hall, but at no one time was every member 
present at any particular session so that this system was 
unavoidably incomplete. This first roster of members 
present at a meeting has been framed and hung in the 
Society's rooms. 

The next step was the preparation of a register book 
like a hotel register of guests. Members and guests 
signed their names, their home address and their location 
during the convention. The Society's registers under 
this system have been preserved and are interesting ex- 
hibitions of autographs of men of professional eminence. 

The difficulty with the hotel register plan was the 
slowness of the process when a large number desired to 
sign the book at the same time. This kept members 
standing in line tediously and in many cases after the 
work of the convention had begun in the audience room. 
It was overcome in 1904 by the obvious expedient of 
registering on individual card slips, so that as many 
could register at one time as there were places or clerks 
at the registration counter. The registration slip was 
made with carbon transfers, at first autographically by 



48 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

pencil, and later by the use of typewriters; this made 
the card catalogue of the members in attendance in 
manifold. The system has been in use ever since that 
year and can hardly be improved upon for the purpose 
in hand. It was devised for the very large meeting in 
joint session of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 
of Great Britain with the American Society in Chicago 
and these details are due to Messrs. Louis A. Gillet and 
Francis W. Hoadley, with the Secretary of that period. 

The convenience of having transcripts from the hotel 
register of members in attendance early suggested the 
plan of printed slip lists arranged alphabetically from 
the register list and distributed at headquarters during 
the course of the meeting, usually at three intervals. 
This enabled everyone to know at first hand who was 
present, but, of course, the individual could only be 
identified through some common friend or by the awk- 
wardness of inquiry from some one who by chance might 
know both parties. 

The good taste of the officers of the Society had been 
opposed from the start to the type of flamboyant silken 
banner which is often worn on the coat of members en- 
rolled at a convention. The well-nigh faultless artistic 
taste of the French in 1889 had equipped the visitors to 
Paris and its exposition of that year with a lapel button 
of unusually aesthetic type. The Americans were not 
slow to appropriate the advantages of this idea for the 
annual meeting of that year. An identification badge of 
this type is of the greatest convenience on excursions and 
in passing members of an excursion party on public con- 
veyances. Reproductions and derivatives of the French 
emblem were used for a year or two thereafter and there 
may still be found cuff buttons in use which were the 
convention badges of this period. The lapel button was 
restricted to members, and guests had a pin with the 
initials M. E. worked into a scroll, which they were per- 
mitted to wear as a designating emblem. 

The next development from the lapel button badge 
and the printed alphabetical list of names was the plan 




^. 7< 44r^a^ 



t^ q. 



PRESIDENT 1885 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 




A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 49 

of numbering the lines of the convention register or of 
the registration card so that each man registered a num- 
ber as well as his name. He wore this number on a 
small celluloid shield attached to his lapel button. Hence 
by consulting the printed list any numbered man could 
be identified by name by those who remembered a face 
but could not at once recall the name. The approach 
of the members to each other was assured and the 
awkwardness of shyness and self-distrust removed. 

The next and final step was taken during the ad- 
ministration of Mr. James Mapes Dodge and at his sug- 
gestion and initiative. This was to substitute for the 
numbered button in the lapel a fixture, into which could 
be slipped the name of the member printed in sufficiently 
heavy faced type to be usefully legible. This plan is the 
highest development of the policy and principle of self- 
introduction and identification at a meeting. The in- 
fluence of this quick identification by name at conven- 
tions has been so significant and valuable in promoting 
the social success of meetings that it can scarcely be over- 
estimated. 

ENTERTAINMENT OF THE SOCIETY AT MEETINGS 

The problem of large meetings of the Society for the 
reading of papers and other purposes has presented 
some difficulties from the very start and certain prin- 
ciples have had to be followed in legislating for them. 

The Annual Meeting of an incorporated society is 
signalized under the Civil Law in most of the States by 
the election of its officers for the year and the report of 
the members with respect to the finances of the Society 
and its work for the year. It must be held either really 
or nominally within the borders of the state which has 
created the corporation. Hence The American Society 
of Mechanical Engineers must hold its Annual Meeting 
in the State of New York and since it has had an office 
headquarters in New York City, that city has been the 
convention city for the Annual Meeting. 

The other meeting is usually called the Semi- Annual 



50 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

Meeting and is held about six months after the Annual 
Meeting. It is usually convened in some city or place 
where adequate hotel accommodations can be found for a 
large number, and also with regard to points of engi- 
neering or other interest and so that those who jfind it 
diflScult to attend the New York meeting by reason of the 
cost of the journey, the long absence from duty or for 
other reasons, can attend the Spring Meeting with less 
sacrifice of time and of traveling expense. This has re- 
sulted for many years in a general policy of having the 
Spring or Semi-Annual Meeting at some point West 
of that where the geographical center of gravity of the 
area covered by the membership might lie in any year. 
This point lies in Western Pennsylvania or Eastern 
Ohio. 

This policy has not been rigorously followed but is 
departed from for any reasons of weight, such as to 
bring a Spring Meeting into New England once in a 
series of years and to enable the Society to visit Wash- 
ington or a city in Canada during a season of attractive 
weather. The problem of comfortably accommodating 
large numbers in the hotels of a locality must influence 
the selection of convention cities and render unavailable 
a group of places otherwise most desirable. 

Hotel facilities are most easily found at summer 
resorts and the experiment has been tried at rare 
intervals of going to such a meeting place where there 
would be no distractions of an engineering sort from the 
sessions for the reading of papers and where full op- 
portunity could be given for social intercourse. The ob- 
jections to this plan have been that the absence of engi- 
neering points of interests has made earnest, busy men 
feel that they did not win adequate return for the time 
spent away from office and business. There are others 
to whom the scenic attractions of ocean or mountain do 
not make an appeal. In such meetings the social side 
will inevitably dominate and there are those to whom 
this is an objection. Notable exceptions, of course, are 
certain historic cities or those such as Washington, D. C, 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 51 

where the associations and general interest are para- 
mount and the engineering interest of less importance. 

The first method of selecting the place of meeting was 
the acceptance of an invitation from a group of members 
resident in a city or area, asking the Society or the 
Council to choose their center as a meeting place. Such 
an invitation has usually behind it a double motive. On 
the part of members it is the desire to show personal 
and professional hospitality to friends and colleagues. 
The officials of the city and its Board of Trade or 
Chamber of Commerce who concurred in the invitation 
recognize that acquaintance and familiarity with the 
capacities and products of the city will be of commercial 
and industrial advantage to it. This advantage will be 
both subjective within the city and objective outside of 
it. Some cities have organized committees which seek 
to bring conventions to it for the advantages of the 
hotels, railways and general reputation and publicity. 
The Council in a few cases has itself taken the initiative 
when in its opinion the interests of local industry or the 
reputation of the Society would be helped by a meeting in 
a locality and perhaps in one where there were few or no 
resident members. Such meetings have been those held 
in certain places of the South, at Niagara Falls, and 
elsewhere. 

The objection to the first policy has been the 
existence of a real or fancied obligation that such an in- 
vitation given to the Society imposes on the local mem- 
bership or the local industries an unavoidable expendi- 
ture of money for excursions or other entertainment of 
various kinds. These difficulties grew with the increas- 
ing size of the Society and the number of members at- 
tending its conventions. There finally resulted a second 
and now existing policy that the Council should appoint 
the place of meeting independent of any invitation from 
members or from any convention or promotion bureau 
in the city itself. The convenience and timeliness or ad- 
visability of such appointment should always be ascer- 
tained beforehand. The initiative, however, lies with the 



52 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

Society itself and should impose no burden (deemed un- 
avoidable because self-assumed) as respects the ex- 
pense attaching to carrying out the program of the 
meetings. This policj'' is the one now in force and has 
so much to commend it that it will be changed only for 
reasons which do not now appear cogent. 

The activities attaching to a meeting of the Society 
fall into two separate groups. The one is the professional 
work of the program, which includes a hall for the con- 
vention and the reading and discussion of papers, the 
stenographers to report the meetings, the incidental 
printing and expense for registration office and the 
Secretary's official obligations. The other group con- 
tains those features, which may be classed as entertain- 
ment or hospitality and include the invitation to works, 
the transportation to these or on excursions to other 
objective points, the lunches or collations to be served on 
excursions or at any receptions or similar functions, and 
music if it is to be supplied at any time. 

It is outside the arena of discussion that the Society 
itself should meet the expenditures in the first group 
from its funds, so as to cover all matters which have to 
do with material which goes into the Transactions, such 
as papers, discussions, minutes and rental. All members 
of the Society are benefited by these features of a 
meeting whether they are present in the body or not, 
and they are a proper charge upon dues and other 
Society income. It is not so clear how the expenses shall 
be met which are for the pleasure only of those who are 
present at the meeting in person and those who are guests 
of members or of the Society or its hosts, and may be 
assembled for purposes not directly in line with the 
objects for which the Society exists. 

Two possible methods seem to be open, and a third 
which combines them. The first is for the members resi- 
dent in the city where the meeting is to be held to con- 
tribute or to solicit from industries interested or to 
secure from both sources what the ambition of the com- 
mittee on arrangements decides to be necessary. The 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 53 

standard is set by entertainments in other cities, or by 
the civic and social pride of the leading men. The 
visitors are then completely in the position of guests of 
the resident members and industries and are put in the 
position of being under an obligation which they can only 
return when their own city becomes the host ; and where 
members live in places where no convention will ever be 
assigned, such a debt of obligation can never be canceled 
but becomes cumulative as the years go by. The other 
extreme, or alternative plan, is to make each member 
attending a convention pay for his share of the expenses 
of entertaining him and any guests whom he may invite, 
and to deny to the members who are hosts of the visiting 
members the privilege of doing anything in the way of 
local courtesies which cost money. The local committee 
may secure transportation at reduced rates in the city, and 
organize excursions to points of engineering interest; 
but they must not pay for such facilities, nor solicit the 
gift of them from transportation companies, nor ask for 
free special trains or boats for excursions. The mem- 
bers of the Society and their guests are to pay their own 
way and by purchased tickets of admission are to bear 
the expenses of luncheons, collations, music and decora- 
tions and similar outgo. 

This plan avoids the embarrassments of obligation to 
either party, and the dangers from an extravagant 
standard for the entertainment of visitors, possible in a 
large city with many resident members, but impossible 
in the smaller city or where the resident membership is 
limited. The objections to this latter plan are that it 
commercializes the relations of host and guest in a way 
disagreeable to many. It permits the member of 
moderate means to exclude himself from certain features 
of the convention, and so draws a line of class distinction 
which should be absent in such a coming-together of engi- 
neers. It frustrates and antagonizes the instinct of 
generous-minded hosts, or of those who would feel it 
a privilege and opportunity to bear a share in entertain- 
ing friends and colleagues who have come to their city on 



54 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

the initiative of the Society and its organization of a 
meeting there. It has the further and practical difficulty 
of compelling the loc9,l committee of arrangements to 
inform itself in advance as to how many persons propose 
to buy the necessary tickets of privilege for each element 
of the entertainment program, or else to arrange to 
guarantee any deficit or gap between the numbers 
anticipated and the numbers of cash purchasers who may 
or may not elect to participate. 

The difficulties attaching to both plans will be most 
acute in the case of an Annual Meeting where the neces- 
sity for entertainment and social opportunity recurs 
from year to year, or with considerable frequency. This 
makes the first plan burdensome, and points to the work- 
ability of the second plan in this case, in spite of the ob- 
jections to it. There are grave difficulties attaching to 
the idea of assessing every member in a territory within 
which a meeting is to be held, with the purpose that the 
Society shall collect it through its channels and subject 
to the penalty attaching to non-payment of dues to the 
organization. This further makes classes of membership 
and claims of privilege or their absence, which should 
not exist. It remains true that a member who attends 
a meeting at a distance from home spends much more 
than he will be likely to subscribe if the meeting was held 
at his home city. This constitutes an argument for the 
first plan ; but it does not apply in the case of those who 
would not attend the meeting in any case or wherever it 
was held. Such might properly object to the assess- 
ment plan for the expenses of a meeting. 

In the light of present wisdom, a combination of these 
alternatives seems to offer the least objections. Let 
each member attending a meeting pay his transportation 
or excursion expenses for himself and his guests; and 
if a banquet or a costly reception is an approved feature, 
require cards of admission which shall similarly be paid 
for. This policy reduces the number of "camp- 
followers" and simplifies the problem which they present 
to the local committee. On the other hand, it permits the 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 55 

local members to find an outlet for their hospitality by 
providing collations or luncheons on the excursions at 
which the visitors shall be the guests of the hosts without 
imposing the requirement of a purchased ticket. 

A special problem in this class, but a much simpler 
one is presented as respects expenditure in connection 
with monthly or other meetings of local groups of mem- 
bers or meetings of professional sections held at times 
other than those of the stated Annual or Semi- Annual 
Meetings. The Society should plainly provide in its 
budget for the professional expenses of such meetings, 
such as rentals, stenographer, reports and minutes and 
some printing and postage. Other expenditures of 
purely individual or social significance to the members 
concerned should as obviously be provided for by sub- 
scription among those who benefit by it. There are here 
no outsiders in any number to be considered or provided 
for. While such gatherings are Society meetings, they 
are not meetings of the Society in the formal and legis- 
lative sense. 

Under the foregoing general principles, for many 
years, a Society convention provided for five profes- 
sional sessions in three days. Under the pressure of the 
wider interests and greater number of papers offered in 
later years, synchronous meetings of sections of groups 
have been provided whereby the number of sessions 
could be increased but not the over-all length of the con- 
vention in days. The objection to this is that members 
interested in topics in contemporaneous discussion must 
choose which of the sessions they will attend in person 
and there are many places where it is difficult to find 
separate rooms for sessions at the same hours. It 
seems, however, to be the direction of normal growth 
and development. There still must survive in many 
places the formality of an address of welcome from a 
civic personage at an opening session but little by little 
this is sure to disappear. It is made of the least futility 
by convening such sessions on a Tuesday evening so that 
Society business may begin with a rush on "Wednesday 



56 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

morning and can be ended on Friday at noon. The Tues- 
day evening after the preliminary numbers can also be 
utilized for a reunion of a simple sort, intended to renew 
old acquaintance, and enable the local membership and 
their ladies to meet the visitors and be ready for the later 
features of the program. Then will follow professional 
sessions on Wednesday morning and evening, and on 
Thursday and Friday mornings. Wednesday and 
Thursday afternoons are then available for visits to 
engineering plants or other points of interest, and 
Thursday evening may be utilized for a distinctively so- 
cial function if it is so desired. Thursday evening may 
supply time for a professional session instead of Friday 
morning, leaving Friday free for an all-day excursion or 
visit. Experience shows that neither executive officers 
nor members find three separate sessions a day to be 
productive of efficiency. Tired members and jaded officers 
do not make a successful session. 

THE BANQUET AT CONVENTIONS 

The Society followed at first and for some years the 
English practice of giving to the social feature of the 
meeting, usually on Thursday evening, the form of a sub- 
scription banquet. Such formal functions were features 
of the meetings at 

Hartford May 1881 

Altoona August 1881 

New York November 1882 

Cleveland May 1883 

Pittsburgh May 1884 

New York November 1885 

Chicago May 1887 

New York December 1912 

New York December 1913 

New York December 1914 

Mr. Alex. L. HoUey, founder of the Society, was a de- 
lightful after-dinner speaker who had made the reunions 
of the Institute of Mining Engineers delightful memories 
to those privileged to enjoy them. It was at the Hart- 
ford dinner in 1881 that he made his memorable address 




PAST-PRESIDENT 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 57 

on The Inadequate Union of Science and Art, full of 
epigram and sound sense. It was in this speech that he 
spoke of the Corliss locomotive, which as a recent college 
graduate he ran between Providence and Stonington, 
Conn. Its complicated valve gear was full of lock nuts and 
springs. It had a fondness for coming into the terminal 
with one side out of action and a violent preference for 
going dead over an open trestle in winter with icy water 
below. Dr. James C. Bayles, also a delightful memory 
of the Mining Engineers ' banquets, seconded Mr. Holley 
in making the after-dinner function a delight. After Mr. 
Holley 's death and Dr. Bayles 's departure from the edi- 
torial chair, his withdrawal from the Society and later 
his death, the burden and usually the failure to provide 
attractive after-dinner speakers turned the attention of 
the Secretary and the program makers to the dis- 
advantages of the banquet as a social feature. In the 
list of such disadvantages may be included: 

(a) It will necessarily be a subscription feature. 
Those who feel the necessity for economizing in their ex- 
penditure, or whose expenses are being paid for the sake 
of the professional return at the meeting, will stay 
away. The Society is at once stratified and divided into 
classes, one of which gets more from a meeting than the 
other. 

(6) A banquet is a success when one is well-seated; 
a dismal failure if one is not. If seated among friends 
already made, there is no progress effected in 
acquaintance. The new and unacquainted member makes 
little headway for no one seeks him for a neighbor. 

(c) The hard and fast formality of the seating at 
table does not favor a broadening of acquaintance and 
its growth. The banquet therefore fails of the larger 
and more valuable part of its object. 

(d) Speakers fail more often than they succeed. 

(e) The banquet is a great deal of trouble, dispropor- 
tionate to the return in advantage. 

(/) It is safest and cheapest to serve it without wine ; 
tobacco smoking in the presence of the ladies of the party 



58 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

is bad form and will be refrained from ; and yet both of 
these standards will be objected to by some. If they pro- 
test to the extreme of staying away from the function, 
the first objection is reinforced. 

For these reasons the banquet was replaced by the 
reception. It was made a function whereby every mem- 
ber and guest was formally conducted and introduced to 
the President of the Society and to its Secretary. In addi- 
tion at the Annual Meeting the President-elect and the 
Honorary Secretary with their ladies are added to the 
reception line and, at the Semi-Annual Meetings, the 
Chairman of the Local Committee and the presiding 
Vice-President where there are contemporaneous 
sessions held, are also placed in line. After the for- 
malities of introduction and handshaking are over, 
music, dancing and a supper follow. The freedom of 
intercourse, the wide participation of all members, the 
invitation feature for the local membership who are en- 
tertaining the Society, and its effectiveness for its pur- 
pose are emphatically valid arguments in its favor. It 
is particularly advantageous to the young member of the 
Society and to members and ladies who have not attended 
many meetings hitherto. The young member will always 
be a unit in the class of listeners at a banquet, rather 
than in the participant class. 

VIVA VOCE LEGISLATION AT MEETINGS 

Another principle of the philosophy of administra- 
tion in a national society of engineers which became 
visible in time, was the futility of getting the Society in 
session at conventions to pass resolutions asking some 
other body to take some action. This was notably ap- 
parent when the proposition was made to urge the United 
States Congress or one of its committees to take some 
admirable action in relation to engineering matters, or 
the prosecution of governmental research. This policy 
appeared first in regard to the establishment, or re- 
vivifying, of a commission to test the materials of con- 
struction; and again to relieve the unendurable conges- 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 59 

tion in the United States Patent Office ; in opposition to a 
compulsory introduction of the metric system of meas- 
ures ; and again in connection with what was then called 
the Naval Personel Bill, to secure the same standing and 
relative rank for officers in the staff and the line ; and in 
many other similar opportunities. Able and enthusiastic 
advocates have offered well-worded resolutions on the 
floor of the sessions, for the Society to pass with a view 
to putting itself on record, and for such action to be 
transmitted to the arena of debate in Congress to 
strengthen the arguments on one side or the other. The 
best critics and of the soundest judgment have held that 
votes and resolutions of this class do not count for much ; 
and are therefore of disadvantage to the Society in a 
lowering of its dignity. Persons acquainted with the real 
meaning of such a *Hown meeting" vote know that it 
is not representative of the Society as a whole, but of only 
a relatively small number; furthermore, a skilfully pre- 
sented plea in such a meeting can win an affirmative vote 
from the unthinking and easily led, no matter how ill- 
advised the content of the resolution. It would be much 
better to have the matter in question referred to some 
deliberative body, such as the Council, to consider it in 
all its aspects, and then to formulate such action as 
such careful consideration would suggest. In matters 
relating to national legislation, the wise precedent was 
early established that the form which the Society in- 
fluence should take might better be the sending of per- 
sonal letters from the prominent men of the Society to 
the legislators whom they knew personally, covering 
their advocacy of the proposed policy or bill. Such per- 
sonal letters were of more value than bundles of resolu- 
tions, which any legislator knows can be secured with 
little effort and consequently have corresponding lack of 
weight. 

The same or a parallel line of reasoning and pro- 
cedure has prevailed in the handling of Society questions 
where deliberate consideration as to the wisdom of 
taking action has been required. The forum of the open 



60 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

meeting is not the best place to form wise opinions, and 
particularly under the pressure of a powerful person- 
ality or a group of them pressing their advocacy of their 
views of the question. Even so intermural a question as 
the formation of a professional committee to examine 
a subject and report, and particularly the constitution of 
such a committee in order that all interests may be fairly 
representative, is a matter which a wise and sound pre- 
cedent refers from the Society meeting to the Council 
with power. 

To meet and avoid some of the difficulties surround- 
ing a viva voce vote on important questions, the Society 
has followed the precedent of the letter ballot in some 
cases. This was assumed in the earlier forms of the Con- 
stitution of the Society and was specifically incorporated 
into the provisions of the revision of 1904. Every 
member can then impress and express his views, and 
not only those present at a particular place. Many on 
the other hand must be imperfectly informed as to the 
considerations and arguments to be advanced when the 
question is a controversial one ; votes may be influenced 
by the parties willing to spend the effort to electioneer 
for votes and who always present only one side of the 
case. Some members will not vote in any case where they 
do not feel adequately informed. 

The election of officers is always by letter ballot to 
give every member the feeling that he has a voice in the 
formulating of the Society's policy through the persons 
whom he votes into office. Amendments to the Constitu- 
tion are also always effected by letter ballot, although 
the early Constitution gave to the majority present at 
an Annual Meeting the privilege and duty of the declara- 
tive act to amend. The only two questions outside of 
this group which have been submitted to letter-ballot 
have had to do with the attitude of the Society towards 
a proposed compulsory introduction, either into govern- 
mental departments or upon the nation as a whole, of 
the metric units for measurement of lengths, which 
would make the use and retention of gages and standards 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 61 

based on the English inch or the standard illegal in in- 
dustry. The first action was : 

Resolved, That the Society deprecate any legislation tending to make 
obligatory the introduction of the metric system of measurement into our 
industrial establishments; also that the Secretary be instructed to com- 
municate the sentiment of this resolution to any one concerned in procur- 
ing such legislation; and further that a copy of this resolution be sent 
to the Anti-Metric Society of Cleveland, Ohio/ 

The vote on this resolution was 135, of which 111 
voted ''Aye." The membership was then about 250.^ 

The second letter-ballot in this class was ordered in 
1902;^ the vote as classified by the tellers who counted 
it showed: In favor of the adoption of the Metric 
System as the only legal standard in the U. S., 103 (being 
20%) ; against adoption of the Metric System as the only 
legal standard in the U. S., 363 (being 80%) ; in favor 
of legislation which would promote adoption of the 
Metric System, 153 (being 33%); against such legisla- 
tion, 311 (being 66%); the substitution of the Metric 
System for the English would be detrimental to business, 
243 (being 58%) ; such substitution not detrimental, 145 
(being 42%); such substitution would be advan- 
tageous, 89. 

The membership of the Society was over 2,500 at 
this time, and of this number only 514 voted, or a few 
over 20 per cent. In both these cases the ballot was 
rather an expression of opinion than a legislating vote. 

STANDARDS CREATED BY COMMITTEES OF THE SOCIETY 

It was the expressed wish of those who founded the 
Society that when it came to its own, it should be able 
to speak with authority on professional matters, and 
not as the scribes identified with some personal interest. 
The representatives of all branches would have a horizon 
or judgment much broader than those of any one or two 
persons, however highly specialized in their own line. 
From this grew the idea of having the Society create 



^Trans., vol. 2, p. 9, 1881. 

*Ibid, p. 4. 

'Trans., vol. 24, p. 76, 1902. 



62 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

standards of procedure, of method or design, which after 
scrutiny and possible attack in the Society should then 
be accepted as having value as recommendations. After 
such scrutiny the standard would have an acceptability 
and a value much greater than that of any individual 
recommendation. 

The activities of the Society in this connection are 
listed in Chapter XVI, but a problem and a philosophy 
respecting such standards may properly receive atten- 
tion here. The usual procedure to secure consideration 
of a proposed standard has been for the person in- 
terested in its creation to contribute a paper. This 
paper, or the discussion of it, would commonly embody 
a resolution referring to the Council the expediency of 
appointing a committee to consider and report their rec- 
ommendations. The committee would then be created 
if the Council acted favorably on the resolution of refer- 
ence, and it would select competent persons to give 
weight and scope to its report. 

What should the Society do with such report of the 
committee if it embodied a recommendation of one or 
more standards? 

Two courses would appear to be open. One would be 
to receive the report if acceptable and by vote of the 
meeting or by letter ballot of the Society to adopt the 
recommendations of the committee and make their action 
that of the Society as a whole. This is followed by cer- 
tain societies. The other plan is to receive the report, 
order it upon the record of the meeting and print it in 
the Transactions, but to refrain from any action which 
would be construed or known as an adoption of the re- 
port and its recommendations. This action carries with 
it a weight and recommendation but no further obliga- 
tion. 

The Society adopted the latter policy after a most 
valuable debate in 1885, on the presentation of the J5rst 
committee report recommending a standard method for 
the testing of steam boilers. The reasons for this decision 
never to adopt a report as official action have included : 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 63 

(o) No report or standard is properly labeled as 
adopted by a national society when such action is taken 
by a relatively small minority of the entire membership 
assembled at a convention, and voting viva voce from its 
floor. 

(b) Such vote to adopt must therefore be a letter 
ballot of the entire body to be properly representative 
of the Society as a whole. 

(c) Relatively few of such voters of a letter ballot 
are qualified by experience on the subject matter to vote 
intelligently in the affirmative, or to antagonize its posi- 
tions by a negative vote. By far the greater number 
voting will do so because the committee reporting has 
their confidence ; the committee has worked hard and the 
report represents its matured judgment. Such a letter 
ballot, therefore, has not so much greater real weight 
than the report of the qualified committee, or the affirma- 
tive vote of the open meeting. 

(d) Should the adopted standard be an article of 
manufacture by any persons or corporation, the Society 
is taken into a sort of implied business partnership in 
the production and sales of such an adopted standard. 
No business move could be more shrewd than to succeed 
in inducing the Society to favor such vested interests in 
production; where low moral standards prevail it is 
conceivable that an effort might be made to buy the 
adoption of such a standard. 

(e) The procedure to modify or replace a standard 
as knowledge and industrial conditions advance should 
require a letter ballot of the entire voting membership 
if such a standard has been adopted by the Society. It 
might easily be made difficult to secure the necessary 
majority of the entire Society to favor such reconsidera- 
tion. The Society therefore stands committed to some- 
thing outworn, and hence to its prejudice and dis- 
advantage. 

(/) Controversies between interests involved in the 
adoption or the defeat or the reconsideration of stand- 
ards will bring into the Society the atmosphere of the 



64 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

market-place. The Society is a professional body, not a 
commercial one, and should keep to its own high plane 
of thinking and activity. 

{g) It is conceivable that the Society might be made 
a party in a suit for pecuniary damage done to some one 
bj^ its action in adopting a standard which entailed ex- 
pense to one who was making a differing standard, or 
which invaded his business prosperity. The Society was 
without any pecuniary interest in the premises whatever, 
but being an incorporated body it is liable to suit, and 
to a judgment against it if such suit was won on the 
basis of an official action taken. 

INSIGNIA OF THE SOCIETY, SEAL, DIPLOMA, BADGE, 
MEMBERSHIP CARD 

The Society was incorporated under the laws of the 
State of New York on December 1, 1881. It became 
necessary to design a seal to be affixed to official instru- 
ments. The accepted design was that of the lever of 
Archimedes which was capable of lifting the world 
should an adequate fulcrum be found. The suggestion 
was that the union of men of science could be the place 
on which to rest the influence which the Society sought 
to wield. The globe rests on the shorter arm of the 
lever. When later a separate library association was 
thought advisable (Chapter XV), the same line of 
thought placed a lifting jack under the world globe 
and the orderly pile of books was the resting place for 
the base of the jack. This design of the world and the 
lever was formed into an intaglio die, by which paper 
could be embossed, and it was thus affixed to certificates 
of membership and cards of introduction. It has also 
been used for many years on envelopes, mail wrappers 
and the Society's publications to give an individuality 
to the matter emanating from Society headquarters. 

THE DIPLOMA OR CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP 

The Council authorized or directed in the first year of 
the Society's existence that the member on election should 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 05 

be entitled to a certificate or diploma signed by the Presi- 
dent and the Secretary and with the Society's seal affixed 
which would certify to the fact of his election and 
membership in the proper grade. The philosophy of the 
certificate or diploma is two-fold. If framed and hung 
on the wall of an engineer's office, it is a publicity docu- 
ment attesting without speech to the functions of this 
Society, tending to excite interest in an organization of 
such exalted aim and possibly a desire on the part of the 
beholder to join also. On the other hand, it is a silent 
witness for the holder of such a diploma and testimony 
that five other engineers knew him well and favorably 
enough to allow the use of their names in his candidacy 
before the Society and when his name was submitted to 
the voting authorities of the Society, there was nothing 
said or known to militate against his election. The cer- 
tificate and the membership which it evidences are a sort 
of "cachet" as the holder's engineering and other quali- 
fications. 

The certificate is printed from a plate or stone in 
ornate style 20 by 24 inches in size, with the name of the 
member engrossed thereon and his grade of membership ; 
it is signed by the President in office at the time of elec- 
tion, sealed with the official seal, and countersigned and 
attested by the Secretary's signature. Its wording is as 
follows : 

THE 
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

Incorporated 1881 
This is to Certify that 



of 



The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an or- 
ganization for promoting acquisition of that Knowledge which 



66 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

is necessary to the Mechanical Engineer to enable him most 
effectively to adapt the achievements of Science and Art to 
the use of mankind. 

Witness our bands and Seal at New York this 

day of 19 

President Secretary 

MEMBERSHIP CARD 

The membership certificate is not portable. It was 
early thought that a useful purpose would be served if 
the Society was to furnish to its elected members a card 
of introduction bearing the signature of the Secretary 
as a means of authenticating him and to carry also the 
signature of the holder so as not to be transferable to 
unauthorized hands. After the card was signed by the 
member it was returned to the Society office and the 
paper embossed by the die seal as an additional protec- 
tion and authentication. It was, of course, an identifica- 
tion card in case of emergency and could be used to ac- 
company the member's personal card when he sought to 
introduce himself. 

A second form designed in 1902 bore the embossed 
seal of the Society in red upon a card of smaller size 
but did not authenticate the member *s signature. The 
third and recent form carried on the reverse side the 
names of the societies and engineering bodies with which 
the Society is in correspondence relations entitling the 
member to the courtesies and privileges of the house, 
meetings and library of the related organizations to 
which the Society of Mechanical Engineers extends 
reciprocal favors. 

THE MEMBER'S GOLD BADGE 

The advantage of a personal emblem to be worn as 
a piece of jewelry by the members was also realized in 
the first year of the Society history. It was made in the 
form of a watch charm or a pin to be worn on the waist- 
coat or neck scarf and to carry to the eye the fact of 
membership in the Society without the act of self- 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 67 

introduction. The need of such an emblem is manifest 
at meetings or conventions where non-members may also 
be accidentally present in assemblies; or in travel or 
sojourn among strange persons as an opening of in- 
troduction between those who are as yet strangers, the 
badge has an obvious and real value. Its design is that 
of conventionalized four leaf clover or emblem of good 
fortune in gold, enamelled in dark blue and with an 
initial of the Society name on each leaf. The Society 
has always reserved the right to order these emblems 
manufactured, to safeguard the design and the right to 
wear it, as well as to maintain the quality of the work- 
manship. A few enthusiastic members have jewelled 
their badge. 

It may be of interest to speak of the origin of this 
badge. A Mr. Robert Sneider, an engraver and stationer 
on Broadway, New York, had been employed to prepare 
an ornamental die for use in connection with printed 
matter related to the Hartford meeting in the Spring of 
1881. The four leaf clover symbol was the submitted 
design used on the programs of that meeting. Its neat- 
ness and appropriateness appealed to the Society to 
such an extent that the design was selected without ma- 
terial change as the badge of the Society. It was made 
for many years by a Mr. Demarest on Broadway and 
later transferred to the shops of Bailey, Banks and 
Biddle of Philadelphia. 

The earlier practice was to change the blue enamel 
of the member *s badge for a red background when the 
member became an officer by election. This was dis- 
continued after ten years or so, because the blue was the 
handsomer color, the exchange of badges a troublesome 
detail and in the lapse of years the significance of the 
fact of office grew less as compared with the broad 
significance of attested membership. There was also a 
I period in which the badge of Junior membership was a 
special design of a round gold disk with the four initials 
of the Society's name in a monogram or cipher of script 
letters. This was discontinued later for the same reason, 



68 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

that the fact of significance was that of membership and 
not of the grade of such membership. It was of ad- 
vantage that the form should become of universal rec- 
ognition and variants from one standard tended only to 
confusion. The single design is therefore now in use, the 
red enamel color being reserved for Juniors. 

It is obviously proper that when a membership 
terminates by death or resignation or otherwise, that the 
pin, badge and introduction card should be returned to 
the Society as an evidence of good faith and the cer- 
tificate of membership either destroyed or kept from 
going into improper hands. 

The Society is always ready to buy back the gold pin. 

ACTION OP THE SOCIETY ON THE DEATH OP A MEMBEB 

The death of a member of the Society in its early and 
formative days seemed necessarily like the reaching of 
a ''shining mark" by the dread arrow, because the first 
group of members was constituted largely of men who 
had attained to eminence and who were for this reason 
invited to become charter members. There was, there- 
fore, usually good reason for the Society or its Council 
to take the usual action of deliberative bodies and pass 
resolutions for record and for transmittal to those be- 
reaved. It soon became manifest, however, that with 
the growth of the Society this procedure would become 
purely perfunctory from a lack of acquaintance with 
facts of experience and with personality; and it would 
not do to take memorial action for one and not for 
another. All deceased members must be honored alike, 
and yet on the other hand the meetings of the Society and 
of the Council were filled with business of importance, 
and the time of busy engineers should not be too seriously 
invaded by turning such assemblies into reunions of 
mourners. The difficulty must also be avoided of allow- 
ing the voice of surviving friendship to be heard at 
length as respects a member of moderate professional 
reputation or one limited in scope, while the accidental 
absence of such a friend would permit the death of an 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 69 

eminent and distinguished engineer to pass unnoticed. 
This difficulty is as old as the Augustan age, in which 
Virgil sang his regret for some hero because ''he lacked 
a consecrated minstrel" to keep his fame alive in verse 
and song. 

To meet and neutralize these objections the practice 
was developed in which the Secretary reports for record 
in the minutes of the Council the losses by death since 
its last meeting and similarly records the names in the 
proceedings of the Society at its conventions. The 
Council orders the preparation of a memorial notice by 
the Society and its publication in The Journal, or the 
Transactions, or both. The Secretary is editorially re- 
sponsible for the contents of such memorial, in order that 
it may confine itself mainly to matters of professional 
achievement, and may avoid eulogy or panegyric as 
respects the personal or social qualities; but he is ex- 
pected to get all possible help from a member's pro- 
posers, or business associates or from the family. Ex- 
ception is made, however, to this general rule in the case 
of Honorary Members and Past-Presidents of the So- 
ciety. These have been placed in positions of honor and 
distinction in the Society by formal vote of its members 
electing them thereto, and it is proper that their death 
and their achievements should be more distinctively 
recognized. Their memorials are monographs prepared 
by some qualified person and are illustrated with por- 
traits. It must still remain in days of concerted achieve- 
ment of many minds in one undertaking, that the history 
of a single personality will often be the professional 
history of scientific progress in any age or in any line. 
These memorial notices are the place to record such 
personal connection with acts and decisions now matters 
of general information, and will be found of greatest 
value for these reasons. They should be continuously 
maintained in the life of the Society. 



CHAPTER V 

Standing Committees of the Society 

It has already been stated that in the first fourteen 
years of the Society's history the Secretary was the 
prime minister as well as the executive of the Council. 
The initiative and most of the details lay in his hands 
and his ability and energy conditioned to a great de- 
gree the extent and variety of the Society's work. It 
was obvious, however, that to relieve the Secretary of the 
burdens of responsibility there ought to be administra- 
tive committees to oversee his work and assume some 
responsibility for it. The two committees appointed to 
this end were the Finance and the Publication Commit- 
tees and, in the earlier and simpler days, these were 
enough. 

The Finance Committee had the burden of making 
expenditure correspond to income. It prepared the 
budget for the year on the basis of expected income, and 
the Treasurer demanded the signature of the Chairman 
of the Finance Committee on every bill before he con- 
sidered himself authorized to pay it. The Council ap- 
proved the budget of the Finance Committee and the 
Secretary incurred expenses under the appropriations so 
approved. There was never any surplus in income over 
expenditures calling for a deliberation of the Finance 
Committee as to its disposal. The Treasurer drew a 
check for each individual bill. The Secretary advanced 
the petty cash necessary for office operations out of his 
own funds and presented a reimbursing voucher at 
proper intervals. The bookkeeping was of the simplest 
elementary type. 

The Publication Committee was responsible for the 
approval of the papers which had been secured by the 

70 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 71 

Secretary. It was responsible for the quality of that 
which appeared in the Transactions and everything 
which it accepted as of adequate quality was read at the 
meetings and published in the volume of Transactions. 
The Secretary was the editor and the committee was only 
called in on editorial questions when for any reason it 
was desirable that he should be protected by an imper- 
sonal action from the wrath of contributors. Circulars 
were issued by the Secretary at intervals to ask for topics 
on which papers would be found of interest and any sug- 
gestion in a debate which revealed an available storage 
house of information was at once seized on in corre- 
spondence. 

In 1885 the first further development of standing 
committees to be created was the Library Committee, but 
for many years after its formation there were no funds 
for it to spend and its activities were limited to a general 
oversight of the problem of extending the list of ex- 
changes. It took a new lease of life and activity when 
the Society moved in 1889 to the new building of the 
Mott Memorial Library and again in 1890 into a build- 
ing with an available library area. The Library Com- 
mittee, however, was soon merged as respects its ac- 
tivity, into the work of the Mechanical Engineers' 
Library Association Board and the latter discharged the 
duties of a Society Library Committee, until the move 
was made to the great Engineering Societies Building in 
1906-1907. 

The fourth standing committee became necessary 
when the Society moved in 1890 to its building at 12 West 
Thirty-First Street. The House Committee was then 
created to plan the expenditure and to carry the re- 
sponsibility for the increased activities when the So- 
ciety occupied its own house. This House Committee 
was in charge of any reunions of members and the care 
and supervision over such decorative and historic ma- 
terial as the possession of a Society House made it pos- 
sible to receive and exhibit. All these committees were 
newly appointed by the President on assuming oflfice, but 



72 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

ordinarily an effective and faithful man would be re- 
tained from year to year. Mr. Stephen W. Baldwin, for 
example, was Chairman of the Finance Committee of the 
Society for eighteen years. Major Wm. H. Wiley was 
Chairman of the Publication Committee for nearly as 
many years. 

The re-organization of internal activities of the So- 
ciety which took place in 1904 was the result of the 
change of policy which was made at that time whereby 
the interest and energy of members of the Society could 
be enlisted in the conduct of its affairs by making them 
members of Standing Committees, which should be truly 
legislative and deliberative bodies under the supervising 
authority of the Council. This multiplied the agencies 
for Society work centering in the Secretary's office and 
the powers and energies formerly at work there. The 
new policies were built upon the foundation of the old, 
or greatly extended as a growing importance of their 
work made necessary. A new committee was created to 
discharge some of the old activities of the Publication 
Committee and to take on many functions which the 
Secretary had previously exercised under the general au- 
thority of his office. The existing four committees were 
retained with extended activities. 

The name Committee on Meetings was assigned to the 
new committee. Its duties were to obtain the papers for 
presentation at meetings and to pass upon their accepta- 
bility. The duty of deciding after presentation and dis- 
cussion at the meetings upon what papers and discussion 
should be worthy of permanent record in the Transac- 
tions of the Society was put in the hands of the Publica- 
tion Committee. The Committee on Meetings was also 
made the responsible agency with respect to the program 
of the meetings, not only as regards the papers and their 
assignment of place and time but also of details as to 
visits, excursions and side trips. All matters which were 
germane to the function of a Standing Committee were to 
be handled in the committee before they came up to the 
Council for consideration, if the latter took place at all. 




DENT 1887 /"^ >^ ^^S^ 



iE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



I 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 73 

The committee on Meetings soon found that it was 
the most heavily burdened Standing Committee of them 
all. The volume of papers increased, and presently addi- 
tional meetings of local groups of members and of sec- 
tions of the Society organized along professional or other 
lines contributed to the volume of papers to be scrutin- 
ized by the Committee on Meetings before they were read 
at any meeting. The philosophy of having the Commit- 
tee on Meetings pass on papers before they were read, 
and the Publication Committee pass again on the same 
papers after they were read, with a view to deciding 
which were of permanent value for record in the Trans- 
actions and which papers the Society could afford then to 
publish, was designed to secure a sort of bi-cameral con- 
sideration. The practical working of the system brought 
about confusion and did not save printing expenses, be- 
cause under the system of advance publication and dis- 
tribution of papers, the real expense connected with any 
paper was ordered by the Committee on Meetings, and 
if the Publication Committee decided adversely on the 
publication for permanent record, the cost of composi- 
tion of the paper for the meeting was lost. Later, legisla- 
tion by amendment to By-Laws made the Publication 
Committee responsible for all printing contracts as an 
administrative philosophy and the Committee on Meet- 
ings became more a committee on Program. The Publica- 
tion Committee took over all decisions as to the appear- 
ance of papers in The Journal of the Society and as- 
sumed the responsibility for the printing and issuing of 
the Society's Year Book and all pamphlets. 

When the Society moved to the Engineering Societies 
Building in 1906-1907, the Mechanical Engineers Library 
Association was discontinued and with that step the op- 
portunity occurred for service by the Library Commit- 
tee of the Society. There were not enough funds avail- 
able for the extension of the Library for the first few 
years by reason of the intense and insistent demand for 
expenditure in other directions on the entry into the new 
home. In 1908 the first movement towards federating 



74 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

the libraries of the Mechanical, Electrical and Mining 
Engineers took place, and in 1914 the Trustees of the 
United Engineering Society created a Library Board for 
the administrative and other activities of the combined 
library and the members of the Library Committee of 
the Society became its representatives on the Library 
Board. 

The Constitution of 1904 gave legal existence to the 
committee which had previously been a committee of the 
Council to consider applications for membership in the 
Society and report their recommendations to the Council. 
During periods of considerable activity and rapid in- 
crease in the Society's membership, this Committee has 
also been one which made great demands upon those who 
served upon it. They had under their control the broad 
question of the quality of members elected to the So- 
ciety and exercised great care in the discharge of their 
functions. 

By later legislation and to meet what appeared to be 
wise demands, a provision was made in the Constitution 
and By-Laws for the appointment of a Research Com- 
mittee, a Public Relations Committee, a Committee on 
Constitution and By-Laws and a Standardization Com- 
mittee. The Research Committee is designed to be a 
general supervising body or clearing house with respect 
to investigations by experiment or otherwise. It is in- 
tended to correspond and collaborate with committees of 
a kindred spirit in other societies, in order to prevent the 
unnecessary duplication of work. It is supposed to keep 
in touch with researches conducted in other countries and 
to arrange that fields of research in which there are few 
laborers shall be opened for the advancement of knowl- 
edge in those directions. It is not intended to be a com- 
mittee for the conduct of research in the laboratory or 
elsewhere, but to cooperate and direct such research by 
experts competent to undertake them. It is the wish and 
expectation that the Committee on Research shall main- 
tain a system of announcements of the results of re- 
search in The Journal or Transactions, and gifts or be- 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 75 

quests to this end would be administered under the com- 
mittee control. 

The Public Relations Committee is intended to be the 
channel whereby a knowledge of engineering and tech- 
nical questions can be made available and serviceable to 
the general public. A modern civilization comes into such 
intimate contact with the activities of the engineer that 
the duty of the engineer in securing effective coordina 
tion between the engineer and the public seems an im- 
portant feature of Society activity. 

The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws is a 
legalization and a recognition of a committee which had 
been in existence since 1904 to consider and report on 
proposed amendments, which might originate in the So- 
ciety at large or which might grow up in the needs and 
the development of the Society's work. Its prime re- 
quirement is familiarity with different parts of the exist- 
ing legislation so that confusion and contradiction shall 
be avoided, and so that an adequate consideration of 
new proposals may be secured before they come up for 
action. 

The Committee on Standardization is intended to do 
for the general trend towards the creation of individual 
standards what the Research Committee seeks to do for 
investigation and research. It is to consider what 
standards are called for or will be improvements over 
existing conditions and to prevent confusion and con 
tradiction in standards originating from various sources. 
It is not supposed to create standards by its own action 
but rather to be the channel through which proposed 
standards shall be considered in their relations to others. 

A diagram will be of interest showing the normal 
growth of the Society in numbers and the accelerated rate 
since a permanent Committee on Increase of Membership 
began its actice service. 



76 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 




suaaMaN ^o uaaNON 



CHAPTER VI 

Presidents op the Society. Some Significant 
Administbations 

It has been noted in a previous chapter that there is 
usually some individual or personality behind an event 
or an achievement, so that history is often written in 
terms of a reign or dynasty. So in a Society, many sig- 
nificant steps may be attached to the service of an office- 
bearer ; and the Society history be viewed in the light of 
the individuals who have served it. 

The offices in the Society have been the Presidency, 
the Vice-Presidencies, and the positions of Manager, 
Treasurer and Secretary. The officers form the Council 
of the Society, who are its Board of Directors, trustees 
of its property and responsible for its policy and con- 
duct. The officers are elected by vote of the membership 
on nomination by a Nominating Committee of the So- 
ciety, with the exception of the Secretary, who is elected 
by the Council, and for reasons discussed elsewhere. The 
five surviving Past-Presidents who have been most re- 
cently in office are voting members of the Council, under 
a policy which assumes these men to be most active and 
familiar and interested in Society affairs, and enabled by 
this familiarity to be effective also in carrying forward 
policies which they may have initiated. At one time all 
the Past-Presidents were members of Council; but as 
the list grew with the years this plan was thought to be 
unwise as offering a danger lest elected officers in any 
year be overshadowed numerically by the numbers and 
weight of persons not in office, and a danger of a perpetu- 
ated ring-rule be threatened. 

The President in the early years was eligible to an 
immediate reelection, but later he was also put in the 

77 



78 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

class of the other officers who are not eligible to a second 
term on the expiration of their first. The early policy 
recognized the fact that a President who came to his 
office unfamiliar with its duties would be much more 
efficient and serviceable in his second year than he was 
for his first. The change was due to the increasing 
amount of available presidential material in the Society, 
and the wisdom of giving the honor and privilege of 
office to a wide range of the membership. 

The following list shows the names of those whom the 
Society nominated and elected as Presidents: 

Alexander L. HoUey, Chairman of the Meeting for Organization of The 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers 

Died January 29, 1882 

PRESIDENTS 

1 R. H. Thurston 1880-1882 Died October 25, 1903 

2 E. D, Leavitt 1883 Cambridge, Mass. 

3 John E. Sweet 1884 Syracuse, N. Y. 

4 J. F. HOLLOWAY 1885 Died September 1, 1896 

5 Coleman Sellers 1886 Died December 28, 1907 

6 George H. Babcock 1887 Died December 16, 1893 

7 Horace See 1888 Died December 14, 1909 

8 Henry R, Towne 1889 New York, N. Y. 

9 Oberlin Smith 1890 Bridgeton, N. J. 

10 Robert W, Hunt 1891 Chicago, 111. 

11 Charles H. Loring 1892 Died February 5, 1907 

12 EcKLEY B. CoxE 1893 -1894 Died May 13, 1895 

13 E. F, C, Davis 1895 Died August 6, 1895 

14 Charles E. Billings 1895 Hartford, Conn. 

15 John Fritz 1896 Died February 13, 1913 

16 Worcester R. Warner 1897 Cleveland, O. 

17 Charles Wallace Hunt 1898 Died March 27, 1911 

18 George W. Melville 1899 Died March 17, 1912 

19 Charles H. Morgan 1900 Died January 10, 1911 

20 S. T. Wellman 1901 Cleveland, O. 

21 Edvtin Reynolds 1902 Died February 19, 1909 

22 James M. Dodge 1903 Philadelphia, Pa. 

23 Ambrose Swasey 1904 Cleveland, O. 

24 John R. Freeman 1905 Providence, R. I. 

25 F. W. Taylor 1906 Died March 21, 1915 

26 F. R. HuTTON 1907 New York, N. Y. 

27 M. L. HoLMAN 1908 St. Louis, Mo. 

28 Jesse M. Smith 1909 New York, N. Y. 

29 George Westinghouse 1910 Died March 12, 1914 

30 E. D. Meier 1911 Died December 15, 1914 

31 Alex. C. Humphreys 1912 New York, N. Y. 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 79 

32 W. F, M. Goss 1913 Urbana, 111. 

33 James Hartness 1914 Springfield, Vt. 

34 John A. Brasheae 1915 Pittsburgh, Pa. 

It may be interesting to note that of these persons 
four, Nos. 1, 26, 31, 32 have been chosen from the edu- 
cator class; six, Nos. 0, 2, 10, 24, 25, 28, from the con- 
sulting office practitioner and engineer or the independ- 
ent designer class ; twenty- three, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 33, 34, are 
from the manufacturer or works owner and manager 
class of producing engineer attaching to a corporation; 
three, Nos. 7, 11 and 18, are marine engineers. The pre- 
dominance of the works manager type seems to point to 
the principle in American engineering practice that the 
same qualities which lead to eminence in engineering 
production are the ones which make their possessors 
wise choices for leadership in other directions. Mr. 
Alexander L. Holley has been added to the official list 
above, because he did the work of a President of the So- 
ciety prior to its first formal election, and strenuously 
and positively declined the unanimous nomination to the 
office of first President on the ground of his unwilling- 
ness and fancied inability to meet some of the require- 
ments of that formative year, and himself urged Dr. 
Thurston's election as a more fitting choice. 

The following may then be presented as a brief sum- 
mary of the histories of the Presidents and of the dis- 
tinguishing facts of Society history under their ad- 
ministrations : 

Alexander L. Holley. Served previous to 1880. Pre- 
sided at preliminary meeting, 1880, and would have pre- 
sided at the organization meeting had he been able to be 
present. Drafted first by-laws, first nomination of 
officers, active in getting first papers, and formulating 
initial policies. Engineer for Bessemer Steel Associa- 
tion, designer of types of American Bessemer steel 
plants machinery and details. Made Honorary Member 
in Perpetuity on his death in 1882. His presidential ad- 
dress was entitled The Field of Mechanical Engineering. 



80 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

It covered the mechanical basis for production in all 
lines and arts of the present civilization. The advan- 
tages attaching to such a Society as respects diffusion 
and record of knowledge, acquaintanceship, the educa- 
tional value of the practice of writing papers, and the 
significance of membership in it, and certain details as 
to qualifications and standards of membership, were also 
covered. He was a most acceptable occasional speaker, 
at dinners and elsewhere, and an attractive personality. 
A monument to his memory was erected by members of 
the engineering societies and others in Washington 
Square in New York City in 1890. 

Prof. Robert H. Thurston. Served 1880-1881 and 
1881-1882. Presided at first New York, Hartford, Al- 
toona, second New York and Philadelphia and third New 
York meetings. Under him Mr. Lycurgus B. Moore was 
both Secretary and Treasurer, and later Treasurer only 
at his own request, when Mr. Thomas Whiteside Rae was 
chosen Secretary. The Society had no office at this time, 
but that of the President or Secretary. The diploma, 
badge and introduction card were created under Thurs- 
ton; the papers were read in manuscript, illustrated by 
wall diagrams. Mr. R. W. Ryan, who had reported 
meetings of railway associations, was secured as stenog- 
rapher and served through many administrations. Much 
of early Society policy and practice was created during 
Dr. Thurston's two terms. Mr. Moore asked to be re- 
lieved of his duties as Treasurer at the end of that time, 
and Mr. Charles W. Copeland was chosen Treasurer. 
Professor Thurston's two presidential addresses covered 
recent progress in mechanical engineering. He empha- 
sized the fact that the American iron furnaces were mak- 
ing 2,000,000 tons of pig iron per annum, this comparing 
curiously with the output of more than 25,000,000 tons 
for the year 1906, and also that he felt justified in stating 
that the compound steam engine had not yet definitely es- 
tablished itself as superior in economy to the single 
cylinder engine. He also remarked that ''steam pressure 
has gradually and steadily risen since the time of Watt, 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 81 

until to-day 75 pounds per square inch is usual, and 90 
pounds is often adopted." He noticed the fact that the 
'*iron was slowly but steadily and inevitably being dis- 
placed by steel," and also ''that the feature of recent 
progress in engineering, which is attracting most atten- 
tion, and awakening the most interest in the public mind, 
is the introduction of machine made electricity. ' ' 

In the discussions it also appeared that the most 
powerful engines then projected were those of the steam- 
ship, City of Rome, the latest development in trans- 
Atlantic steamers at that time being the City of Berlin, 
upon which vessel, by the way, many of the members of 
the Society returned from Europe after the memorable 
trip of 1889. Both of these vessels are long since out of 
service. High-pressure steam with multiple-stage ex- 
pansion was then under discussion, and a small vessel, 
the Anthracite, had crossed the ocean with sectional 
boilers. The economy of the new principle was dis- 
cussed, and what had been done in many engineering 
fields. His second address again mentions iron as being 
''fairly displaced by its younger rival, mild steel," and 
refers to the Forth Bridge as one of the great engineer- 
ing projects in contemplation. The development of the 
roller mill as a substitute of the buhr stone for the grind- 
ing of flour is mentioned as worthy of note, as well as the 
progress of the grain elevator system for handling grain. 

Especially interesting, however, is the reference to 
what he termed "the last established branch of our pro- 
fession. Electrical Engineering." 

Speaking of this novel subject he says : 

"We find ourselves still in the midst of a revolution, 
the progress of which we are all watching with unusual 
interest, the displacement of our older methods of 
supplying light and power by a new system, which but 
lately was but the toy of science, and which comes out of 
the least utilitarian of all branches of pure physics. 
Brush has set up his blazing sunlike arc lights in nearly 
every large city of the world; Edison has spread a net- 
work of conductors throughout the most densely settled 



82 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

parts of New York City, distributing many thousands of 
his clear, mellow lights to send their soft white rays 
into corners never yet revealed by the feebler yellow 
light which they displace. It remains to be learned what 
is to be the cost of the new method of illumination; no 
figures that I consider wholly reliable have yet been 
given. It seems sufficiently certain, however, that the 
arc light is much more economical than gas — the same 
quantity of light being demanded — for the illumination 
of streets, public squares and large interiors, while in- 
terior illumination by incandescent lamps is still gen- 
erally more costly than any other usual method." 

Speaking of progress in marine engineering, he refers 
to the fact that the record holder of the day, the Alaska, 
was *' making 18 knots regularly, closely followed by the 
Ar?iJona, and the Servia in this wonderful performance. ' ' 

''Nature rarely turns a sharp corner in any of her 
great movements. . . . It is from us, if from any body 
of men, that the world should expect a complete and 
thoroughly satisfactory practical solution of the so-called 
labor problem. . . . The elements of social economy 
are yet to become known to our people ; the most obvious 
principles of statesmanship are yet to be learned by our 
legislators, and we have still to look forward to a time 
when our men of business and our working people shall 
be fairly and respectfully considered by those who direct 
public policy. . . . 

''Such bodies as this must aid our legislative as- 
semblies in developing a Scheme of Industrial Organiza- 
tion that shall exhibit highest possible efficiency — one 
that will prepare the children and youth of the country 
to enter upon lives of maximum usefulness, and to do the 
work that may be given them to do with ease and com- 
fort while, at the same time, aiding them to attain health, 
happiness and content, even if not independence and 
wealth." 

The author speaks for a "common school system of 
general education, which shall give all young children 
tuition in the three studies which are the foundation of 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 83 

all education, and which shall be administered under 
compulsory law." 

Professor Thurston was the first professor of me- 
chanical engineering in the then quite young Stevens 
Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N. J. He won fame 
as an engineer in the Navy, as instructor at the U. S. 
Naval Academy, and in the field of consulting practice. 
He designed a testing machine for materials and for oil 
friction and built up a mechanical laboratory. He was 
the author of textbooks on boilers, engines, lubricants and 
materials of construction. Later he went to Cornell 
University to do as Director of Sibley College what he 
had done for Stevens Institute. He was a ready speaker 
and had always something to say which was worth while. 
He made an ideal president for the first two years. A 
bronze memorial was erected in 1911 to Professor Thurs- 
ton in the foyer of the Society floor in the Engineering 
Building, as the first President of the Society. Nothing 
illustrates more graphically his charming spirit than 
the story which he has told of himself and his early 
employment in a drafting room in his home city of 
Providence, R. I. He had laboriously designed an engine 
dietail by careful attention to formula and by mathe- 
matical computation of stresses in relation to material. 
He then presented his finished achievement to the old 
chief draftsman under whom he was working. The 
veteran looked accusingly at the tyro over his steel 
rimmed spectacles and heaving a deep sigh said, "Bob, 
I am afraid you are over-educated. ' ' 

The first and second volumes of papers were issued 
under Thurston. They were printed by Sherman and 
Company of Philadelphia and the first edition of the first 
volume was made up by pamphlets bound together, not 
paged or indexed and in paper covers only. Volume II 
was better edited and was paged but not indexed. 

E. D. Leavitt of Cambridge, Mass., served during 
1882-1883. This was a very critical time in the life of 
the Society. The moneys received in initiation fees of new 
members had been treated as available current income. 



84 THE AMBEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

This had not only made the total of the latter sum de- 
ceptive but worse than that, it had all been spent. The 
moderate dues of $10 a year only met the requirements 
of the Society for publications alone, when handled with 
the greatest economy. Dues were not easy to collect in 
quantities at one time, so as to meet the bills which had 
been incurred from time to time. The Secretary was 
receiving no salary and the office rent of the Society 
was provided by reason of the relations of the Secretary 
to Mr. Henry R. Worthington. Economies were difficult 
and distasteful to the Secretary and for this and other 
reasons he was not reelected by the Council on Mr. 
Leavitt's assuming office; but instead a committee was 
appointed to consider the problem confronting the So- 
ciety and report a nomination to the Council. 

The late Alfred E. Wolff was earnestly favored by 
President Morton of Stevens Institute, and Messrs. 
Allan Stirling and the late James C. Bayles and Charles 
T. Porter were active in advocating adjunct-professor 
Frederick R. Hutton, an assistant to Prof. Wm. P. Trow- 
bridge of Columbia University. The Council elected 
Professor Hutton in March 1883, and a long term of 
active development of the Society was then begun. The 
Secretary's salary and allotment for his expenses was 
set at one thousand dollars, and out of this he must meet 
his office rent, and any clerk-hire he might need to em- 
ploy. The Secretary hired an office in the then Smith 
Building at 17 Cortlandt Street, on the street to the 
railway ferries of that day. The first Council meeting 
was held in late March and the Council had its first 
experience with a docket of business to be transacted. 

Mr. Leavitt's first meeting was the very successful 
Cleveland meeting, at which for the first time the papers 
to be read were furnished to members, and particularly 
to the technical press on printers ' galleys. The illustra- 
tions were on separate sheets from the cuts made from 
authors' originals, by the then somewhat new wax pro- 
cess of drawing and subsequent electro-deposition. A 
feeling seemed prevalent that the tide had turned under 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 85 

Mr. Leavitt's presidency. He had also the Annual 
Meeting of that year, the papers being read in the rooms 
of the American Society of Civil Engineers, at 127 East 
23rd Street, on the north side, by courteous invitation 
of that Society. The West Shore Railway had just been 
finished but was not open to public use; and by invita- 
tion of the late R. H. Soule, its superintendent of motive 
power, an excursion over its line was a feature of the 
meeting. The Society was also the guest of the Yale 
& Towne Manufacturing Company of Stamford, in- 
specting not only the works in general, but in particular 
the working and accuracy of a vertical Albert H. Emery 
testing machine, then a product of that establishment. 

Mr. Leavitt was the designer of waterworks pump- 
ing engines of noteworthy economy at Lynn and at 
Lawrence, and at the date of his presidency was active 
in designing the great machinery for the Calumet and 
Hecla Copper Mining Company on Lake Superior. The 
magnitude of the quantities involved made economy in 
first cost of secondary consequence, and the Leavitt 
engines have been notable monuments of design in their 
class. Mr. Leavitt was also at work on the big engines 
for the sewage pumping operation of the City of Boston. 
His designs were contracted for by constructing com- 
panies, and his office was the training school for many 
engineers who have grown to eminence after leaving him. 
Training in the Leavitt and Corliss drawing offices was a 
passport to favorable consideration for young engineers 
in New England. 

Mr. Leavitt delivered no presidential address while 
in office. 

He positively declined a second term on the principle 
elsewhere referred to, that the honor of office should be 
widely conferred, even at a loss of the possible greater 
effectiveness which might be secured by longer service. 

Prof. John E. Sweet served in 1883-1884 at meetings 
in Pittsburgh and New York. Professor Sweet was per- 
suaded to accept office only with the greatest difficulty. 
He had been so effective and interested in starting the So- 



86 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

ciety, he had presented its first formal paper on Fric- 
tion as a Factor in Motive Power Expenses, and his 
novel and ingenious work in engine design, coming after 
his splendid work in the instruction shops of Cornell 
University, made him an obvious and early choice for 
the presidency. The tenor of his presidential address 
was a contrast between the achievements of literature as 
a world builder and those of science and mechanics. 

The educated portion of the world look upon a book 
not merely as so much paper and printing and binding, 
but as the thoughtful work of the author, while the same 
class almost universally look upon a machine as so much 
wood and iron, running their minds forward to what it 
does, and how much it will save, and what the patent is 
worth, rather than backward to the brain work of its 
author. 

Gaging the value of the thing on the democratic prin- 
ciple of the greatest good to the greatest number, the in- 
ventors of agricultural machinery will have few rivals. 
. . . ''May the time come when we shall have a 
museum in which there shall be gathered the finest speci- 
mens of workmanship with the masterpieces of our great 
engineers. . . . Let us hope that if the high tide of 
human progress is sweeping on toward a more useful 
education, that the day may not be far away when he 
who knows what to do and how to do it will be regarded 
as the equal of him who only knows what has been done 
and who did it." 

Professor Sweet's administration was one of quiet 
and effective progress. The Society assumed the burden 
of paying the rent for its office. The printing contract 
was transferred from Philadelphia to the house of J. J. 
Little and Company of- New York. Professor Sweet also 
presided at the first meeting of the Society to be held in 
the assembly hall of the New York Academy of Medicine 
at 12 West 31st Street. This building was later the 
home of the Society but at this time it was leased for 
the sessions only. Mr. Horatio Allen, who had run the 
first purchased locomotive in the United States in 1830 



A HISTOBY OP THE SOCIETY 87 

at Honesdale on the Delaware and Hudson Eailway, an 
Honorary Member of the Society, was present at a meet- 
ing in Professor Sweet's presidency and occupied by in- 
vitation a seat on the platform. 

It was at the end of Professor Sweet's presidency 
that a most considerable change in Society administra- 
tion was eifected. The collection of dues and other in- 
come had hitherto been done by the Treasurer 's office and 
through his clerk who was moderately salaried by the 
Society for his services through an allowance made to 
the Treasurer. This plan meant double work for the 
Secretary's office in keeping the Treasurer fully informed 
of changes in address, reasonably great chances for 
error, double visits by members desiring to pay dues in 
cash when they visited Society headquarters, and 
cumbrous administration generally, because books of 
account were in the Treasurer's office when the Council 
desired first hand knowledge at their meetings in that of 
the Secretary. 

The Finance Committee urged the plan of directing 
the Secretary to collect income, and keep the members' 
ledger or register, turning over collections in gross once 
a month to the Treasurer and relieving him and his 
office of all clerical detail except that of depositing a 
monthly check, and of drawing checks once a month 
for the payment of approved vouchers. This plan 
was not favored by the Treasurer, but to relieve him 
from any embarrassment he was put in nomination for 
the Vice-Presidency, a promotion which his long and de- 
voted service to the profession and to the Society well 
merited, and Major William H. Wiley, who had been 
chairman of the Finance Committee, and an advocate of 
the more economical policy was nominated as Treasurer- 
He has been regularly nominated and elected for the 
period of thirty years, which has since elapsed, and the 
policy he favored has- been extended and amplified easily 
with the later growth of the Society. The Treasurer is 
the key in Society policy, by which alone can the treasury 



88 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

of the Society be unlocked ; but the door opens inwards to 
receive income with the least burden to him. 

J. F. Holloway. Served 1884-1885 and presided at the 
Atlantic City and at the sixth Annual Meeting held in 
Boston, Mass. Mr. Holloway had been the moving force 
in the successful meeting of the Society in Cleveland. 
Ohio, in 1883, and his position as a designer and builder 
and works manager as proprietor of the Cuyahoga 
Works made him a fitting choice. He later came to New 
York as an engineer for Henry R. Worthington, which 
later was developed into the International Pump Com- 
pany. His administration initiated a policy of having 
the Annual or December Meeting of the Society, of which 
the election of officers is the legal requirement, swing in 
succession through the cities of New York, Boston and 
Philadelphia. The advantage of a New York stated 
meeting and some changes in the laws of corporations 
which made the election compulsory within the state of 
the incorporation, have made New York City the 
city automatically selected for that meeting since these 
causes became operative. Mr. Holloway *s presidency 
saw also the beginning of the definite movement to 
create a library of reference and of transactions of 
societies and technical periodicals. Mr. Henry R. Towne 
reported the success of the plan of a small voluntary 
increase of the dues ($2) for library uses, and this plan 
was continued until the special contribution was 
absorbed in a larger movement in which the need for 
housing the library was also a feature. The idea of a 
joint library building was specifically advocated in Mr. 
Holloway 's administration in 1885. Mr. Holloway 's 
presidential address, delivered in an assembly hall of the 
Institute of Technology in Boston under the title of The 
Mechanical Engineer, his Position and his Mission, says : 

''While it is true that scientific and technical training 
is, and must ever be, of great advantage to the me- 
chanical engineer there is yet another source from which, 
after all, he will derive by far the most benefit, and that 
is experience. Not necessarily his own experience, but 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 89 

the experience of others, and of all ages as well. And 
I know of no other way in which he can be so benefited 
and aided all through his life. 

''While none will question the value of the engineer 
in aiding the progress of the past, all, I think, agree that 
at no time in the history of the world was he so important 
a factor as he is to-day. Need I ask whose triumph has 
contributed most to the welfare of all the world — the 
generals who went over the Alps, or the engineers who 
went through them? Mont Cenis and St. Gothard 
answer. ' ' 

Mr. Holloway was a man of rare personal charm and 
geniality. His sympathy for the shy stranger at meet- 
ings where he knew no one, made him beloved of all to 
whose relief he went so unceasingly, mixing among the 
young newcomers and helping them to meet those whose 
acquaintance would be an inspiration. He was one of the 
projectors of the Engineers* Club as an organization to 
meet purely social needs, which has now grown to such 
important standing. Mr. Holloway spoke easily and 
often wittily. He started the practice of a few introduc- 
tory words before a paper was read; or he would ''get 
discussion off the center," as he expressed it, if its pre- 
sentation hung or lagged, by a brief stimulating com- 
ment. Under him was settled the policy that the Society 
does not "adopt" codes of procedure or other standards, 
but presents them, and by that procedure and the print- 
ing of them it recommends these to users and parties in- 
terested but without a compulsion. He was excelled by 
few Past-Presidents in his activity for the Society after 
his term expired ; he took the most profound interest in 
the movement to procure a house in 1890; and the So- 
ciety gave him the great honor of a special memorial 
session after his death in 1896. 

Coleman Sellers of Philadelphia, term of 1885-1886, 
did not take the chair at either the Chicago or New York 
seventh Annual Meetings, by reason of ill-health result- 
ing from a severe surgical operation. Mr. Henry R. 
Towne, as Vice-President, took his place. Mr. Sellers 



90 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

was one of America's most noted mechanical engineers 
in his field of creative design in machine tools and me- 
chanical construction. His firm brought over from 
England and advocated the flat-top shear or bed for 
lathes, and the worm-driven planer. They made early- 
traveling cranes and for many years a type of boiler 
feeding injector. The Sellers firm also effectively backed 
the standard form and proportions for threads and nuts 
for bolts. It was at the end of Mr. Towne's service as 
Vice-President that the original form of application 
blank for membership was radically modified and the 
large size replaced by the folded note size since in use, 
and that the form of reply blank for proposers was 
standardized. The standard of three proposers and two 
seconders for a candidate was changed to the require- 
ment of personal acquaintance by all five persons. It 
was also at the Chicago meeting in 1886 that the first 
trial was made of regulating the presentation and de- 
bate on papers so as to give every paper of a meeting a 
fair opportunity without crowding. The Society voted 
that the experiment was a success and these rules have 
been in use ever since with varying rigor as to their en- 
forcement. 

Mr. Sellers' annual address was presented in his 
absence, and was general in character. He said : "I invite 
your consideration of a variety of topics which appear 
to me germane to our organization. The engineer who 
counts cost as nothing as compared to the result, who 
holds himself above the consideration of dollars and 
cents, has missed his vocation. ... I am safe in 
saying that no profession requires a broader education 
than that of the mechanical engineer. He must be a 
physicist, a merchant, a lawyer, a chemist, and he should 
know how to express himself in his mother tongue and be 
master of the modern languages far enough to have ac- 
cess to the scientific publications of other countries. 
. . . The engineer must of necessity be a hard 
student; his school days never end . . . What will 
fit him to enter the workshop in better condition than 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 91 

now, will fit him better also for any other walk in life. 
. . . /Education which spoils a man for his work by- 
placing him above manual labor through false pride will 
continue to do him harm. Dissatisfied with the primary 
schools of the country, they should better prepare for 
the study to follow. In our schools we are cramming 
brains with what taxes the memory to the utmost, but 
which sends into our workshops boys who are themselves 
startled to find how little they know as compared to those 
who, almost ignorant of book learning, are wise in the 
knowledge of things about them and skilful in the use 
of their hands." The author approved of college sports 
which train eye and hand and strengthen muscles and 
develop manhood. 

George H. Babcock, term of 1886-1887, presided at the 
first Washington and at the second Philadelphia Meet- 
ings, which was also the eighth Annual Meeting. He is 
known as the builder of sectional safety boilers of the 
water tube type in connection with his early friend and 
fellow-townsman, Stephen Wilcox. He had also designed 
an isochronous engine governor which was used in en- 
gines of his building. He was a tall, rather spare man, 
with a splendid forehead and keen Yankee eyes and a 
very expressive and kindly smile. He was a conscientious 
upholder of the tenet that the seventh day of the week 
was the rest day by divine appointment, and his business 
week had therefore only five days in it. He never was in 
his office on Saturdays. 

His presidential address was a review of the achieve- 
ments of the engineer in the subjugation of the earth 
with iron, with the fuels, in tunneling, in irrigation, in 
developing the heat engine, in electrical transmission and 
last of all he asks. Shall we fly? and predicts that the 
reduction of weight in motors per unit of power is soon 
to make this possible. 

Horace See, whose term was of 1887-1888, presided at 
the Nashville Meeting, but was prevented by illness from 
attendance at Scranton for the ninth Annual Meeting in 
1888. Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury, as Vice-President, took 



92 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

Ms place. Mr. See was then connected with the 
Cramp Shipbuilding Company, and was recognized as 
the marine engineer and architect who first brought them 
fame. His annual address was presented the following 
spring at Erie and was a plea for productive education. 
The Scranton Meeting and the See administration were 
memorable for the visit to America of the President of 
the Institution of Mechanical Engineers of Great Britain 
and his invitation to the American Society to come in a 
body to London in 1889 on the way to a visit to the Ex- 
position in Paris, that coming year. Mr. Alfred B. 
Couch, dying this year, made it memorable by bequeath- 
ing his professional library to the Society. It was the 
foundation stone of the book department of the library 
and the earnest of later bequests to follow, 

Henry R. Towne was elected President at the Annual 
Meeting in December, 1888, and as such presided at the 
meeting in Erie, Pa., in 1889, and at the tenth Annual 
Meeting in New York, December 1889. 

Owing to the greatly regretted illness of Mr. Cole- 
man Sellers, during his term of office as President, 1885- 
1886, Mr. Towne as the senior Vice-President available, 
served as acting president at the Chicago meeting of May 
1886, and at the seventh Annual Meeting in New York, in 
November, 1886, at which latter meeting he received 
a vote of thanks from the Society for his services as act- 
ing President ''throughout the illness of President 
Coleman Sellers. ' ' At the Chicago meeting of May, 1886, 
the Rules for Debate, recommended by a committee 
consisting of Mr. Towne and Professor Hutton, were 
adopted and first put into effect, thereby making a 
radical change in the conduct of the Society's meetings. 
Previously each paper presented had been read in ex- 
tenso, usually by its author, and the debate thereon had 
been without restriction, the same member frequently 
speaking many times in the discussion of a single topic. 
Under the new rule, which the acting President enforced, 
all papers were printed in advance, and not more than 
five minutes allowed for the presentation of each. Dis- 



I 




/rL>\^^^~y'-~^ f\ ,^Z-t/-t><./-^'t/yr 



PRESIDENT 1889 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY ftS 

cussions submitted in writing were limited to ten minutes 
for presentation, and oral discussions limited to five 
minutes, no member being allowed to speak twice on the 
same subject, except by consent. Only those who can 
remember the conditions which prevailed before can ap- 
preciate the change thus wrought in the conduct of the 
meetings. The new rules were endorsed by the Chicago 
Meeting, and with few changes have continued in effect 
ever since. 

Mr. Towne's term of oflSce as President was sig- 
nalized by the visit of American engineers to Europe 
during the summer of 1889, on the invitation of the In- 
stitution of Civil Engineers of London, extended to the 
four national engineering societies of the United States, 
supplemented later by similar invitations from the en- 
gineering societies of France and Germany. (See 
Chapter XIV.) 

Early in 1889 it became apparent that so many mem- 
bers of this Society, including in many cases the ladies 
of their families, proposed to participate in the European 
trip as to justify special provision for their transporta- 
tion to Europe. Accordingly a conmdttee of this Society, 
organized for the purpose, chartered the entire passen- 
ger accommodation of the Steamship City of Richmond 
(then of the Inman Line), a special sailing being ar- 
ranged for the desired date. The facilities thus afforded 
were extended to and accepted by many members of the 
other three societies, the number finally participating 
being about three hundred. Other members of the 
party crossed on other steamers shortly after and joined 
the main body in England. 

During the voyage on the City of Richmond the visit- 
ing party created a temporary organization by electing 
Mr. Towne as its Chairman, thus recognizing the leader- 
ship of this Society in organizing the excursion, and Mr. 
Charles Kirchhoff, of the American Institute of Mining 
Engineers as its secretary. The service rendered by Mr. 
Towne in this unexpected and then novel field, through- 
out the European trip, proved acceptable to the whole 



94 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

membersMp of the party, and was fittingly and grace- 
fully acknowledged in resolutions adopted before its de- 
parture from England. In responding to the address of 
welcome of M. Eiffel, President of the Society des In- 
genieurs Civils of France, Mr. Towne was happily able to 
do so in the language of the hosts, whose hospitality was 
as unbounded as that which the party had received at the 
hands of its English hosts. 

Mr. Towne 's administration was also signalized by 
the removal of the Society's office from its earlier loca- 
tion in the Stewart Building at 280 Broadway, to the 
Mott Memorial Library building at 64 Madison Avenue, 
where the Society occupied the whole of the ground 
floor. The Society at this time employed its first 
stenographer and began the practice of having the 
Library open in the evenings. It is significant also 
that the Annual Meeting which closed Mr. Towne 's term 
as President was held in the auditorium of the Academy, 
of Medicine, 12 West 31st Street, in a building which 
was subsequently purchased by the Society and occupied 
by it continuously until the move to the present quarters 
in the Engineering Societies Building. 

Mr. Towne had been trained for his profession in 
the shops of I. P. Morris, Towne and Company, and of 
William Sellers & Company in Philadelphia, had been 
a student under the late Robert Briggs, C.E., and at 
the Sorbonne, Paris, and as one of the founders and 
president of the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Com- 
pany of Stamford, Conn., manufacturers of locks of 
every kind, builders' hardware, chain blocks, traveling 
cranes and testing machines, had had a wide experience 
in the field of mechanical engineering, and also in in- 
dustrial management. He was an enthusiastic student 
and experimenter in economic problems, in profit or gain 
sharing, and in piece and contract systems of com- 
pensating labor. His paper. The Engineer as an Econ- 
omist,^ is recognized as the earliest published discussion 



»TraiiB., vol, 7, p. 428. 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 95 

of what subsequently became known as scientific manage- 
ment, and was followed by a series of notable papers on 
these topics. His annual address as President in 1889, 
reviewed the excursion of the previous summer to 
England and France, discussed the obligation of the 
Society in regard to foreign engineers visiting this 
country during the approaching Columbian Exposition 
in Chicago in 1893, and also reviewed the affairs of 
the Society and its future. In the latter connection he 
said: **We are outgrowing our industrial childhood and 
are rapidly approaching a period where protection, 
which has done so much to foster our industries, is no 
longer needed to the same extent as in the past ; a recog- 
nition of which fact will in the near future enable us to 
enter in competition for the markets of the world on 
better terms than we have ever done before." 

Mr. Towne has been an enthusiastic supporter of ad- 
vanced methods in works management and has con- 
tributed several papers on this subject. In conjunction 
with the late Robert Briggs, he made an investigation 
of the subject of leather belting, the record of which was 
published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute in 
1867, the data in which were accepted generally until 
superseded by the later and more complete investiga- 
tions of Mr. Wilfred Lewis and others. For many years 
Mr. Towne took an active part in the affairs of the So- 
ciety and participated in the discussions relating to a 
wide range of topics. At the New York Meeting of De- 
cember 1901, he strenuously opposed the proposal to 
increase the annual dues, and submitted numerous facts 
and figures supporting his argument that, with proper 
management and accounting, the existing rate would 
amply suffice, the correctness of this view having since 
been fully demonstrated. Shortly afterwards, as an in- 
vited member of the Reorganization Committee, he was 
responsible for remodeling the accounting system on a 
basis since substantially maintained and found effective. 
Oberlin Smith, 1890, presided at the first Cincinnati 
and the eleventh Annual Meetings, held that year in 



96 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAIi ENGINEERS 

Richmond, Va. He had been a regular attendant at 
meetings and a frequent participant in discussions of 
papers. His administration was signalized by the pur- 
chase of the house at 12 West 31st Street, New York, in 
whose auditorium the meetings of the Society in New 
York had recently been held, and the creation of the 
Mechanical Engineers' Library Association to act as a 
holding corporation and as trustees for the real estate, 
to which reference will elsewhere be made in further 
detail (See Chapter XV). His term is memorable also 
for the efforts to finance the proposition to purchase the 
home for the Society, the arranging for co-tenants to 
share the financial burden of its operation so as not to 
impair the return from the Society to its non-resident 
members ; the controversy with one of these tenants and 
a legal controversy to dispossess them and the problem 
of furnishing and decorating the house and getting the 
library going. Mr. Smith's presidential address was 
a plea for the advancement of the engineering profession 
along lines of culture and personal refinement; and the 
inevitable consequence of ethical advance and in the in- 
fluence he could thus bring to bear not alone along pro- 
fessional lines but in all lines in which his training 
would fit him to serve. 

Robert W. Hunt, 1891, presided at the Providence 
and the twelfth Annual Meeting in New York City. He 
had been an associate with Mr. A. L. Holley at the 
Cambria and Troy Works and a co-worker of the Bes- 
semer steel industry of the earlier day. After some 
fifteen years of experience as manager of iron and steel 
works, he had opened an office in Chicago and organized 
the firm of Robert W. Hunt and Company, making a 
specialty of tests and inspection, first principally on iron 
and steel products and later for all classes of engineer- 
ing work. His annual address, on the Evolution of 
American Rolling Mills, was of the highest value both 
historically and technically. He referred of necessity 
in great fullness to the debt owing to Mr. John Fritz, 
later President and Honorary Member of the Society. 




PBES{DENT 1890 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OP THE SOCIETY 97 

Mr. Hunt was President during the first full year of 
occupancy by the Society of its own house, and this year 
was signalized by several special reunions of the 
members. The first of these was called shortly after the 
Richmond meeting and was made the occasion for the 
presentation to the Society of the first oil portrait of its 
gallery, the gift of the widow of Mr. Alexander L. 
Holley and showing her husband as he appeared in his 
prime at the time of founding the Society. The address 
of presentation was made by the late James C. Bayles. 
Another later reunion of that same winter saw the 
presentation of a similar portrait of Mr. Henry R. 
Worthington, founder of the Society, the gift of his son, 
Mr. Charles C. Worthington, painted by Miss Huger. 
Other meetings of that winter were centered around ad- 
dresses on Robert Fulton, the Growth of the Locomotive 
Engine; Electricity, previous to Gralvani, and Egypt, 
New and Old. Prof. Thomas Egleston also made this 
administration memorable by giving to the Society the 
historic dining table, once the property of Robert Fulton, 
who had given it to Dr. Egleston 's sister. The applica- 
tion form for membership was also again improved and 
the interpretation of the requirements for membership 
raised. 

But the most important action of Mr. Hunt's term 
was the increase of the dues of each grade of member- 
ship by $5 per annum, so that the members' dues were 
raised from $10 to $15 and the Juniors from $5 to $10, 
with an increase in the initiation fee from $15 to $25 
for new members and associates and for Juniors from 
$10 to $15. The matter had been carefully considered in 
the Council and full circulars of information had been 
sent by mail to all members with a reply postal for an 
expression and codification of the opinion of all. The 
affirmative opinion of 651 replies in 708 showed a very 
substantial concurrence in the validity of the reasons for 
the change, and a belief in the advantage of enlarging 
the scope of the work of the Society along various lines. 
The separate voluntary increase of dues for library de- 



98 THE AACEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

velopment was given up, and the Society assumed as a 
whole the duty of fostering this branch of its work as a 
stated factor of its budget. The viva voce vote on the 
question at the meeting was unanimous in its favor. In 
view of the great and important consequences which have 
flowed from the administrations of these two years they 
may be regarded as the most significant in the history 
of the Society, except only those of its first years, and 
those which marked the planning for the United Engi- 
neering Societies Building. 

Charles H. Loring, 1892, presided at the thirteenth 
Annual Meeting in New York, but at the San Francisco 
Meeting the chair was taken in his absence by Past- 
President R. W. Hunt and by Vice-President, Geo. I. 
Alden. He was the second representative of the marine 
engine specialization, and had been Engineer-in-Chief 
of the U. S. Navy and had won fame by his experiments 
on the economy of the compound type of engine with 
the late Charles E. Emery and after his retirement had 
been in consulting practice. His administration was 
signalized by the beginning of the purchase and gift 
on a large scale of the purchase money bonds issued for 
the cash payment on the house of the Society. Portraits 
of Geo. H. Corliss and of John C. Hoadley were added 
to the house collection, and local members subscribed for 
the purchase of an upright piano. The possession of 
this latter led to some musical evenings at the house 
parlors, in which choral singing from words on lantern 
slides, accompanied by Mr. A. H. Raynal with his violin, 
were features. An American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers' quartette also took part in glees and madri- 
gals. Other evening entertainments covered the Erics- 
son Monitor and her fortunes. These were purely local 
and were paid for by those participating in them. The 
Society bought some china and tableware for general 
use. 

This winter saw the entry of Mrs. Emma C. Griffin 
as librarian and house-matron in charge of the whole 
house, and the fitting up of certain top floor rooms for 



i 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 99 

transient use of members in the city. Mr. John Fritz 
on passing his seventieth birthday received a congratula- 
tory address from the Society. Mr. Loring's presi- 
dential address was a profound and scholarly treatment 
of the Debt of Civilization to the Steam Engine, in that 
it had replaced the productive energ>^ of the human slave 
which underlay the civilizations of antiquity by the tire- 
less power of the mechanical motor. Man had thereby 
been released for higher things and the development of 
his faculties, and the scope of production and of in- 
dustry measurelessly broadened. The world was, there- 
fore, the debtor of the engineer to a degree which it did 
not usually recognize nor reward. 

EcUley B. Coxe of Drifton, Pa., served the Society 
for two terms, in 1893 and in 1894. He was a man of 
magnificent presence, had served his State in its legis- 
lature, and was deeply interested in welfare work among 
his mining villages. He was an anthracite mine owner 
and operator and had served on the Pennsylvania State 
Commission, to report on the utilization of coal waste 
from its dumps. Educated for mining in Germany, he had 
translated Weisbach's Mechanics and it had gotten into 
quite general use as a text book. It was by reason of his 
personality and attainments that he was chosen to be 
the President for the year of the Columbian Exposition 
in Chicago, where an International Congress had been 
arranged where there would doubtless be many con- 
tinental engineers in attendance who spoke English 
perhaps with difficulty. He presided at the Chicago 
sessions of the Society, which were also the sessions of 
the mechanical section of the Congress, and at the four- 
teenth and fifteenth Annual Meetings in New York 
as well as at the Montreal Meeting in Canada in the 
spring of 1894. He presented only one annual address, 
at the close of his first term in 1893, on the Use of Small 
Sizes of Anthracite Coal for Generating Steam. This 
was based on his work as state commissioner, and re- 
ferred in detail to the methods of rapid analysis, in the 
laboratory. The Coxe administrations centered largely 



100 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

about the duties of the Society as respects the Congress 
and the foreign visitors. The Society cooperated in 
maintaining a headquarters for engineers at the Co- 
lumbian Exposition, both at 10 Van Buren Street in 
Chicago and on the grounds in the Mines and Mining 
Buildings. In its own house, the auditorium was cleared 
of chairs, and a very elaborate collection of trade 
catalogues and travelers' information circulars was col- 
lected and maintained all summer. Dr. Deghuee, a com- 
petent linguist, was put in charge, and the service and 
convenience were greatly appreciated. 

An oil painting of Dr. Eeuleaux, executed by Miss 
Suplee from original sittings, was presented to the So- 
ciety during the Coxe administration on behalf of Mr. 
Henry Harrison Suplee by Professor Thurston. 

The courtesies and entertainment given to the 
members of the Society of Civil Engineers of France 
should also be associated with Mr. Coxe's administra- 
tion. They came in a somewhat organized body with 
President and Secretary in September and October 
1893. The expense of entertaining this party on their 
arrival in New York and until they reached their destina- 
tion in Chicago was organized by the Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers and carried out through members of 
the party who had been entertained in 1889 in France. 
The Society centered the courtesies of the entertainment 
in New York around its building and that of the Engi- 
neers' Club, then in 29th Street west of Fifth Avenue. 
Stephen W. Baldwin and F. E. Hutton went down the 
bay as representatives of the Society to meet the French 
steamer in the early morning, and by courtesy of the 
quarantine officers of the port, were allowed to go aboard 
to greet the party and sail with them up the bay. A 
feature of that sail was the enthusiastic admiration of 
the French engineers of the port of New York. Ac- 
customed as they were to the conditions of a full rise 
of tide of twenty-six feet and the consequent necessity 
for dock basins, the simple and easy tying-up of great 
vessels to an open wharf and the consequent extent of 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 101 

hulls and masts visible from the river, brought to their 
lips wonder and admiration— *' quel commerce" as they 
phrased it. The Customs had also been approached by 
Mr. Baldwin to facilitate easy passage of the Customs 
routine. 

The rooms of the Society were fitted up with 
tourists' information circulars and catalogues. The Sun- 
day of their arrival was left for rest and Monday morn- 
ing for visits to their bankers. After lunching at the 
Engineers' Club, there were carriage drives in Central 
Park and along Kiverside Drive, for there were no motor 
vehicles in New York City at that time. On the next 
day a boat trip around the harbor and to the terminal 
of the Pennsylvania Railroad filled the day. In the 
evening the party was sent forward to Detroit, where 
they were under the care of Mr. Jesse M. Smith, chair- 
man of a local committee, and later to Chicago by special 
trains of reserved sleepers and dining cars. Special 
badges were made in silver for both guests and hosts, 
of which samples have been retained as souvenirs. The 
emblem was appropriately a reproduction of Bartholdi's 
Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor which had been 
a gift from the French people. 

It was on the harbor sail down the East River that 
the President of the French Society uttered the clever 
three-fold commendation of the Brooklyn (or Roebling) 
suspension bridge, which rose to the level of genius in 
criticism. As he viewed it from the distance where detail 
was not observable, he said. *'Ah, c'est beau (Ah, it 
is beautiful)." It appealed to his esthetic sense as 
suitable, graceful, and of good form. As he drew nearer, 
and could grasp the constructive detail, his second com- 
ment was, "C'est bien fait (It has been well executed)." 
The plans of its designer have been well carried out by 
its contractors and craftsmen who were bridge-builders 
by vocation. As he drew nearer still and passed under 
the bridge itself, his third and crowning comment was, 
"C'est bien etudi6 (It has been well thought out)." The 
brain and skill of the designer were revealed in the 



102 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

elaborate prevision of stress and the methods of meeting 
it, and the midnight oil had not been burned in vain in 
attaining the result. These three canons of criticism can 
be applied to art and literature, and to all other pro- 
cesses which result in an embodiment of thought in 
visible form. 

Mr. Coxe's second Annual Meeting in 1894 was the 
first at which the member's lapel button badge was put 
in operation to be used in connection with numbered lists 
of members in attendance. Amendments to the Rules 
created two classes of Associate members. It was in 1894 
that Mr. Forney introduced his notable motion, looking 
to the holding of New York local meetings of members. 

E. F. C. Davis, December 1894 to August 1895, pre- 
sided only at the first Detroit Meeting and was ac- 
cidentally killed while riding his horse in Central Park 
in midsummer. He was works manager for the C. W. 
Hunt Company of Staten Island, and had been a loco- 
motive builder with the Richmond Locomotive Works, 
and was very efficient at the time of the Richmond meet- 
ing in 1890. He was an enthusiastic amateur in photo- 
graphy and gave to the Society its first satisfactory pro- 
jection lantern and object lens, to supplement and re- 
place the Secretary's earlier solution of this need. The 
Davis lantern remained in use until the permanent and 
different equipments in the Engineering Building made 
them superfluous and the outfit was sold to the Tech- 
nical Laboratory of the Automobile Club of America 
for experimental purposes. On Mr. Davis's sudden 
death, a question of policy was brought up and settled, 
when a Past-President was urged as the proper in- 
cumbent ad interim until the succeeding election. It was 
the sense of the Council that a Vice-President was en- 
titled to the honor which went with the responsibility 
and obligation; but as there were always six Vice- 
Presidents in office at one time, to which should it go? 
This was decided by ballot at this time on the basis of 
practical availability, but later the principle was formu- 




RESIDENT 1691 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 108 

lated that the duty should attach to the Vice-President 
senior in age. 

Charles E. Billings of Hartford, Conn., 1895, was the 
choice to supply the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. 
Davis. He presided at the sixteenth Annual Meeting in 
New York. He chose as his presidential address the 
Modern Drop Press, calling attention to the fact that the 
Enfield rifle made in Vermont on the interchangeable or 
standing system had been in use in the United States 
before 1854 and drop hammers for gun forgings were 
first used by Colonel Colt in 1853. The paper was most 
complete and interesting. 

Monthly engineering meetings were held this year 
with discussions on the Gas Engine of that day, the 
Rapid Transit Problem in Large Cities, the Electric 
Motor in the Machine Shop, the Compound Locomotive 
and the "Water Works Engineering of New York. These 
were financed by those participating. This administra- 
tion was signalized by the gift to the Society by Miss 
Louisa Lee Schuyler, of the water color drawing of The 
Fulton, bearing Robert Fulton's autograph and the date 
1813; and the oil portrait by Ballin of Capt. John 
Ericsson. The model of the original Monitor, gift of 
Thomas F. Rowland, was attached to the portrait when 
exhibited at the Annual Meeting. 

John Fritz of Bethlehem, Pa., presided at the St. 
Louis Meeting and at the seventeenth Annual Meeting 
in New York, 1896. He had been engineer and creator 
of the great Bessemer steel works at South Bethlehem 
and later of its open-hearth and forging plants, the de- 
signer of its 125-ton steam hammer, and consulting 
engineer for the hydraulic compressed steel and armor 
and mandril forging plants and oil treatment and 
harveyizing departments. He was, moreover, a man of 
a wonderfully attractive personality, generous and self- 
immolating for the advantage of others. He had passed 
his seventieth birthday in 1892, four years before, but 
his modesty and self-depreciation had made him very 
difficult to persuade to accept honors. The Society made 



104 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

him an Honorary Member in 1900 and on his eightieth 
birthday in 1902 cooperated in creating the John Fritz 
Medal Fund to keep his name alive. He died in 1913 at 
the age of 91. 

His presidential address on the Progress of the 
Manufacture of Iron and Steel in America and the Re- 
lations of the Engineer to it, was a historic and technical 
review of the development of process and machinery, and 
was illustrated by a full size drawing of a modern ingot 
lathe with a gun jacket ingot under the tools. A hand 
tool, such as Mr. Fritz had used as an apprentice, was 
presented by him to the Society and is in its collections'. 
On his death in 1913, many other mementoes of his 
activity and his friendships reverted to the Society by 
action of his executors. 

The Society bore a hand during Mr. Fritz's ad- 
ministration in the effort to secure for the engineers of 
the U. S. Navy a recognition and precedence with proper 
titles, to which the importance of their service should 
entitle them. Mr. Holloway, Past-President, died during 
Mr. Fritz's presidency and a memorial session was held. 
The Society was asked by the superintendent of build- 
ings of New York City to appoint representatives for a 
movement to revise the engineering and constructional 
features of the City Building Code, to take account of 
the new conditions in steel structures. Mr. Francis H. 
Stillman presented a historic model of the first dudgeon 
hydraulic jack of a date of 1851. 

Worcester R. Warner of Cleveland, Ohio, presided at 
the second Hartford and at the eighteenth Annual Meet- 
ing in New York in 1897. His firm, the Warner and 
Swasey Company, was a builder of machine tools and 
optical specialties and the high class of special ma- 
chinery involved in the design and construction of astro- 
nomical telescopes and range-finders. His address 
treated the telescope considered historically and prac- 
tically, a topic on which its author is an authority. 

Charles Wallace Hunt presided at Niagara Falls and 
at the nineteenth Annual Meeting in New York in 1898. 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 105 

He was the designer and manufacturer of conveying 
machinery for docks and for ore and coal, an able but 
strict administrator, and a man of rare genial qualities. 
His administration was signalized by the successful ex- 
periment of trying to run a convention without the con- 
tributions of funds from a local membership and without 
a local committee of resident members. All features of 
the meeting were paid for by those attending them by the 
use of tickets sold by the Secretary's office at head- 
quarters, and no obligations were incurred or burdens 
entailed as respects the convention city. 

Mr. Hunt 's address was a broad consideration of The 
Engineer, his practice, his development, his field and 
scope of work, his researches, his ethics and the debt 
due to him, and to applied science of which he is the 
representative. It was during Mr. Hunt's presidency 
that friends of Mr. John Fritz, Past-President, pre- 
sented an oil portrait of him to the Society. 

Geo. W. Melville, Bear Admiral of the IJnited States 
Navy, presided at the second Washington and the 
twentieth Annual Meetings in New York in 1899. At the 
time of his election he was Engineer-in-Chief of the 
United States Navy, with an international reputation for 
his heroism on the Jeannette Arctic Expedition and for 
the excellency of the Navy machinery designed and built 
under his direction during his twelve years in office. It 
was his party who found the dead bodies of De Long and 
his comrades after tremendous endurance of the hard- 
ships of the Far North. He was a splendid military 
figure with long, prematurely whitened hair, the result 
doubtless of the exposures and stresses of those earlier 
achievements. The magnificent work of the Navy was 
then fresh in all minds, after the Spanish- American 
War of 1898 had been concluded by the terms of peace. 

Beside the notable features of the Washington Meet- 
ing elsewhere to be referred to, the great feature of 
Rear Admiral Melville's administration was a move- 
ment to enlist and secure greater participation in the 
work of the Society by its Junior members. The idea 



106 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

was to develop and utilize the talent and energy of its 
younger members, while at the same time training them 
by experience for the later participation and leadership 
which must be theirs. This idea like many others of 
equal excellence, originated with Mr. Stephen W. Bald- 
win, to whom so much of value in Society matters was 
continuously due. It took the form of a series of monthly 
meetings in New York City, in charge of a committee 
made up entirely of Junior members who were expected 
to procure the topics of engineering interest to be dis- 
cussed and to see that the right men were requested to 
take part. The topics of that winter were, first, the 
question of the equipment and work of the repair shop 
and floating machine shop on the U. S. S. Vulcan situated 
at Guantanamo Bay with a foundry cupola aboard, pre- 
sented by Mr. Pardon Armington; the second, an ex- 
hibition of the properties and behavior of liquefied air, 
which was then a great novelty in technical circles. 

Admiral Melville 's presidential address was a review 
of naval engineering, especially in the United States, 
with interesting reminiscences of the struggle to get me- 
chanical steam power and its users into the sphere of 
recognition in the United States. It is a sketch and 
history of the engineering corps of the Navy and its 
final amalgamation with the Line, when it had been 
decided that every fighting officer in the Navy must also 
be an engineer. It referred to the debts owed to Mr. 
Charles H. Haswell, the first Engineer-in-Chief of the 
Navy, and to Admiral Benj. F. Isherwood, who had held 
the office during the Civil War of 1861-1865 and who, in 
addition to his great efficiency as an executive, became 
even more famous for his original experimental work 
He spoke of the four cruisers of 1883 as the beginning 
of the so-called ''new navy," and of the leadership of 
the United States in many details of engineering 
practice, referring briefly to improvements made during 
his term such as the water tube boiler, the triple screw 
ships, the floating workshops and the distilling ships for 
fresh water. In closing he pointed out that the adoption 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 107 

of engineering as a requisite for every officer, making the 
Commander a real fighting engineer, was the highest 
compliment ever paid to the profession. 

Gifts which signalized this year and term were the 
collection of valuable and, in many instances, unique 
books gathered together by the late W. F. Durfee which 
had come into the Library with their enclosing cases; 
and Miss Cornelia J. Carll had presented a water color 
sketch of canal engineering with an autographic sig- 
nature of Robert Fulton, dated 1797. 

Charles H. Morgan presided at Cincinnati and at 
the twenty-first Annual Meeting in New York in 1900. 
He had been an iron master, specializing in the rolling 
mill for wire rods, interested in the work of the Wor- 
cester Institute of Technology and its philosophy of 
education. 

The continued Junior monthly meetings were fea- 
tures of this year, the Westinghouse Gas Engine, Com- 
pound Locomotives, the Diesel Motor, Gun and other 
Castings, and Cylinder Proportions of Multi-cylinder 
Engines being the topics. The reunion of Civil and Me- 
chanical Engineers in London in June took place this 
year and also the subsequent separately organized trips 
to Paris and to Berlin. In all three cities the courtesy 
was most pervasive and the party greatly impressed by 
the efforts for their entertainment. 

Mr. Morgan's presidential address, entitled Some 
Landmarks in the History of the Rolling Mill, was a 
tribute to the memory of Henry Cort and his genius, 
and a discussion of the development from that initiative 
in the continuous mill and its related machinery and 
furnaces. 

S, T. Wellman of Cleveland, Ohio, presided at the 
Milwaukee Meeting and at the twenty-second Annual 
Meeting in New York in 1901. When the Society first 
came to know him, he was engineer of the Otis Steel 
Works of Cleveland and the host of a visiting party on 
the occasion of the Cleveland Meeting in 1883. He had 
become a representative iron master, designer and 



108 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

builder of heavy machinery for furnaces, ovens, rolling 
mills and metallurgical establishments. He has always 
considered that the design and introduction of the open- 
hearth charging machinery and the lifting magnet which 
are in use in other large steel works in the world are 
the things for which he has the greatest claim to be re- 
membered. These are saving great sums every year in 
cost of production. 

The Junior monthly meetings had been continued 
during his term at which discussions had been held on 
the Laws of Construction Contracts, on the Vanderbilt 
corrugated locomotive fire-box, on Superheated Steam 
and Eecords for Shop and Drawing Room. The Commit- 
tee on Junior Members, however, recommended that the 
Junior feature be dropped and a committee of all classes 
of members be appointed to undertake any future 
monthly meetings. Mr. Arthur L. Rice was made As- 
sistant to the Secretary of the Society, to share the in- 
creasing work of his office, with particular charge of the 
detail of printing and publication. 

Notice was given during Mr. Wellman's term at the 
Milwaukee meeting in May 1901 of a proposed increase 
of dues in the Society. This action was taken as the re- 
sult of a conclusion on the part of the Council and on the 
part of others interested in the management of the So- 
ciety that its revenues were not sufficient to meet its re- 
quirements and that, in order to maintain it in an efficient 
and satisfactory manner, an increase of $5 per year for 
Junior members and $10 per year for Members, would 
be the best method to reach the result. The matter of a 
proposed increase of dues was much discussed during 
the sunmier following. Considerable opposition to the 
plan developed. It was made apparent that the law of 
the State of New York, under which the Society was 
organized, gave to every member of the Society the right 
to be represented by proxy at any meeting and the exer- 
cise of this right led to the overwhelming defeat of the 
plan to increase the dues by a vote of 647 adverse votes 
in a total of 874 voting. As this result made it im- 




/M^ /Y^Ccrr-r-> 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 109 

practicable to rearrange the Society's business affairs 
on the basis of an increased payment by the members, 
other plans were naturally considered, particularly by a 
joint committee composed of the Executive Committee 
of the Council and the Finance Committee. Mr. Henry 
R. Towne, who had been among the prominent opponents 
of the plan to increase the dues, rendered valuable as- 
sistance to this joint committee, and the ultimate result 
was the revision of the Society's Constitution in 1904, 
followed later by a revision of the Society's business 
methods under the presidency of Dr. F. W. Taylor in 
1906. 

A memorial to Robert Fulton in the churchyard of 
old Trinity Church, New York City, took the form of a 
granite monument with bas-relief and suitable inscrip- 
tions in bronze. It was unveiled with proper ceremonies 
during the Annual Meeting. A photograph was taken, 
showing the monument with President Wellman, Charles 
H. Haswell, Prof. R. H. Thurston and Admiral Melville 
grouped about it. Admiral Melville delivered an address 
on Robert Fulton as a feature of the ceremonial. The 
Council first constituted an Executive Committee of its 
members during the Wellman administration to act in 
the interim of its stated meetings. President Wellman 's 
presidential address covered the early history of Open- 
Hearth Steel Manufacture in the United States, with 
which he had been closely connected. He described the 
early trials and successes and illustrated the furnace 
construction from the five-ton furnace of the early days 
to the fifty-ton design of current practice and the much 
larger type projected. 

Edwin H. Reynolds was unable by reason of iU-health 
to preside at either the Boston meeting or the twenty- 
third Annual Meeting in New York. His place was ac- 
ceptably filled by Mr. James M. Dodge in Boston, and by 
Mr. Arthur M. Waitt in New York. The Boston Meeting 
was signalized by discussion on the general problems of 
Society management and whether a policy of control 
by standing committees of the Society was not a safer 



110 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

one than the existing plan of less definite control by the 
Council as a whole, whose members could not in the 
nature of the case be as familiar with detail as a more 
compact body more frequently convened. The debate 
resulted in the appointment of a strong committee to 
revise the By-Laws (or Eules as they were then called), 
to report at a later meeting. This step was the beginning 
of the notable revision which separated the old Rules 
into the Constitution and By-Laws, adopted in 1904 and 
have since been the basis of Society organic law. The 
Society's methods of accounting were very carefully gone 
over by a joint conamittee of the Executive and Finance 
Committees, and with the cooperation of Messrs. 
Sargent, Page and Taylor, chartered accountants, a new 
set of books and systematized account headings were in- 
troduced. 

In this administration were also presented the sug- 
gestion that Junior members should have their dues in- 
creased to the Members ' rate after five years of member- 
ship (the plan of compelling Juniors to become full 
members in name after such probation was rejected) ; 
and the re-opening of discussion on the compulsory in- 
troduction of metric measures into governmental depart- 
ments and into general business. Messrs. Soule and 
Basford were added to the Committee to revise the rules, 
which had been reduced to Messrs. C. W. Hunt, Jesse 
M. Smith and D. S. Jacobus, by the resignation of Mr. 
Henry E. Towne. 

Mr. Reynolds was a representative of the steam 
engine builders of the country. Trained in the shops of 
Mr. George H. Corliss, he had been summoned by the 
Allis Company to become engineer and designer for the 
engines of the Corliss type which they were introducing. 
He had many economic successes to his credit for water 
works pumping stations and for electric power stations. 
His design had been accepted for the power station of 
the London Underground System, to the great dissatis- 
faction of the British and Continental competitors. 

James Mapes Dodge of Philadelphia, Pa., presided at 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 111 

the Saratoga Meeting and at the twenty-fourth Annual 
Meeting in New York in 1903. It was the Dodge ad- 
ministration of the Society which was signalized by the 
announcement of the gift to the profession of engineer- 
ing of the munificent sum of one and one-half million 
dollars for the erection of a suitable building for the 
housing of the Engineering Societies and the Engineers' 
Club. This had long been hoped for as a consummation 
of the dreams of the founders of the Society and others. 
A committee to represent the Society, in conference with 
representatives of the other societies, under the general 
designation of the Building Committee, was appointed 
and consisted of Messrs. James Mapes Dodge, President, 
Charles Warren Hunt and Frederick K. Button. Mr. 
Dodge continued as a representative of the Society until 
after the building was completed and his term as trustee 
of the United Engineering Society had to expire by the 
limitations of its By-Laws. Mr. Dodge is also to be cred- 
ited with the conception and invention of the idea, re- 
ferred to elsewhere, of having each member wear upon 
the lapel of his coat his name for identification at conven- 
tions. It was also in the Dodge administration that the 
report of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws 
was presented at Saratoga, followed by its unanimous 
adoption by the Society then in convention and its order 
to letter ballot to the voting membership as a whole. Mr. 
Gus C. Henning was an earnest advocate of the German 
system of dividing the Society into sections, generally 
local in character, and giving to the section an importance 
greater than that given to the national body. Amend- 
ments to bring these changes about were offered and 
lost. 

The Constitution (C-52) provided for the creation of 
sections subordinate to the national body, and under this 
presidency a committee of the Council had considered 
the necessary By-Laws and reported the policy recom- 
mending that only members of the Society could be 
eligible to such local sections and control all their affairs. 
This policy was perhaps inevitable at the time, as 



112 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

members of the Society in Milwaukee and Cincinnati had 
formulated their ideas. A later and broader policy per- 
mitted membership and participation in the advantages 
of local meetings by persons not members of the Society, 
while retaining the idea of control and office in the sec- 
tion in the hands of elected members. Mr. Dodge also 
presented a bronze replica of a bust of Capt. John Erics- 
son during his administration and cooperated in securing 
oil portraits of James Watt, Isaac Newton and John 
Stephenson. 

Mr. Dodge's presidential address, December 3, 1903, 
entitled The Money Value of Technical Training, was a 
novel and original presentation of the idea that the 
educational or school preparation of the engineer and 
industrialist for his life-work was a paying investment of 
capital so far as he was concerned, independent of the 
significance of such education to the community and its 
productive processes. A diagram showing the curve of 
incomes for men with different grades of education and 
training as their years of experience grew was the cen- 
tral feature of this address and was most illuminating. 

Ambrose Swasey of Cleveland, Ohio, presided at Chi- 
cago at the joint meeting of the Institution of Mechanical 
Engineers of Great Britain and the American Society, 
and at the twenty-fifth or quarter-centennial Annual 
Meeting of the Society in New York in 1904. Chicago was 
chosen for the joint meeting in order to enable the 
visiting engineers to have a comfortable housing and a 
normal meeting for reading and discussion of papers, 
at a location which would also be en route to the Louisi- 
ana Purchase Exposition, then in progress in St. Louis. 
The guests were expected to arrive whenever their avail- 
able time would allow and spend their time in visiting 
points of professional or other interest to them all over 
the United States, making a rendezvous of the joint 
meeting in Chicago. This over, they might then go to 
St. Louis and reach the sea coast at their convenience. 
An exposition city is not a wise selection for a Society 
meeting. Representatives of the Society were asked to 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 



113 



50.000 
















,; 


















481000 


































































46.000 


































































44,000 






























































$45.00J 


































,X^ 


42,000 






























l^' 




40,000 












. 
















y 


41.00 




t 

.B 
.a 

•a » 

n 
1 


s 

w 



1 If 

' Q 
1 « 

. 1 

:l 

1 

1 






















c 


Y 






38,000 






















/ 


39.00 


























/ 








36,000 




















/ 


V 


























_> 


36.00 








34.000 




















^^— 


























/^ 










32.000 




















/ 


























j 


32.00 










30.000 


















/ 




























/ 












28.000 


















/ 




























/27.OO 










26,000 














. 










































24.000 
























,„.-- 


. — • 




















^^, 


' 










22.000 
















/,-«»*' 


" 


























22.00 














20.000 










20.00^ 


























i^x 


/ 
















18,000 










^f 






























^/^.oo^ 


18.00 
















16.000 












^ 


[ 


/ 


-$15.80 per Week 


, 
















- 




i>»'l6.w 


l^ 


■ 














ISOOi^ 








Th« 


Averaire of this Group J 


14.000 








^/15.00 


10. Wj 










'" 
















^# 


*^;^jr^ 


r 




















12.000 








7 


l^ 


13.00 
























J 


^12. (XI 


dA 


^> 






















10.000 






/ 






^^* 


^^g 


$U 


.20 per Wee 


K 


_ 








, 




^ 


/ 


9.00 


Tyk^ 




Ubor 


Group 












8.000 




"y'^ 


^A 


y_><^ 


























.^l 


^ 
























6.000 




/C^^ 


< 


























/ 


?. 


</ 




























4.000 


/y 


<> 


/ 




























^>' 




r 

4.00 




























2.000 


3:00 



































































































AGES 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 

E«ch Vertical Line Represents One Year 

The Monsy VaiiUe of Technical Eduoatiok 



114 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

be on the alert for accredited members of the English 
Society and the headquarters in New York were again 
turned into a tourists' center and an office for registra- 
tion for the visits which the foreigners might desire. 
These plans worked very well and practically. Mr. 
Swasey entertained the visiting members of the Council 
of the Institution at a handsome dinner in New York 
City before they started for the meeting and graciously 
invited the members of the Council of the American So- 
ciety to act with him as hosts. The papers of the meet- 
ing were both American and British and were published 
in the Transactions of both societies. 

An oil portrait of Prof. John E. Sweet was added to 
the Society's collection during this year. Mr. Swasey 's 
presidential address was entitled, Some Refinements of 
Mechanical Science, and discussed the coming of the 
scientists' and instrument makers' standards of ac- 
curacy into the domain of the engineer, the accuracy of 
mechanical and measurement work involved in graduated 
limbs of optical apparatus, and the wave length of light 
as a unit of mechanical measurement. 

John R. Freeman presided at the second Scranton 
Meeting and the twenty-sixth Annual Meeting in New 
York in 1905. He had won fame as a hydraulic engi- 
neer for mill and waterworks engineering and in canal 
and dam work, but was particularly an expert in the 
safeguarding of factory and other public buildings from 
the hazard of fire. He had been one of the Panama 
Canal Commission and had rendered other important 
public service. His presidential address was entitled, 
The Safeguarding of Life in Theaters, and was a 
masterly and exhaustive discussion of its topic, with 
many practical suggestions for the present and future. 

The By-Laws of the United Engineering Society, the 
corporate body created by special charter to operate the 
Engineering Societies Building, were approved in this 
year and the mortgage for $540,000 for the land executed, 
and in July the contract was signed for the construction 
of the building. Sections of the Society were authorized 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 115 

as its policy under rules for their conduct. Four engi- 
neering evenings were held in New York, discussing 
epochs in Marine Engineering, by Melville; the Condi- 
tions at Panama and the Reasons for a Sea-level Canal, 
by Warner and Burr ; the Formation of Anchor Ice and 
Precise Temperature Measurements in "Water, by 
Barnes ; and Diamond Tools, by Henning. Mr. Freeman 
took a very active interest in the design of the auditorium 
for the new Engineering Building and made important 
suggestions as to its design as respects safety from fire. 

Frederick W. Taylor presided at the Chattanooga 
Meeting and at the twenty- seventh Annual Meeting in 
New York in 1906. He was identified with Mr. Maunsel 
White with the work at Bethlehem, which resulted in the 
so-called high-speed tool steel, which did not lose its cutting 
edge at high working temperatures; and he will be re 
membered also for his researches into the Art of Cutting 
Metals, which he made the topic of his presidential ad- 
dress, a monumental labor and embodying his researches 
for twenty-five years. He was also well-known for his 
exposition of the philosophy of scientific management in 
productive establishments, based on careful time study 
by a skilled observer of the functions of each usual move- 
ment of the worker, and then the simplification of such 
motions into the fewest and best directed for their pur- 
pose. The planning or routing of work and the reduc- 
tion of cost of manufacture have also been his specialties. 
He presented as well some most valuable researches into 
transmission of power by belting. 

The significant events of his year in the Society were 
his careful study of the needs of the Society in its office 
routine and practice, assigning Mr. Morris L. Cooke, at 
his personal expense, to the working out of detail and 
office standard procedure as the result of such study- 
While this was nominally the duty of a Committee on 
Reorganization, consisting of Messrs. Miller, Taylor, and 
Hutton, Mr. Taylor really did the lion's share of the 
work. The result was several volumes of carefully elabo- 
rated standards, making the office routine of the Society a 



116 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

model for all other similar organizations. This work, 
which began in the Taylor administration, lasted through 
the next two years before it was considered completed. 
The financial or accounting department has perhaps 
undergone the least modification in use by experience, 
but all standards were intended to make recurring duties 
as nearly automatic as possible and cause them to de- 
mand least attention from the higher and more highly 
paid oflficials. Mr. Charles Whiting Baker cooperated in 
much detail as respects the publication of papers and 
printing. 

The second event was the resignation of the Secre- 
tary, who had been in office for twenty-three years, and 
who felt that the time had come when the Society 
needed for itself the full time and energies of its Secre- 
tary, and should not be compelled to share these with 
the engineering department of the great university with 
which he had been so long connected. This resignation! 
was quietly presented in the early Spring to take effect 
in December or at the end of the year when election 
should take place. The membership was asked to make 
nominations, and many replied ; but after much delibera- 
tion the choice fell upon Mr. Calvin W. Rice, who has 
since been in office. He entered at once on his duties 
before his election, under a title of Assistant to the 
Secretary, in order to familiarize himself with the duties 
soon to become his. Mr. Taylor's clear vision saw that 
a Secretary had two differing sets of duties : the one as 
an office manager of daily routine, and the other the more 
public and possibly larger duties before the public at 
meetings and wherever he had to represent the Society 
and its Council by his address and personality. He 
therefore proposed two functionaries to meet the case; 
but this idea did not find favor or commend itself gen- 
erally. The office of Honorary Secretary in the Society 
was proposed with a view first, to keeping the experience 
and qualifications of a long term officer at the service of 
the Society, and second, to recognize the debt due to 




(CAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAl- ENGINEERS 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 117 

the Secretary, for his effective service in building up the 
Society during the long series of years. Mr. Taylor died 
on March 21, 1915. 

Prof. Frederick R. Button presided at the Indianapolis 
Meeting and the twenty- eighth Annual Meeting in New 
York in 1907. He was made President as the culmination 
of the twenty-four years of service to the Society as its 
Secretary, which he had wished to round out into twenty- 
five years, or a quarter of a century; but the year 1907 
was the year in which the Society moved into its new lo- 
cation in the Engineering Societies Building at 29 West 
39th Street, and it seemed proper that, having led the 
Societj^ from the modest beginnings where he paid the 
office rent of the Society's office out of his own pocket, up 
through the successive stages of development and 
progress of floor occupancy and ownership of a whole 
house, its retiring Secretary should be made President 
that year. He therefore had the honor of presiding at 
the first assemblies during the Winter and Spring at the 
very first gathering of engineers in their splendid audi- 
torium, of representing the Society at the formal cere- 
monial days of dedication, and at the first Annual Meet- 
ing in their new home. He took for his presidential ad- 
dress on retiring from office, The Mechanical Engineer 
and the Functions of the Engineering Society, and de- 
veloped the thesis that the original historic definition of 
an engineer by Tredgold should be expanded to cover 
new functions for the profession that were not before the 
mind of the originator. 

Tredgold 's definition of engineering is silent upon 
that group of engineers concerned with the liberation, 
the generation and transmission of forces which are 
potential and are not realized in nature until some engi- 
neer has caused them to appear in accordance with 
natural law. 

The author pointed out that while Tredgold did not 
include them in the ''powers of nature," today there 
must be included ''the forces which are economic or 
social or psychological in their application" when 



118 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

** human beings become the organs and implements of 
the factory as a tool of production . . ." The engi- 
neer has therefore become the economic factor as he was 
not conceived to be in earlier days. 

Any policy or step which gives occasion rightly to 
charge a tendency for a national body to localize, is an 
invasion of opportunity and value. 

The author considered at length and favorably the 
reasons for encouraging local meetings or sections of the 
Society. Such sections may be either grouped terri- 
torially or by topics and common interests. 

Is the privilege of service and of function all on one 
side, or has the Society the right to ask from its members 
a reciprocal duty to itself! The latter, no doubt. Profes- 
sor Hutton's paper is made an Appendix to this History. 

This administration was also signalized by the wind- 
ing up of the Mechanical Engineers ' Library Association 
and the sale of its real estate, and by the transfer of its 
assets to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
by concurrence of the Courts. The Society had therefore 
turned a new page in its history and set its face toward 
the future under a new set of conditions. 

At the close of his presidency. Professor Hutton was 
elected Honorary Secretary under the constitutional pro- 
vision which created such an office and accepted the honor 
conferred with the understanding that no compensation 
in the form of salary should attach to the office at that 
time. Mr. Calvin W. Eice was elected Secretary in due 
course when Professor Hutton became President. Pro- 
fessor Hutton had been a member of the building com- 
mittee for the Society's building and secretary of its 
Board of Trustees. Besides his professional duties he 
had been Dean of the Engineering Faculty at Columbia 
University for six years, and was the author of textbooks 
on the Mechanical Engineering of Power Plants on Heat 
Engines and on the Gas Engine. He had also done much 
editorial writing for encyclopedias and dictionaries. He 
was one of the earliest engineers to take up the motor 
vehicle for his own use and as a professional activity. 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 119 

M. L. Holman presided at the second Detroit Meeting 
and the twenty-ninth Annual Meeting in New York, 1908. 
His administration was signalized by the start of the 
Gas Power Section and its early sedulous activities. His 
presidential address discussed the Conservation Idea as 
applied to The American Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers. The Congress of 1908 which had been attended 
by the governors and at which action initiated by this 
Society had been taken was the starting point of the 
treatment. He said that during the discussions * 4t became 
apparent that some effort would be required to keep the 
conference from political bias. . . President Roosevelt 
particularly desired the cooperation of the engineers of 
the United States in the movement and subsequently 
ascribed to the action of the engineering societies the 
credit of inaugurating the conservation campaign on non- 
political lines. . . As new parties are developed the 
chances of government by the minority became greater, 
and with a sufficient number of political parties in the 
field, revolutions will be the order of the day. . . One 
city for years discharged its sewage into the margin of 
a lake and took its water supply from the same place. 
With us, however, civil and religious liberty seems to 
include unnecessary exposure to disease. At the confer- 
ence in Washington the preventable disease problem was 
practically overlooked, perhaps from the fact that no 
trust seems to be operating in that field. . . I venture 
to suggest that we might make progress by ascertaining 
the secret of German frugality and prosperity rather 
than by compiling masses of figures to prove what is well 
known, viz : that we are wasting the resources of Nature 
like a true prodigal son. . . Which one of you as house- 
holder or engineer, will put up with a poor run of coal 
in order that posterity may have a good coal? The de- 
partments of our government demand the best grade and 
are not willing to take the 'run of the mine.* . 
There is, at present, a strong tendency towards bureau- 
cratic development that is inimical to the successful con- 
tinuity of our form of government.*' 



120 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

It concludes; the Engineering Societies must fall in 
with the conservation idea and see to it that the returns 
from the Societies are commensurate with the efforts 
expended in operating them. 

Jesse M. Smith presided at the third Washington Meet- 
ing and the thirteenth Annual Meeting in New York in 
1909. He was a patent expert and consulting engineer and 
had no corporate or commercial affiliations. He had been 
one of the experts in the historic case of a few motor vehicle 
engine manufacturers against the inclusive Selden patent 
under which the other producers had grouped themselves 
for common protection. His administration was memo- 
rable for his effort to emphasize the philosophy of Society 
management and control by its standing committees, and 
the adjustment of the inter-relations of such committees 
where their scopes met. It settled the policy of having 
all publication work of the Society, both Journal and 
Transactions, under the direction of the Publication Com- 
mittee, and that the Committee on Meetings should con- 
cern itself with programs for the Annual and Semi- 
Annual Meetings and the acceptance of papers submitted 
for these meetings. 

His presidential address, under the title of the Profes- 
sion of Engineering, covered a review of the achieve- 
ments of the profession from the past up to the present 
time. He quoted certain paragraphs from the admirable 
address of Dr. Hadley, President of a great New England 
University, to the effect that the men from the other 
centuries that went before it were its engineers. Down 
to the close of the eighteenth century the thinking of the 
country was dominated by its theologians, its jurists, and 
its physicians. These w^ere by tradition the learned pro- 
fessions, the callings in which profound thought was 
needed, the occupations where successful men were ven- 
erated for their brains. This was read at the formal 
opening of the Engineering Building in 1907 and its 
recognition of a learned profession was timely and intelli- 
gent. Mr. Smith also said that the engineer capable of 
being at the head of the larger engineering works must 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 121 

know something of many things, several things well and 
one thing perfectly. The American Society of Mechan- 
ical Engineers had before it a future of usefulness to its 
members and of influence in the profession which is un- 
limited. It only required that the members stand by their 
traditions of increasing the membership only by men of 
high quality as engineers; that they maintain an en- 
thusiastic devotion to good professional work and that 
they cooperate with each other in the broadest and most 
friendly spirit to produce that solidarity of membership 
and devotion to high ideals which will compel the world 
to class the profession of engineering with the other 
learned professions. 

Perhaps the signal feature of Mr. Smith's administra- 
tion was the holding of the first local meetings of the 
Society, other than those in New York City. These were 
organized and held in Boston and St. Louis, and Mr. 
Smith took pains to be present and to speak on the 
policies which seemed to him to be sound and safe. The 
development of the student branches of the Society in 
institutions for engineering education was also a promi- 
nent feature of this year and the extension of the idea 
of affiliated societies which had been earnestly urged by 
Professor Hutton in his retiring address (see Appendix). 
The Thurston memorial bronze by McNeil was installed 
and the collection of Watt and Fulton memorabilia in- 
creased as the result of the civic celebrations of the 
achievements of Hudson and Fulton. The rooms of the 
Society were reassigned, rearranged and dedicated. 
Portraits of the Past-Presidents of the Society and 
Honorary Members were procured in standard form and 
hung upon the walls. Important constitutional changes 
were made with respect to the qualifications for Associate 
membership and other details of the administration. 

George W estinghouse presided at the second Atlantic 
City Meeting and at the thirty-first Annual Meeting in 
New York City in 1910. He had been made an Honorary 
Member in 1897 by reason of his achievements in the 
field of safety and control of railway trains by air-brake 



122 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

and by switch and signal interlocking systems, and for 
his achievements in electrical machinery manufacturies. 
He was felt to be a desirable choice for this year also by 
reason of the organized trip to England to take part in 
the meeting at Birmingham by invitation of the Institu- 
tion of Mechanical Engineers. This meeting and the 
pleasures and courtesies growing out of it were perhaps 
the most notable features of the year. Mr. Westinghouse 
was unable to go to England but his duties as presiding 
officer were undertaken by Prof. W. F. M. Goss, Vice- 
President, and the duty of responding to a formal ad- 
dress at the great banquet was met by Prof. F. R. Hutton 
as Past-President and Honorary Secretary. A Standing 
Committee on Public Relations of the Society was 
formed under President Westinghouse. The Society 
took action adverse to a proposed bill in the state legis- 
lature, demanding the requirement of a license before 
any person could practice surveying or by implication 
follow other lines of engineering practice. Mr. Westing- 
house's presidential address was a review of the early 
struggles and trials leading to the perfection of the com- 
pressed-air continuous train brake from its early con- 
ception in 1867 to the forms adaptable to trains of 100 
cars in length. 

Col. Edward D. Meier presided at the second Pitts- 
burg and the thirty-second Annual Meetings, New York 
City, 1911. Like Mr. Westinghouse, a veteran of 
the Civil War of 1861-1865, Colonel Meier had been 
identified with the development of the steam boiler of a 
safety and sectional type and had been active in the 
American Boiler Manufacturers' Association to secure 
an introduction of a standard quality for vessels requir- 
ing pressure. He was responsible for the appointment 
of a Committee to Formulate Standard Specifications for 
the Construction of Steam Boilers and Other Pressure 
Vessels and for their Care in Service, which later was 
developed also into a standard for legislative control over 
the procedures of inspection and operation. This com- 
mittee did not report until after Colonel Meier's death 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 183 

in 1914 but he always considered that its appointment 
was one of the signal features of his year. He was also 
identified with the introduction of the Diesel type of in- 
ternal combustion motor utilizing oil as source of fuel 
energy. He was a warm personal friend of the late 
Eudolph Diesel. 

The administration was signalized by the first actual 
step of an affiliation process with other engineering so- 
cieties and the entry of the Providence Association of 
Mechanical Engineers into this relation. Colonel Meier 
was also an earnest advocate of holding local meetings 
of groups of members in the various cities and labored 
most assiduously to advance this practice. His presi- 
dential address, under the title of The Engineer and the 
Future, was a plea that the engineer might be recognized 
more fully for the good he could do in the perplexing 
social and industrial problems awaiting solution. He 
said : * * The unrest in the modern world has its basis in an 
underlying sense of injustice. The growing sense of 
community of interest, the knowledge of our dependence 
on each other, the ever expanding humanitarianism, are 
all founded on scientific facts, and are becoming world 
movements. They fervently and emphatically answer 
Cain's question: 'Thou art thy brother's keeper.' 

* * The engineer is responsible for the vast increase in 
appliances to meet every demand of that most voracious 
of living beings, man. The mass of mankind needs to be 
educated to understand and use them properly. He is in 
honor bound to supply this education; and as the crude 
dangers and fears of the earlier centuries vanished, so 
the prejudices and superstitions of the Dark Ages must 
be swept away. 

*'If our future professional brethren do their duty, 
and we know they will, the golden rule will be put in 
practice through the slide rule of the engineer." 

Alexander C. Humphreys presided at the second 
Cleveland Meeting and the thirty-third Annual Meeting, 
New York, 1912. He was the third President to be 
chosen from the ranks of the engineering educators, 



124 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

although his fame as an engineer rested broadly upon his 
achievements in gas engineering before he became presi- 
dent of Stevens Institute of Technology. His administra- 
tion was notable for the very considerable attention paid 
to a revision in the Council of the existing Constitution 
and By-Laws, to codify the relations of the sections of 
the Society both professionally and geographically and 
to simplify the statement of standard procedure under 
the By-Laws. Student Branches were fostered and de- 
veloped, and exchanges of international courtesies were 
encouraged, particularly with Germany. 

President Humphreys' address was a summons to 
recognize the importance of the earlier and the later pro- 
cesses of education in developing the citizen. He 
quoted largely from previous addresses to show this 
thought had influenced his predecessors also, and urged 
on the profession its responsibility for the future. His 
closing words were: '*We cannot claim that our pro- 
fession is one of the three learned professions because 
the ignorance of the past created a limitation in favor 
of religion, law and medicine. But we can claim that 
though much of that which the engineer must have at 
his command is not to be learned from books, it by no 
means follows that his education is therefore less 
'liberal' than that of the minister, lawyer or physician. 

''There appears to have been a tendency, not so ap- 
parent at present, to deny to the mechanical engineer 
the professional position more readily conceded to the 
civil and mining engineer. This seems unreasonable and 
indefensible when we study the question and are forced 
to endorse Holley's claim that mechanical engineering 
underlies all engineering. The reason for this rather 
intangible discrimination is in part due, I believe, to 
the fact that so many of the rank and file of our depart- 
ment of engineering are engaged in working out the de- 
tails, more or less important, of undertakings which are 
under the general direction of civil or mining engineers 
or others not members of our profession. Many me- 
chanical engineers thus become absorbed in the inven- 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 125 

tion and development of mechanical devices, possibly of 
vital importance in the general scheme, and so fail to 
take a grasp on the undertaking as a whole. 

' * The question of precedence need not be raised ; there 
is credit enough for all. As engineers we are committed 
to the doctrine of efficiency. Efficiency must come from 
cooperation, not from discussions as to precedence and 
relative dignity. Watt's steam engine made Cort's 
rolling mill possible. Cort's rolling mill opened up to 
Watt's engine a new sphere of usefulness. 

''The Panama Canal, under the direction of thor- 
oughly capable engineers, was a failure until the bacteri- 
ologist, the physician and the sanitarian made it possible 
for white men to live in the fever stricken zone. Now, 
while under the general direction and control of military 
and civil engineers, the success of the undertaking largely 
depends upon the mechanical and electrical engineer. 

''Then, while confidently asserting our claim to 
membership among the liberal professions, and accept- 
ing to the full the responsibilities which are therebj'' in- 
volved, let us be prompt to recognize that the progress 
of the world, material and ethical, depends upon the 
unselfish, intelligent and devoted cooperation in service 
of all professions and vocations under the leadership of 
men of vision, intellect, power and humanity. ' ' 

Prof. W. F. M. Goss, dean of the Faculty of Engi- 
neering at the University of Illinois, brought to the 
office of the presidency the reputation earned as an 
investigator in charge of scientific research and par- 
ticularly in the field of the locomotive. He had origin- 
ated the great locomotive testing plant at Purdue Uni- 
versity in Indiana, which laid the foundations for all 
such later work as had been undertaken by the rail- 
roads of the United States and had been copied in 
Europe. He was, therefore, chosen as the head of the 
State-wide engineering research station which had re- 
cently been established by the State of Illinois, and it has 
grown and flourished under his care. Much important 
work of development of the economy and effectiveness of 



126 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

the modern locomotive has borne his impress. His ad- 
ministration was signalized by the visit of the organized 
party of the Society to the industrial productive and 
historic cities of Germany referred to elsewhere, under 
the invitation of the Verein deutscher Ingenieure. 
Unfortunately, his duties with respect to service on an 
important engineering and commercial commission to 
mitigate the smoke nuisance of Chicago prevented his 
being of the party. He presided at the Baltimore Meet- 
ing in May 1913 and at the thirty-fourth Annual Meet- 
ing in New York in December. His address was a plea 
for better engineering education under the title, Ef- 
ficiency in Technical Education a Factor in the Develop- 
ment of Professional Ideals. He spoke of the progress 
in the appreciation of education since the Morrill Act of 
1862, and how education had come to mean to the ordi- 
nary citizen more than a mere classroom exercise, and 
that it was to find expression in the applications of 
science and in the promotion of scientific research. 
Hence the teaching staff was to be of the highest quality 
of material. Nothing could be more fatal than a student- 
concept that his master was a mere animated slide-rule ; 
and the claim for graduate work was most strongly 
urged. He concluded by claiming that the work of the 
schools tended to emphasize the dignity of the calling 
of the engineer ; that it was further serving by contribut- 
ing to the sum of his scientific data; that it tended to 
emphasize the unity of purpose of the profession, and 
that the problems of the school should therefore receive 
painstaking and persistent attention from the profession 
as a whole. 

James Hartness of Springfield, Vt., was president at 
the date of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Meeting in June 
1914, and at the thirty-fifth Annual Meeting in New 
York. He was a representative of the builders of ma- 
chine tools for the rapid production of standard articles 
in the shop. His specialty was metal turning lathes. 
The flat turret lathe and the low swing lathe were 
invented by him as well as many other machines 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 127 

and devices for metal working purposes. The patent 
office records attest his inventive talent in over 
eighty of the patents issued. In addition to the in- 
vention of metal turning mechanism, Mr. Hartness 
brought his ability as an inventor to bear on the problems 
of the astronomical observatory. The outcome of his 
effort is known as the turret equatorial telescope, which 
in design differs radically from the previous construe 
tion. The object of this invention was to protect the 
astronomer from the hardship of observing in cold 
weather in the standard observatory. Mr. Hartness' at- 
tempt was not the first one that had been made for this 
purpose, but in all previous attempts the designers were 
forced to use extra reflecting surfaces that resulted in 
a serious optical loss. This subject was presented to 
the Society in a paper in 1912. This administration 
was signalized by the President's assiduous interest 
in the welfare of the sections of the Society and by the 
preparations for the Engineering Congress at San Fran- 
cisco, incident to the opening of the Panama Canal. The 
first vessel passed through the canal in this year. 

But most noteworthy of all was the creation by 
Mr. Ambrose Swasey of Cleveland, a former president 
of the Society, of The Engineering Foundation for the 
advancement of engineering. This was a gift of $200,000, 
to be held in trust and administered by a Board of 
Trustees, for the promotion of engineering research in 
all of its professional lines, in the mechanical laboratory 
or in the field or the library, or wherever the need and 
opportunity were most pressing. Mr. Swasey 's ideas 
were most broad and far-seeing, both as respects the 
present and the future. He early decided that the scope 
of the work to be done on such a foundation should be 
broader than that delimited by even a wide definition of 
the term mechanical engineering ; and he found ready to 
his hand the Board of Trustees of the United Engineer- 
ing Society, a body representing all specializations of 
engineering, the fields of mechanical, electrical and 
mining engineering and metallurgy'. To that body he 



128 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

entrusted the development of his ideas in detail, and set 
an example of wise generosity for others to follow. The 
work of this Engineering Foundation should be a note- 
worthy factor in the development of engineering science 
in the history of the future. Some features of The 
Engineering Foundation will be referred to under the 
administration of Dr. Brashear. 

Mr. Hartness' presidential address bore the title, 
The Human Element, the Key to Economic Problems. 
He called attention to the fact that the engineer in a 
modern industrial civilization was necessarily a director 
of men and there was therefore imposed upon him the 
necessity for careful consideration of the human factor. 
The vast scope of knowledge of applied science made it 
imperative that he should make no attempt to assimilate 
more than he could effectively carry and utilize. This of 
necessity carried with it a dependence upon others for 
information in certain directions. The choice which 
every man makes of that which he will keep for himself 
and of that which he will expect to get from others de- 
termines the man himself. 

He then went on to discuss the factor of habit in the 
human unit. Quoting from his paper, ' ' One of the strik- 
ing facts brought out by this study of the nature of the 
individual is that man is a creature of habit to such an 
extent that there is always a great factor of inertia to 
be encountered in all our plans for changing his mental 
attitude or plan of action. 

' ' Skill, dexterity and facility in performance of work 
are due to acquired habit ; but habit is more than a mode 
by which we do easily what we do often ; it is also a dis- 
position and an aptitude for work. It brings an in- 
voluntary tendency to continue and with it an ease and 
reliability of performance. 

"There is no more clearly demonstrated fact in this 
world than that specialization is the method by which 
human energies are most efficiently used. 

''There is nothing more harmful to the thinker or the 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 129 

worker than to force him to become a tramp either in the 
mental or the physical sense. 

'*This law of human economics is also one of indus- 
trial economics. It is one of those laws that we have too 
often disregarded. 

''Of course we can keep monopolies out of our 
country, but we cannot keep them off the face of the 
globe. 

*'We should employ every means to aid us in manag- 
ing not only our own selves, but all those whom we direct. 
This becomes the rule of success of human activity, both 
in its application to the individual and to large groups as 
represented in industries, in states, and in countries. 
Wherever these elements or units are in competition, 
success goes to the unit which takes advantage of this 
knowledge of the inner motives, and it is the study of 
the human being that presents to us the facts from which 
we can most accurately determine what is for the best 
interest of the man and society in general. 

*'Is it not possible that we may live to see the day 
when labor organizations and manufacturers, and last 
but not least, the ultimate user — the general public — shall 
demand that the work be done by methods under which 
each worker is most favorably conditioned and by which 
the greatest value is produced by a given effort?" 

Dr. John A. Brashear of Pittsburgh, Pa., was elected 
President at the thirty-sixth Annual Meeting in New 
York City, December 1914. His original work in the 
solution of the most difficult problems of optical science 
gave to the astronomer, the physicist, the scientist and 
the engineer the means of demonstrating truths which 
previously had been but scientific theories. An example 
is Professor Keeler's discovery of the constitution of 
Saturn's rings by use of Brashear 's spectroscope. An- 
other example is the measurement of the wave length of 
light by Morley and Michaelson's Interferometer by 
using Brashear 's prisms and mirrors. He inherited a 
great love for astronomy and in early manhood success- 
fully constructed refracting and reflecting telescopes, 



130 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

doing all the optical work at his own home. Professor 
Langley of Washington early became interested in Dr. 
Brashear's work and in cooperation with Mr. William 
Thaw of Pittsburgh his establishment was moved to Al- 
legheny and in it was made much of the experimental 
equipment for Langley 's research in the domain of 
radiant energy and particularly in the field below or be- 
yond the red end of the solar spectrum. These qualified 
him for his suggestions in relation to the problem of 
organic life on the earth. Here also was done much of 
his pioneer work in aeronautics and aerodynamics. Dr. 
Brashear made the plates for the diffraction gratings of 
Professor Eowland of Johns Hopkins which became so 
celebrated. More than 100 of the great telescope ob- 
jectives of the world including some of the largest astro- 
photographic lenses have been made in the Brashear 
workshops as well as most of the telespectroscopes for 
the world's observatories. Dr. Brashear always likes 
to include the skill and energy of his son-in-law, Mr. 
James McDowell, who has been a ruling spirit in the 
refinements of their optical output. The 30-inch objec- 
tive glass for the observatory in Allegheny is said to be 
the most perfect glass in the world today. Dr. Brashear 
has also been greatly interested in educational work in 
connection with the Carnegie Institute and other ways, 
and has been director and trustee in foundations of this 
class. He is a man of rare personal charm, of the highest 
abilities and his reputation is world-wide. 

This history is completed in the beginning of Dr. 
Brashear 's administration in Society affairs. It has 
already been signalized by the public announcement and 
legislative action which has made available the gift of 
Mr. Ambrose Swasey of the sum of $200,000 to be used in 
the prosecution of engineering research. Mr. Swasey 
directed that that administration of the income from this 
foundation and the control of the fund should be in the 
hands of the United Engineering Society, of which The 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a con- 
stituent part. The Institute of Mining Engineers and 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 131 

the Institute of Electrical Engineers form the other 
two bodies represented in the Board of Trustees of the 
United Engineering Society. The latter has directed 
that the fund be administered and the research con- 
ducted by a board to be known as The Engineering 
Foundation Board. This Foundation Board is to consist 
of eleven persons, elected to office by the Board of Trus- 
tees of the United Engineering Society and made up as 
follows: One member from each society represented on 
the Board of Trustees of the United Engineering Society 
on its own nomination ; one member from the same repre- 
sented organization nominated by its governing body; 
two members elected by the Board of Trustees of the 
United Engineering Society shall be upon the nomina- 
tion of the governing body of the American Society of 
Civil Engineers ; and two members selected at large. The 
President of the Board of Trustees of the United Engi- 
neering Society shall be a member of the Foundation 
Board ex officio. 

The public announcement of the creation of this fund 
and of the organization of the Foundation Board was 
made at a public meeting held in the Engineering So- 
cieties Building in New York City on the evening of 
Wednesday, January 27, 1915, at which addresses were 
delivered by Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, President of the 
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 
by Mr. Robert W. Hunt and by Dr. Alex. C. Humphreys, 
Past-Presidents of The American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers, representing respectively the Society of Civil 
Engineers and the institutions of engineering education. 
Mr. Gano Dunn, President of the Trustees of the United 
Engineering Society and a member of the new Founda- 
tion Board by virtue of his office, presided and spoke 
fittingly of the possibilities of progress which might be 
realized through such a gift. On the platform beside Mr. 
Ambrose Swasey were the members of the Board of 
Trustees, representatives of the Society of Civil Engi- 
neers, of the John Fritz Medal Corporation and of the 
national engineering societies. 



132 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

An occasion most memorable to those who were privi- 
leged to enjoy it was a private dinner tendered to Mr. 
Swasey as the first donor of an engineering foundation 
by an engineer and held on the evening previous in the 
University Club in New York City. Those who were 
privileged by invitation to be present at this dinner 
were persons distinguished each in his own line of work. 
Those who were to speak for the profession of engineer- 
ing at the formal opening were Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, 
Robert W. Hunt and Dr. Alex. C. Humphreys ; and rep- 
resenting the Trustees of the United Engineering So- 
ciety, past and present, were Dr. A. R. Ledoux, the 
first President of the Board; Mr. C. F. Scott who had 
been Chairman of the Building Committee before the 
Board was organized; Dr. S. S. Wheeler,^ active in the 
legislative work of the first Building Committee ; Messrs. 
H. H. Barnes, F. R. Hutton, J. F. Kent, John W. Lieb, 
Jr., Fred J. Miller, C. F. Rand, Jesse M. Smith, B. B. 
Thayer and Joseph Struthers. Mr. Grano Dunn, Presi- 
dent of the Trustees, presided at the dinner and acted 
as toastmaster. 

Representing the engineering societies were Dr. John 
A. Brashear, President of The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers, Prof. John E. Sweet, Past-President 
and Fritz Medalist, Messrs. James Hartness, C. 0. Mail- 
loux, John R. Freeman, Charles Warren Hunt, Secretary 
of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Paul M. 
Lincoln, President of the American Institute of Elec- 
trical Engineers, Bradley Stoughton, Secretary of 
the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Calvin 
W. Rice, Secretary of The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers, F. L. Hutchinson, Secretary of 
the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and 
Stephenson Taylor, President of the Engineers' Club 
of New York. There were also present Mr. T. A. 
Rickard of London, England, Mr. E. D. Adams, Mr. 
John Hays Hammond, Dr. M. I. Pupin. Many brief 
speeches were made in recognition of what Mr. Swasey 's 
gift was to mean and at the close Mr. Swasey responded 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 133 

in brief and modest terms. A most striking and satis- 
factory portrait of Mr. Swasey was given to the diners 
as they left the room and he was kept busy affixing his 
autograph. Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Dr. R. W. Raymond, 
Dr. R. S. Woodward, Mr. W. R. Warner and Mr. J. J. 
Carty had been invited to be present, but were unable 
to accept. 



CHAPTER VII 

The Council of the Society 
Vice-Presidents, Managebs, Secbetabies and Teeasubebs 

The Council of the Society has from the beginning 
included six persons, serving two years each, as Vice- 
Presidents, and nine persons, with title of Manager, 
serving three years each. These classes were each 
divided into groups, two in the Vice-Presidential grade 
and three in the grade of Manager, so that of the fifteen 
members so serving only five go out of office in any one 
year. As a result continuity and a familiarity with 
former precedents have always been factors of effec- 
tiveness. 

It has also been the custom to choose Vice-Presidents 
each year from those who were recognized as presi- 
dential possibilities, so that if promotion to the office 
of President should come, it would find the incumbent 
with previous experience of service on the Council. In 
comment on the succeeding lists, therefore, there are 
many who have served in all three of the offices as 
manager, vice-president and president. There must also 
be many others still living whose notable achievements 
in lines other than those familiar to one observer will 
make any chronicle incomplete and unsatisfying; and 
furthermore such persons may be too near to the eye to 
be fairly judged, particularly by an intelligence biased 
by friendly admiration. 

With these apologies the list of officers of the Society 
is presented in its entirety, and after it some comment 
on the achievements and service for which such persons 
are to be remembered. 

134 




<^^^^:^^^^u>^^ 



TREASURER IB8I 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY CF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



I 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 115 

VICE-PRESIDENTS 

1 Henry Rossitee Wokthington April-December, 1880 

2 Coleman Sellers April, 1880 — November, 1881 

3 EcKLEY B. CoxE April, 1880 — November, 1881 

4 QiriNCY A. GiLLMORE April, 1880 — ^December, 1880 

5 Wm. H. Shock April, 1880— November, 1882 

6 Alexander L. Holley April, 1880 — January, 1882 

7 Francis A. Pratt December, 1880 — November, 1881 

8 Theo. N. Ely 1881— November, 1882 

9 Washington Jones 1881 — November, 1882 

10 Wm. p. Trowbridge 1881 — November, 1883 

11 E. D. Leavitt 1881— December, 1882 

12 Chas. E. Emery 1881-1883 

13 S. B. Whiting 1882-1883 

14 John Fritz 1882-1884 

15 Henry Morton 1882-1884 

16 Wm. Metcalp 1882-1884 

17 A. B. Couch 1883-1885 

18 W. R. EcKART 1883-1885 

19 J. V. Merrick 1883-1885 

20 Chas W. Copeland 1884-1886 

21 Henry R. Towne 1884-1886 

22 Coleman Sellers 1884-1885 

23 Olin H. Landreth 1885-1886 

24 Allan Stirling 1885-1887 

25 Horace See 1885-1887 

26 Chas. H, Loring 1885-1887 

27 Jos. Morgan, Jr 1886-1888 

28 Chas. T. Porter 1886-1888 

29 Horace S. Smith 1886-1888 

30 W. S. G. Baker 1887-1889 

31 H. G. Morris 1887-1889 

32 C. J. H. Woodbury 1887-1889 

33 Thos. J. Borden 1888-1890 

34 William Kent 1888-1890 

35 Charles B. Richards 1888-1890 

36 De Volson Wood 1889-1891 

37 Joel Sharp 1889-1891 

38 Geo. W. Weeks 1889-1891 

39 Stephen W. Baldwin 1890-1892 

40 Alex. Gordon 1890-1892 

41 Jno. F. Parkhurst 1890-1892 

42 George I. Alden 1891-1893 

43 E. F. C. Davis 1891-1893 

44 Irving M. Scott 1891-1893 

45 Charles Wallace Hunt 1892-1894 

46 Edwin Reynolds 1892-1894 

47 Thos. R. Pickering 1892-1894 

48 Percival Roberts, Jr 1893-1895 

49 H. J. Small 1893-1895 

50 Charles E. Billings 1893-1895 



136 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

51 Prank H. Ball 1894-1896 

62 M. L, HOLMAN 1894-1896 

53 Jesse M. Smith 1894-1896 

54 Francis W. Dean 1895-1897 

55 Charles H. Manning 1895-1897 

56 George W. Melville 1895-1897 

67 Edwin S. Cramp 1896-1898 

58 W. F. DuRPEE 1896-1898 

69 S. T. Wellman 1896-1898 

60 Charles M. Jarvis 1897-1899 

61 Walter S. Kussel 1897-1899 

62 John C. Kajper 1897-1899 

63 E, D. Meier 1898-1900 

64 George R. Stetson 1898-1900 

65 B. H. Warren 1898-1900 

66 Jesse M. Smith 1899-1901 

67 Stevenson Taylor 1899-1901 

68 David Townsend 1899-1901 

69 James M. Dodge 1900-1902 

70 Ambrose Swasey 1900-1902 

71 Arthur M. Waitt 1900-1902 

72 M. E. CooLEY 1901-1903 

73 Wilfred Lewis 1901-1903 

74 M. P. Higgins 1901-1903 

75 James Christie 1902-1904 

76 F, H. Daniels 1902-1904 

77 John B. Freeman 1902-1904 

78 D. S. Jacobus 1903-1905 

79 William J. Keep 1903-1905 

80 M. L. Holman 1903-1905 

81 S. M. Vauclain 1904-1906 

82 H. H. Westinghousb. 1904-1906 

83 Fred. W, Taylor 1904-1905 

84 Geo. H. Barrus 1905-1906 

85 Walter M. McFarland 1905-1907 

86 RoBT. C. McKiNNEY 1905-1907 

87 Edward N. Trump 1905-1907 

88 Philbtus W. Gates 1906-1908 

89 John W. Lieb, Jr 1906-1908 

90 Alex Dow 1906-1908 

91 L. P. Breckenridge 1907-1909 

92 Fred J. Miller 1907-1909 

93 Arthur West 1907-1909 

94 Geo. M. Bond 1908-1910 

95 E. C. Carpenter 1908-1910 

96 F. M. Whyte 1908-1910 

97 Chas. Whiting Baker 1909-1911 

98 W. F. M. Goss 1909-1911 

99 E. D. Meier 1909-1910 

100 Alex. C. Humphreys 1910-1911 

101 Geo. M. Brill 1910-1912 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 137 

102 Edwin M. Here 1910-1912 

103 Henry H. Vaughan 1910-1912 

104 Wm. F. Durand 1911-1913 

105 Ira N. Hollis 1911-1913 

106 Thos. B. Stearns 1911-1913 

107 I. E. MouLTROP 1912-1914 

108 H. G. Stott 1912-1914 

109 E. B. Katte 1913-1914 

110 H. L. Gantt 1913-1915 

111 E. E. Keller. 1913-1915 

112 H. G. Reist 1913-1915 

113 Henry Hess 1914-1916 

114 Geo W. Dickie 1914-1916 

115 James E. Sague 1914-1916 

MANAGERS 

1 Wm. p. Trowbridge April, 1880 — November, 1881 

2 Theo. N. Ely April, 1880 — November, 1881 

3 J. C. Hoadley April, 1880 — ^November, 1881 

4 Washington Jones April, 1880 — ^November, 1881 

5 Wm. B. Cogswell April, 1880 — November, 1882 

6 Chas. B. Richards April, 1880 — November, 1882 

7 S. B. Whiting April, 1880— November, 1882 

8 E. D. Leavitt, Jr April, 1880 — November, 1882 

9 J. F. HoLLOWAY November, 1880 — November, 1883 

10 Geo. W. Fisher November, 1880— November, 1883 

11 Allan Stirling November. 1881 — November, 1884 

12 Geo. H. Babcock 1881 — November, 1884 

13 S. W. Robinson 1881— November, 1884 

14 John E. Sweet 1882-1883 

15 Robt. W. Hunt 1882-1885 

16 Chas T. Porter 1882-1885 

17 C. J. H. Woodbury 1882-1885 

18 W. F. DuRFEE 1883-1886 

19 Oberlin Smith 1883-1886 

20 C. C. WORTHINGTON 1883-1886 

21 Wm. Lee Church. 1884-1887 

22 Wm. Hewitt 1884-1887 

23 Chas. H. Morgan 1884-1887 

24 Hamilton A. Hill 1885-1888 

25 WiLLLiM Kent 1885-1888 

26 Saml. T. Wellman 1885-1888 

27 John T. Hawkins 1886-1889 

28 Fredk. G. Coggin 1886-1889 

29 Thos. R. Morgan, Se 1886-1889 

30 Stephen W. Baldwin 1887-1890 

31 Fredk. Grinnell 1887-1890 

32 Morris Sellers 1887-1890 

33 Frank H. Ball. 1888-1891 

34 Geo. M. Bond 1888-1891 

35 Wm. Forsyth 1888-1891 



138 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

36 Jas. E. Denton 1889-1892 

37 Cakleton W. Nason 1889-1892 

38 H. H. Westinghousb 1889-1892 

39 Andrew Fletchee 1890-1893 

40 WoBCESTEE E. Warner 1890-1893 

41 Coleman Sellers, Jr 1890-1893 

42 Jas. M. Dodge 1891-1894 

43 KoBT. Forsyth 1891-1894 

44 Jesse M. Smith 1891-1894 

45 John Thompson 1892-1895 

46 Charles W. Pusey 1892-1895 

47 Charles H. Manning 1892-1895 

48 John B, Hebreshopp 1893-1896 

49 Lebbbus B, Miller 1893-1896 

50 Walter S. Russel 1893-1896 

51 Charles A. Bauer. 1894-1897 

52 Arthur C. Walworth 1894-1897 

53 John C. Kafer 1894-1897 

54 Geo. W. Dickie 1895-1898 

55 E. D. Meier 1895-1898 

56 Norman C. Stiles 1895-1898 

57 A. Wells Robinson 1896-1899 

58 H. S. Haines 1896-1899 

59 G. C. Henning 1896-1899 

60 J. B. Stanwood 1897-1900 

61 H. H. SuPLEE 1897-1900 

62 Geo. Richmond 1897-1900 

63 Edgar C. Felton 1898-1901 

64 A. M. GoODALE 1898-1901 

65 Richard H. Soule 1898-1901 

66 Francis H. Boyee 1899-1902 

67 John A. Beashear 1899-1902 

68 Alfred H. Raynal 1899-1902 

69 W. F. M. Goss 1900-1903 

70 D. S. Jacobus 1900-1903 

71 De Courcy May 1900-1903 

72 Charles H. Corbett 1901-1904 

73 H. A. GiLLis 1901-1904 

74 R. S. MooEE 1901-1904 

75 Robt. C. McKinney 1902-1905 

76 Newell Sanders 1902-1905 

77 S. S. Webber 1902-1905 

78 John W. Lieb, Je 1903-1906 

79 Asa M. Mattice 1903-1906 

80 Geo. I. Rockwood 1903-1906 

81 Geoege M. Beill 1904-1907 

82 Feed J. Millee 1904-1907 

83 RicHAED H. Rice 1904-1907 

84 Walter Laidlaw 1905-1908 

85 Feed M. Peescott 1905-1908 

86 Prank G. Tallman 1905-1908 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 13» 

87 G. M. Basford 1906-1909 

88 Andrew J. Caldwell 1906-1909 

89 Andrew L. Biker 1906-1909 

90 Wm. L. Abbott 1907-1910 

91 Alex C. Humphreys 1907-1910 

92 Henry G. Stott 1907-1910 

93 H. L. Gantt 1908-1911 

94 I, E. MouLTROP 1908-1911 

95 W. J. Sando 1908-1911 

96 J. Sellers Bancroft 1909-1911 

97 James Haktness 1909-1912 

98 H. G. Eeist 1909-1912 

99 Henry G. Stott 1911-1912 

100 D. F. Crawford 1910-1913 

101 Stanley G. Flagg, Je. 1910-1913 

102 E. B. Katte 1910-1913 

103 Charles J. Davtoson 1911-1914 

104 Henry Hess 1911-1914 

105 George A. Orrok 1911-1914 

106 Alfred Noble 1912-1914 

107 H. M. Leland 1912-1915 

108 W. B. Jackson 1912-1915 

109 A. M. Greene, Jr 1913-1916 

110 John Hunter 1913-1916 

111 Elliott H. Whitlock 1913-1916 

112 Charles T. Main 1914-1917 

113 Spencer Miller 1914-1917 

114 Max Toltz 1914-1917 

115 Morris L. Cooke 1914-1917 

VICE-PEESIDENTS 

(1) One of the founders of the Society. Would have 
been made a president had he lived. Originated the 
duplex non-flywheel pump and the single pump with 
steam driven slide valve. Built many waterworks 
pumping engines. 

(2) and (3) See Presidents. 

(4) Military engineer, writer on Cements and 
Building stones, highways and fortifications; helped 
fortify New York in 1861. 

(5) Naval engineer; author of book on boilers, con- 
densers, etc. 

(6) See Presidents. 

(7) Founder of firm Pratt and Whitney, builders of 
machine tools and gages, guns and contract work. 

(8) Superintendent of motive power, Pennsylvania 
Railroad. 



140 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

(9) With I. P. Morris, shop superintendent and 
engineer for big engines. 

(10) Vice-President of Novelty Iron Works aften 
army training and work to fortify New York in 1861. 
Then professor of engineering at Yale and Columbia 
Universities; author. 

(12) Navy and Revenue marine; conducted boiler 
tests at Centennial exposition 1876 and established unit 
of boiler horse-power; engineer New York Steam Com- 
pany. 

(13) Engineer for coal-mining company and Calumet 
and Hecla Copper Company. 

(15) First president, Stevens Institute of Tech- 
nology, and expert in physics; gave largely to build up 
Institute. 

(16) Steel expert in crucible processes. 

(17) Machine tools with Bement of Philadelphia; 
gave his library to A. S. M. E. 

(18) Naval engineer; went to California and was 
active in mining machinery waterworks and cable rail- 
way machinery. 

(19) Pumping and other large machinery, turbines 
and contracts. 

(20) Naval engineer, designing engines for water- 
works and vessels. Originated the gallows frame for 
paddle-vessels, and with Stevens the lozenge open- 
framed beam and the tappet and toe for such engines 
and their valve gear, modifying the Fulton engine for 
smooth water vessels. 

(22) Professor of engineering at Vanderbilt and 
Union Colleges. 

(24) Designer of Stirling Water tube boiler. First 
engineer of New York Elevated Railroad. 

(27) Steel works, engineer and manager; developed 
furnaces and machinery at Cambria Iron Works. 

(28) Originator of high-speed steam engine designs; 
authority on use of indicator for engines; designer of 
weighted governor to secure isochronism; expert in 
testing. 



m 





>^f^^-?'— ^ 



/v_^ c^C (y^^>-^^-^ 



TREASURER iaeO-1881 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF M ECMAN ICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 141 

(29) Steel works engineer. 

(30) Works manager; car wheel manufacturer. 

(31) Consulting engineer; worker on storage bat- 
teries for street railways. 

(32) Insurance expert; researches into mill construc- 
tion and fire protection, later telephone engineer. 

(33) Mill engineer and builder; later automatic 
sprinkler fire extinguishers. 

(34) Steel engineer, boiler expert, author of engi- 
neers ' pocketbook ; professor of engineering at Syracuse 
University. 

(35) Designer of Richards indicator; first testing 
machine at Colt's Armory; president of Southwark 
Foundry; professor at Yale University. 

(36) Professor at Stevens Institute; author on ma- 
terials and thermodynamics. 

(37) Buckeye Engine Works' president. 

(38) Manufacturer of wire-cloth and textile mill 
manager. Made bequest to Library, A. S. M. E. 

(39) N. Y. representative, Pennsylvania Steel Com- 
pany; served A. S. M. E. as Chairman of its Finance 
Committee for 18 years ; as chairman of many nominat- 
ing committees and other special Society committees and 
responsible for many details of policy. Largely the 
donor of the Hoadley collection of instruments and appa- 
ratus. 

(40) Engine and tool builder, iron works practice. 

(41) Machine tools. 

(42) Professor at Worcester Institute, designer of 
machinery emery wheels and plunger elevators. 

(44) Works manager for Union Iron Works at San 
Francisco. Responsible for engines of U. S. S. Oregon 
which came round the Cape at full speed in 1898 to reach 
Santiago. 

(47) Inventor of spring governor. 

(48) Steel works engineer, owner and manager. 

(49) Superintendent of motive power, Pacific Coast 
Railways. 



142 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

(51) Engine designer, works manager and owner; 
designer of dynamometric and flywheel shaft governor. 

(54) Consulting engineer, designer of boilers, engines 
and power plants. 

(55) Naval engineer, mill engineer, designer of Man- 
ning boiler. 

(57) Shipbuilder. 

(58) Engineer for Kelly in first U. S. Pneumatic 
steel making process and for Ward of Detroit ; engineer 
for Wheeler and Wilson Company and Mitis Casting 
Process, for C. W. Hunt Company. Gave by partial 
purchase his unique library to the Society and his collec- 
tion of drawings to A. S. M. E. and to Columbia 
University. 

(60) Bridge maker. 

(61) Works manager and car wheel manufacturer. 

(62) Naval engineer and for Morgan Iron Works; 
Treasurer for the building fund of Engineering So- 
cieties; leader in the land purchase and for the Engi- 
neers' Club. 

(64) Manufacturer of twist drills and related 
products ; manager electric lighting and power company. 

(65) Manufacturer of injectors, engineer for Yale 
and Towne and Westinghouse Company. Formerly naval 
engineer. 

(67) President and engineer for works building 
passenger and freight vessels for river and coast-wise 
service with W. A. Fletcher and Quintard Iron Works, 
President Webb Academy for shipbuilders and the So- 
ciety of Naval Engineers and Marine Architects. 

(68) Manufacturer of bolts and nuts. 

(71) Superintendent of Motive Power, New York 
Central and Hudson Kiver Railroad. 

(72) Ex-naval engineer; professor. State University 
of Michigan. 

(73) Manufacturer and engineer; expert for Wm. 
Sellers and Company. 

(74) Educator and head of shop manufactory of the 
Worcester Institute; promotor of half-time schools for 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 143 

apprentices; engineer plunger elevator and Norton 
emery wheel. 

(75) Steel and bridge maker. 

(76) Wire and rod mill expert and manufacturer. 

(78) Professor in experimental engineering labora- 
tory of Stevens Institute; boiler expert; most active in 
committee work and in papers and discussions before 
A. S. M. E. 

(79) Expert in cast iron ; manufacturer of stove plate 
and thin and decorative cast iron; devised testing ma- 
chines for test ingots ; active in committee work. 

(81) Locomotive builder with Baldwin Company and 
shop superintendent; expert designer of compound loco- 
motives and locomotive valve gear. 

(82) Air brake expert and manufacturer; engineer of 
firm for installing power plants. Brother of George 
Westinghouse. 

(85) Ex-naval engineer; engineer for Westinghouse 
Companies. 

(86) Machine tool builder. 

(87) General superintendent of Solvay Process Com- 
pany, engineer, expert and manufacturer. 

(88) Foundry and machine works. 

(89) Electric engineer and power plant manager; 
assistant to Edison and introducer of Edison lighting 
system into Italy. 

(90) Electric lighting plant engineer. 

(91) Professor and expert; head of experimental 
engineering laboratories at University of Illinois and at 
Yale. 

(92) Editor American Machinist; factory manager; 
builder of machinery and tools. 

(93) Builder of large gas engines. 

(94) Designer and builder of standards of length and 
comparators for testing accuracy of gages. 

(95) Professor of experimental engineering; author. 

(96) Superintendent of railway motive power. 

(97) Engineering editor and expert; designer of 
special machinery. 



144 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

(100) Power plant expert and consulting engineer. 

(102) Expert in transportation problems. 

(103) Consulting engineer. 

(104) Ex-naval engineer ; professor of marine design. 

(105) Ex-naval engineer; professor of engineering, 
Harvard University; President Worcester Institute. 

(106) Mining machinery. 

(107) Power plant engineer; electric lighting and 
power generating and management. 

(108) Engineer for subway power plants in New 
York City. 

(109) Railway engineer and expert specialist in 
electrification of trunk lines. 

(110) Specialist in works management and economic 
production; originator of a bonus system for pajdng 
labor. 

(111) President of electric wire manufacturing plant. 

(112) Electrical engineer; designer electric ma- 
chinery. 

(113) Manufacturer and designer, specializing in ball 
bearings. 

(114) Marine engine designer, builder and works 
manager. 

(115) Locomotive and railway expert; public service 
commissioner. 

MANAGERS 

In the list of Managers will be found a large number 
repeating from the foregoing lists, as the practice of pro- 
moting managers to Vice-Presidents was very frequently 
followed. 

(3) Designer of the first single-valve automatically 
regulating steam engine with flyball governor on the re- 
volving flywheel shaft. His first engine exhibiting this 
principle and a feature of the Centennial of 1876 is in the 
possession of Columbia University as a model. 

(5) Mining engineer and chemical manufacturer; 
managing director of Solvay Process Company. 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 145 

(10) Consulting engineer in general practice in St. 
Louis. 

(13) Professor, Ohio State University, and railway 
commissioner of his State. 

(20) Son of H. E. Worthington and successor; donor 
of memorial hydraulic laboratory to memory of his 
father at Columbia University. 

(21) Of the firm of Westinghouse, Church, Kerr and 
Company. 

(22) With Cooper, Hewitt and Company as engineer 
in steel and iron construction work, wire works and wire 
rope conveyors. 

(24) Engineer-salesman, supplying machine tools. 

(27) Ex-naval engineer and manufacturer. 

(28) Mining and metallurgical engineer and ore- 
dressing mill man. 

(29) Builder of heavy machinery, shears and presses 
and rolling mills, drove his traveling cranes with a 
square shaft. 

(31) Fire extinguishers and automatic sprinklers. 

(32) Railway supplies. 

(35) Railway motive power. 

(36) Professor at Stevens Institute in the experi- 
mental engineering laboratory ; expert before the courts. 

(37) Steam and hot water heating; traps. 

(39) Head of the W. and A. Fletcher Company, 
making marine engines for the Hudson River service, for 
ferries and Long Island Sound and elsewhere. Designer 
of Mary Powell engines. 

(41) Son of Coleman Sellers ; in same line of work. 

(43) Metallurgical engineer and rolling mills. 

(45) Printing presses of high class; water meters. 

(46) Marine engines and machinery for colonial in- 
dustries. 

(48) Chemical engineer and works manager. 

(49) Manufacturing engineer with Singer Sewing 
Machine Company. 

(51) Manufacturer of steam engines. 



146 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

(52) Steam and water heating, machinery tools and 
materials. 

(54) Chief engineer, Union Iron Works, San Fran- 
cisco ; marine engineer ; cable and colonial machinery. 

(56) Drop presses. 

(57) Steam shovels, dredges and railway machinery. 

(58) Eailway manager. 

(59) Expert in testing and inspection; diamond cut- 
ting tools; designer of extensometers and testing ma- 
chines. 

(60) Engine builder; professor of engineering. 

(61) Expert and editor. 

(62) Gas and refrigerating machinery; thermody- 
namist. 

(63) Steel works manager. 

(64) Consulting engineer; mill expert. 

(65) Railway motive power superintendent. 

(66) Engineer of refrigeration plant. 

(67) Maker of optical glass and telescope lenses; fine 
machinery for scientific apparatus; educator, physicist, 
astronomer. 

(68) Naval engine builder, U. S. Navy engineer, shop 
administrator. 

(71) Engineer for shipyards. 

(72) Engineer, Continental Iron Works, gas ma- 
chinery. 

(73) Railway engineer; Colonial machinery. 

(74) Consulting engineer. 

(76) Manufacturer agricultural machinery. 

(77) Engineer for iron production. 

(79) Ex-naval engineer, designer and expert. 

(80) Engine and power plant designer; specialist in 
compound engines for mills. 

(83) Engine designer and builder. 

(84) Steam pumps. 

(85) Steam pumps. 

(86) Steel pipe engineer ; manufacturer of explosives. 

(87) Technical newspaper editor; locomotive expert. 

(88) Printing presses; consulting engineer. 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 147 

(89) Expert and engineer, motor vehicles. 

(90) Expert in tests; consulting engineer. 

(92) Power plant designer, engineer and manager. 

(94) Power plant engineer. 

(95) Consulting engineer. 

(96) Engineer and manufacturer. 

(97) Manufacturer, expert in rapid manufacture. 

(98) Electrical engineer and works manager. 

(100) Superintendent of railway motive power. 

(101) Engineer and manufacturer. 

(102) Electrical railway engineer. 

(103) Engineer, of firm Woodmansee and Davidson. 

(104) Manufacturer of ball bearings. Donor of the 
Henry Hess fund for prizes for best papers. 

(105) Power plant engineer; engineer for the general 
manager. New York Edison Company. 

(106) Consulting civil engineer. One of Panama 
Canal Commission. Tunnels and canalization of rivers. 

(107) Motor vehicle manufacturer. General manager, 
Cadillac Motor Company. 

(108) General consulting electrical engineer. 

(109) Professor mechanical engineering, Rensselaer 
Polytechnic, Troy; author. 

(110) Power plant engineer. Union Electric Light 
and Power Company. 

(111) Factory manager. 

(112) Consulting engineer, mill power plants. 

(113) Engineer and designer, hoisting and conveying 
machinery. 

(114) Eailway superintendent of motive power. 

(115) Director of Public Works, City of Philadelphia. 
Expert in scientific management. 

Of the persons who have served the Society as 
Treasurers and Secretaries, it may be said that the So- 
ciety is fortunate in having had a limited number of each. 
The list is as follows : 

TREASUEEES 

Lycurgxjs B. Moore April, 1880 — ^December, 1881 

Charles W. Copeland December, 1881 — November, 1884 

William H. Wiley November, 1884 — date. 



148 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

SECRETARIES 

Saml. S. Webbkb, Jk Secy, organization meeting, 1880 

Lycuequs B. Mooee. . . .Acting Secretary, April — November, 1880 

Thos. Whiteside Rae November, 1880 — March, 1883 

F. R. HuTTON 1883-1906 

Calvin W, Rice 1906-date 

Mr. Moore had had a commercial and business train- 
ing and when asked to be custodian of dues and other 
income at the origin of the Society, he was acting as 
treasurer for the American Machinist Company. He 
acted also as Secretary for several months while Mr. 
HoUey and Dr. Thurston were really operating the de- 
tails other than clerical. After his re-election in 1881 
to the office as Treasurer by formal vote of the Society, 
he insisted on declining to serve, on a principle that his 
official relation to a technical journal was a bar to the 
best lines of development of the Society, because his 
relation to journalism would be an occasion for jealousy. 

Mr. Copeland was a marine engineer and although 
without specific commercial or financial training, his age 
and sterling character made him a wise selection. The 
routine of bookkeeping was done for him by his capable 
clerk, Mr. Morison, who did all the detailed work. The 
early members' ledgers are in the handwriting of the 
latter. His office was in 32 Park Place, one flight up. As 
has been elsewhere mentioned, it did not commend itself 
that the Society should be employing a Treasurer's clerk 
to do work which could be better done in the Secretary's 
office, so that Mr. Copeland was nominated for the Vice- 
Presidency and a new Treasurer was sought in 1884. 
Major Wm. H. Wiley as Chairman of the Finance Com- 
mittee had been active in urging the economy due to a 
transfer of the duties of collecting and accounting to 
the office of the Secretary, and was therefore unable to 
hold out against the pressure to **take his own medicine" 
and become Treasurer under the policy which he had 
advocated and to make it a success. 

Major William H. Wiley was a graduate of the Rens- 
selaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy. He went first into 




^^7^ 



TREASURER 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 




A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETT 149 

railroading in OMo, but later at the request of Ms father, 
the late John Wiley, he returned to New York to develop 
the department of scientific and engineering textbook 
publishing which was then to be undertaken. The tech- 
nical affiliations and interests of such a position, coupled 
with its commercial requirements, have made Major 
Wiley an ideal Treasurer and he has been renominated 
and elected to succeed himself for nearly thirty years. 
He has his military title from service as a mere lad as 
officer of an artillery regiment in the War of the Ee- 
bellion ; and has twice been sent as representative of the 
State of New Jersey to the United States Congress. 

The Treasurer of the Society is the key to its treasury, 
which only opens on his signature upon a Society check. 
Such disbursements in detail to individual creditors as 
may be required are made by a cashier whom the 
Treasurer keeps in funds by a single large check at in- 
tervals ; and all disbursements by the cashier must be on 
approved vouchers, certified as satisfactory by the 
Finance Conunittee through its Chairman. The Com- 
mittee again look to the Secretary and to the Standing 
Committees for their approval of such vouchers and the 
wisdom of the expenditure demanded ; while the Council 
as trustees over all the interests control appropriations 
to the committees in their annual budget. 

Samuel 8. Webber, who was the first recorded Secre- 
tary, was the young son of Mr. Samuel Webber, even 
then a veteran in New England, and a specialist in water- 
wheel engineering and the turbine. He was chosen as 
a burden bearer for that meeting by reason of his lusty 
youth, but no filed records are extant, and he did no 
work after the meeting. 

At the ratification meeting in April at which the 
Eules were adopted and the officers elected, Mr. James C. 
Bayles acted as Secretary of the meeting and of the So- 
ciety. He was then the editor of Iron Age and wielded a 
facile pen. Later he became Health Commissioner of 
the City of New York, at the urgent request of Mayor 
Abram S. Hewitt, and after his term expired identified 



150 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

himself with an enterprise for the manufacture of 
spirally welded pipe in long units. But the problem of 
the joints had not been worked out at that time and 
both Mr. Bayles and the many friends enlisted with him 
were heavy losers. He had a charming personality, and 
was a clever and witty speaker. 

Mr. Moore acted as Secretary as well as Treasurer 
until Mr. Thomas Whiteside Rae, Mr. Worthington's 
son-in-law, was appointed Secretary in the fall of 1880, 
before the first meeting for papers. He was an ex-naval 
engineer with special experience in submarine telegraph 
cable work, and his office was at 239 Broadway. He 
served as Secretary in the three New York Meetings of 
1880, 1881 and 1882, and the Hartford and Altoona Meet- 
ings. He served until his successor was elected and ac- 
cepted on March 1, 1883. 

Prof. Frederick Remsen Hutton was Junior Professor 
of Mechanical Engineering in Columbia University. He 
was thirty years old. The Society could not afford an 
office, so he rented one for himself. His first volunteer 
assistant was his brother. Dr. Allan C. Hutton, and later 
Mr. Charles G. Strang was engaged at a salary which 
the Secretary for some time paid out of his own com- 
pensation of $1000 per annum. Mr. Strang after about 
a year was succeeded by Mr. Harry L. Dessar (with a 
summer interval with Mr, Louis Gross) and then Mr. 
John H. Allen began his long service, just after the 
office had been moved to the Stewart Building at 280 
Broadway. Mr. Allen served until 1891 when he was 
succeeded by Mr. Francis W. Hoadley who was well and 
favorably known to so many of the members and who 
served until after the move to the Engineering Building 
in 1906-1907. 

The earlier secretaries before Mr. Rae were in reality 
recording secretaries and not executives. With Mr. Rae 
began the system of making the Secretary the executive 
officer of the Society as well as its recorder and clerk. 
This grew under the incumbency of his successor, until 
the Secretary by long tenure and wide acquaintance be- 




SECRETARY I880-I883 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 151 

came not only the executive of the legislation of the 
Council, but also, and perhaps more emphatically, the 
initiating intelligence, preparing and digesting material 
to be submitted to the Council and taking original action, 
which the Council should afterward make its own when 
it should approve. This philosophy had some advantages 
in the days of small things and made for speed and 
efficiency. As the Society grew in numbers and in the 
scope of its activities, this earlier plan was seen by the 
foresighted to be compassed with the dangers of limiting 
such activity of the Society to the capacity of its Secre- 
tary; and with his full concurrence and support the 
philosophy of control and management by standing com- 
mittees under the Council was substituted for the earlier 
policy in 1904 (See Chapter V.) The Secretary was 
secretary of each committee and so in touch for sugges- 
tions and recommendations as before, and in a place of 
executive authority after the deliberations of the com- 
mittees had formulated a policy. This is the plan in 
operation at this writing. 

Professor Hutton had written a monograph on Ma- 
chine Tools for the census of 1880, now an historic 
classic of its date, and two textbooks, on Mechanical 
Engineering of Power Plants and on the Gas Engine. 
While in office he did a limited amount of expert and con- 
sulting practice only, by reason of the full occupation of 
his time in his professional work at Columbia and as 
dean of its Engineering Faculty and in the work of the 
Society. He was editor for encyclopedias and diction- 
aries, notably the Century edition of 1911. He was con- 
sulting mechanical engineer for the Department of 
Water, Gas and Electricity for a year after completing 
his service to the Society; consulting engineer for the 
Automobile Club of America, and in a general office 
practice. On the completion of his twenty-four years, 
the Society presented to Professor Hutton a gold tablet 
medal, inscribed: 



162 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

Presented by 
THE Council of 

The American Society 

OF 

Mechanical Engineers 

TO 

FREDERICK REMSEN HUTTON 
E.M., Ph.D., ScD. 

In grateful appreciation of 
wise counsel, untiring in- 
dustry and loyal devotion as 
secretary for twenty-four 

YEARS 
1883-1907 

Professor Hutton was elected Honorary Secretary in 
1907. 

The fifth Secretary is Mr. Calvin Winsor Rice, elected 
in 1906 and still in office. Mr. Rice was a graduate with 
the Class of 1890 from the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology. He served progressively in all departments 
of the General Electric Company, including manufac- 
turing, designing, office engineering, supervision of con- 
struction and operation in the field. He had also served 
as vice-president and general manager of one of the 
Westinghouse companies and at the time he was invited 
to become Secretary he was engineer in the New York 
office of the General Electric Company. Previous to be- 
coming Secretary, he was always an active worker in 
organizations, serving in one of the other national engi- 
neering societies consecutively as member of the Finance 
Committee, Chairman of the Meetings and Papers Com- 
mittee, Chairman of the Sections Committee and Chair- 
man of the Building Committee; and in this Society he 
had served as Chairman of the Meetings Committee. 
The history of his administration will be written by other 
and later hands. 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



CHAPTEE Vin 

Some Eably Membees of the Society — Honobaby 

Membebs 

In the brief summary of the previous chapters the 
claims for remembrance have been mentioned in the case 
of those who have borne office. But there were many 
others in the early roster who served the Society on its 
laborious committees or who never came on the roll of 
its officers, yet who are more than deserving of similar 
recognition in a historical review. The Honorary 
Members also who have passed away should be included 
in any effort to show how greatly their association with 
the Society has strengthened and distinguished it. 

Honorary Membership in the Society was at first re- 
stricted to men who had virtually retired from active 
practice. This was later seen to impose unnecessary 
restrictions and to keep from the Society and from 
eligible persons the mutual advantage of this pleasant 
relation. The list has been restricted to twenty-five so 
that it should be conferred only in cases of distinguished 
achievement or noteworthy service, and given to men of 
really exceptional position and reputation. 

The list of Honorary Members no longer living in- 
cludes the following: 

name date of electiok died 

(1) Horatio Axlen 1880 1889 

(2) Daniel K. Claek November, 1882 1896 

(3) Exn)OLPH Clausius November, 1882 1888 

(4) Pbtee Coopee November, 1882 1883 

(5) O. Hallauer November, 1882 1883 

(6) G. A. HiKN November, 1882 1890 

(7) Edwabd J. Eeed November, 1882 1906 

(8) Franz Reuleatjx November, 1882 1905 

(9) Henri Schneider November, 1882 1898 

(10) C. William Siemens November, 1882 1883 

(11) Henri Tresca November, 1882 1885 

153 



154 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

(12) JoHANN Bauschingke November, 1882 1893 

(13) Frederick Bramwell November, 1884 1904 

(14) F. Grashof November, 1884 1893 

(15) GusTAV Herrmann November, 1884 1907 

(16) Benjamin Baker May, 1886 1907 

(17) James Dredge May, 1886 1906 

(18) Francis A. Walker May, 1886 1897 

(19) V. Dwelshauvers-Dery 1886 1913 

(20) John Coode November, 1889 1892 

(21) Joseph Hirsch November, 1889 1901 

(22) Chas T. Porter. January, 1890 1910 

(23) Henry Bessemer June, 1891 1898 

(24) William Arrol 1895 1913 

(25) John Fritz 1900 1913 

(26) GusTAV Canet December, 1900 1908 

(27) William H. White 1900 1913 

(28) Chas. H. Haswell April, 1905 1907 

(29) George W. Melville February, 1910 1912 

(30) Carl Gustav Patrick db Laval . . 1912 1913 

(31) Rudolph Diesel 1912 1913 

(32) George Westinghouse 1897 1914 

A man to be elected to Honorary Membership will 
usually have a long life behind him to justify his honor. 
Death has therefore a longer list than that of the active 
living men. 

(1) Ran the first imported service locomotive in 
America in 1830, a Stephenson engine operated at Hones- 
dale, Pa. Later he was president of the Novelty Iron 
Works in New York, building steam vessels and other 
machinery, up to and during the war of 1861-1865. 

(2) English railway engineer, author and experi- 
menter. Clark's tables was a classic of its day. 

(3) German author and teacher. Developer of 
modern theory of thermodynamics. 

(4) American manufacturer and philanthropist. 
Iron master with Abram S. Hewitt. Glue manufacturer. 
Founder of Cooper Union in New York for education of 
apprentices and the general public. 

(5) Swiss experimenter, engineer and author. 

(6) Alsatian engineer, experimenter and constructor; 
first applied wire rope at high speed for long drives. 

(7) English marine engineer and ship designer. 

(8) Educator and mathematician. Founder of the 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 156 

Royal High School at Charlottenberg. Author of Kine- 
matics of Machinery and The Constructor. 

(9) Iron master, designer of furnaces and forge ma- 
chinery, ship and engine builder of France. Significant 
name in history of steel making. 

(10) Metallurgist and electrical engineer, Berlin and 
England ; designer of regenerative principle for perheat- 
ing gas for furnaces. 

(11) French engineer, experimenter and author. 

(12) German educator and author on Machine Design. 

(13) British consulting engineer. 

(14) German educator and author. 

(15) German educator and author. 

(16) Consulting engineer ; built the Assouan Dam and 
the Forth Bridge. 

(17) Editor of London Engineering, author and 
writer; very active in bringing about the first trans- 
Atlantic visit of 1889. 

(18) Economist and author; head of tenth census, 
the greatest industrial census up to that time ; president, 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

(19) Belgian educator, experimenter and author. 

(20) British consulting engineer for colonial work; 
president Institution of Civil Engineers when A. S. M. E. 
visited England in 1889. 

(21) French engineer and writer. 

(22) Designer of first high-speed steam engines and 
of Porter isochronous governor. 

(23) British metallurgist; inventor of steel process 
in England at about the same time that Kelly brought 
out his pneumatic process for the removal of carbon and 
silicon from a bath of melted pig-iron. 

(24) Builder of Forth and other great British bridges 
for railways ; Tower bridge of London. 

(25) Creator of Bethlehem steel and iron plant, 
armor and mandrel forging plant, harveying plant, later 
consulting engineer. 

(26) French engineer and manufacturer. 

(27) English marine consulting engineer and de- 



166 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

signer both for navy and trans-Atlantic marine. De- 
signed Lusitania and Mauretania and other turbine 
driven vessels of great size and speed. Eeceived Fritz 
medal. 

(28) First Engineer-in- Chief of U. S. Navy, in- 
troduced steam for propulsion; author of first engineer's 
pocketbook. 

(29) Engineer of United States Navy in the relief 
expedition for De Long and the Jeannette. Engineer-in- 
Chief during war of 1898 with Spain. Introduced marine 
repair ship to avoid return of squadron to a repair base. 
Introduced distilling ships; fostered triple-screw pro- 
pulsion and water-tube boilers. 

(30) Swedish inventor of steam turbines with high 
speed of motor used directly in centrifugal separators 
and with herringbone reduction gears for general pur- 
poses. 

(31) Designer of internal-combustion motors with 
high compression of air only and an injection of liquid 
fuel into the highly heated air. Lost at sea. 

(32) Designer of compressed air train brake and 
signal system; designer of electrical power-generating 
apparatus; manufacturer and consulting engineer. 

The active list of living Honorary Members at the 
time of preparing this chapter includes the following 
persons : 

(33) GusTAV Eiffel 1886 

(34) Henei Leaute 1891 

(35) Bbnj. F. Ishebwood 1894 

(36) Wm. Cawthorne Unwin 1898 

(37) Sib Douglas Fox 1900 

(38) John E, Sweet 1904 

(39) Thos. Alva Edison 1904 

(40) Andrew Carnegie 1907 

(41) John A. Brashear 1908 

(42) John A. F. Aspinall 1911 

(43) Anatole Mallet 1912 

(44) OsKAR VON Miller 1912 

(45) Charles H. Manning 1913 

(46) Alfred Fernandez Yarrow 1914 

(47) Erasmus D. Leavitt 1915 

(33) French designer of steel work bridges and 




ESIDENT 1895 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 157 

viaducts; projector and designer of the tower which 
bears his name. 

(34) French consulting engineer. 

(35) Engineer-in-Chief, United States Navy, during 
the war of 1861-1865 ; experimenter and author. 

(36) British educator, author and engineer. 

(37) British iron master, bridge and machinery 
builder. 

(38) Educator at Cornell University and director of 
educational shops ; engine builder and designer, manufac- 
turer, past-president of the Society. 

(39) Inventor and electrical engineer, designer of 
lighting system, telegraph systems, phonograph, cine- 
matograph and combinations. 

(40) Iron master and philanthropist; donor of engi- 
neering building for the engineering societies. 

(41) Manufacturer, educator, astronomer, physicist. 
Maker of telescope lenses and diffraction gratings. 

(42) British railway president. President, Institute 
of Mechanical Engineers, 1910. 

(43) French designer of locomotives for very heavy 
traffic and curved alignment. 

(44) German consulting engineer; head of Munich 
museum of historical technology, mechanics and in- 
dustry. 

(45) Ex-naval engineer and instructor. Power plant 
and textile mill engineer. 

(46) Designer of yacht and boat engines and par- 
ticularly of high-pressure sectional marine boilers, 
motor- vehicles and general engineering products. 

(47) Designer of steam engines of high economy for 
pumping mine-hoisting waterworks and sewage disposal. 
Consulting engineer for Calumet and Hecla Mining Com- 
pany. 

To the above lists should be added the names of A. L. 
HoUey and Henry E. Worthington, Founders of the So- 
ciety. Mr. Holley was a steel works designer, engineer 
and administrator. Mr. Worthington was a hydraulic 
engineer, designer of pumps having no flywheel and the 



158 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

great duplex engines for waterworks and for all 
services. 

The list of early members who died without the dis- 
tinction of office or honorary membership would include : 

Erastus W. Smith, who did much distinguished work 
in paddle-wheel vessels for Sound and Eiver practice 
with beam engines. 

Henry H. Gorringe who brought the obelisk from 
Egypt for erection in Central Park, New York, devising 
machinery for tilting and lowering the massive monolith 
without shock and getting it into the hull of the vessel of 
transportation by cutting a hole in the bow. It was also 
carried across the city and erected in place on arrival. 

D. S. Hines was an associate of H. R. Worthington 
and responsible for much mechanical detail. 

Emile Loiseau was influential in the experiments to 
utilize culm. 

John B. Root designed and constructed a type of 
sectional water tube boiler. 

Jackson Bailey w^as the first editor and one of the 
founders of the American Machinist. 

Cornelius H. Delamater was the owner and principal 
director of the Iron Works in New York City which 
built much of Ericsson's machinery for vessels, including 
the engines of the Monitor, and for his hot-air engines. 
He was an important figure during the war of 1861-1865. 

John Ericsson designed the trans-Atlantic vessel 
operated by hot air instead of steam gas, and designed 
the Monitor and its engines, and afterward experimented 
with motors to utilize the radiated heat from the sun. 

Harvey F. Gaskill, designer of original waterworks 
pumping engines in use in the Middle West. 

William R. Jones, the great steel works manager, who 
lost his life in a blast furnace accident, taking a risk him- 
self which he would not allow a subordinate to take. 

Alfred C. Hobbs, who picked the best English locks 
for an offered prize in 1851 and later developed Ameri- 
can locks before the Yale period and that of the time- 
lock. 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 159 

Stephen Wilcox, designer of early hot air engines, 
and later with George H. Babcock the developer of a 
sectional water-tube boiler. 

A. M. Wellington, a technical journalist and author, 
designer of a series heat engine to operate on liquids of 
differing volatilities, and leaving behind him a monu- 
mental work on the Economic Location of Railways. 

Joshua Rose, writer on shop practice. 

James Francis, hydraulic engineer for mills and 
waterworks practice, designer of a turbine waterwheel, 
and originator of the accepted formula for flow over 
weirs. 

Alfred E. Hunt, identified with early commercial pro- 
duction of aluminum for use in the arts. 

George H. Norman, building waterworks for munici- 
palities and operating them as private corporations. He 
originated and used the cement covered and lined pipe. 

A. C. Rand, founder of a rock drill and air compres- 
sor industry. 

John F. Allen who cooperated with Charles T. 
Porter in the bringing out of an engine of high rotative 
speed, contributing the basic ideas of the valve gearing. 

Jerome Wheelock, builder of steam engines and de- 
signer of a special type of valve and gear. 

Bryan Donkin, English expert, gas engine and steam 
power. 

J. M. Allen, founder of the business of boiler insurance 
on the basis of careful inspection by experts. 

Clark Fisher, designer of joints for railway rails. 

Robert Hoe at the head of the printing press manu- 
factory bearing his name. 

Walter C. Kerr who developed the concept that a 
contractor supply the consulting engineering ability re- 
quired on the contracts which he undertakes, and who 
carried his principle to a successful issue in the great 
terminals at Boston and for the Pennsylvania Railroad 
in New York. 

It must not be inferred that the foregoing references 
exhaust the list of names eminent in the profession who 



160 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

have been connected with the Society and are no longer 
living. Nor does the omission of living persons imply 
that such are not more worthy of record than many so 
listed. But the chapter is one concerning the history 
of the Society and not that of the individual and the 
limits of available space must be recognized in any effort 
to cover the ground which would be possible where these 
would not be felt. It is, however, an effort to keep alive 
the early traditions of the Society, and to preserve on the 
record the names of some who have distinguished its 
early years. 




E AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MP HANICAL ENGINEERS 



CHAPTER IX 
Some Notable Papers Read Before the Society 

A paper may be presented before an engineering so- 
ciety and for publication in its Transactions from a 
variety of motives : 

{a) The author may have something to say or record 
for the benefit of the profession; there may be a re- 
search or a test or a discovery which he desires to share. 

(b) The author may be urged by the Society for its 
reputation to select its public meeting as a place to pre- 
sent a paper by him and its Transactions as a place for 
its record. 

(c) The author may have something which will be a 
benefit to him and to his reputation to publish. 

Papers of the highest grade will benefit all three 
parties: the individual, the Society, the profession and 
the world at large. Papers of the lowest grade must have 
some factor of the upper two classes to make them ac- 
ceptable to a committee on papers and publication. 
Hence, in any list of papers running through the years, 
it will only be papers of the two first classes which will 
be notable; and differences of opinion are most easy 
and possible according to the point of view of the ob- 
server. Papers once notable are perhaps so no longer 
from the very lapse of time. With this explanation, at- 
tention may be called in a history of the Society to the 
following : 

A. L. HoUey (Vol. 1, No. 2), Field of Mechanical 
Engineering, as an early study of the fundamental 
character of the work of the mechanical engineer in all 
the collateral subdivisions of engineering as a whole. 

Coleman Sellers (Vol. 1, No. 4), The Metric System, 

161 



162 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

covering the objections to the unit of length which it 
imposes, in the processes of manufacture. 

John E. Sweet (Vol 1, No. 11), Friction as a factor 
in Motive Power Expenses, and particularly the loss of 
power in packings and in poor alignment of engines. 

John C. Hoadley (Vol. 1, No. 12), High Ratios of Ex- 
pansion and the difficulties of crankpin effort with high 
pressure and early cut-off in simple engines. 

Charles E. Emery (Vol. 2, No. 21), Experiments with 
Non-Conductors of Heat; the first of a long series of 
such researches, and not yet out of date. 

E. D. Leavitt, Jr. (Vol. 2, No. 30), the Superior, a 
type of massive mine engine, where high operating econ- 
omy was of more consequence than the first cost. 

Wolff-Denton (Vol 2, Nos. 32 to 35), Theoretical 
Study of the Most Economical Point of Cut-off, steam 
economy not being the only factor considered. 

C. J. H. Woodbury (Vol. 2, No. 52), Mill Floors, a 
first presentation of the philosophy of the slow burning 
construction. 

Edison-Porter (Vol. 3, No. 71), Edison Steam Dy- 
namo, a description of a direct-coupled unit, in which the 
engine was to meet the high speed of the dynamo of that 
time, and not the dynamo kept to the best speed for the 
engine. 

Gaetano Lanza (Vol. 4, No. 94), Tests on Spruce 
Beams, a series of tests of full size members, then some- 
thing of a novelty, and a check on the usual formulae 
and constants. 

W. E. Ward (Vol. 4, No. 126), B6ton in Combination 
with Iron, a description of a reinforced-concrete resi- 
dence, probably then the first of its kind in the country. 

John M. Ordway (Vol. 5, Nos. 135, 145), More Tests 
on Effectiveness of Non-conducting Coverings. 

W. A. Rogers (Vol. 5, No. 146), A solution of the 
Problem of Making a Perfect Screw for Feed Purposes 
in dividing engines or for ruling diffraction gratings. 

W. F. Durfee (Vol. 6, No. 154), The Experimental 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 163 

Steel Works at Wyandotte, where steel was made by the 
Kelley pneumatic process in anticipation of Bessemer. 

A. C. Hobbs (Vol. 6, No. 167), Locks and their Fail- 
ure, including an account of the picking of the best 
English locks of 1851. 

John T. Henthorn (Vol. 6, No. 174), Friction of 
Shafting in Mills, a diagram of results of tests. 

J. C. Hoadley (Vol. 6, No. 183), Trials of a Warm- 
Blast Apparatus, preheating furnace air from waste 
heat. 

Wilfred Lewis (Vol. 7, No. 198), Transmission of 
Power by Gearing and (Vol. 7, No. 223) by Belting. 

Henry R. Towne (Vol. 7, No. 207), The Engineer or 
an Economist, and (Vol. 10, No. 341) Gain Sharing: the 
first and second papers of many to show the outlook of 
the mechanical engineer as a works manager and em- 
ployer of men on the problems of distribution of profits 
of production. 

Charles E. Emery (Vol. 10, No. 319), Cost of Power 
in Non- Condensing Steam Engines. 

F. A. Halsey, the Premium Plan of Paying for Labor 
(Vol. 12, No. 449), a notable paper which exerted an im- 
portant influence on labor matters in machinery building 
establishments in this country and abroad. 

Robert H. Thurston (Vol. 14, No. 543), Technical 
Education in the United States : a review of the history 
of education under the Land Grant Act of 1862. An illus- 
tration from that paper, shown on the next page, is an 
interesting and serviceable record taken therefrom. 

W. F. Durfee (Vol. 14, No. 549), The History of the 
Art of Interchangeable Construction in Mechanism. 

F. W. Taylor (Vol. 15, No. 568), Notes on Belting, an 
exhaustive investigation as to belt tensions best suited 
to get the most satisfactoiy results in transmission in 
length of life and consequent costs. 

Gaetano Lanza (Vol. 16, No. 609), Tests of the 
Strength of Spruce Columns, another record of tests of 
full size units in continuation of No. 94. 

Charles T. Porter (Vol. 16, Nos. 615 to 618), Papers 



164 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 



450 




i860 1865 1870 J875 1880 1885 1890 

Graduates from Engineering Schools in the United States since 

1860 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 166 

on an Engine Design, his latest achievement in his 
chosen field. 

Fred. W. Taylor (Vol. 16, No. 647), A Piece-Eate 
System. 

W. J. Keep (Vol. 16, Nos. 655, 656), Transverse 
Strength of Cast Iron, and Study of Molecular Changes 
in Metals by varying temperature. Mr. Keep had other 
papers in this field. 

Walter C. Kerr (Vol. 21, No. 845), The Mechanical 
Equipment of the New South Station, Boston, Mass. A 
presentation of his philosophy of having the contractor 
act as consulting engineer and work to his own specifica- 
tions in detail, guaranteeing satisfaction to the owner. 

Milton P. Higgins (Vol. 21, No. 864), Education of 
Machinists, Foremen and Mechanical Engineers. A pres- 
entation of his plan of half-time schools where boys 
should learn a trade while acquiring a common school 
training. 

C. E. Sargent (Vol. 22, No. 879), A New Principle in 
Gas Engine Design. First advocacy of governing by 
control of admission of mixture. 

Henry L. Gantt (Vol. 23, No. 928), A Bonus System 
of Rewarding Labor. This was one of the most dis- 
tinguished series including Taylor, Halsey, Dodge, 
Emerson, Towne and others on the best plan to improve 
the efficiency of the human factors in production, and to 
reduce such cost. 

Frederick A. Halsey (Vol. 12, No. 449), The Pre- 
mium Plan of Paying for Labor; (Vol. 24, No. 971), The 
Metric System. A presentation of the arguments 
against the convenience and practicability of the metric 
unit of length in the processes of industry. 

Rogers Birnie (Vol. 25, No. 1027), Ordnance for the 
Land Service. A plea for the quality of mechanical 
engineering exacted by the ordnance requirements in the 
United States army. 

This list, which makes no pretense to be more than 
an individual's comments and which others would sup- 
plement by other papers having a different view- 



166 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

point, may well be concluded by the monumental 
paper by Fred. W. Taylor on the Art of Cutting Metals, 
his presidential address, published in Volume 28 and 
issued separately in book form, to which reference has 
already been made elsewhere. It incorporates studies, 
tests and experiments extending over many years, and 
recorded with a painstaking accuracy and completeness 
which make them a model. As science and civilization 
advance, the opportunities for epoch-making discoveries 
and their presentation at first hand before scientific so- 
cieties, grew fewer and fewer. More and more the com- 
mercial significance of discoveries and inventions drew 
these into publicity through other channels, and the 
papers which embody their scientific basis appear more 
as discussion of detail, after the fact or material or pro- 
cess has become public property or the investment of the 
capitalist. 



CHAPTER X 

Inteenal or Office Activities of the Society fob thb 

Benefit of Members 

An engineering society such as The American Society 
of Mechanical Engineers has or may have a number of 
functions. It may exist to bring together the repre- 
sentatives of the profession, that it may act as a unit on 
questions referred to such an association, or on matters 
of common and universal interest. It may exist as a 
channel of publication and distribution of papers and 
discussions on topics of moment to such profession and 
as a hall of records, for data, discovery, invention and 
research. It may serve the convenience and advantage 
of the members in ways not open to those who are not 
members. 

Other chapters have treated of the functional 
activities of the Society and of its officers relative to the 
publication and professional record side of its work. The 
work of a committee on papers and publication, the 
preparation of the professional program for meetings, 
the procuring of papers and of qualified participants in 
debate and contributors to the discussions, the selection 
of topics and the whole editorial labor as respects the 
Society Journal and volumes of Transactions, the 
indexing and the great scope of the field of abstract- 
ing, translating and comment on matter outside of the 
literary and publication activity of the Society itself, 
form a very large fraction of that labor expenditure 
which is made possible by an association of many persons 
paying dues to that end. The fact of the publication and 
the existence of the records in Transactions is a large 
part of the contribution which the Society makes to the 
profession as a whole and to its contemporary civiliza- 
tion. 

167 



168 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

But the return to the members themselves outside and 
beyond this return which they share with others is a very 
important part of the significance of their membership. 
Such return comes to them mainly through the activities 
of the office of the Secretary and is conditioned and 
limited only by his abilities and energy. 

There may be placed first in this list, the duty and 
procedure of candidacy for new members. The Society 
will be valuable or valueless according as the quality of 
its membership is lofty or insignificant. While it is true 
that in a true democracy all men are equal before the 
law, opportunity is not open equally to all, nor are all 
men equal when it comes to making delivery of the goods 
desired in the market and for which it will pay in legal 
tender or in the imponderable units of reputation and 
fame. Membership in the Society should be a sort of 
''cachet" or patent of nobility in the profession; and a 
large share of office routine and personnel must be al- 
lotted to this department. Nor can it be unintelligent 
or purely clerical labor or routine, for many cases offer 
peculiarities and differentiations of which account must 
be taken. The larger the Society grows, the greater the 
care necessary, because connection with the Society will 
be desired by the self-seeking for selfish ends of personal 
advancement; the list of candidates grows cumulatively 
with the growth in numbers of those qualified to propose 
members, and the wider and more varied are the 
standards by which eligibility is decided on. 

The accounting or bookkeeping department of a So- 
ciety is quite a business undertaking of its office. It has 
not only the straight routine of annual dues of old mem- 
bers and the charging up of the fees and dues of new 
members, and the keeping straight of changes in grade 
and corresponding rates of obligation; the Society has 
also a considerable volume of business each year in sales 
of its publications, in purchases of material and in the 
execution of its contracts for printing, illustration, 
binding and general job-work. Subscribers also begin 





-d-^c 



^j^^jec.^ 



PRESIDENT 1897 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 169 

at varying dates to become liable for charges, and 
subscriptions cease and members resign and die. 

Printing houses now usually have a wrapping, ad- 
dressing and mailing department, but in an older day 
when the Society did this work itself, it was a period of 
stress and concentration of effort when something was 
to be mailed or expressed to the entire membership. Ad- 
dressing machines have greatly simplified this require- 
ment and reduced chances for error. 

Another activity of the Society and of its business 
office is the preparation and maintenance of an accurate 
membership list, such as it publishes in its Year Book. 
Such a list is of prime necessity for the office itself, as 
a mailing list; but its publication makes the Year Book 
a professional directory of the greatest value to the 
practitioner, to the business man and to the numberless 
departments of publicity. It takes no small staff to keep 
it right and up to date. At one time, before pressure 
came from other directions, the corrected lists of names 
grouped alphabetically and territorially were issued 
twice a year, with proportionate greater inaccuracy for 
the latter part of each half year. The issue of portraits 
of the officers of each year and a general improvement in 
the character of the Year Book were both begun under 
the presidency of Mr. Ambrose Swasey. 

Another great activity of the Secretary's office is the 
labor imposed by the active Council and Standing and 
Special Committees, for which it acts as clerical staff. 
The members all benefit by this, both as respects the 
routine class of work, and the results of initiative in new 
fields. The local groups of members holding meetings 
or the professional sections, the Student Branches and 
the Affiliated Societies, all impose additional burdens for 
which the membership at large receive the returns. The 
Public Relations Committee, which is to take cognizance 
of the duty of the mechanical engineer as a citizen and 
public servant, entails special labor. 

Again, the Society can serve both its members and 
others by bringing together the need of the employer for 



170 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

special talent and the available possessor of it. This 
ranges all the way from the need of the corporation for a 
talented president, down to the draftsman who is in 
search of detailers. It is done both by personal inter- 
view or private correspondence and by publication of 
lists which go to the members through The Journal or 
othermse. No names are used in publication, but parties 
are designated by numbers for mutual reference until 
they are brought together. The Society is necessarily 
careful to assume no responsibility for relations thus 
effected, beyond the exercise of a selective intelligence 
which leads to an introduction of the parties to each 
other; and subsequent exchange of credentials is their 
affair and on their initiative. The Society has many 
agreeable and successful cooperations to look back on 
since the start of this activity as far back as 1886. 

Beside these, there will always be a somewhat per- 
sonal class of communications in the Society mail, where 
a member desires information or to know how and where 
to seek it. These may either be undertaken directly by 
the Secretary, or from his acquaintance with the range 
of specialization by the members, he may send it to the 
man best qualified to answer and so bring the parties 
together in a relation either of courtesy or of profes- 
sional clientage. 

The Society has also been asked to nominate and send 
members to serve on governmental or on state commis- 
sions of experts, and has been active in the movement for 
conservation of natural resources in which engineers 
have a profound interest. Cooperative movements in- 
volving other engineering bodies have also become 
features of the Society's work, and there always is a 
share to be borne of the responsibility for the proper 
conduct of the great trust imposed by the joint control 
of the Engineering Societies Building. 

The cooperation of the Society in making its library 
useful to the members was formerly a burden on the 
Secretary; but under lines of broader policy this is 
passing more under the direct charge of the general 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 171 

library and its representative administrative board, of 
which the Secretary of the Society is one member. 

It may be said in general that where it is possible 
to administer the Society on this basis the Standing Com- 
mittees should be administrative bodies rather than ex- 
ecutive or administrative units. This is the true phi- 
losophy of committee management. The unnecessary 
duplication of work is avoided and its conduct under com- 
mon standards is best secured when the office of the Sec- 
retary carries out the instructions of committees under 
the general direction of the Secretary of the Society. 

It is due to the generous and capable interest of Dr. 
Frederick W. Taylor, President of the Society in 1905- 
1906, that its internal organization was so analyzed and 
developed that it stands in the front rank of capacity 
for the work within its purview. The following is the 
scope of the Society's staff: 

(a) The Secretary, whose special activities in addi- 
tion to general charge of all work are the meetings of the 
Society and the Council and its relations with the public 
and other societies. 

Under the head of general charge of the activities of 
the Society may be listed : 

(fe) The editorial work. This is in special charge of 
the editor with the necessary assistants, who number six 
under the ordinary pressure of routine. This work in- 
cludes the activities of the Publication Committee in all 
its departments, the issue of The Journal, the Transac- 
tions and the Year Book, and special relations to the 
work of the advertising in The Journal. 

(c) The purely executive duties. These are under 
the assistant to the Secretary who oversees, through the 
membership of his staff, the handling of the committee 
activities and the general Society business. Specifically 
this executive work ramifies into five subdivisions: 

(d) Accounting. This is in charge of the Cashier and 
one assistant having to do with all bookkeeping, the pay- 
ment of bills which have been approved by the Finance 



172 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

Committee and have been found in accordance with the 
appropriations. 

(e) The membership work. This includes the heavy 
activities of the Membership Committee as respects all 
candidates for membership, and in particular the work 
of the Committee on Increase of Membership which has 
its own secretary. 

(/) The correspondence. A chief stenographer with 
the necessary assistants, usually six in number, who is 
made responsible for the conduct of all stenographic and 
clerical work of the office in all its various activities. 

ig) The purchasing. The purchasing agent keeps 
track of all supplies, all orders, and the carrying out of 
contracts, and must, of course, scrutinize and approve all 
bills for material. 

(h) The mailing and shipping. This is in charge of 
a shipping clerk and ordinarily keeps two assistants busy 
in the work of filling orders, keeping the addressograph 
up to date with the changes as they are sent in, and 
cognate work which falls in such a division. 

This should make it clear that the operation of an 
engineering society in full activity with busy commit- 
tees is a business, and not a side issue of someone else's 
activity. Its standards, routine and procedure deserve 
the most careful and exhaustive study and must be such 
as to be capable of expansion with the growth of the 
Society. The more busy and active the Society's com- 
mittees, the greater will be the demand upon the ac- 
tivities of the Secretary's office. 




No. 139 Broadway, Office of the Society, 1881-1883 



1" 


H 


_J, 


^M^H 


4, 




1 


4 


»-■•■ ■»'*-^SS8. 


-aw 

J i . 




^— 




i 1 






1 1 


, 


¥ 




i , 1 ■•«'»«*>*».'--, . 


'^^ 


^^ 


7 f ^ 4 t^ 


, J 


llllllll 


Hi 


1 » .1 


•» 


hjI 


di 


^3 


I 


BHk-4 ^ 


.. ,J 


IP" 


M 


■Li 






,. , M. 


i 


I 


imli 


ill 






1 W ^'" 


"- 


i 1 1' 


tr 


fi 


/:il ■ 












If 


ft. 


*/» 


/ 


mm 


1 


m 


ff 




•mmtftsmtim 



1111*1... iiiniiliM 



MoTT Memorial Library, Fourth Office, 1889-1890 



CHAPTER XI 

The Headquaeters of the Society 

The Society followed the usual precedents of such 
organizations at the start in making the headquarters of 
the Society the office of the Secretary for the time being. 
This made the office of Mr. Lycurgus B. Moore at 96 
Fulton Street, New York City, the first Society address. 
The view of this building shown herewith was taken after 
the American Machinist Company's office had been 
moved out of the building and it had been somewhat) 
modified in its exterior appearance from what it was at 
the preliminary meeting and during the first year of the 
Society life. 

A photograph is also presented, which shows the As- 
sembly Hall of Stevens Institute, Hoboken, N. J., as it 
appeared when the first meeting for organization was 
convened there. It was later so modified that the photo- 
graph is now an antique, but it is interesting as showing 
what was the foundation area in the first year of the 
Society's life and identifies Stevens Institute with effec- 
tive cooperation in those early days. The Society's 
address was still the office of Mr. Moore in Fulton 
Street until Mr. Thomas Whiteside Rae was appointed 
Secretary before the Annual Meeting of 1880. Mr. Rae 
was a son-in-law of Mr. Henry R. Worthington and 
made his office in the building of the H. R. Worthington 
Company at 239 Broadway on the site where later the 
Varick Building was erected. The building was of the 
cast-iron and brick construction usual for office buildings 
in those days and Mr. Rae's office was on the fourth floor. 
By the courtesy of the Worthington Company a store 
room on the dark side of the building was at the disposal 
of the Society, where the supply of volumes and the 

173 



174 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

bookcases containing the Society blackboard and para- 
phernalia for diagrams for use at the meetings were 
stored, together with the stock of standard circulars and 
blank forms. 

The Worthington office was given up when Prof. F. R. 
Hutton was appointed Secretary in March 1883, and 
while he worked for a few weeks in his study in Columbia 
University on the Society business, this was found im- 
practical and undesirable and he rented a downtown 
office in what was then known as the Smith Building at 
15 Cortlandt Street. This was his own office and the 
location was chosen for its nearness to the ferry and 
approaches through Cortlandt and Liberty Streets, which 
were then the downtown entrances to the city from New 
Jersey and Pennsylvania. The stock of volumes and 
extra stationery were taken to Columbia University and 
stored in a dark room available only for such uses. The 
office furniture of that modest undertaking was a Keuffel 
and Esser drawing table, some camp chairs and a spe- 
cially designed stationery holder, somewhat along the 
lines of the revolving bookcases. There was no type- 
writer in use for more than a year. Later a bookcase 
made of pine, with certain locked-up cupboards, was 
added to receive the periodicals and exchanges. 

It was in that first Society office in connection with 
this same drawing table that an absurd incident occurred. 
The late W. F. Durfee residing in the neighborhood of 
Danbury, Conn., a person of large presence and impres- 
sive dignity, used to buy direct from Danbury a felt hat 
having generous proportions as to the brim. It spread 
so much sail that he found it desirable to attach it to him- 
self by a ribbon. One morning when he sat in conversa- 
tion at the Society 's table, he laid his ponderous hat upon 
the office furniture. When he rose to go, careless of the 
attachment of the hat to his person, he upset the ink- 
stand, making a stain which lasted for many years. 
When the Secretary on his arrival asked the explanation 
of the stain, the assistant replied that its upset was a 
combination of Mr. Durfee, the tremendous hat and the 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 175 

** painter" by means of which the latter was belayed to 
the visitor ! 

With the growth of the exchange list and the swelling 
volume of each set of periodicals and Transactions, the 
adjoining room on the eighth floor was secured and the 
door communicating between the offices was opened. 
More folding or camp chairs were bought and the table 
with folding legs (with the trade mark of ''Utility") 
was made a work table, around which the Council used 
to sit and the Committees meet. The Council assumed 
the rent of the offices about 1884. Additional pine 
shelving set up with taper keys gave additional room 
for the library for exchanges and journals. 

The next step resulted from the discovery that the 
area of these two offices would not answer, if the move- 
ment then taking shape to create and stimulate a 
library of the Society was to amount to anything prac- 
tical. The Stewart Building at 280 Broadway, on the 
east side between Chambers and Eeade Streets, had been 
recently enlarged and was looking for desirable tenants. 
Attractive propositions were made to the Society and it 
moved to the wing on the north side of the court on the 
fifth floor on April 2, 1885. A wood and glass partition 
was put in to separate the clerk's office with one window 
from the outer or niembers and library area which had 
two windows. This combination permitted more 
shelves and made a more creditable impression upon the 
visiting member. Columbia University still cooperated 
by furnishing storage for the growing supply of 
volumes in stock and for the bundles of used cuts for 
which there was a frequent and measurable call. 

This partitioned office remained the center of So- 
ciety activity until the spring of 1889. Mr. Charles 
Strang was the Secretary's assistant in Cortlandt Street, 
followed by Mr. Lewis N. Gross and Mr. Harry A. Des- 
sar, who moved with the Society to the Stewart Build- 
ing. Mr. John H. Allen became assistant to the Secre- 
tary and accountant in the Stewart Building, and all de- 
tail of the booking of the European party of that year 



176 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

was transacted through this office. Correspondence was 
in long hand. The view of the Stewart Building is taken 
from the southwest. 

Again, as time advanced, the movement to make the 
library useful to the members and others had been gain- 
ing strength. The idea impressed itself upon the 
Council that a downtown location in the office area, re- 
mote from the hotels of the city, and where the elevator 
service ceased at six o 'clock in the evening, was not favor- 
able to the library idea. It desired to try the experi- 
ment of having the library and office opened in the even- 
ings. The visiting member was probably busy in the 
offices of others during the daytime when visiting from 
out of town, while in the evening he would be at leisure 
and would be glad to utilize the time in looking up refer- 
ences and studying transactions of societies of which he 
was not a member. The Alfred B. Couch bequest of 
books had also been made and was to be cared for and 
future growth of the same sort might reasonably be ex- 
pected. 

The catalogue of 1889 shows that the Society had ap- 
pointed a Committee on a Joint Building for the engi- 
neering societies, of which Geo. H. Babcock, W. P. 
Trowbridge and Henry R. Towne, then President of the 
Society, were members, but pending any action on the 
difficult problem referred to this Committee, an investiga- 
tion was made as to offices north of 23rd Street in New 
York. Someone suggested that the Trustees of the Mott 
Memorial Library at 64 Madison Avenue, just above 
27th Street, would be willing to share their unused space 
with a body of kindred aim. The library of the late Dr. 
Mott had been left with his former residence to house 
it for the benefit of medicine. 

The better facilities of the New York Academy of 
Medicine in 31st Street prevented the very extensive use 
of the Mott Library so that it could be condensed and 
kept available on the second floor of the residence, leav- 
ing the ground floor for the use of the engineers. The 
rooms consisted of the usual front parlor opening from 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 177 

the hall, a dark middle room, and a rear or dining-room 
running the whole width of the house with large rear 
windows. There was also a butler's pantry at the rear 
end of the hallway. The front room on the street was 
the business office. The rear room was the Library 
proper, which was used also as a Council and Committee 
room and the middle room was made the periodical room. 
There was no electric light in the building, but a six 
arm pendant gas chandelier was put in this room, with 
superheating pipes to the burners, in accordance with 
the system then so popular in car lighting. A handsome 
oak table was placed in the center, and oak chairs, with 
leather upholstering in seat and back, were purchased for 
furniture. The Secretary loaned an extension table and 
two sofas. One of the office assistants (John James, the 
first stenographer) was a person of studious tastes and 
he was put in charge of the evening uses of the reading" 
rooms, which were kept open until ten o'clock. These 
quarters were spacious and almost palatial compared 
with any space available in office buildings within the 
limit of price which the Society could safely meet. The 
old office furniture was still kept in service, but a type- 
writer had been added. There were a few pieces of 
Mott estate furniture also available. 

The Society was so proud of its new surroundings 
that on the return from the England-France trip of 
1889 (Chapter XTV), the opening reception of the 
Annual Meeting was held in its own Library, which the 
Society crowded uncomfortably, while the collation was 
served upstairs. The sessions for papers were held in the 
auditorium of the Academy of Medicine, 12 West 31st 
Street on a rental basis (See administration of Henry 
R. Towne). 

In the following winter, 1890, the trustees of the Mott 
Memorial Library began to feel that they should vivify 
their undertaking, and therefore they ought to utilize the 
space which had been leased to the engineers. The So- 
ciety was in no haste for a change, but was well-satisfied 
with the experiment of the up-town headquarters and the 



178 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

evening use which had begun. A strong committee was 
appointed to look for other and suitable quarters in the 
city, in an area limited hj 23rd Street on the south and 
42nd Street on the north and with some relation to the 
main arteries north and south on Fifth Avenue and 
Broadway. In the retrospect of the work of that com- 
mittee even under expert guidance of real estate men, 
the Society visited some house floors in the region 
designated, whose use after dark would have been im- 
practicable though in daylight feasible enough, but un- 
attractive and sordid. 

Visits were carefully made to the former residence 
of Mr. S. F. B. Morse at 5 West 22nd Street. This was 
a most attractive location at that time in pleasant sur- 
roundings, and it appealed particularly to the electrical 
engineering interests who were being urged to go into 
a real estate ownership jointly. It was Mr. Morse who 
made telegraphy practical in the middle of the century. 
The study and effort amounted to nothing and it was 
really fortunate that it did not, because the invasion of 
business which overflowed 23rd Street would have made 
the location ultimately undesirable. 

Just at this juncture came word to the Secretary that 
the Academy of Medicine at 12 West 31st Street were 
contemplating a new and enlarged building for their 
Library and meetings and that the house they were 
then occupying would be shortly or was even then in the 
market. Would it be safe or sane for the Society, having 
no negotiable assets and no accumulated fund, to dream 
of going into so large an undertaking as the owning of its 
own complete house, which at that time it could not fill or 
even utilize completely for itself? Could it furthermore 
assume the burden of the payment of interest as rent and 
the expense of upkeep, taxes, insurance and other 
overhead charges incident to real estate when its first 
duty was to publish Transactions and to serve its wide- 
spread membership in ways not directly related to a 
permanent home 1 

The Council was promptly convened and the daring 




c^ , rv. 



PRESIDENT 1S98 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 179 

plan persuasively set before it. Their action was con- 
servative but broad. The Society must be guaranteed 
that an income from other users of the building paying 
rent to the Society should make the operating cost 
but little greater than the Society was then paying for 
the single floor it occupied. The membership of the So- 
ciety must raise by subscription the funds necessary to 
meet the difference between the price of the house and 
lot and the amount which the owners were willing to 
leave on mortgage. The detail was left to a committee 
of which Messrs. J. F. Holloway, Stephen W. Baldwin and 
F. R. Hutton were the working force. The cash subscrip- 
tion was recognized as the first and immediate difficulty 
to be overcome, for time was pressing and decision to buy 
or to let the property pass to other hands had to be 
early made. 

The first step taken was to ask a limited group of the 
older and wealthier members of the Society if they would 
become guarantors to meet any deficiency in the sub- 
scription list should the Society be unable to meet its 
contract to pay for the property at the day agreed upon 
because the subscribing members proved to be slow either 
in promise or in payment. The second step was to issue 
to the members a circular in full explanation, asking for 
subscriptions to a five per cent interest bearing bond, 
issued for the purpose of securing a New York home for 
the Society with its attendant advantages. The third 
step, after these two had shown promise of success, was 
the creation and incorporation of a Library Corporation 
to own the real estate and ^ease to the Society what it 
and the other tenants were to require. In addition, 
by its charter it was to conduct a free public library which 
the charter of the Society did not specially authorize it 
to do. By this latter procedure and under the law of that 
date in New York State, a free public library property 
was exempt from taxation and the question of charter 
right eliminated. These matters being under way, the 
active young Institute of Electrical Engineers was 
asked to come uptown and cast in its lot with its older 



180 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

sister, taking the third floor of the building or so much 
of it as it could profitably use. A society of amateur 
photographers was secured as the occupants of the sky- 
light or top floor and the unlighted basement of the 
building. They were considered particularly eligible oc- 
cupants because these two parts of the building were 
valuable only to a user with such needs. The owners were 
to agree to fit the basement up with subdivided dark 
rooms for developing and the top floor with special 
photographic skylights for portraiture and printing. 

There is here a fork in the road, inasmuch as the de- 
velopment of the Society headquarters becomes also the 
development of the physical housing of the Library. 
This latter will be treated in detail in Chapter XV, and 
this chapter will follow the general oflfice and meeting- 
room side of the problem. Everything worked as desired. 
The members subscribed for the Society bonds to be 
issued by the Mechanical Engineers Library Association 
to the amount of $32,000 and more. The guarantors who 
had all accepted were not called upon, although many 
bought bonds upon their issue. The cash payment re- 
quired on the purchase of the property was to be $27,000, 
with a first purchase money mortgage of $33,000 left 
as an investment by the owners, the Academy of Medicine. 
The $5000 resulting from the bond issue was to be used 
for the projected alterations, furnishings and refittings. 
The title passed from the Academy of Medicine to the 
Mechanical Engineers' Library Association on May 1, 
1890. 

The formation of the Library Association offered 
some administrative advantages. The members of the 
Mechanical Engineers were in no way responsible for any 
acts or obligations of the Library Corporation and yet 
the former benefited by any successes and good fortune 
of the latter. The Trustees of the Library Association 
were Past-Presidents of the Society of Mechanical 
Engineers and therefore with a community of interests. 
Both bodies had the same Secretary, but they were 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 181 

always kept distinct in accounting and in all legal action. 
The Society of Mechanical Engineers paid rent to the 
Library Association for the space which it used. The 
bond holders were members of the Society of Mechanical 
Engineers and the Library Association paid interest on 
its bonds to such members. No bonds were held or ever 
passed in the settling of estates outside of the Society 
membership. The Society bought the bonds of a de- 
ceased member in one case to prevent outside ownership 
from taking place. 

It is of secondary consequence for the above reasons 
to refer to a lively disagreement with the photographic 
society, which took place with respect to the terms of the 
lease. There was no Library Association at the time the 
lease was to be made, but a joint committee of the Me- 
chanical Engineers and the photographers' society sat 
to agree upon the terms in detail and what each was to 
do in the procedure of fitting up their quarters for oc- 
cupancy. The Committee parted in agreement but when 
the lease was drawn by the attorneys, embodying these 
terms in accordance with the Society's understanding, 
it was objected to by the second party which sought to 
claim many more changes in fitting up and equipment 
than the owners had intended to consent to. They re- 
fused to sign until these extras not specified in the first 
agreement had been consented to and incorporated into 
the lease. The owners' committee had been growing 
regretful that they had consented to as much as they did 
in the first agreement. Some of their confidence had 
perhaps returned to them, so that when the refusal to 
sign was given by the second party, the first party in 
effect shrugged its shoulders and said that the deal was 
off. This '* calling of a bluff" did not suit the intending 
lessees at all and was probably in any case the action 
of a limited number of persons who may have exerted 
their authority. They then sought by mandamus and 
injunction to compel the Library Association to carry 
out the first agreement. The Library, under advice of 



182 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

counsel, retorted by refusing entry to the premises pend- 
ing the decision before the Court. The Court (Judge 
Lawrence) called attention to the unusual character of 
the case and decided that so long as the owner and the 
intended lessee did not meet in common understanding 
in the mind of each, there was no lease in existence, even 
if signed by one party, and the injunction was dissolved. 
The Library paid some costs in adjustment and bought 
from the Society the screen for the auditorium, which, 
was in accepted use for so many years. The photo- 
graphers signed a release and moved away their material 
which had been sent in before the disagreement arose. 

Then arose at once the question of income from the 
space thus released. The "burnt child dreaded the 
fire" of uncongenial tenants, but yet the expenses must 
be met. Two solutions were found. First, the top floor 
and so much of the third floor as the Institute of Elec- 
trical Engineers were not to use, were attractively 
furnished as sleeping apartments for the use of members 
of the Society coming to the city for a few days who 
preferred such quarters to those a hotel could furnish. 
This plan was very successful from the start and not only 
produced a quite steady income but was an element of 
strength for the Society and its growth in membership. 
No meals were served in the house but this offered no 
difficulty. The other plan was the creation of two funds 
in the Library Association to which interested members 
could subscribe. One was called the Sinking Fund and 
was aimed specifically at the reduction and paying off 
of the bonded debt. The other was called the Fellowship 
Fund and was, in fact, annual dues to the Library for its 
support. Fellows of the Library had the privilege of 
voting for its Trustees. The auditorium was also made 
a source of income through rental to societies, both 
medical and engineering, and to alumni associations and 
similar bodies. The Institute of Electrical Engineers 
remained lessees of the Library Association until 1894 




The Mechanical Engineers ' Library Building, Fifth 
Office, 12 West 31st Street 




Auditorium, looking South 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 183 

and cooperators in the running of the building. They 
continued to hold their stated meetings in the auditorium 
after their return to a downtown location in that year 
until, as their Society grew in size, it became too small to 
hold them. 

The house at 12 West 31st Street was 28 feet wide by 
98 feet deep on its two lower stories. The front of the 
house was four stories high as shown in the illustration, 
with a high basement and a deep cellar under all the 
lower stories. It had a high brown-stone stoop and in 
the glass over the door was painted the name of the 
Mechanical Engineers Library. On the solid part of the 
front door was an aluminum name-plate of The Amer- 
ican Society of Mechanical Engineers, which is still in 
use on one of the inner doorways of the floor devoted to 
the Society of Mechanical Engineers in the present 
building. Entering the hallway, large doors opened at 
the right into a large saloon parlor. This was the busi- 
ness office with the desk of the accountant and the stenog- 
raphers. This north end of the room, which is shown 
in the illustration, could be railed off during conventions 
by a bank railing partition, steadied and supported by 
an ornamental cast-iron pillar in the middle. The rest 
of the room was occupied by the handsome oak table 
which had been bought for a center library table at 64 
Madison Avenue, and the Robert Fulton mahogany din- 
ing table, the gift of Dr. Egleston, elsewhere referred to. 
The two rosewood sofas loaned by the Secretary were 
also in this room. On the walls hung the ornamental 
oil paintings of a sea scene and a winter landscape which 
had been bought by subscription the first winter. There 
were also portraits of Past-Presidents, photographs of 
Society conventions, and other framed material of his- 
torical value. Behind the parlor and separated from 
it by sliding doors, was the cozy auditorium shown in 
the illustration, about 40 feet deep by 28 feet wide and 
two stories in height, with a balcony and library gallery. 
It held 250 with crowding, and was equipped with cast- 



184 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

iron and veneered wood folding seats, set together in 
series of three so as to be removable on occasions. A 
platform two steps high was at the south end, and the 
ceiling was pierced by a large ventilating skylight 
shielded in part by some tinted glass to relieve the glare. 
In the center of the glass screen in translucent glass was 
the seal of the Society in colors. On the walls were oil 
portraits and the model of John Ericsson's Monitor. In 
one corner was the bust of John Ericsson and near it 
the Fulton drawings. Over the balcony at the south end 
and over the platform a screen could be lowered by 
means of a long roller and supporting cords. 

A handsome staircase led up to the second floor which 
was the Library area. The wall spaces over the large 
front room and the extension of the gallery over the 
auditorium were lined with shelves from floor to ceiling. 
The illustration shows a view looking into the auditorium 
gallery past the card catalogue cabinet. A portrait of 
James Watt hung in a niche at the center of the south 
wall. The library extension table, loaned by the Secre- 
tary for use in 64 Madison Avenue, was the library table 
and the librarian's desk and typewriter was at the front 
window. Bentwood chairs were at the table. The hall 
bedroom adjoining the library was the Secretary's office 
where committees usually met, and was the center of the 
Society's administrative activity where planning and 
correspondence were conducted. The Council usually 
met in the auditorium, which could be made a pleasing, 
well-ventilated and open space for such gatherings by 
moving some of the chairs. 

A photograph taken two years before the Society 
moved into its new building shows an interesting gather- 
ing of faces noteworthy in Society history. The gather- 
ing of Past-Presidents was made possible by the im- 
minence of the New York meeting for that year. Mr. 
James M. Dodge, President of the Society, is in the chair. 
In this auditorium also were held most of the later meet- 
ings of the Building Committee of the Engineering So- 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 185 

cieties Building and the early meetings of the Board of 
Trustees of the United Engineering Society, after it 
had been formed. Its first meeting was held here after 
the charter was granted and the Trustees took their 
preliminary steps under advice of competent counsel. 

On the third floor were sleeping rooms and the toilet 
and bathrooms; on the fourth floor sleeping rooms, 
bathroom and the janitor's room. Miss Isabelle Thorn- 
ton, who was house matron and superintendent of the 
building as well as librarian, was also accommodated on 
this fourth floor. In the basement was a large space 
under the auditorium which was used as a banquet or a 
collation room on occasion and had its walls lined with 
paste-board boxes containing the Society's pamphlets 
and papers to meet the calls which were so frequent. The 
front basement was the mailing and shipping room and 
was for many years in charge of Clarence W. Robinson. 
This room was also the coatroom during meetings. 
Closets in the basement between the front and rear 
rooms and on the third floor similarly placed were full 
of supplies of stationery and the supper room equipment 
of china and glassware. The pine bookshelves of earlier 
offices were in use in the basement, and during the con- 
ventions the front office was utilized as a coatroom. To 
this end two-inch iron pipe posts with large flanges at 
the bottom and cross-bars of pipe at the top, supported 
wooden bars carrying coat hooks. The whole structure 
could be taken down or put together in a few minutes' 
time. The basement door into the coat room was narrow 
and the delay in handling a crowd most annoying. When 
the banquet room was not in use for collations a second 
coatroom was opened at one of these doors. The ex- 
perience gathered in that crowded basement led to one 
of the most significant and practical expansions which 
were made possible in the present building, where the 
coatroom arrangements planned upon the basis of these 
experiences have been favorably commented upon by all 
who have had occasion to use them. At the back of the 



186 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

main hall at the basement stairs were the safe and a 
water cooler. On the walls and up the main stairs were 
photographs of the members' achievements in various 
fields. 

The auditorium was such an attractive place, cozy 
and homelike, with coatroom and collation facilities in 
such agreeable form, that it was much used by many other 
bodies. The Society of Heating and Ventilating Engi- 
neers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine 
Engineers always held their meetings here and many 
other bodies met occasionally. It had been the policy 
to secure interest in the Society and its welfare and 
prominence through as wide a constituency as possible, 
so that anything which shook or deranged the Mechanical 
Engineers should vigorously affect many other interests. 

It is perhaps difficult at this day and with the present 
strength, standing and income of the Society, to realize 
what an enormous step and undertaking the purchase 
and responsibility for that house were to the modest 
men of that day. If it had failed, the consequences to 
the Society would have been most disastrous. Its success 
was the greatest thing that ever happened to it, up to 
that time and for many years. 

The increase of the dues (Chapter V) was one of the 
greatest factors in insuring the financial certainty of 
the movement. All special funds were done away with 
in the collection of dues, except where otherwise desired 
for Library uses alone ; and the Society entered bravely 
on its undertaking to redeem its bonds. They had ten 
years to run, or from 1890 to 1900 ; and at first some were 
given or bequeathed; later they were bought in by a 
transaction in which the Council granted a life member- 
ship in the Society to a member who used his bonds as a 
tender for such purchase ; and finally the last ones were 
bought in for cash before the date of their maturity. The 
second mortgage on the property of the Library Associa- 
tion, by which these bonds were protected, became thus 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 187 

the property of the Society of Mechanical Engineers; 
and on its cancellation at maturity and the execution of 
the satisfaction piece, The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers held an equity of $32,000 in the 
property which had originally cost $60,000 and which 
was steadily rising in value with the changes taking 
place in its neighborhood, due to the execution of the 
Pennsylvania Railway tunnels and its notable terminal 
to the westward on 32nd Street. 

The Society lived sixteen happy and successful years 
in 31st Street. The only difficulty had been that in the 
years after 1900 the attendance at the Annual Meeting in 
December had exceeded the comfortable capacity of the 
auditorium. Presidents' addresses had been delivered 
in Sherry's ballroom and the Society had rented Mendels- 
sohn Hall, on 40th Street east of Broadway, for its big 
sessions. The last two years of its occupancy at 31st 
Street the sessions had been held in the hall of the New 
York Edison Company, on 27th Street west of Broadway. 
The Institute of Electrical Engineers was meeting the 
same difficulty, and in addition it had received the 
splendid gift of the Latimer Clark Library from Dr. 
Schuyler Skaats Wheeler and had no adequate home to 
take care of it under the terms of its purchase and gift. 
The Engineers' Club, a purely social organization, but 
one in whose success the members of both societies men- 
tioned and also the other organizations were strongly 
interested, had had to vacate its rented house and was 
looking for its next step after purchase of land on 40th; 
Street. 

It was at this juncture that Mr. Andrew Carnegie 
was a guest of a banquet given by the Institute of Elec- 
trical Engineers in February 1903. He heard the state- 
ment of the needs of the Institute and, with character- 
istic largeness of vision, saw the opportunity to be much 
greater than the need of any one society. He arranged 
a conference with the parties interested and at its close 
penned the following unique letter : 



188 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

To THE American Society of Civil Engineers, 
American Institute op Electrical Engineers, Ameri- 
can Society of Mechanical Engineers, American In- 
stitute of Mining Engineers and the Engineers' 
Club: 

Gentlemen : 

It win give me pleasure to devote, say a million and 
a half dollars to erect a union building for you all, in 
New York City. 

With best wishes, 

Very truly yours, 

(Signed) Andrew Carnegie. 
March 14, 1904. 

The Society immediately rose to this opportunity, 
accepted its share of the gift and its responsibility, and 
appointed three representatives to sit on the joint com- 
mittee to formulate details. These were Messrs. James 
M. Dodge, President of the Society, Charles Wallace 
Hunt and F. R. Hutton. These sat during the three 
years of planning and construction and were the first 
trustees under the perfected organization later created. 
The first year was spent in general planning of scope and 
function. Definite plans could not be made until the 
American Society of Civil Engineers should decide by 
formal vote whether to accept their share of the gift, 
which would involve the sacrifice of their satisfactory 
home on 57th Street. In January 1904, that Society con- 
cluded not to avail of the opportunity to join the other 
three; and there was some question in a few minds 
whether the donor or recipients could carry out the 
modified plan of making the building serve many other 
societies in an associate relation which did not carry a 
financial responsibility for success or failure as well as 
the three named by Mr. Carnegie. This enlarged scope 
of the building has actually proved of signal and dis- 
tinguished advantage to the profession of engineering, 
although there were a few uncertain weeks when all 
plans were swinging in abeyance and uncertainty. 

In 1904 the legislature passed the special charter 
creating the United Engineering Society (see Chapter 
XX) as a benevolent and philanthropic corporation, to 




EXGIXEERING SOCIETIES ' BuiLDING, 29 WeST 39TH STREET 
PRESENT HOME OF THE SOCIETY 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 189 

hold and administer the property for the benefit of the 
three founders and the indefinite number of associate 
societies to occupy the building. A set of By-Laws pre- 
pared by a committee of the representatives of the so- 
cieties was approved by each of their governing boards. 
It may be of interest to state that Messrs. C. W. Hunt, 
S. S. Wheeler and F. E. Hutton, members of the So- 
ciety, were the active factors in creating these By-Lawa. 
A competition of architects was organized in the 
*' mixed" form, in which certain firms were invited by 
name to compete and any others not so invited might also 
compete on the same terms. The Kepresentative Board 
was advised in both the preparation for the competition 
and in judging the competing designs by Prof. Wm. R. 
Ware, formerly professor of architecture at the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology, and then professor re- 
tired from Columbia University. The plans of the 
Building Committee of the Representative Board had 
pretty well crystallized as respects the uses to which the 
building was to be put before the competition pamphlet 
was issued, and in getting these ideas into usable shape 
the committee were greatly aided by Mr. W. S. Acker- 
man, member of the Society, who acted as its draftsman 
and building expert. Meanwhile also the trustees created 
under the charter, together with the active energy of 
Mr. John C. Kafer, had bought five lots on the north side 
of 39th Street, Nos. 25, 27, 29, 31 and 33 with the co- 
operation of Mr. Carnegie, who had financed the pur- 
chase and to whom they gave a mortgage for $540,000, 
bearing interest at five per cent. These lots were just in 
the rear of those belonging to the social organization 
called the Engineers' Club, whose building was also to 
be erected by Mr. Carnegie, but which was a separate 
body from that created for the societies. After consider- 
able thought the fund was divided in a ratio of seven 
to three, giving $1,050,000 to the Societies Building, and 
$450,000 to the building for the Club. The two build- 
ings were competed for on this basis. 

The competition closed in June 1905, and the Com- 



190 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

mittee unanimously selected the plans submitted under 
an emblem which proved to belong to Herbert G. Hale, 
later of the firm of Hale and Rogers. Mr. Henry G. Morse 
as junior partner of the firm was specially assigned to 
construction, and the building contract was awarded to 
the firm of Wells Brothers Company, general contractors. 
Mr. Alfred R. Wolff was made expert on the heating and 
ventilation problem and Mr. C. 0. Mailloux on the electric 
wiring and installations. The trustees had also notable 
help and counsel as respects the problems of current 
supply and telephone service from Mr. John W. Lieb, 
Jr., member of the Society, who came later on the board 
by appointment from the Institute of Electrical Engi- 
neers. Prof. F. R. Hutton was secretary of the Board 
from the beginning, and the active man on the ground for 
the building committee. Many details of the building 
are from pressure which he brought to bear, notably the 
details of the coatroom equipment. Mr. John R. Free- 
man, Past-President, was most helpful in suggestions as 
to safety from fire hazard as respects audiences and 
assemblies ; Professor Sabin of Harvard University care- 
fully considered the problems of the acoustics in the 
large assembly hall. 

The general scheme of the building to adapt it for the 
specific uses of the Society and for the broader uses of 
other engineering bodies required the following features : 

(a) A general entrance foyer on the ground floor or 
street level, in which registration for conventions could 
be secured, and the general headquarters business of 
such large assemblies be conducted. 

(b) A large assembly hall, one flight up, in which the 
conventions should be held. The limit capacity of such 
a hall was long under consideration; for to make it so 
spacious that only expert and loud-voiced speakers could 
be heard in debate and discussions would be to frustrate 
its purpose. One thousand was finally fixed upon, with 
600 on the floor and the balance in galleries and standing. 

(c) A corridor all around both ground floor and gal- 
lery, to which members not interested in a paper on the 




pq 



H 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 191 

floor might retire for smoking or for a friendly chat. 
Mr. Hunt also insisted on slopes or ramps in corridors 
instead of steps where levels changed, to prevent 
stumbling and possible danger in panic from any cause. 

(d) Additional smaller assembly halls or rooms for 
sectional meetings of the large societies, or for meetings 
of the smaller bodies, either having their headquarters in 
the building or coming to it only on occasions. Originally 
there were six such rooms for assembly ; but later experi- 
ence has proved that the demand for them was over- 
estimated and some have been turned over to other and 
continuous uses. These assembly rooms had the prefer- 
ence on the floors nearest the street, to reduce the stress 
on the elevator service when several might be in use at 
one time, and for safety in emptying in an emergency. 
The lower six floors were thus set aside to general uses. 

(e) The Library. This was plainly to be allotted to 
the top floor, for light, absence of dust, quiet, and free- 
dom from flies. The floor level below it was necessarily 
the book-stack room. 

(/) The executive offices of the founders. These 
were three of the office floor levels, and were assigned by 
lot. The Mechanical Engineers drew first choice and 
selected the eleventh or upper office floor ; the Electrical 
Engineers, the second choice, took the tenth floor; and 
the Mining Engineers the ninth. 

ig) The offices of the associate societies. Engineer- 
ing societies, not specifically mentioned in the deed of 
gift as coordinate owners of the building and respon- 
sible for its obligations, have been called associate 
societies and are assigned to the seventh and eighth 
floors. It was an active administrative problem of the 
first year to invite associates to take space in the 
building and bear share of its cost and operation. 
Now the trustees have a waiting list. 

(h) The power and heating plant and other usual 
public requirements of toilet rooms are in the base- 
ment and sub-basement. A level for store rooms and 
vaults under the sidewalk was cut from the building 



192 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

plans to keep within the price limits. An amphitheatri- 
cal lecture room for scientific demonstration was also 
cut out for structural and economic reasons. 

The Mechanical Engineers' floor on the eleventh 
story is arranged so as to offer first a foyer or reception 
room. This opens directly from the three elevator exits, 
and is furnished with sofas, chairs and tables and a 
representative of the Society receives all comers, 
whether members or business callers or those making in- 
quiries. 

Opening from this foyer are three exits. One admits 
to the Council or Committee room, with central table and 
directors' chairs, and decorated with oil portraits. The 
second admits to a general members ' reception and read- 
ing and waiting room, opening into the Council room 
on the west and into the Secretary's room toward the 
east by wide sliding doors. A center table has periodicals 
and other reading matter, while around the walls are low 
bookcases and shelves with bound Transactions. On 
the screen of the wall are photogravure portraits of the 
Past-Presidents of the Society. 

The Secretary's room has his table-desk and the 
handsome roll-top desk given by the estate of the late 
Edwin Reynolds, a gift to him on his seventieth birth- 
day. This desk is used by the Honorary Secretary as 
his privilege, which he always shares also with the Presi- 
dent of the Society for his term, should he desire to use 
an office fixture. The walls are made interesting by 
photogravures of the Honorary Members of the Society. 

Beyond and behind the Secretary's room is the office 
of the Assistant Secretary and Editor, and executive as- 
sistants. In the southeast corner with windows on both 
sides is the clerical office, and going northward, come a 
committee room, the accounting department and the 
shipping office, adjoining the freight elevator at the 
northeast. On the north side are the editorial rooms, 
store rooms and the fireproof vault. The lavatories are in 
the northwest corner of each floor adjoining the stairways 
which latter are in a tower construction within the build- 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 



193 




o 



194 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

ing and isolated from elevators and the rest of the floor 
by structural walls. The entrance foyer is decorated 
by the Thurston Memorial bronze and richly illuminated 
addresses from other societies. The third exit leads to 
the hallway on which are located the business offices of 
departments. The foyer has also the beautiful chiming 
clock given by friends to Mr. and Mrs. John Fritz on his 
eightieth birthday and left to the Society in his will. 

So much of expert knowledge as to the probable re- 
quirements of such a building went into its planning and 
arrangement, so much care and time were taken in re- 
vision and study, and so admirably did the architect co- 
operate with the future users, that the building is 
singularly perfect for its purposes and uses. Its style 
is severely classic and its arrangement so flexibly adapt- 
able, that no considerable structural change has been 
even desired. The growth of the interests which center 
in the building may ultimately call for an additional floor, 
but this seems many years away. If the philosophy of 
unifying divergent interests and bringing them into co- 
operation be accepted as the wise policy for the future of 
engineering, then no change from the existent me- 
chanical or physical environment of the Society will be 
called for. The balance of advantages seems to lie on the 
side of the cooperative and unified center of activity, 
rather than on that of the separate home and subdivision 
of such centers. While this principle holds, and it seems 
to be sound in the opening decades of the twentieth 
century, the Engineering Building will stand as a monu- 
ment to its wise donor, and a splendid factor in the pro- 
gress, development and usefulness of The American So- 
ciety of Mechanical Engineers. Chapter XV will treat 
of the significance of the building as respects the develop- 
ment of the idea of a Library. 



CHAPTEE Xn 

The Meetings of the Society and What Has Made 
Them Memorable 

Meetings of an engineering and scientific society may 
be made memorable in a wide range of ways. Among 
these are : 

(a) Action taken by the Society thereat, or referred 
to the governing body to consider and with power to act 

(b) Papers and topics presented and discussed, in 
which new discoveries or notable improvements were 
made public 

(c) The presence of distinguished personalities and 
the privilege of hearing and meeting them 

(d) The opportunity to visit and study engineering 
achievement in structure or plant or process 

(e) The surroundings, scenic, historic or having other 
charm ; the contribution of the weather 

(/) The social opportunity, the meeting of old friends, 
the making of new; the good fellowship, the memorable 
story, the jest 

ig) The fact that all, or some at least', were doing 
something for the first time, so that the experience of the 
day was a unique one and not like other days 

(h) The pleasure in a stolen vacation of a few days, 
when the harness was thrown off, burdens left where they 
fell and the member let loose from the schoolroom for a 
recess 

Many of these must necessarily be individual, and 
therefore different for every meeting. It will be impos- 
sible to give weight to them therefore in a general review. 
The philosophy of adjusting the universal factors in any 
convention has been elsewhere discussed; and meetings 
memorable for the presence of distinguished Presidents 

195 



196 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

of the Society and their notable addresses have been cov- 
ered in the chapter on Past-Presidents and the titles of 
their papers. There will remain therefore only the other 
factors to be reviewed in a history of the conventions. 

The meetings of the Society in its first third of a 
century to the end of 1914 have numbered seventy as 
follows : 



Place 



New York, N.Y... 

Hoboken, N.J 

New York, N.Y... 
Hartford, Conn . . . . 

Altoona, Pa 

New York, N.Y... 

Philadelphia, Pa 

New York, N.Y... 

Cleveland, O 

New York, N. Y . . . 

Pittsburg, Pa 

New York, N.Y... 
Atlantic City, N. J . 

Boston, Mass 

Chicago, 111 

New York, N.Y... 
Washington, D. C. . 

Philadelphia, Pa 

Nashville, Tenn 

Scran ton. Pa 

Erie, Pa 

New York, N.Y... 

Cincinnati, O 

Richmond, Va 

Providence, R. I — 
New York; N.Y... 
San Francisco, Cal. . 
New York, N.Y... 

Chicago, 111 

New York, N.Y... 
Montreal, Canada . . 
New York, N.Y... 

Detroit, Mich 

New York, N.Y... 

St. Louis, Mo 

New York, N.Y... 
Hartford, Conn . . . . 
New York, N.Y... 
Niagara Falls, N. Y. 
New York, N.Y... 
Washington. D. C . . 
New York, N.Y... 



Date 



Feb. 16, 1880 

April?, 1880 

Nov. 4 to 5, 1880 

May 4 to 6, 1881 

Aug. 10 to 12, 1881 . . . 

Nov. 3 to 4, 1881 

AprU19to21, 1882... 

Nov. 1 to3, 1882 

June 12 to 14, 1883... 
Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, 1883. 
May 20 to 23, 1884... 

Nov. 5 to 7, 1884 

May 26 to 29, 1885 . . . 
Nov. 10 to 13, 1885... 
May 25 to 28, 1886 . . . 
Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 1886 
May 31 to June 3, 1887 
Nov. 28 to Dec. 1,1887 
May 8 to 12, 1888... 
Oct. 15 to 18, 1888... 
May 14 to 17, 1889.. 
Nov. 18 to 22, 1889.. 
May 13 to 16, 1890.. 
Nov. 11 to 14, 1890. . 
June 16 to 19, 1891 . . 
Nov. 16 to 19, 1891.. 
May 16 to 19, 1892.. 
Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 1892 
July 31 to Aug. 5, 1893 
Dec. 4 to 8, 1893 . . 
June 5 to 8, 1894.. 
Dec. 3 to 7, 1894 . . 
June 25 to 28, 1895 
Dec. 2 to 6, 1895 . . 
May 19 to 22, 1896 
Dec. 1 to 4, 1896 . . 
May 25 to 28, 1897 
Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 1897 
May 31 to June 3, 1898 
Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 1898 
May 9 to 12, 1899 
Dec. 5 to 8, 1899. 



No. 



A 

B 

1 

2 

3 

4 

6 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

20 

21 

22 

23 

24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 

30 

31 

32 

33 

34 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 

40 



Class of 
Mektino 



Preliminary . 
Organization 
1st Annual. . 
Regular. . . . 
Regular. . . . 
2nd Annual. 
Regular .... 
3d Annual. . 
Regular. . . . 
4th Annual . . 
Regular. . . . 
5th Annual . . 
Regular. ... 
6th Annual . . 
Regular. . . . 
7th Annual . . 
Regular. . . . 
8th Annual . . 
Regular. ... 
9th Annual . . 
Regular. ... 
10th Annual . 
Regular .... 
11th Annual. 
Regular. ... 
12th Annual . 
Regular. ... 
13th Annual. 
Regular. . . . 
14th Annual . 
Regular. ... 
15th Annual . 
Regular. ... 
16th Annual. 
Regular. ... 
17th Annual. 
Regular. ... 
18th Annual . 

Regular 

19th Annual. 
Regular. . . . , 
20th Annual . 



Membebs 
Present 



84 

36 

37 

65 

96 

58 

77 

131 

93 

129 

71 

130 

121 

192 

117 

216 

58 

124 

83 

249 

164 

126 

279 

298 

54 

294 

283 

268 

133 

383 

132 

346 

92 

391 

205 

378 

137 

351 

274 

469 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 



197 



Place 


Date 


No. 


Class of 

Meeting 


Members 
Present 


Cincinnati, 


May 15 to 18, 1900... 


41 


Regular 


144 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 4 to 7, 1900 


42 


21st Annual 


467 


Milwaukee, Wis. . . . 


May 28 to 31, 1901... 


43 


Regular 


156 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 3 to 6, 1901 


44 


22d Annual 


519 


Boston, Mass 


May 27 to 30, 1902... 


45 


Regular 


375 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 2 to 5, 1902 


46 


23d Annual 


474 


Saratoga, N.Y 


June 23 to 26, 1903... 


47 


Regular 


315 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 1 to4, 1903 


48 


24th Annual .... 


538 


Chicago, 111 


May 31 to June 4, 1904 


49 


Regular 


350 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 6 to 9, 1904 


50 


25th Annual .... 


542 


Scranton, Pa 


June 6 to 9, 1905 


51 


Regular 


121 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 5 to 8, 1905 


52 


26th Annual .... 


700 


Chattanooga, Term. 


May 1 to 4, 1906 


53 


Regular 


212 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 4 to 7, 1906 


64 


27th Annual .... 


735 


Indianapolis, Ind . . . 


May 28 to 31, 1907... 


55 


Regular 


296 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 3 to 6, 1907 


56 


28th Annual 


699 


Detroit, Mich 


June 23 to 26, 1908.. . 


57 


Regular 


269 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 1 to 4, 1908 


58 


29th Annual .... 


738 


Washington, D.C.. 


May 4 to 7, 1909 


59 


Regular 


276 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 7 to 10, 1909 .... 


60 


30th Annual 


628 


Atlantic City, N. J. 


May 31 to June 3, 1910 


61 


Regular 


135 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 6 to 9, 1910 


62 


31st Annual 


633 


Pittsburg, Pa 


May30to June2, 1911 


63 


Regular 

32d Annual 


305 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 5 to 8, 1911 


64 


687 


Cleveland, 


May 28 to 31, 1912... 


65 


Regular 


221 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 3 to 6, 1912 


66 


33d Annual 


562 


Baltimore, Md 


May 20 to 23, 1913... 


67 


Regular 


142 


New York, N.Y... 


Dec. 2 to 5, 1913 


68 


34th Annual .... 


778 


St.Paul-Minneapolis 


June 16 to 19, 1914... 


69 


Regular 


200 


New York, N.Y. .. 


Dec. 1 to 4, 1914 


70 


35th Annual .... 


821 



The review and comment on what signalized each 
meeting will be made by the number of the meeting in 
Column 3, without distinguishing the Annual or Winter 
Meetings from the Semi- Annual or Spring Conventions. 
Some meetings of course have had little to distinguish 
them outside of the pleasure of their participants. 

No. A on February 16, 1880, was of course unique and 
memorable for its potencies for the future. A. L. HoUey 
made his noteworthy address ; John E. Sweet and H. R. 
Worthington and the others present saw the realization 
of their dreams. 

No. B on April 7, 1880, saw the results of that early 
planning, the election of the first set of officers, the formal 
launching of the Society. There were no papers. 

No. 1 in November 1880, was held in the theater of 



198 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

the Union League Club, later the building of the New 
York Turf Club, on Madison Square and East 26th 
Street. It was the first meeting for the reading of papers 
and to receive reports of action taken in Council on in- 
signia and other administrative detail. There were no 
excursions. The papers of moment were those by Pro- 
fessor Sweet, J. C. Hoadley and Coleman Sellers on the 
Metric System. This led to a letter ballot expressing a 
sentiment adverse to the use of metric units of length in 
machine shop practice. The membership was then 189. 

No. 2, the first Semi- Annual or Spring Meeting. The 
City of Hartford gave the Council Chamber in the City 
Hall for the meetings and excursions were organized. 
Mr. Leavitt's paper on The Superior, and the discussions 
on Economical Point of Cut-Off, together with Mr. 
Emery's Tests on non-conductors, were the notable 
papers. The Society held its first banquet at this meeting 
and A. L. Holley made that speech so well remembered 
and so often quoted on the Inadequate Union of Science 
and Art, which he filled with personal reminiscences of 
running a locomotive between Providence and New Lon- 
don which had Corliss valve gear with a wilderness of 
jam-nuts to shake loose and drop off, and yet whose in- 
dicator card was an object to adore. Other speakers 
were James C. Bayles and Thomas Egleston. 

No. 3, at Altoona in August, was held pursuant to the 
practice of the Mining Engineers to hold three meetings 
a year, one of which was supposed to fall in vacation in 
midsummer. No other similarly timed meeting was ever 
held. Amendments to rules concerning handling of 
papers took much time. 

No. 4, was held in the Union League theater, now that 
of the Turf Club. Professor Thurston presided for the 
second time at an Annual Meeting and reported action 
completed on diploma, insignia and the procedure of 
incorporation under way. Mr. Lycurgus B. Moore in- 
sisted on withdrawing as Treasurer. Invitations to visit 
plants in and near the city were received but no organ- 




i 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 19» 

ized excursions were made. Mr. David Williams enter- 
tained the Society in a reception at his home. 

No. 5, the first Philadelphia Meeting, held in the hall 
of the Franklin Institute and signalized by the first great 
reception to the Society. It was held in the galleries of 
the Academy of Fine Arts. It was regarded both as a 
high personal honor that such a place should be tendered 
for the holding of a reception by so representative a 
committee as one including Messrs. George B. Eoberts, 
A. J. Drexel, George W. Childs, George H. Baker, Dr. 
William Pepper and Prof. Fairman Rogers ; but also that 
it was an evidence of a mark of the esteem in which the 
citizens of Philadelphia held the profession of mechanical 
engineering. Other distinguished receptions have been 
held since, such as that in the Boston Museum of Fine 
Arts and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington; but this 
was the distinguishing first event and noteworthy ac- 
cordingly. This meeting was signalized also by Mr. J. 
C. Bayles's splendid tribute to A. L. Holley. Mr. Cole- 
man Sellers made the banquet to be remembered by his 
very clever tricks with cards. 

No. 6. There was no later Spring or Mid-summer 
Meeting for a series of reasons, related perhaps some- 
what to an indifference of the Secretary to the necessary 
labor, and to the assumption that no meeting was ex- 
pected to intervene before the joint meeting to honor Mr. 
A. L. Holley, at which Dr. Rossiter W. Raymond was to 
be the orator by invitation. This memorial session was 
made a feature of the third Annual Meeting in November 
1882, and one entire session was devoted to it. The 
gifted speaker was in his best vein, and his tribute is a 
part of the Holley Memorial volume. A fund for the 
erection of a bronze memorial bust of Mr. Holley was 
being collected and this was later erected in Washington 
Park. A later movement in 1898 to transfer it to more ap- 
propriate surroundings on the campus of Columbia Uni- 
versity, was frustrated by the legal complications as to 
transfer of citj^ property to ground which it did not own. 

Professor Thurston *s second term as President came 



200 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

to an end with the banquet in the theater which ended 
the meeting. This was also the time of Professor Hut- 
ton's maiden effort at after-dinner humor in response to 
the toast, The Survival of the Fittest; Do the Fittest 
Survive ? Mr. James C. Bayles prepared the list of topics 
and assigned the parts. Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury spoke on 
The Mills of the Gods. The pleasant and effective im- 
pression made by his speech was said afterwards to have 
been a factor in securing the office of Secretary for Pro- 
fessor Hutton. 

No. 7, held at Cleveland, in 1883, was the maiden effort 
of the new Secretary after his election. Mr. J. F. Hollo- 
way was the active spirit on the ground. The papers of 
the meeting were in galley proof and the cuts printed 
from blocks on sheets for distribution. The banquet was 
held in the opera house. Mr. Chas. F. Brush had his 
house lighted by electricity and was combining windmill 
power and storage batteries, a decided novelty. Organ- 
ized excursions of the Society as a whole were also 
features of the program. The running gear and track 
for the observatory dome for the University of Virginia 
were on exhibition at Warner and Swasey's. The 
Cuyahoga Works, where big work was ingeniously done 
with small machine tools, making the work fast and 
moving the tool against it, interested the party ; here also 
Thos. D. West was casting flywheels in the foundry true 
enough to run unfinished as to the rim, if need be. The 
Otis Steel Works, with S. T. Wellman as its engineer, 
were still forging iron axles with steam operated tilt 
hammers ; and the Society visited also the old steel works 
at Newburgh. There were no motor vehicle shops in the 
Cleveland of that day. 

No. 8, held in New York in 1883, was held by invita- 
tion in the parlors of the American Society of Civil En- 
gineers, at 127 East 23rd Street. The precedent was not 
then created of a presidential address, and Mr. Leavitt 
made none. The effort to re-establish the former govern- 
mental commission for the testing of materials was a 
large part of the Society's ambition at that time outside 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 201 

of its own intramural interests, and Prof. Thomas Egle- 
ston and his colleagues worked assiduously for it, but to 
no effect. Organized excursions were made over the road 
of the new, and as yet unused, line of the West Shore 
Railway and to the works of the Yale and Towne Com- 
pany at Stamford. The Ordway- Woodbury papers on 
Non-Conducting Coverings for Steam Piping also signal- 
ized this meeting. 

No. 9. The meetings in Cleveland and this one in 
Pittsburg in 1884, had practically fixed the standard of 
what an acceptable meeting should be to meet the new 
Secretary's ideals and their general policy has not been 
notably altered in all the years. The Society was here 
the guest of the Engineers Society of Western Pennsyl- 
vania, and sat with them in a joint session on Natural 
Gas. The experiment of holding a session for papers on 
the boat during a sail on the Monongahela River was not 
a success from a secretarial point of view, the distractions 
militating against earnestness in debate. The theft of 
some indicators belonging to Mr. Barrus and exhibited in 
connection with his paper did not relieve the gloom of 
this judgment. The advocacy by Prof. W. A. Rogers of 
the microscope in measuring lengths and pitches of 
screws had already been made familiar by Mr. George 
M. Bond's comparator for gages and fine measurement. 

No. 10, New York, 1884, was the first meeting held in 
the auditorium at 12 West 31st Street, while it was still 
owned by the New York Academy of Medicine. It was the 
first since Thurston at which a presidential address was 
delivered by direction and request of the Council, and 
created the precedent followed ever since. Mr. Horatio 
Allen, Honorary Member, who had driven the first haul- 
ing locomotive on the American continent in 1830, was 
present and invited to sit on the platform. The move- 
ment to start a library began with this meeting and the 
purpose to create uniform standards in methods of Test- 
ing Materials and particularly in shapes of test speci- 
mens, which occupied much thought and great labor by 
the late Gus C. Henning, first took shape at this time. 



202 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

The Society was urged to do something to correct abuses 
and embarrassments in the United States Patent Office. 
Excursions by rail to Paterson and its locomotive works 
and rolling mills, and to the Stevens Institute of Tech- 
nology were features of the excursion days. This year 
also, as for two years preceding, the members were guests 
of the American Institute at its annual fair. Diirfee's 
historical paper signalized this meeting and Woodbury 
and Ordway gave valuable contributions. 

No. 11. The Atlantic City Meeting in 1885 was the 
first experiment with a purely resort atmosphere, or a 
reunion in a place having no engineering establishments 
to visit. It was intended to emphasize the purely social 
aspect, on one hand and to secure discussion of papers 
without distractions, on the other. Fish food was also a 
lure for dwellers inland and distant from the sea. The 
consensus of opinion at that time was not favorable to 
the idea. Atlantic City was not what it has since grown 
to be ; the fish banquet was poorly served and the speeches 
tedious and disappointing. Mr. Holloway was an ideal 
presiding officer ; and the Society then adopted, after pro- 
longed discussion, its policy of recommending standards 
reported by a committee of experts, but not adopting them 
by vote or other official action. Mr. Kent led in the debate 
over this policy, which has prevailed ever since and which 
later became part of the organic law of the Society. 

The Society had its first heavy and earnest discussion 
on the education of engineers as a result of the paper by 
George I. Alden. Mr. Towne presented his concept of a 
building for the Society to house its library jointly with 
those of the other engineering societies, but the time was 
not ripe for the germination of that seed, which blos- 
somed only after eighteen years had elapsed. Atlantic 
City was signalized also by the first presentation of 
topics for discussion without a paper to open such dis- 
cussion. They were presented in question form under the 
title of Topical Queries, and were a feature of meetings 
and the publications for many years. The Society also 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 203 

at this meeting discovered the ability of Mr. James M. 
Dodge as a raconteur and entertainer. 

No. 12, at Boston in 1885, saw the first of the move- 
ment to have the Annual Meeting swing through the three 
big sea coast cities in rotation. Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury 
was the active factor. The meeting was held under the 
auspices of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
of which General Francis A. Walker was the gifted and 
genial president. Visits were paid by boat to the sewage 
pumping engines, recently completed by E. D. Leavitt 
and designed as to their delivery and inlet valves to act 
on solid and semi-solid material in the outflow; and by 
rail to Lawrence and its mills. It was on this train that 
the first digest of rules for debate was tentatively 
formed by Mr. Henry R. Towne and the Secretary. The 
banquet was tendered by the City of Boston and its slow- 
moving speech delayed the evening session beyond all 
reason. The Secretary's apology and explanation was 
silently given by drawing on the blackboard a tombstone 
which bore the epitaph : * * This man was talked to death. ' ' 

No. 13, in Chicago in 1896, was the first to try out 
the rules for control of debate, based on the principle 
that all papers should be put into print and placed in 
the members' hands and that they be read by them in 
advance of the session. Also that five, or at most, ten 
minutes be allotted to the author to present his paper 
in abstract, and that written discussion have preference 
over viva voce talk, five or ten minutes being allotted to 
each, and each paper have an allotted space and time, so 
that no prejudice be suffered by the last author other than 
an inevitable fatigue of the audience caused by an ex- 
tended session. Excursions were made to Pullman and 
to the North Chicago Rolling Mill. 

Mr. Towne presided as Vice-President in the absence 
of Mr. Coleman Sellers, and presented his now historic 
paper on the Engineer as a Specialist in Economic Prob- 
lems ; Mr. Wilfred Lewis gave his paper on Belting ; Mr. 
Babcock one on Substitutes for Steam. At the banquet 
Mr. Kent made his startling prophecy that, just as we 



204 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

had seen at the steel works the raw material entering 
the blast furnace as ore and flux, and thence passing 
without cooling into converter and rolling mills and 
coming out at the last end in merchantable form without 
appearing at all in the form of iron known as * ' pig, ' ' so 
the future visitor to the stockyards of Chicago would 
see corn and other porcine substance entering a great 
hopper at one end, and coming out at the farther end in 
all forms of stockyard product— bacon, ham, sausage and 
lard — without stopping to enter or tarry in the wild or 
domesticated form of ''pig." 

No. 14, in New York 1886, Mr. Towne presiding as 
Vice-President. No presidential address. Mr. Part- 
ridge's paper on Capital's Need of High-priced Labor 
was that of notable interest at the side of the Eeuleaux 
paper on the Friction in Gears. 

No. 15 was the first Washington Meeting. The many 
points both of technical and administrative interest in 
the capital city made this a memorable meeting. The 
Baldwin gift of Hoadley apparatus was announced, and 
the Committee on Standard Pipe-threads reported. The 
Society went in a body to Mount Vernon, and lunched al 
fresco at Marshall's Hall on the Maryland side of the 
river. The reception tendered by Hon. Josiah Dent and 
his son Edward L. Dent in Georgetown, was a delightful 
experience. The house belonged to the Colonial period 
and in it John C. Calhoun entertained General Lafayette. 
Mr. H. Ashton Kamsay, who had been engineer-in-chief 
on the armor-plated Merrimac of the Confederate Navy, 
spoke on the Needs of the Navy. Mr. Kent discussed 
Profit Sharing. 

No. 16, the second Philadelphia Meeting and the An- 
nual Meeting of 1887, was signalized by the excursion to 
Bethlehem and its new armor-plate plant, by the usual 
courtesy in the great plants of the city and suburbs, and 
by a reception in the Academy of Fine Arts. President 
Babcock delivered his address. 

No. 17, at Nashville in early May 1888, signalized the 
first example of a policy of holding meetings where the 




PRESIDENT 1899 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 205 

presence of the engineers would be serviceable to the 
development of the industry of the district. The me- 
chanical engineering department at Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity took a large share in the getting up of the meet- 
ing, and the Governor of the State and the Mayor of 
the City did their share in welcoming the visitors. The 
cornerstone of the new mechanical engineering building 
was laid with appropriate ceremony and with addresses 
by Mr. Kent and Professor Hutton. The trip from the 
coast to Nashville was made in special cars — the first 
step in a long series of this kind — with a stop-over at 
Cincinnati where the party was received by the members. 
Visits were made to Fisk University for colored men and 
women, and to Belle Meade, the notable stock farm and 
estate of that region. A visit to Chattanooga and Look- 
out Mountain closed the series of excursions. Mr. 
Woodbury presented a paper on Electric Welding, then 
a novelty. Mr. Horace See presided. 

No. 18, at Scranton, Pa., in October 1888, was presided 
over by Vice-President C. J. H. Woodbury, by reason of 
the illness of President Horace See. At this meeting was 
read the invitation to the Society by President E. N. 
Carbutt of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers that 
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers be their 
guests in a probable visit to England and Paris in 1889 ; 
and the announcement of the Alfred B. Couch testa- 
mentary bequest was made. The meeting was signalized 
by the discussion on the policy of holding two meetings 
each year or only one. The Society decisively expressed 
its approval of the existing plan of a Spring and a Fall 
Convention. The Society visited Honesdale where 
Horatio Allen, late Honorary Member, had run the first 
commercial locomotive on this continent in 1830, and en- 
joyed a run over the gravity lines of the Delaware and 

g. Hudson Railway. 

p No. 19, at Erie in May 1889, was held just previous to 
the sailing of the organized party for England. It en- 
joyed its privilege of a visit to the veteran U. S. S. Michi- 
gan with its old engines. Henry R. Towne presided and 



206 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

gave his notable paper on Gain Sharing as preferable to 
a sharing of profits, and James W. See presented his 
paper on Standards. 

No. 20, in New York in 1889, was memorable for the 
report of the courtesies enjoyed in England and France, 
and for the first proposition of a society of engineers to 
be largely representative of American engineering and 
include all its specializations. It was the last New York 
Meeting held in a rented auditorium for many years, for 
thereafter the Society owned the building at 12 West 31st 
Street in the rooms of which it had been holding its New 
York Meetings since 1884. 

No. 21, in Cincinnati in May 1890, is memorable to the 
then Secretary of the Society as being the one meeting 
during his term of 23 years which he was not able to 
attend, by reason of sickness in his home. The Com- 
mittee to memorialize the Congress of the United States 
with respect to a suitable memorial for the late Captain 
John Ericsson, member of the Society, who had done so 
much in the years 1861-1865 and at other times, reported 
its recommendations. 

No. 22 was held in Richmond, Va., in November 
1890, with a view to bringing into the city of the old 
aristocracy of the South a knowledge of the men 
and personalities who were energizing its new industrial 
upbuilding. Mr. E. F. C. Davis, as the master mind in 
the details of the meeting, had some amusing misunder- 
standings as to the type of cultured gentlemen who made 
up the Society, and enjoyed the pleasant surprise of a 
social leader when introductions were effected to some of 
the leading spirits. A visit to the points of historic in- 
terest in the city was an experience to be remembered. 
This was the first Annual Meeting after the Society be- 
came through its Library Association the owner of its 
home in 31st Street. 

No. 23, in Providence, R. I., in June 1891, was most 
enjoyable socially and all the New England members were 
able to reach it. The Society enjoyed an excursion on 
the bay and on its way to a clam bake saw the Herreshoff 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 207 

yacht, Stiletto, weave circles all round the paddle-steamer 
carrying the party. Mr. Halsey's paper on a Premium 
Plan for Paying for Labor was presented at this meeting. 

No. 24, in New York, 1891, was the first Annual Meet- 
ing of the Society in its own home, and was memorable 
as the time at which the low dues of the previous decade 
were increased by $5 in each grade, to the greatly in- 
creased effectiveness and opportunity of the Society. Mr. 
Robert W. Hunt presided with great tact and skill in the 
delicate presentation and unanimous discussion and vote. 

No. 25, in San Francisco, was memorable as the first 
Pacific Coast meeting. The members made up a special 
train load under a competent salaried guide, and were 
taken to points of scenic interest while on the journey 
across the continent. Cable railway engineering on the 
hills of the city was new to the easterners, and the beauty 
of California in May will never be forgotten. The Tech- 
nical Society of the Pacific Coast were the hosts of the 
meeting, and many most enjoyable visits were made. Mr. 
Stahl's paper on Utilization of the Energy in Ocean 
Waves, was a notable paper. 

No. 26, the thirteenth Annual Meeting in New York 
in 1892, was signalized by the movement to create a 
standard American engineer's gage for the thickness of 
metals, whose numbers should be the thicknesses in thou- 
sandths of an inch. Mr. Thomas F. Rowland, builder of 
the Ericsson Monitor, was present at one of the sessions 
and received the compliment of a reception by rising. 
This meeting received a report from a strong committee 
on the methods to be followed at the approaching Co- 
lumbian World's Fair if any physical or mechanical tests 
should then be conducted upon any apparatus exhibited. 
Papers on the Stresses in Flywheel Rims began to appear 
at this meeting. 

No. 27 was the session of the Mechanical Section of 
the World's Engineering Congress of that year, and will 
be referred to in detail in another chapter. It was 
marked by the inclusion of all the sections in special 
courtesies secured by and through the Society for its 



208 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

members. Mr. H. F. J. Porter of the motive power di- 
vision was particularly effective in this matter. The 
meetings were in the Memorial Art Palace in pleasing 
proximity to the noise of the exhaust of locomotives on 
the Illinois Central tracks. 

No. 28, in New York 1893, received the report of the 
special activities at the World's Fair in Chicago and par- 
ticularly of the return courtesies to the members of the 
French Society of Civil Engineers in September, to be 
elsewhere referred to. Portraits of Joseph Harrison and 
of Francis Eeuleaux and a model of Ericsson's Monitor 
were acknowledged. 

No. 29 was signalized as the first meeting outside of 
the boundaries of the United States, being held at 
Montreal, Canada, in 1894. Mr. Coxe presented a 
notable paper on Technical Education. The Society 
was made the guest of McGill University, and Sir 
Donald A. L. Smith entertained the members and their 
ladies at his beautiful home. 

No. 30, in New York in 1894, had no presidential ad- 
dress as Mr. Coxe was serving his second term as presi- 
dent. Mr. Keep 's papers on Tests of Cast Iron began at 
this meeting. 

No. 31, at Detroit in 1895, was the only meeting at 
which Mr. E. F. C. Davis presided. He lost his life in 
the late summer in an accident while riding his horse. 
Mr. Taylor's first piece-rate paper was presented at this 
meeting, and Mr. Keep continued the report of his re- 
searches. 

No. 32, in New York in 1895, was saddened by the 
recent death of President E. F. C. Davis. 

No. 33, in St. Louis in 1896, was a swing of the loca- 
tion of the place of meeting to the Mississippi Valley. 

No. 34, in New York in 1896, was made memorable 
by President John Fritz's paper on the Progress in the 
Manufacture of Iron and Steel, and was illustrated by a 
drawing of a full-size gun-ingot in its lathe. The draw- 
ing was too big to go on the end wall of the room. A 
memorial session was also held to record the feelings of 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 209 

the members on the death of Past-President J. F. 
Holloway. 

No. 35, in 1897, was a second meeting at Hartford. 
The excursions were made successful by dividing the 
party into three groups. 

No. 36, in New York in 1897, was signalized by the 
gift of an oil portrait of Robert Fulton, stated to have 
been painted by himself. 

No. 37, at Niagara Falls in 1898, was interesting by 
reason of the experiment then tried, of operating a con- 
vention without a local committee or any local subscrip- 
tion of funds to meet entertainment expenses. Each 
member paid for himself and for any guest whom he 
might have. This was done by a series of tickets pur- 
chasable at headquarters and securing for the member 
any excursion opportunities which he might select. The 
reception and dance was similarly financed and the plan 
worked well. Mr. Emile Geyelin, the veteran designer of 
turbines, was a guest of the Society. 

No. 38, in New York in 1898, was in charge of Presi- 
dent Chas. "Wallace Hunt and was signalized by visits 
to the great power plants of the City, and by the gift to 
the Society of an oil portrait of John Fritz. 

No. 39, in Washington in the Spring of 1899, was 
memorable for its size and the pleasure which it gave 
to all present. The excursion to Mt. Vernon was the 
occasion for the planting of a memorial oak tree. The 
reception was held in the new building of the Corcoran 
Art Gallery and the Marine Band made the music most 
enjoyable. Mrs. George Westinghouse helped Rear- 
Admiral Melville to receive his guests, and a splendid 
reception was also tendered by Mr. and Mrs. Westing- 
house. Many notables of Washington were present. 
President McKinley was unable to receive the Society, 
but the members were admitted to the White House. 

No. 40, in 1899 in New York, was signalized by Presi- 
dent Melville's address on Engineering in the United 
States Navy, and by Mr. Kerr's paper on the Engineer- 
ing of the New South Terminal in Boston. Mr. Higgins' 



210 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEBBS 

paper on Education of Foremen, Machinists and Engi- 
neers was also a noteworthy discussion. 

No. 41, at Cincinnati in 1900, was the second meeting 
here, and was marked by the first motor vehicle paper. 

No. 42, in New York in 1900, had a paper on Early 
History of High-Speed Engineering. The second mort- 
gage on the house of the Society was reported cancelled 
and paid. This meeting was signalized by a session at 
Columbia University, by invitation of President Low, 
then in office. The recently built mechanical laboratories, 
on a scale larger than their predecessors, were objects 
of interest. Professor Hutton, the Secretary of the 
Society, had been the creator of their plans and secured 
the equipment. 

No. 43, in Milwaukee, was signalized by a number 
of papers discussing the exhibits at the Exposition in 
Paris the previous year. The Societj^ visited the AUis 
plant, of which Mr. Edwin Reynolds was the engineer- 
ing authority. The Milwaukee Meeting brought up the 
question a little later of the organization of a Milwaukee 
branch or section; but the action of the Council in re- 
stricting not only control of the group but also member- 
ship in it to members of the Society, was ill-conceived and 
resulted in the dropping of the idea in that form. An 
amendment was offered to increase members ' dues from 
$15 to $25. 

No. 44, in New York in 1901, was signalized by Mr. 
Gantt's paper on a Bonus System of Rewarding Labor, 
a further study in scientific management and promotion 
of efficiency in the human factors of production. 

There had been, as is the case in most societies of 
this kind, a progressive party with an ambition for ex- 
pansion and an accompanying tendency for expenses to 
outrun receipts, and it was found that under this policy 
the Society's affairs had become somewhat involved, ex- 
penses per annum per member having increased ma- 
terially notwithstanding the growth in membership. 

The remedy proposed for this state of affairs was 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 211 

the above-mentioned increase in the dues from $15 to $25 
per year. 

Its proposal brought out considerable discussion in 
the interim between the Milwaukee and the subsequent 
Annual Meeting, with the result, among other things, 
that it was discovered that by the terms of the law under 
which the Society was incorporated, members were given 
the right to appoint proxies. Publication of this fact in 
the American Machinist led to the appointment of a Com- 
mittee to receive such proxies and to the overwhelming 
defeat of the proposal to increase the dues after a lengthy 
and valuable discussion. 

A monument to Robert Fulton in Trinity Churchyard, 
New York, was unveiled. A sermon was preached by 
Robert Fulton Crary, a grandson of Robert Fulton, and 
a technical address delivered by Rear- Admiral Melville. 
Professor Thurston also made an address. A full choral 
service was held ; and appropriate ceremony observed at 
the monument. The veteran, Chas. H. Haswell, and Engi- 
neer-in-Chief Geo. W. Melville were present at the un- 
veiling, as shown in the interesting photograph. 

No. 45 is interesting by reason of the presence of 
notable engineers at its sessions. The photograph shows 
the Council meeting during its continuance. Prof. R. H. 
Fernald gave papers resulting from his research work 
on the internal-combustion engine, the beginning of 
much valuable later work; and Mr. Geo. H. Barrus re- 
ported further researches on non-conductors of heat for 
steam pipes in power stations. 

No. 46, in New York 1902, marked the passage of the 
limit of capacity of the society auditorium to accom- 
modate the members coming to an annual meeting. The 
opening and closing sessions were held in the house ; the 
others in the banquet hall of the Sturtevant House, then 
standing, on Broadway between 28th and 29th Streets 
on the east side. Vice-President Waitt presided in Presi- 
dent Reynold's absence. 

Certain questions of internal administration and 
financial policy were reported at this meeting, such as 



212 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

the fiscal year, the reserve fund, and the recommendation 
for a rewriting of the Rules. New books of account in 
more modern dress were ordered and a computation pre- 
sented as to the cost and return per member. Valuable 
appendices to the annual report of the Council show 
analyses which were most helpful in deciding questions 
then under advisement. The Committee in Boston at No. 
45 presented some questions for the membership to vote 
on that the committee might be guided by the answers in 
their later work : junior dues, life membership fee, black- 
balls for members, membership of Past-Presidents in 
the Council, quorum, group organizations were included 
in this list. Mr. Gus C. Henning presented a very com- 
plete proposition to organize the Society into sections, or 
to have the national body an aggregation of such units 
federated together. Mr. Halsey's paper on the Use of 
the Metric Unit of Length created much discussion in 
view of the fact that a bill was pending in Congress to 
make the metric unit compulsory upon the government 
departments and service, and therefore to compel all 
civil industries dealing with the government to introduce 
these units into their shops and drawing rooms. The So- 
ciety visited the power plants of the Edison Lighting 
Company, the Street Railway Company and the 
Elevated Railway. 

No. 47, in Saratoga in June 1903 was memorable in 
three ways. First the Society accepted the new draft 
of Constitution, By-Laws and Rules and ordered it to 
the routine of a letter ballot. This was practically its 
acceptance in the form submitted by the committee. The 
latter had sent their draft in tentative form to all the 
voters in advance of the meeting, asking for sugges- 
tions for its amendment, and a few had been received. 
This was a great step taken in the history of the Society 
and opened new doors for usefulness. The second was 
the formal expression of the Society, so far as 80 per 
cent of those voting could be so regarded, against com- 
pulsory adoption of the metric system as the only legal 
system and standard in the United States. Third, there 









The i'uLTo.N Memokial in Tkinitt Churchyard, 1901 




The Fulton Medallion on the Memorial Monument 




The Portrait of Egbert Fulton, Painted by Himself 
the property of the society 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 213 

was the formal action by the Society as a whole, confirm- 
ing Council action, as to accepting the gift and respon- 
sibility of a great union building for the engineering 
societies, as contained in Mr. Andrew Carnegie's prom- 
ise. The meeting was also unique in its plan of going 
to a great hotel town and making that its headquarters, 
visiting the manufacturing interests in Schenectady and 
Troy by excursion therefrom. Neither of these latter 
places offered adequate facilities for a large number. 
Eailway conventions were also in town with exhibits of 
interest to engineers. The young college graduate engi- 
neers of Schenectady furnished a minstrel and musical 
evening of pleasant memory. 

No. 48, in New York in 1903, was convened for some 
of its sessions in the home of the Society, and for others 
in the Hall of the Mendelssohn Union on 40th Street near 
Broadway. Some active discussion was held about the 
methods to amend the Constitution. Mr. Dodge 's notable 
paper on the Money Value of Technical Training was a 
feature of this meeting. A session was also held at 
Stevens Institute of Technology, and included a prac- 
tical demonstration of the operation of thermit in pro- 
ducing welds and mending fractured castings. 

No. 49, in Chicago in 1904, was a regularly organized 
joint meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 
of Great Britain and The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers. Their President, Mr. Hartley 
Wicksteed, presided alternately with Mr. Ambrose 
Swasey ; and both Mr. Edgar Worthington of the British 
Institution and Prof. F. R. Hutton of the American So- 
ciety were on the platform at all times. Papers were 
contributed by members of both societies and published 
in the volumes of Transactions of both. The excursions 
around Chicago to rolling mills and electric power plants 
and down the drainage canal were participated in by 
both, but organized by the American Society. 

No. 50, in New York in 1904, was held both in the 
home of the Society and in the Hall of the Mendelssohn 
Union. The meeting was signalized by the reports of 



214 THE AilEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

progress as respects the preliminaries for tlie Engineer- 
ing Building, the determination to keep on with the plans 
in spite of the decision of one of the original parties not 
to enter the compact of the others, the reports of the 
procedure for making the visits of the foreign engineers 
as useful to them as possible, the start of the new move- 
ment for a joint library of all the societies, and the move- 
ment to make tests of fuels under the Geological Survey 
of the United States. Mr. J. M. Dodge presented the 
replica of the Ericsson bust. Professor Benjamin re- 
ported tests on model flywheels. 

No. 51, at Scranton, Pa., 1905, was the second meet- 
ing in that city. It incorporated visits to the plant of 
the correspondence schools with illustrations of their 
methods, and a trip to Wilkes-Barre over the electric line. 

No. 52, in New York in 1905, frankly confessed that 
the home of the Society was inadequate for all the func- 
tions of the Annual Meeting and the Society accepted 
with pleasure the courtesy of the New York Edison Com- 
pany at 44 West 27th Street, both for this meeting and 
for No. 54 the following year. A handsome monogram or 
cipher of the Society initials, in electric lamps of various 
colors, was presented and exhibited at this meeting. Mr. 
Freeman's notable paper on Safety of Theaters from 
Fire, was read and the Society was the guest of the Ham- 
burg-American Line for a visit of inspection, a luncheon 
and the holding of a session in its saloon. The contract 
for the engineering building had been let in July of this 
year. A visit to the Worthington plant at Harrison, 
N. J., was a feature. 

No. 53, in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1906, was signalized 
by special transportation from New York by way of 
Washington. The visit to Lookout Mountain and to 
Chickamauga battlefield were features of this meeting, 
and the first movement in search of conservation of me- 
chanical resources of the country. The trip by boat down 
the Tennessee River to the navigation canal and power 
plant, where governmental and private initiative had 
come together, was greatly enjoyed. While the Secre- 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 215 

tary had resigned before this meeting, he was still in 
office, and his successor was actively sought. 

No. 54, in 1906, was signalized by Mr. Fred. W. 
Taylor's monumental presidential address on the Art of 
Cutting Metals. The Engineering Building was com- 
pleted, but scarcely ready for use. Many visited it. The 
Society made its memorable visit to the proving grounds 
of the United States Army at Sandy Hook, witnessed 
discharges of rifles and cannon and visited casements 
and carriages. Luncheon was served in Fort Hancock. 
The consternation of some who were not citizens of the 
United States was a feature of a visit to a U. S. Reserva- 
tion where such foreigners were not admissible. Ord- 
nance officers of high rank were the hosts of this most 
enjoyable visit, General Crozier, General Murray, 
Colonel Smith, Colonel Birnie and others. 

No. 55, in Indianapolis in 1907, was presided over by 
the President, who had been the Secretary since 1883; 
and Mr. Calvin W. Rice as Secretary was in evidence for 
the first time. The motor vehicle industry of the city 
was a feature of the engineering visits, and a day at 
Purdue University at Lafayette was greatly enjoyed 
under the leadership of Professor Goss who was then in 
charge there, and who showed the party the locomotive 
testing plant which had made the designer and the re- 
sults of testing famous everywhere. 

No. 56, in New York in December 1907, was in many 
ways one of the Society's most memorable meetings of 
the period covered in this history, inasmuch as it was 
the first Annual Meeting in the new Engineering So- 
cieties Building. The first meeting of any kind to be 
held in it was that in the previous winter, at which the 
paper by Mr. Fish on Trade Secrets was presented. The 
dedication of the building and of its auditorium had 
taken place with appropriate ceremony in the previous 
April, but this was the first Annual Meeting. It had the 
largest enrollment in the Society's history, over thirteen 
hundred members and guests being present. President 
Button gave his retiring address, in which he spoke of the 



216 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

development of mechanical engineering since HoUey 's ad- 
dress of 27 years before, and offered a new definition of 
the term ** Engineer." It spoke also of directions in which 
the past history of the Society seemed to bring the op- 
portunities for expansion, as it were, open doors for its 
widening future. Excursions to the Hudson River Tun- 
nels were made under the guidance of Mr. Charles M. 
Jacobs, their chief engineer, and an illustrated lecture 
on the work of photography in colors was given. The 
evening receptions were held by the Society in its own 
building, but the floors were not well adapted to dancing. 

At the close of this meeting Professor Hutton was 
elected Honorary Secretary by the Council. Additional 
Watt and Fulton memorabilia were presented. 

No. 57, at Detroit in 1908, was memorable for its suc- 
cess in securing joint sessions with the Societies for 
Engineering Education and the Automobile Engineers; 
for its excursions on the Detroit River and to a shipyard 
where a launching was witnessed; and for the visits 
of inspection to motor vehicle and other plants. 

No. 58, in New York in 1908, reported the gift to the 
Society of the beautiful desk which had been presented to 
Mr. Edwin Reynolds, Past-President, on his seventieth 
birthday, by his former employees. 

No. 59, in Washington, D. C, in 1909, was signalized 
by the dignified reception of the Society by President 
Taft and by exhibition drills at Fort Myers; also by 
illuminating addresses on the work of the reclamation 
survey in irrigation in the West; and by the ceremonial 
of presenting a portrait of Rear- Admiral Melville, Past- 
President of the Society to the National Gallery. 

No. 60, in New York in 1909, was characterized by 
the very complete organization of the local membership 
into committees; by a lecture by L. W. Ellis and B. T. 
Galloway of the United States Bureau of Plant In- 
dustry, on the Era of Farm Machinery, and particularly 
the changes wrought by the internal-combustion engine 
which is practically independent of water. The So- 
ciety visited the new Pennsylvania Railroad terminal at 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 217 

32nd Street under the guidance of Mr. George Gibbs of 
the Pennsylvania Railroad, and of Mr. Walter C. Kerr 
at the head of the contracting firm of engineers. 

No. 61, at Atlantic City, 1900, took place just before 
the start of the organized party for England to take 
part in a Joint Meeting of the Institution of Mechanical 
Engineers of Great Britain in Birmingham and England. 

No. 62, in New York in 1910, was notable for Mr. 
George Westinghouse 's address on the early history of 
the Compressed-Air Train Brake. Section meetings 
were a feature of the program. The transatlantic party 
reported through the two Secretaries. 

No. 63, in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1911, was the second to 
be held there after a lapse of many years. The organiza- 
tion of sections of the Society as a policy distinct from 
meetings of the Society in different cities was discussed. 

No. 64, in New York in 1911, was again a very large 
meeting and called for simultaneous sessions to complete 
its work within the limit of days. The reception was 
held at the Hotel Astor, as for several years past. 

No. 65, in Cleveland in 1912, was the second in this 
city, and held after a considerable interval. Mr. Ambrose 
Swasey was the leading force. A most hospitable and 
inclusive entertainment was provided. 

No. 66, in New York in 1912, was memorable for the 
preliminaries for the trip to Germany in 1913 under the 
auspices of the Verein deutscher Ingenieure, and for the 
scholarly address of the retiring President, Alex. C. 
Humphreys. The Conamittee on Standard Tests for 
Power Plants reported in full. The social event of this 
meeting was the dinner commemorative of the eightieth 
birthday of Prof. John E. Sweet, a Founder of the 
Society. It was very largely attended and full of a most 
beautiful spirit of loyalty and affection. It was the first 
of its kind to be given in the Societies ' new building. 

No. 67, at Baltimore 1913, was signalized by the in- 
terest attaching to the old town, the Naval Academy and 
the Experimental Station. This meeting was held just 
before the start of the organized party for Germany. 



218 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEBBS 

No. 68 was the thirty-fourth Annual Meeting held in 
New York, and that at which a new and extended 
standard for flanges of pipe was presented and urged. 
Mr. John W. Lieb presented his notable collection of 
volumes on Leonardo da Vinci as artist, architect, engi- 
neer and scientist, and shortly thereafter made a valuable 
gift to the Society of monographs on that subject. This 
meeting also signalized the permanent policy of holding 
synchronous sessions for the reading of papers in differ- 
ent departments of engineering. 

No. 69 was a meeting in the Northwest, held under 
the joint auspices of the twin cities of St. Paul and 
Minneapolis and gave the members an opportunity to 
realize the great technical progress of that section. 

No. 70 was the thirty-fifth Annual Meeting, held in 
the City of New York. While any public announcement 
of Mr. Ambrose Swasey's gift which was to create an 
Engineering Foundation for the conduct of research and 
the benefit of humanity would have been premature at 
this meeting, the fact of his purpose was known to a 
limited circle who were as yet bound to secrecy in the 
matter by Mr. Swasey's expressed wish. The air was 
vibrant with suppressed excitement and interest and the 
feeling that this foundation marks the beginning of a 
new and splendid era of engineering progress. The so- 
cial event of the meeting was a combination of a dinner 
and dance at the Hotel Astor, at which the feature of 
progression from table to table was most successfully 
combined through the skill and planning of the com- 
mittee in charge. The great Boiler Code was formally 
presented and discussed, both at the regular and extra 
sessions of the Society, and was later taken up again in 
final revision by this Committee with an assiduity and 
devotion unparalleled in the history of any similar un- 
dertaking in any technical or professional organization. 
The work of this Committee signalized the opening of 
the administration of Dr. John A. Brashear and the close 
of the period covered by this history. 



CHAPTER XIII 
Eably Monthly and Local Meetings 

The previous chapter has discussed the general meet- 
ings of the Society as a whole, coming together in the 
first week of December in each year for an Annual 
Meeting, at which officers are elected, and in the Spring, 
in May or June, for a second or Semi- Annual Meeting. 
The Annual Meeting hears reports of the Council and 
of the various standing administrative committees and 
is the business meeting as respects policies and recom- 
mendations. The Spring or Semi- Annual Meetings are 
mainly professional, largely devoted to papers and dis- 
cussions and to excursions to points of engineering in- 
terest. 

In the early years of the Society and previous to the 
purchase of the home building at 12 West 31st Street, 
these were all the meetings that were held. The idea of 
meetings between the conventions was in the minds of a 
few, but the time was not ripe for that step. 

As soon as the house was fairly possessed and ready 
for use, the idea of using its auditorium and parlors 
more frequently than only on three days of the year 
began to bear fruit. The first step was that of purely 
social evenings at which the members within a prac- 
tical radius could be brought together for acquaintance 
and for the strengthening of the bond of a common mem- 
bership, on some one evening of the winter months. 
This was an entirely local and individual concept. A 
New York Committee was formed to look after the neces- 
sary light collation or supper on such evenings, and each 
person coming to them, whether man or woman, paid 
fifty cents at the coatroom towards expenses. The first 
of these reunions, in the winter of 1890-1891, were 

219 



220 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

musical, with piano solos, singing and choruses. The 
choruses were written out on the typewriter, then photo- 
graphed and projected on the screen, compelling every 
singer to hold up his chin and securing the sound of every 
singing voice. It was odd, however, to find how narrow 
was the range of folk music which every one knew. 
Violin solos were also possible, and one evening there 
was a musical phonograph, then something of a novelty. 

In the second winter the novelty of these reunions for 
their own sake had worn off and it was plain by the 
lessening numbers that some stronger inducement must 
be held out. This was done in 1891-1892 by getting the 
members together to listen to an address by James C. 
Bayles on the work and achievements of Alex. L. HoUey, 
incident to a presentation of an oil portrait of Mr. 
HoUey. The gift was by Mrs. Bunker (late Holley) and 
was the first of the series, and Mr. Bayles said he hoped 
the assembly hall might grow to be a sort of Pantheon, 
in which portraits of eminent engineers could be 
gathered together. Reunions of that year were centered 
around Robert Fulton, the History of the Locomotive, 
Electricity Previous to Galvani, and Egypt, New and 
Old. These were all illustrated by lantern slides, ex- 
hibited by a lantern designed by the Secretary and sup- 
plied with his lenses. The last one was a similar even- 
ing to the first, a portrait of Henry R. Worthington and 
the gift of his son, Mr. C. C. Worthington, being then 
received. The Society on this second winter had por- 
traits of its two founders and a pastel of W. J. M. 
Rankine, procured by the Secretary in Glasgow in 1889, 
hanging on its walls. 

In 1892-1893 the professional evenings were in- 
augurated to discuss a topical query, but without any 
form of collation. These evenings discussed Boilers, 
Cost of Power, and Castings. The social and non- 
professional evenings of that winter were illustrated 
talks on the Geography of the Moon; the Buildings of 
the Columbian Exposition compared with others; and 
the Orchestral Phonograph. These were more elaborate 



A HI8T0BY OF THE SOCIETY 221 

than their predecessors and each person attending paid 
one dollar as his share. The House Committee of the 
Society had them in charge and all members were 
notified of the dates, so that if other engagements 
brought them to town they might choose the dates of the 
reunions *f or the time of their visit. 

In 1894 the topics covered the Steam Engines of the 
Columbian Exposition; Water Tube Boilers in the 
United States Navy; the Sellers-Emery Testing Ma- 
chine ; Machines for Testing Materials. From 60 to 100 
members from the city and out of town used to attend 
these gatherings. The collation usual at this time was 
served in the so-called banquet room below the audi- 
torium. 

At the Annual Meeting in 1894, the veteran M. N. 
Forney offered a resolution that the Council appoint a 
Committee of the Society to arrange for monthly meet- 
ings as one of its stated activities, and that such com- 
mittee have full power to settle all questions of detail 
and to solicit subscriptions for their expenses. The reso- 
lution was favored by many speakers, urging that the 
expenses be borne out of the funds of the Society, inas- 
much as all should benefit by the professional material 
presented. Under this resolution in the winter of 1895 
papers were read on the Gas Engine ; the Electric Motor 
in the Machine Shop; the Compound Locomotive; the 
Waterworks Pumping Problem of New York City; and 
the Eapid Transit Problem in Large Cities. This last 
paper was a notable one by Mr. William Barclay Par- 
sons, then recently made chief engineer for the Rapid 
Transit Commission of New York City, and included the 
pictures which he had secured of the solutions in various 
European cities which he had visited during the previous 
summer with a view to the design of the New York plans. 
The subway, now so familiar, was then only an engi- 
neer's intellectual concept. Mr. E. F. C. Davis, Presi- 
dent for that year, replaced the less satisfactory object 
lens of the Secretary's collection on the projection 
lantern by a much finer and more costly one, as his gift, 



222 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

and the lantern was rebuilt in the form which it re- 
tained until its usefulness was over because of the longer 
focal lengths and larger areas of the Engineering Build- 
ing. 

In 1896, 1897 and 1898 both kinds of monthly meet- 
ings lapsed. The problem of financing them by voluntary 
subscriptions was not agreeable to the appointed com- 
mittee of busy men of affairs; and the Secretary still 
hesitated to make them a part of his official duty or to 
entail their operating cost upon the Society treasury, 
because of an opinion that the non-resident members 
would entertain rightly or wrongly an impression that the 
members near headquarters in New York were getting 
more return from their dues than those at a distance 
paying at the same uniform rate. The Society must not 
do anything to give color to a notion that it was a New 
York City organization local in character, and operated 
by a ring in the metropolitan district for their own ad- 
vantage. If such meetings were strictly maintained as 
local affairs, under a voluntary committee, the Secretary 
might help in every way, but would not render himself or 
his administration liable to the charge or thought that 
some people were getting more than others from his 
energy and effort. 

In 1899, on motion of Mr. Stephen W. Baldwin, the 
plan of meetings was revived, with a committee of Junior 
members in charge of it. The philosophy here was three- 
fold : first, to secure the energy of youth for the advance- 
ment of the Society; second, to interest men of junior 
age in the Society and its work, and thus bring them 
into membership to succeed the older generation; third, 
to stimulate and train the younger membership in pre- 
paring papers and in their discussion. Junior members 
were in the chair ; and pulled the working oar in procur- 
ing papers and topics ; the Secretary cooperated in corre- 
spondence and administration. Members of all grades 
were invited, and their participation besought because 
the older ones alone had the knowledge and experience 
necessary to make discussion valuable. Messrs. F. E. 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 223 

Frothingham, F. 0. Ball, A. L. Rice and Henry C. Meyer, 
Jr., were particularly active in this work in the spring of 
1898 and autumn of 1899, and papers and discussion were 
presented on the Floating Machine Shop Vulcan in the 
war of 1898; the Liquefaction of Gases, with particular 
illustration of the phenomena of liquefied air, then a nov- 
elty ; the Gas Engine and the Compound Locomotive. In 
1900-1901 Mr. John C. Wait presented a most valuable 
paper on the Laws of Construction Contracts, and Mr, 
Cornelius Vanderbilt one on Locomotive Fire-Boxes, the 
latter with special reference to the corrugated furnace 
type which he was then urging. Others were on Draft- 
ing Room and Shop Records and on Superheated Steam. 
At the close of this series the Junior Committee reported 
that in its opinion the work of operating such meetings 
would be better done by a general committee and handed 
in their resignations. Again followed a lapse in the 
series of meetings during the winters of 1902 and 1903. 

In 1904 Mr. Ambrose Swasey, as President, with 
characteristic energy revived the winter reunions and 
secured four splendid gatherings to listen to Dr. Bras- 
hear on Evolution of Measurements, to Major Rogers 
Birnie of the United States Army, on Modern Ordnance, 
to Julian Kennedy on How Steel Rails are Made, and to 
W. F. M. Goss on the Modern Locomotive. 

In 1905, under the same direction, the reunions were 
signalized by addresses on : Epochs in Marine Engineer- 
ing, by Rear- Admiral Melville ; Reasons for a Sea Level 
Canal at Panama, by W. R. Warner and W. H. Burr; 
Formation of Anchor Ice, by Dr. H. T. Barnes; Dia- 
monds and Diamond Tools, by Gus C. Henning. The 
latter evening will not be forgotten for its comparisons 
of admired members of the Society to industrial dia- 
monds, by reason of certain qualities. The next year 
was that of active preparation for the moving of the So- 
ciety to the new Engineering Building, and the reorgan- 
ization and standardization of the oflBce procedure. The 
Secretary's resignation had also been presented, and the 
era of new policies of conduct of the Society was about 



224 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

to be opened when the societies were together under one 
roof. This period of ebb-tide may therefore be con- 
sidered to separate the historic series of inter-convention 
meetings from the current period. 

The latter began in 1907, with the decision that such 
meetings as should be held in the auditoriums of the 
Society Building during the wdnter should no longer be 
meetings of the Society in an exclusive sense, but that 
pains should be taken to invite and include the members 
of the other engineering societies. They should further- 
more be borne as to their expense by the Society as one 
of its regular fiscal activities. The first meeting held by 
any organization in the large auditorium of the Society 
was that in 1907 where Mr. Fish gave his address on 
Trade Secrets in their Legal Aspects. General Crozier 
gave an address on the Mechanical Engineering Prob- 
lems of the Coast Defence Eifle and its Carriage, and 
Professor Allen a talk on Use and Danger and Safety in 
Handling Combustible Hydrocarbons such as Gasolene. 

Later, these New York reunions were placed in the 
hands of a New York Local Cormnittee, and gradually 
changed from meetings of the Society in New York to 
meetings of the local groups of New York members and 
in charge of their executive committee. 

In 1909 the question arose of similar meetings in other 
cities than New York. An identical policy was urged 
upon Boston and St. Louis and the other cities which 
took the matter up that these meetings be considered 
meetings of members of the Society, and that the mem- 
bers of the local society or club in that city should be 
invited to them as guests and co-workers by right in the 
discussions and other activities of the meetings. The 
only restrictions are that the standards and precedents 
of the Society are to be observed; that the financing of 
expenses chargeable to the Society in the conduct of such 
meetings be handled in the annual Society budget and 
through the Secretary; and that the Executive Commit- 
tee in control of such meetings be members of the Society. 
Within these broad lines the meetings are entirely self- 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 225 

controlling, and the widest cooperation in papers and 
debate and along other professional lines is invited and 
expected, independent of Society membership in other 
bodies or the lack of it. This policy was foreshadowed 
in the presidential address of F. R. Hutton in 1907 em- 
bodying his recommendations for the future, which by 
reason of its scope and comprehensiveness has been made 
an Appendix to this History. 

A further extension of the aforetime activities of the 
Society will be discussed under affiliation in another 
chapter. 

In addition to the local group meetings, the Society 
policy provides also for meetings on occasion or between 
conventions of its professional sections. These are made 
up of members and others interested professionally or 
otherwise in some special line and desiring to have 
papers and discussion relating to it under conditions 
more favorable than when such papers are offered in 
crowded general sessions at the conventions. This matter 
will also receive further treatment in its own chapter. 



CHAPTER XIV 

European Trips, Joint Meetings and Engineering 
Congresses 

Mr. Alex. L. HoUey, a founder of the Society, had 
been the American engineer to bring the Bessemer pro- 
cess for making steel to this country. In these relations 
he had come to know the leaders of the profession in 
Great Britain and before the Society was organized his 
brain had been full of plans to bring about international 
courtesies. The idea as he had it was that the three 
societies then existing — Civil, Mechanical and Mining 
Engineers — should create a joint committee to present 
the matter in England. In the summer of 1882, Mr. 
HoUey and Mr. Charles Macdonald, of such a joint com- 
mittee, were made a sub-committee to go to England and 
open up the matter. Mr. Holley's ill-health precluded 
his acting, but the result of Mr. Macdonald 's efforts 
convinced him that the time was not then ripe for, an 
international meeting or exchanging of official organized 
courtesies and entertainment. He so reported at the 
Philadelphia Meeting of 1882 through the President, and 
the matter dropped. 

The next step was a dinner given in London by the 
president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers of 
Great Britain to two members of The American Society 
of Mechanical Engineers, and in the spring of 1888 a 
visit to America by that British president. He came in 
a purely personal way, but after visiting some of the 
American engineers representative of the Society, among 
them Major Wm. H, Wiley, its Treasurer, he wrote the 
following momentous letter : 

226 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 227 

October 6, 1888 
The President, 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 

Dear Sir: 

I am authorized to invite your Society to hold a week's 
meeting in London next year some time in May. We were given 
to understand that many of the leading American engineers would 
visit Europe to see the Paris Exhibition of 1889. If your Society 
should accept the invitation it would be warmly welcomed by the 
Institution of Civil Engineers, the Iron and Steel Institute and 
my own Society, viz: The Institution of Mechanical Engineers of 
England, and others. 

Your Treasurer, Mr. Wiley, will more fully explain to you 
our desire to welcome our brother engineers of America. 

I remain. Dear Sirs, Yours faithfully, 

(Signed) E. N. Carbutt, 
President, Institution Mechanical Engineers. 

The Council of the Society at once appointed Messrs. 
Wiley and Hutton a committee to take action on the 
question of whether a large and representative party 
of the Society could go on such a trip, and to keep the 
British Institution advised of the facts and progress 
made. The procedure of the Committee was to advise 
all members by circular letter of the invitation; and by 
the form of the reply blank to group the answers into 
three classes: (a) those who would go, and could now 
say so; (b) those who hoped to go, and would decide 
later; (c) those who had no expectation of going. These 
replies surprised the committee in that the affirmative 
certainties and possibilities reached nearly three hun- 
dred. 

Meanwhile the then Inman and International Steam- 
ship Company, now the American Line, promised the ex- 
slusive booking of one of their smaller and slower vessels 
if the party could fill it. By February 20, 1889, enough 
had paid their fare to justify the chartering of the ship, 
and the City of Richmond was assigned to the Society. 
Its office did all the booking and berthing, and the steam- 
ship company said that it was then unique in their experi- 
ence to have a group of individuals take a whole ship and 
fill it with their friends. 

History was also being made in London, and under 



228 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

the wise guidance of Mr. James Dredge, Honorary Mem- 
ber of the Society, the original scope of the first invita- 
tion was broadened to include the three other engineering 
societies; and the English host became the Institution 
of Civil Engineers of Great Britain, inclusive on that 
side of all subdivisions of engineers. In March the party 
was so far organized that the Society paid $18,145 to 
the company for the purchased tickets and the party 
numbered 166. There was then a waiting list, some of 
whom were turned over to the cabin list of the S. S. City 
of New York. 

Just before the party embarked, the following letter 
was sent to every one by Mr. Forrest, Secretary of the 
Institution of Civil Engineers : 

The Institution of Civil Engineers, 
25 Great George Street, Westminster, S. S. 

May 4, 1889. 
Dear Sib: 

I am directed by the President, Council and other members 
of this Institution to request the honor of your company at dinner 
on Thursday, the 13th of June, at 6:30 for 7 p.m. precisely. The 
dinner is to be given in the Guild Hall of the City of London, 
which has been kindly placed at the disposal of the Institution, 
by the express sanction of the Eight Hon., the Lord Mayor, Alder- 
men and Commons of the City of London in Common Council as- 
sembled, for the purpose of entertaining the members of the 
diflferent American Engineering Societies who will then be in 
London. 

An early answer will oblige. Evening dress will be observed. 
In case this invitation is accepted, a formal card will await your 
arrival in this country. 

I am. 

Yours faithfully, 
(Signed) James Forrest, 

Secretary. 

It was appreciated at the time that a very unusual 
courtesy was thus extended, but its full significance was 
not realized until the party reached London. It had been 
found advisable to retard the arrival of the party at that 
city until the close of the Whitsuntide holidays, which 
are celebrated in England by the suspension of work in 
many manufacturing establishments, and therefore it 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 229 

was suggested that the few days between the arrival of 
the steamer and the end of those holidays should be spent 
by the party in trips through the rural and historic in- 
terests of England. The London and Northwestern Eail- 
way, which had already tendered free transportation 
from Liverpool to London to the members of the Engi- 
neering Societies, issued a circular giving a choice of 
tours in England, and a similar circular giving the tours 
over the Midland Railway was furnished through Cook's 
Tourist Agency. The members were in part requested 
to make their choice of these tours before sailing, but a 
decision was not reached by many until their arrival at 
Queenstown. 

Just before the City of Richmond sailed, the Council 
of this Society, in conference with representatives of the 
Mining and Civil Engineers, arranged for the forma- 
tion of a Joint Executive Committee of the three so- 
cieties, which should be the channel for the hospitalities 
shown by English hosts to the party at large. The 
organization of this committee, however, was not per- 
fected until the party in the two ships reached Liverpool 
and came to an agreement there. 

The steamer City of Richmond, with its full comple- 
ment of passengers berthed in the first and second cabin, 
the latter fitted up and treated as first, sailed at 3 p.m., 
Saturday, May 25 ; the City of New York with the over- 
flow party, and also those connected with the party who 
booked through the American Society of Civil Engineers, 
sailed May 29, the following Wednesday. After the 
party acquired its ' ' sea legs ' ' there were the usual games 
and sports, including an initiation into the order of 
Neptune. 

The first steamer reached the Mersey on Tuesday, 
June 4th, but at Queenstown the representatives of the 
English hosts had boarded the steamer the day before. 

A full report of this trip and its courtesies, English, 
French and German, was prepared by the Secretary of 
the Society and may be studied by those interested as 
paper No. 336 in Volume 10 of the Transactions, page 



230 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

851. For a summary account of the busy weeks of the 
visit, the report of President Henry B. Towne in his 
presidential address in 1889^ will here be quoted from : 

The voyage of the City of Richmond is a memory 
which all who had the privilege of taking part in it will 
ever recall with the greatest pleasure. It was harmonious 
from beginning to end. A committee was organized on 
the second day after sailing and had sessions every day 
of the voyage — indeed long sessions, as there was much 
work to be done in preparation for the affairs to be 
carried out on the other side, more than any of us had 
realized. The members of the party, both ladies and 
gentlemen, soon became well acquainted, and the voyage 
came to resemble a large yachting party rather than an 
ordinary trip across the Atlantic. 

Liverpool was reached on Tuesday, June 4, and be- 
fore foot was set on English soil the party received a 
foretaste of English hospitality. There came out to 
meet the ship in the Mersey a tender carrying a commit- 
tee of the local reception committee at Liverpool headed 
by Mr. Alfred Holt, their chairman (reputed to be the 
largest individual shipowner in the world), Mr. Daglish, 
Mr. West, and a number of other gentlemen. They 
boarded the ship and greeted all with words of hearty 
welcome, took charge of the landing, facilitating the pas- 
sage of the customs authorities, and from that time until 
all left Liverpool they were ceaseless in their endeavors 
for everyone's comfort and enjoyment. 

The City of New York arrived two days later, in the 
early morning, and with that day began the regular ex- 
cursions which had been planned for the entertainment 
of the guests. The hosts in England were the Institu- 
tion of Civil Engineers. The individual members taking 
part in the entertainment, most of whom came expressly 
to Liverpool to greet the party, were the president, Sir 
John Coode, Sir Frederick Bramwell, Sir Lothian Bell, 
Sir James AUport, Mr. Adamson, Sir Henry Bessemer, 



»Vol. 11, No. 358. 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 231 

Sir Geo. Bruce, Mr. Cowper, and many others whom 
there is not space available to name ; but among them all 
no name made itself more familiar, or will ever be more 
warmly remembered, than that of the Secretary, Mr. 
James Forrest. 

It became necessary for the party, comprising, as it 
did, members of this Society, of the Civil Engineers, 
and the Mining Engineers, together with a few members 
of the Electrical Engineers, to create some kind of an 
organization which should represent the united party 
during its travels in Europe. A joint committee was 
appointed to accomplish this purpose, and the result of 
their labors was the selection and recommendation of 
the following list of officers, who were unanimously 
elected by the joint party : Mr. Whittemore as honorary 
chairman, Mr. Henry B. Towne as chairman; and as 
officers or associates: Mr. Chanute, Mr. Woodbury, Mr. 
Clarke, Professor Hutton, Mr. Wiley, Mr. Dempster, Mr. 
Kent, Mr. Archbald, Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Fisher, Mr. 
Hawkins, Doctor Torrey, Mr. Bond, Mr. Forsyth, Mr. 
Oberlin Smith, and Mr. D'Invilliers. The treasurer was 
Mr. Hunt ; the honorary secretary, Mr. Emery ; the secre- 
tary, Mr. Kirchhoff. It is an evidence of the clever- 
ness with which the nominating committee did its work, 
that out of the 21 names above, there are 13 who are 
members of the Society of Civil Engineers, 13 who are 
members of the Society of Mechanical Engineers, and 
9 who are members of the Institute of Mining Engineers. 
The joint committee worked acceptably and accom- 
plished its work satisfactorily, although the work proved 
to be much larger than would have been appreciated be- 
forehand and demanded a great deal of time and care. 

The first full experience of English hospitality came 
at Liverpool in the form of a dinner given by Sir John 
Coode at Liverpool, the evening after the City of New 
York arrived, to a few of the officers of the joint party, 
followed during the evening by a conversazione at the 
Town Hall, given by the Mayor, Mr. Cookson, and at- 
tended by the whole of the party and a great number of 



232 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

ladies and gentlemen from Liverpool — a most brilliant 
assemblage. 

The next morning the visitors were divided into two 
parties, one going to the Mersey Docks under the guid- 
ance of officers of the Dock Estate, who have charge of 
the most vast and expensive system of dock construction 
in the world, the extent of which is simply marvelous, 
and to Americans utterly unknown. The tides in Liver- 
pool, and indeed all around the English coasts, average 
nearly thirty feet in height, entirely precluding the use 
of a wharf system such as there is in New York, and 
necessitating the entry of all vessels into docks closed 
by gates which are opened only for about an hour at high 
water. 

The other party went through the Mersey Tunnel, a 
great work connecting Liverpool with Birkenhead, which 
had been recently completed under the guidance of Mr. 
Rowlandson, the engineer, and then to the Laird ship- 
yards, where 576 vessels have been built within the last 
30 years. They were entertained at a magnificent 
luncheon served in a tent on Mr. Laird's grounds, and 
then visited one of the great steamers then being built 
for the Hamburg line — a sister ship of the Augusta 
Victoria — and finally were brought back to Liverpool, 
arriving at the great landing stage which is used for 
tenders and ferryboats to deliver their passengers upon, 
said to be the greatest floating structure in the world, 
and having a total length of 2063 feet. 

The next day the party divided again; one section 
going to Crewe, the location of the great constructive 
works of the London and Northwestern system, corre- 
sponding to Altoona on the Pennsylvania system, where 
they make steel rails, build locomotives, and conduct 
most of the mechanical operations of the line. The ex- 
tent of those works is probably familiar to all, but it is 
interesting to note that the capital of that great corpora- 
tion is $528,000,000, with an annual revenue of $51,- 
000,000, and with 60,000 employees. It is also interesting 
to note that, even in that snug little island, one railway 





^^ / I -^^^^-yj^ a// C^L^ 



^E AMERICAN SOCIETV orMECHAMICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 233 

system can control and operate 2500 miles of line. The 
Crewe works cover 116 acres of land, of which 36 are 
under roof. 

The other section of the party on that day went to 
Horwich, on the line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire 
Eailway, and inspected a similar plant there, but one 
even more interesting than that at Crewe in this respect 
■ — that while Crewe has grown up almost from the com- 
mencement of railway operations in England and is to 
some extent a patchwork, although a vast and most 
highly organized one, the new plant of the Lancashire 
and Yorkshire Railway at Horwich is entirely new, has 
been built within the last three years, was laid out and 
organized by commencing with a clean sheet of paper 
and an unbroken piece of ground admirably chosen, and 
has a series of vast buildings designed harmoniously 
with reference to their intended uses and in the light of 
the best and latest modern experience, including that of 
Crewe. The mechanical engineer of that system, Mr. 
Aspinall,^ who has charge of the Horwich works, al- 
though a younger man than Mr. Webb, the presiding 
genius at Crewe, is his equal apparently in talent and 
organizing capacity, and, working as he does with this 
newer and more modern plant, is making a record which 
certainly will be a good second to that of Crewe. In 
the manufacturing department, where they make the 
smaller products, such for example as their switch and 
signal apparatus, Mr. Aspinall has introduced a great 
deal of American machinery and American methods of 
manufacture, and it seemed to the writer that the place 
compared favorably with any private establishment ever 
visited. These works cover 85 acres of ground, of which 
lSy2 acres are under roof. 

In the evening of that day the two parties united at 
Manchester, where a reception and banquet were 

*It is interesting to note that this gentleman was the President of the 
Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the occasion of the second American 
▼isit twenty-one years later in 1910, and was President of the Railway 
System. He is an Honorary Member of the A.S.M.E. 



234 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

tendered at the Town Hall, presided over by the Mayor 
of Manchester and attended by a great many of the 
prominent citizens. It was a delightful occasion and 
even more elaborate than the reception at Liverpool. 

The next day the party visited the great ship canal 
between Manchester and Liverpool, 35 miles in length, 
the contract price for which was $28,000,000, and on 
which 15,000 men were employed. 

The next week being the Whitsuntide Holiday or 
recess, was utilized for excursions not connected with 
the engineering part of our visit. The party broke up 
into two groups, one going through North Wales, the 
other through the Midland counties, reuniting in London. 
It is fitting to remark at this place that all through the 
trip the courtesies extended to the American engineers 
by English railway officials were marked and generous to 
the greatest extent. The London and Northwestern 
system gave free transportation from Liverpool to Lon- 
don, including a return privilege at whatever time the 
holder of the ticket desired, and other systems followed 
later when the party had reached London and made ex- 
cursions from that point. 

On Thursday, the 13th of June, those wonderful 
eight days of hospitality in London began with a choral 
service in Westminster Abbey, conducted by Dean 
Bradley, who gave an address of welcome to the Ameri- 
can party ; then a brief visit to the Houses of Parliament 
and in the afternoon a reception by the Institution of 
Civil Engineers. The latter was opened by an address 
of welcome from Sir John Coode, the president, the 
words of which have been beautifully illuminated and 
framed and presented to this Society, and also to the 
sister societies here, by the Institution of Civil Engi- 
neers, and a copy hung in the new rooms. The party 
was especially fortunate in having with it at that time 
one of the Society's oldest and most honored members, 
to whom was committed the duty of replying to the 
address of welcome from Sir John Coode, and who did 
it in a manner which more than fulfilled our expectations ; 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 236 

Professor Thurston's admirable address on that oc- 
casion was one for which all of the party felt grateful 
and of which all were proud. 

In the evening of that day a dinner was given to the 
party by the Institution of Civil Engineers in the old and 
historic Guildhall of London, a building which we were 
told had never before within memory been used for any 
purpose not directly connected with the civic hospitality 
of the City of London. It was a great compliment. The 
dinner was elegant beyond easy expression and was 
dignified and notable in every particular. Among the 
guests of the occasion were the American Minister, Mr. 
Robert Lincoln, Sir Edward Thornton, Lord Armstrong, 
Archdeacon Farrar, Dean Bradley, Sir Henry Bessemer, 
Sir William Thompson, Mr. Latimer Clarke, Sir James 
Douglass, Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. Mather, Sir E. J. Reed, Pro- 
fessor Unwin, and a great many others whose names are 
familiar on this side of the Atlantic as well as on the 
other. One of the pleasing incidents of the evening was 
the address given by Mr. Lincoln, which was worthy of 
the occasion and able throughout, and at the close of 
which he gave utterance to a sentiment especially compli- 
mentary to the engineers and typical of the character of 
the times and of the change in sentiment which is taking 
place in the world. Addressing the united party of engi- 
neers, English and American, he said that ''engineers 
throughout the world are doing more than any other 
agency at the present time to bring about the brotherhood 
of the nations, and to render superfluous such offices as 
that which I now have the honor of holding." 

The next day was devoted to visits to the docks and 
gas works, to drainage works, to the great Tower bridge 
across the Thames, to Greenwich, to the Yarrow ship- 
yard, to various engineering works, and by a fraction of 
the party, to a visit to Lambeth Palace, where the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury received the guests and conducted 
them personally through the edifice. On the following 
day, June 15, the party was taken by special train over 
the Great Western Railway to Windsor, where the Queen 



236 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

had given special permission for our party to go through 
the palace, and to see not only those parts which are 
usually open to the public but also the private apart- 
ments, which were exceedingly interesting. A small 
fraction of the party went on that day to the grounds of 
Mr. Boulton, at Totteridge, where they witnessed a re- 
markable presentation of the Midsummer Night's Dream, 
given in the open air. This was the day on which the 
author joined the party. The evening of the day 
concluded with a reception tendered to the party by Lord 
Brassey at his beautiful house in London, where all saw 
many of the wonderful curios collected by himself and 
the late Lady Brassey during their yachting tours around 
the world. The following day was a Sunday, and on the 
next day, Monday, the party went in the morning to see 
the Boyal Palaces in London — St. James and Bucking- 
ham. It was one of the coincidences of this visit that 
the visitors were greeted there with the strains of Yankee 
Doodle and Hail Columbia, the day being, as one of the 
party recalled, the anniversary of the battle of Bunker 
Hill. On the afternoon of this day Lady Burdett-Coutts 
gave a garden party and reception at her Lonaon resi- 
dence. The following day was devoted to a trip to water 
works and pumping plants, to Hampton Court Palace 
and Bushy Park, and the day following to similar visits 
to railway stations and the great plant of the London 
Electric Supply Corporation, the ladies going to the 
flower show of the Royal Botanic Society; and a party 
of the members, unfortunately a small one, able to avail 
themselves of the privilege, spent the day in a visit to 
the residence of Professor Tyndall, who had invited as 
large a party as his house was capable of entertaining. 
Those who went received at his hands a most cordial and 
delightful reception, and it is pleasing to mention a fact 
which was also learned from those who were fortunate 
enough to be there, that the response made over the 
luncheon table to the remarks of Professor Tyndall by 
the honorary chairman, Mr. Whittemore, were eloquent 
and beautifully fitting to the occasion. Other hospitalities 





^^'^^' ^-X%^^ z-^ -^fj 




PRESIDENT 1903 



-^^ 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 237 

were extended to individual members of the party on oc- 
casions which did not admit of their being made general. 
One or two of the London clubs gave admission to the 
members, as had also been done in Liverpool, and in 
every way the hospitality of the English cousins was 
cordial beyond any mere words of expression. All of 
our party, in undergoing these experiences, realized that 
while there was of course a large amount of personal 
hospitality underlying it, and still more of professional 
welcome, the true motive prompting these manifestations 
from the English friends was that of deep and sincere 
cordiality towards America and Americans. This was 
made evident to us throughout the whole of the English 
experience, and it struck many that the feeling of kinship 
on the part of the English toward the Americans is even 
greater at the present time than the corresponding feel- 
ing which they entertain toward the English. Americans 
look back to England as the mother country and as such 
have for it the warmest feeling of affection, but on the 
part of Englishmen there can be of course no correspond- 
ing feeling toward this country. The fact of the kinship 
of the two peoples, however, is more real to English- 
men at the present time than it is even to the Americans, 
and they realize more clearly the fact that together both 
constitute the two branches of the great Anglo-Saxon, 
English-speaking race, which has accomplished so much 
in the industrial world. 

On June 20 English friends again put the party on a 
magnificent special train, and many of them accompanied 
them on it via the London, Chatham and Dover Eailway, 
to Dover, and from there by a special steamer across the 
English Channel to Calais. The crossing was on a beauti- 
ful sunny day, with bright sparkling water, and with no 
cause for discomfort. 

Upon landing on French soil there was again an im- 
mediate greeting of hospitality from the new hosts, 
represented by members of the French Society of Civil 
Engineers, who had come from Paris for the purpose. 



238 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

Again the visitors were placed on a special train, 
tendered by the Northern Eailway of France, and taken 
to St. Omer and Fontinettes, to see a new and rnusual 
canal lift which had just been completed there, and thence 
on to Paris. The hosts during the French visit were 
composed almost entirely of members of the French So- 
ciety of Civil Engineers, headed by M. Eiffel, the presi- 
dent that year, M. BruU, a past-president, M. Contamin, 
principal engineer of the wonderful machinery palace at 
the exhibition, which was awarded the prize of 20,000 f r. 
tendered by an American for that feature of the exhibi- 
tion which, in the opinion of a special committee ap- 
pointed to make the award, represented the highest 
accomplishment and greatest usefulness. The commit- 
tee's award was to the designers and builders of the 
wonderful machinery hall, a building having a span of 
330 ft. and a length of about 1500 ft. The other mem- 
bers of the reception committee were M. Jousselin, M. 
Banderali, M. Pontzen, M. Alphand, who is the director- 
general of the Exhibition, M. Garnier, the world-famous 
architect, M. Haton de la Goupilliere, who is the head of 
the Ecole des Mines in Paris, M. Gottschalk, M. Charton, 
and many others. A few members of the joint committee 
were privileged to be the guests at a small but most de- 
lightful dinner given at one of the restaurants in the ex- 
hibition grounds by a gentleman whose name has been 
too little associated with this wonderful excursion, Mr. 
James Dredge, of London, the editor of the journal En- 
gineering, and one of the leading representatives of the 
English section of the late Paris Exhibition. All of the 
societies were indebted more to Mr. Dredge than to any 
other one person for inaugurating the excursion, for 
enlisting English and French interest in it, and for con- 
tributing to the success of the whole undertaking. One 
member of the party, the treasurer of this Society, Mr. 
Wiley, knows the facts, but they are not yet fully ap- 
preciated even by the members of the party abroad ; and 
no amount of thanks which can be expressed or tendered 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 239 

to Mr. Dredge would cancel the obligation which is owed 
to him. 

On Saturday, the 22d of June, the party went to the 
exhibition under the conduct of members of the French 
Society, and were taken through a portion of it, and then 
to the Eiffel Tower, after ascending which they were en- 
tertained at a luncheon on the lower platform of the 
Tower, presided over by M. Eiffel, the president of the 
French Society, and attended very numerously by mem- 
bers of the French Society and guests, including Mr. 
Whitelaw Reid, the American Minister, and General 
Franklin, American commissioner to the exhibition. 

The stay in Paris included many other visits — to the 
great sewers, to the Gobelin Tapestry Works, to M. 
Pasteur's laboratory, to the Ecole des Mines, to the great 
omnibus and cab companies, to the sewerage and pump- 
ing stations, to the Sevres Porcelain Works, and so on. 
The social features of the entertainment in Paris in- 
cluded, besides what has been already mentioned, recep- 
tions to a part or the whole of the joint party by Presi- 
dent Carnot, by the Prefect of the Seine, and by the 
Municipal Council. It was a pleasant feature of the re- 
ception at the latter place that one of the speakers on the 
American side. Professor de Garay of the City of Mexico, 
a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and 
an accomplished scientist and gentleman, responded most 
eloquently in the French language, as was done by other 
members of the party on other occasions. The Institu- 
tion of Mechanical Engineers, which had been the first 
to extend an invitation to visit England, happened to have 
their summer meeting in Paris just at the close of 
the stay there, and extended to those of the members who 
remained an invitation to their dinner and to their ses- 
sions, so that English hospitality followed the party even 
on French soil. Then came the disbanding of the party, 
some returning home, others going South, and a consid- 
erable number going into Germany, where they were 
afterward heard from as receiving hospitality even more 
overwhelming than that which had greeted them either 



240 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

in England or in France. Still others came back to 
London, and a very small number, seven only being ob- 
tainable, were privileged to take part in a small but 
unique entertainment given by Mr. Dredge, again the 
host, in order, as he supposed, to enable a selected group 
to present a handsome silver loving cup to Mr. James 
Forrest, as a token of appreciation of the members of 
the party to him for what he had done for them during 
the visit abroad. The committee having the matter in 
charge, however, appreciated that Mr. Dredge was en- 
titled to a loving cup as well as Mr. Forrest, and two cups 
were prepared, each suitably inscribed. Each of the two 
recipients knew that the other was to be presented with a 
cup, but neither knew that he was to receive one himself, 
and there was a very pleasant and amusing denouement 
when the second cup came out. 

On July 22 a number of the party again came together 
and for the last time accepted the hospitality of the 
Midland Railroad and a special car to Derby, where they 
were the guests of Mr. John Noble, the general manager 
of the company, and several of their directors. After a 
handsome luncheon in the director's room a visit was 
made to their works, which are similar to those at Crewe, 
although not quite so large, and the day ended for many 
on reaching Liverpool in preparation for the homeward 
voyage. The party which reassembled in this way at 
Liverpool, numbering more than fifty, came home on the 
City of Richmond, together with those from Paris, 
reaching New York, just three minutes too late to 
break the ocean record. The rest of the party came home 
in scattering groups but more than fifty came home on 
the 25th of August, to be the recipients in New York City, 
of hospitalities organized at the hands of Mr. J. F. Hollo- 
way and other friends at the Engineers' Club in 29th 
Street. A handsome dinner was given to the returning 
guests, a proceeding likened by a witty speaker to the 
heaping of coals of fire on their heads, since the hosts 
were those who had not been able to participate in the 
sessions which the guests had just been enjoying and of 




Cfyiy^^^Cvc^ c:gf^ 



PRESI DENT 190-+ 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 




1 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 241 

which they spoke in such enthusiastic terms. So ended 
an experience remarkable in every sense of the word and 
without precedent, and one which will ever be a delightful 
memory to those whose privilege it was to take part in it. 

There were a number of individual experiences not 
possible to every member of the party and of which a 
full account of the European visit must take cognizance. 
At the visit to the Pasteur Institute of Paris for example, 
it was the privilege of one of the members and a Past- 
President of the Society to stand between M. Eiffel, de- 
signer of the great tower which bears his name, and M. 
Louis Pasteur and witness the innoculation by the dis- 
tinguished surgeons of a dozen or more patients who had 
been brought in. Each one was punctured in a little spot 
in his side above the hip and the antitoxin administered, 
the whole operation taking but a few minutes, but it was 
then a distinct novelty among the great benefactions. 

Another most interesting occurrence was the German 
visit of that year, with headquarters at Diisseldorf. 
There were daily trips to mines and mills and nightly 
social functions. Among these was a grand ball at one 
of the hotels, a supper and a dance in the Zoological 
Gardens, and an evening in the beautiful gardens where 
the orchestra is the successor of that conducted by 
Mendelssohn years ago. The trip to Cologne and Coblenz 
culminated the German experience of that year. The 
party reached Coblenz about noon. This was then the 
residence of the widowed Empress Augusta, grand- 
mother of the Kaiser on the throne in 1913, who then 
lived in the dowager palace. The whole party of some 
forty were tendered a luncheon in the beautiful palace 
gardens and afterwards a select three, of which Past- 
President Oberlin Smith was one, were invited to visit 
the Empress in her private apartments, her health not 
being robust enough to permit the approach of the entire 
party. At high noon, evening garments were donned and 
Mr. Smith received a huge bouquet which appeared to 
him, as he describes it, about the size of an umbrella, for 
presentation to the hostess. She spoke excellent English 



242 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

and chatted pleasantly for some fifteen minutes on the 
details of the Paris Exposition and of the flood in Johns- 
town, Pa., to the relief fund of which she had been a 
contributor. The party was then driven through the 
city and embarked upon a special steamer for the trip 
down the Rhine, with refreshments and dancing on deck. 
This collation was the fourth square meal of that day. 
On reaching Cologne a large crowd assembled where 
again refreshments were tendered at a hotel and the trip 
signalized by salutes by flags, cannons and rocket fires 
and the day with its seven square meals came to an end I 

The Executive Committee prepared engrossed, and in 
some cases illuminated, addresses of thanks in the name 
of the party. All of these are recorded in the complete 
record which was made by the Secretary of the Society 
as an Appendix to the volume of Transactions of that 
year and which is No. 356 in the list of papers. A 
souvenir album containing originals or photographic re- 
productions in the history of this excursion so far as 
possible was compiled and is among the records of the 
Society. 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers co- 
operated in 1890 with the Institute of Mining Engineers 
in the pleasure of entertaining the British Iron and Steel 
Institute of Great Britain and the Verein deutscher 
Eisenhiittenleute. It was during this period that the 
Bessemer Medal of the British Iron and Steel Institute 
was conferred on John Fritz, and the bronze bust of 
Alex. L. HoUey, one of the founders of The American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers, was unveiled in Wash- 
ington Square, New York City, and presented by its do- 
nors to the City. The funds for this bust, designed by Par- 
tridge, were contributed by members of the Society and 
by the iron and steel corporations with which Mr. HoUey 
had been identified. An interval of ten years after the 
death of the eminent American was necessary under the 
rules of the Park Department before such a monument 
could be located in Central Park. A later movement was 
undertaken to transfer the memorial from this less dis- 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 243 

tinguislied location to the splendid surroundings of the 
campus of Columbia University, but an interesting legal 
difficulty was met where the counsel for the City decided 
that the transfer of such a gift to ground which the City 
itself did not own was an unwise step to take. After 
the ceremonies of the New York Meeting held in Chicker- 
ing Hall, now no longer in existence, the guests were 
conveyed by special trains to the iron and steel making 
industries of America. It was at the banquet in New York 
at Delmonico's former building on 26th Street that Mr. 
Abram S. Hewitt, toastmaster for the American hosts, 
so cleverly extricated himself from pronouncing the name 
of the Society of German Iron and Steel Workers. The 
latter is officially called the Verein deutscher Eisen- 
hiittenleute. He said on rising to his feet: ''It gives 
me pleasure to welcome on behalf of the American Engi- 
neers the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain and 

the the German organization of 

kindred aim. ' ' Even the foreign visitors, accustomed to 
polysyllables, saw the fun and appreciated the skill with 
which the speaker had avoided his problem of hurdling 
the Eisenhiittenleute. 

The first opportunity for the Society of Mechanical 
Engineers, and those who had grouped themselves about 
it in 1889, to return to this particular group of hosts 
what they had received at their hands, was offered in 
1893 when the Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago, 
111. The British Institution was formally invited to come 
to the United States and be entertained on its way to 
Chicago, but they decided that there would not be enough 
members coming to America at any one time to constitute 
an organized body upon whom such entertainment and 
courtesies might be concentrated. Similarly among the 
Germans the delegation was scattering as regards time 
and while the Engineering Congress in Chicago attracted 
many, these were not enough to form a nucleus around 
which might gather the hospitable intent of those who 
went abroad in 1889. The Society transformed its audi- 
torium during that summer into a species of touring bu- 



244 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

reau, witli railroad and industrial information for the use 
of any visiting engineers who might pass through or stop 
in New York. Dr. Chas. H. Deghuee was secured as 
linguist and the Society was glad to furnish this effective 
service during the Exposition period. 

But when the French Society of Civil Engineers de- 
cided to come in a body with President and Secretary and 
some features of organization, the energy and enthusiasm 
of what the party four years ago had agreed to designate 
as ' * Eighty-niners ' ' was expended on them. A committee 
was formed, of which Stephen W. Baldwin, the Secretary 
of the Society and Mr. H. H. Suplee were the working 
factors. The Marquis de Chasseloup Loubat, a member 
of the French Commission to the Exposition, had been 
very active in the French society of which he was a 
member, and a party of 46 with the President and Secre- 
tary of the Society, had arranged to embark together. 

The program for their entertainment was as follows : 

GENERAL PROGRAM OP THE VISIT OF THE FRENCH ENGINEERS 
TO AMERICA AS GUESTS OP THE "EIGHTY-NINERS" 

Saturday, August 26 Leave Havre on La Champagne 

Sunday, September 3 Arrive at Morton Street Pier, New York 

September 3 to September 7 Guests of New York welcome company 

Monday Bridges and park drive 

Tuesday The city 

Wednesday The river and harbor 

Thursday The respite for business 

Friday, September 8 Special complimentary train to Niagara 

Saturday, September 9 At Niagara. Leave by special train for 

Chicago 

September 10 to 19 In Chicago (Auditorium) 

Tueday, September 19 Leave for St. Louis 

Wednesday, September 20 In St. Louis and leave for Pittsburg 

September 22, 23 In Pittsburg (Monongahela) 

Sunday, September 24 En route for Washington, D. C. 

Monday, September 25 In Washington (Ebbitt) 

September 26, 27 In Philadelphia (Continental) 

Thursday, September 28 Arrive in New York 

Friday, September 29 Final day in New York City 

Saturday, September 30 to Sunday, 

October 8 En route for Havre 

The entertainment in New York had been begun by 
a boarding of the S. S. La Champagne at Quarantine by 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 245 

Messrs. Baldwin and Hutton early Sunday morning. 
Luncheon on Monday at the Engineers' Club in the 29th 
Street home preceded a drive in carriages through the 
city parks. The next day embraced a run on the elevated 
railway system, a luncheon at the Caf6 Savarin, with 
speeches by Colonel Prout and others, and thence to the 
Brooklyn Bridge and the Grand Central terminal; the 
third day a harbor trip with a luncheon on the Fall River 
steamer, Puritan. The party was then dispatched by 
special train to Niagara, to Detroit and to Chicago. The 
expenses of this entertainment were borne by subscrip- 
tion, so that it was not an official matter of the Society, 
and yet was operated altogether as though it were. 

The next international interchange was a repetition 
of the experiences of 1889, albeit on a smaller scale. In 
view of the fact that a number of members of The 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers were ex- 
pected to visit Europe during the summer of 1900, several 
invitations were tendered by European societies, and 
it was at first thought that a party of members might 
be formed to cross in the same steamship, in a manner 
similar to that which had been found so successful in 
1889. A thorough canvass of the membership, however, 
showed that it was impracticable to arrange a date which 
would be acceptable to all, hence it was decided to allow 
the various members to make their own plans for cross- 
ing, and arrange for a general gathering on the other 
side. 

The following committee was appointed by the 
Council to represent the Society at the various functions 
abroad, and to conduct the necessary organization of the 
members who might visit Europe: Charles H. Morgan, 
President, Jesse M. Smith, Vice-President, William H. 
Wiley, Treasurer, James Dredge, Honorary Member, H. 
H. Suplee, Member of Council. Mr. Suplee was ap- 
pointed Secretary of the Committee. 

Mr. Suplee sailed in April, establishing his head- 
quarters at the offices of the Engineering Magazine, 222- 



246 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

225 Strand, London, tlie various members being in- 
structed to report to him upon arrival in London. 

Invitations had been received from the Institution of 
Mechanical Engineers and from the Institution of Civil 
Engineers to attend their respective conventions in 
London, and also from the Society des Ing6nieurs Civils 
de France to send delegates to attend its meetings in 
Paris. 

The Paris meetings were the first in point of time, 
and the Council had appointed as delegates the members 
of the committee above named. But two members of that 
committee were able to attend, Messrs. Morgan and 
Suplee, as Messrs. Smith and Wiley had not yet reached 
Europe, and Mr. Dredge found it impracticable to leave 
London at that time. 

The Paris meetings, which took place from June 15 
to June 20, were naturally closely bound up with the Ex- 
position, but included also numerous social and special 
functions. On June 15 there was given a brilliant con- 
versazione at the fine new house of the Society in the Rue 
Blanche, at which the delegates were formally received 
and presented to the president, M. Canet, at the same 
time renewing many pleasant acquaintances made among 
members of the Society who had visited the United States 
in 1893, as well as with the hosts of 1889. On June 18 a 
musical and literary soiree was given at the house of the 
Society, the entertainment including instrumental and 
vocal selections and recitations by artists of the Op6ra, 
the Comedie Francaise, and other noted companies. This 
brilliant function, to which ladies were also invited, was 
especially notable. 

Numerous specially conducted visits to various sec- 
tions of the Exposition were provided, and the house of 
the Societe was thrown open to the delegates, and the 
valuable assistance of the secretaire administratif , M. 
Armand de Dax and his staff placed at their service to 
enable various points of interest in Paris and at the Ex- 
position to be visited to advantage. 

Among the special social functions of the week must 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 247 

be mentioned the reception given to the visiting delegates 
by M. and Mme. Canet, on June 16, at their magnificent 
residence in the Avenue Henri Martin. 

The convention was closed with a banquet at the Hotel 
Continental on the evening of June 20, which was largely 
attended. 

Prior to the meetings of the Institution of Mechanical 
Engineers, which took place June 27 to 29, inclusive, 
plans were made for a general gathering of the members 
of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a 
number of whom had arrived in London, and had com- 
municated with the Secretary of the Executive Com- 
mittee. 

The Secretary had already been in most pleasant com- 
munication with Mr. Edgar Worthington, the Secretary 
of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, through 
whom the Council of the Institution most kindly placed 
the hall in the house of the Institution, at Storey's Gate, 
St. James's Park, at the disposition of the committee. 

A meeting of a number of the members of the Society, 
together with the Executive Committee, was held at the 
house of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on June 
25, at which the various invitations of the Institution 
were announced and the necessary communications made. 
At all of the meetings of the Institution of Mechanical 
Engineers the fact was emphasized that the members of 
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers were 
especial participants and honored guests. At the opening 
ceremonies of the convention prominent places were re- 
served for the Executive Committee and visiting mem- 
bers, and the President, Mr. Charles H. Morgan, was 
called upon to speak in response to words of greeting 
from Mr. E. Windsor Richards, who, in the absence of 
Sir William H. White, presided. 

From a technical point of view, the most important 
visit of these meetings was that to the works of Messrs. 
Willans & Robinson, at Rugby, on June 29. A special 
train on the London and Northwestern Railway carried 
the members of the two societies to Rugby, the train de- 



248 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

livering the party directly at the works, where, under the 
courteous and hospitable guidance of Mr. Mark Robinson, 
Captain Sankey, Mr. Lazenby, and others, this fine works, 
admittedly one of the most modern in arrangement in 
England, was thoroughly inspected. 

Other parties were made for boat trips up the Thames 
to Staines, and down the river to the docks, and all the 
visitors expressed themselves as most highly apprecia- 
tive of the privileges which had been offered them. 

On the evening of Wednesday, June 27, occurred the 
banquet at the Hotel Cecil, upon which occasion the 
American visitors were highly honored. Mr. E. Windsor 
Richards ably filled the chair, supported on the right by 
the American Ambassador, Hon. Joseph H. Choate, and 
on the left by the Right Hon. Lord Alverstone, Master of 
the Rolls, by whose side was placed Mr. Charles H. 
Morgan, President of The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers. Other members of the Executive 
Committee and of the Society were similarly placed by 
the side of distinguished British hosts. The occasion 
was a memorable one in many ways, and undoubtedly 
served to unite more closely than ever the professional 
and personal ties existing between the two societies. 

Too much cannot be said of the manner in which the 
Secretary of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 
Mr. Edgar Worthington, exerted himself to render all 
the events most enjoyable and agreeable to the American 
visitors, and in this he was most ably seconded by the 
members of the Reception Committee, headed by Mr. 
William M. Maw, its chairman, since elected President of 
the Institution, and by many individual members of the 
Institution. 

The meetings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 
took place from July 2 to July 6, inclusive, and prior to 
that date the Secretary of the Executive Committee had 
been in communication with the Secretary of the Insti- 
tution, Dr. J. H. T. Tudsbery, whose courteous services 
were most gratefully acknowledged. Invitations for all 
the functions of the convention were placed in the hands 




THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECMANICAU ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 249 

of the Executive Committee with care and promptness, 
and every possible facility afforded for their distribution. 

The opening meeting was held on the afternoon of 
July 2, at the house of the Institution in Great George 
Street, Westminster, where the American visitors were 
greeted by an address of welcome by the President, Sir 
Douglas Fox. At this meeting, not only members of The 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers were present, 
but also members of the American Society of Civil Engi- 
neers, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and 
the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. 

Sir Douglas Fox said, in part : 

This Institution is the home of the Parent Society of British Engineers. 
It is cosmopolitan in this sense, that it includes every class of Civilian 
Engineer, and that is the meaning from our point of view of the words 
"Civil Engineer." Now, the great advantage of that for you and for us 
on the Council of this Institution is, that I have this afternoon the honor 
of being supported on this platform by representatives not only my own 
Council, b"t of that of the Mechanical Engineers who have been your kind 
hosts during the last week, of the Electrical Engineers, of the Naval Archi- 
tects, and of the Iron and Steel Institute. I have only got to mention those 
names to you to show you that on this occasion I represent a very great 
force, not only in this country, but throughout the world. There are men 
here who have made their mark, as there are men on the other side, facing 
me, who have made a very great mark upon the world; and it is good for 
us to come and see one another face to face on an occasion like this. Then, 
on the other hand, because we are cosmopolitan, we have been able to 
extend our invitation not merely to the Society of Civil Engineers of 
America, of which some of us are very proud to be members, but also to 
members of the other engineering societies, the Mechanical Engineers, the 
Mining Engineers, the Electrical Engineers, and the Naval Architects of 
the United States, and we hope that all those bodies are more or less repre- 
sented amongst us this afternoon. 

Eesponses were made by Col. H. S. Haines, member 
of the Council of The American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers, and by Mr. Jesse M. Smith, Vice-President of 
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, after 
which a general conversazione followed. 

On the following day occurred the most notable event 
of the convention, a trip to Windsor Castle, where by 
special permission of her Majesty, Queen Victoria, 
the private apartments of the Royal residence were 
thrown open to the visitors, after which a luncheon was 



250 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

served in the conservatory, the Institution of Civil Engi- 
neers and its American guests being the guests of the 
Queen. 

The party was then gathered on the lawn, to be re- 
ceived by Her Majesty, who drove before them, and 
caused to be presented to her by Sir Douglas Fox, the 
President of the Institution of Civil Engineers : Mr. John 
J. Wallace, President of the American Society of Civil 
Engineers, and Mrs. Wallace; Mr. Charles H. Morgan, 
President of The American Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers, and Mrs. Morgan; and Mr. Charles Hawksley, of 
the Institution of Civil Engineers, and Mrs. Hawksley. 
The Queen spoke a few words of welcome, saying: *'I 
am very glad to see you here, and that you have had such 
a beautiful day," and then drove slowly down the line, 
bowing a greeting to the entire party. 

The Fourth of July was left without special assign- 
ment, in order that the Americans might celebrate their 
national holiday according to their own plans, and many 
most enjoyable reunions took place during the day and 
evening. 

On the evening of July 5 occurred the reception by 
the President and Council of the Institution of Civil En- 
gineers, at the Gruildhall, where a large attendance of 
ladies and gentlemen made the occasion memorable. 

On July 6 there was an excursion to Warwick and to 
Stratford-on-Avon, a special train taking the party first 
to Warwick ; there they were welcomed by the Earl and 
Countess of Warwick at the Castle, and by them shown 
through the stately buildings so rich in historical rem- 
iniscences and relics, after which the whole party was 
entertained in a large marquee set up for the purpose in 
Warwick Park. A hurried run to Stratford followed and 
the visitors were brought back by their special train to 
London. 

An invitation had been extended through Mr. H. F. 
L. Orcutt at the meeting on June 25 that the Americans 
should visit Berlin as guests of Messrs. Ludwig, Loewe 
and Company. Special trains and entertainment at their 



A HISTOBY OP THE SOCIETY 



251 



hotels and many other distinguished courtesies were 
shown to those of the party who could accept this invita- 
tion, and a banquet of unusual splendor and visits to the 
shops of Loewe and Company were features of this part 
of the excursion. 

By direction of the Council illuminated addresses of 
salutation and recognition were prepared in its name and 
forwarded by the Committee to those whom they desired 
to honor. They will be found reproduced by photography 
in the report of Mr. Suplee presented in Volume 22 of the 
Transactions, as No. 912. 

It would not be profitable to compare the trip of 1900 
with that of 1889. The meetings of 1900 included events 
which were unique in themselves. The day at Windsor, 
with the reception by Queen Victoria, was, socially speak- 
ing, above anything occurring in 1889, while the active 
entrance of American competition into European engi- 
neering industries gave a new meaning to all that was 
seen and heard. Both occasions were memorable; both 
will long be remembered by those who were so fortunate 
as to participate in them. 

The following list of members of The American So- 
ciety of Mechanical Engineers participating in the 
European events of 1900 does not profess to be complete, 
owing to the neglect of some to register at the office of 
the Secretary of the Executive Committee. Every at- 
tempt has been made to amplify it, and under the cir- 
cumstances it may be considered as reasonably correct 
and full: 



Almond, T. B. 
Archeb. E. B. 
Baker, C. W. 
Barnaby, C. W. 
Braine, B. G. 
Breckeneidgk, L. p. 
Brown, A. T. 
bullard, e. p. 
Carroll, L. D. 
Colby, A. L. 
Cooke, H. 
DiCKE, G. W. 
DORAN, W. 8. 



Dredge, J. 
Fisher, C. 
Flad, E. 
Freeland, F. T. 
(Joss, E. O. 
Greenwood, P. F. 
Haines, H. S. 
Hayward, H. S. 
Henning, Q. C. 
Honiss, W. H. 
Howe, H. M. 
Hunt, B. W, 
Hunter, G. E. 



Jones, W. 
KuwADA, Gohpei 
Loss, H. V. 
Low, F. E. 
Melvin, D. N. 
Miller, Fred J. 
Miller, S. 
norbom, j. o. 
Parks, E. H. 
Parsons, H. deB. 
Beed, W, E. 
bobinson, a. w. 
Sancton, E. K. 



252 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

Shkldon, p. p. Suplee, H. H. Webstee, W. R. 

Smith, Jesse M. Swasey, A. Wheeler, H. S. 

Smith, Oberlin Thomas, C. W. Wheelock, J. 

Spanoler, H. W. Thomson, J. Wiley, W. H. 

Stiles, N, C. Ward, C. Wood, K. 

The next international event was the joint meeting 
of the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers with 
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers in Chi- 
cago in June 1904. Besides the formal routine of the So- 
ciety convention elsewhere reported, the Society ar- 
ranged that in each industrial city of importance where 
its members were to be found, there should be a repre- 
sentative or a committee to whom the visiting English- 
men might address themselves for guidance and for 
furtherance of their purposes while in that city. This 
plan worked very much to the advantage of the visitors, 
who were accredited from New York to the appointed 
persons, and for whom information concerning the in- 
dustries and transportation by rail was supplied from 
headquarters. 

After the meeting had adjourned, those who so de- 
sired were conveyed to the Exposition in St. Louis, and 
were thence allowed to depart for home, either directly 
or after further travel as they might desire. At this 
convention the plan of registration by slips and carbon 
duplicates was first introduced as devised by Mr. Louis 
A. Gillet, assistant to the Secretary. 

The next interchange was the joint meeting in Birm- 
ingham, England, in 1910, where the American Society 
were guests of the British Institution of Mechanical En- 
gineers. The party was a result of a conference in the 
Spring of 1909 in America, in which Sir Robert Hadfield 
of the Council of the Institution was its mouthpiece. On 
September 17 followed the official invitation and an Ex- 
ecutive Committee was formed to arrange details. 
Reservations were made on the White Star steamer 
Celtic for 144 members and guests, sailing on July 16, 
while many others were to join in England. The sea trip 
was remarkable in many ways through the efforts of a 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 253 

committee of which Mr. George M. Brill was the leading 
spirit, to promote acquaintance and relieve any tedium. 
On Monday evening the officers of the ship and of the 
Society held a reception with dancing. On Tuesday 
Worcester R. Warner gave a lecture on What the 
Astronomers are Doing; on Wednesday there was a 
musicale including recitations; on Thursday John R. 
Freeman gave an address on the Panama Canal ; on Fri- 
day was a dance ; and on Saturday the award of prizes 
in the games of sport and chance. A presentation of 
souvenirs to captain and chief engineer was a feature of 
the evening. 

The tender in the Mersey brought a splendid delega- 
tion of the English hosts on board who welcomed the 
party. A special train from Liverpool was met by motor 
busses in Birmingham, and the meeting was begun. Pre- 
liminary courtesies to officers of the Society by the Presi- 
dent of the Institution, Mr. J. A. F. Aspinall, signalized 
Monday July 24, and on Tuesday the joint meeting 
opened. In the afternoon many excursions were ar- 
ranged in and around Birmingham; a number visited 
historic Worcester and its cathedral. In the evening 
was a most noteworthy garden fete in the Botanical 
Gardens at Edgbastin. Wednesday was again devoted 
to papers of the professional type in the morning, and to 
a visit to the engineering school of Birmingham Uni- 
versity. In the evening was a most distinguished recep- 
tion by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, with music 
of a high order. 

On Thursday the party started by motor busses for 
Stratford by way of Kenilworth and Warwick and thence 
by train to London. Others had other alternatives to 
Litchfield, to Coventry and Rugby. 

On Friday was the concluding session in London, with 
its extended votes of thanks to all who had been so cour- 
teous both in Birmingham and London and elsewhere. 
In the afternoon courtesies by invitation were a feature, 
and in the evening the great banquet was held in the 
Connaught Rooms. President Aspinall had the chair 



254 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

of honor, and Ambassador Whitelaw Reid responded for 
the United States and Prof. F. R. Hutton for The Amer- 
ican Society of Mechanical Engineers. Sir William H. 
White, Past-President of the Institution and Honorary 
Member of the Society offered the latter toast. Pro- 
fessor Button's response covered the unity and differ- 
ences in professional atmosphere on the two sides of the 
ocean ; and the significance to the world and its progress 
that both branches of the Anglo-Saxon family had so 
much of their ideals in common. 

On Saturday were excursions to Windsor and Mar- 
low, part by rail and part by steam launches on the River 
Thames. On Sunday, a special service in Westminster 
Abbey under the light from the memorial window to Sir 
Benjamin Baker, Honorary Member of the Society, 
brought the visit to a close in fitting form. 

No mention has been made in detail of many profes- 
sional courtesies involved in the long list of alternative 
excursions arranged by the hosts of the party both in 
Birmingham and London and elsewhere. Sir William 
White entertained the officers of the Society at a hand- 
some private dinner; tea was served in the Zoological 
Gardens in one of the pavilions ; Mr. Swasey also gave a 
private dinner to members of the Council and executive 
committee; Messrs. Maw and Thornycroft gave garden 
parties. 

Here again also as in 1889 and 1900 addresses and 
resolutions of distinguished character were prepared by 
committee and sent to the hosts. 

The international reunion which closes the period of 
33 years of the Society history is the German trip of the 
Summer of 1913. This was arranged for by the Verein 
deutscher Ingenieure through personal visits of their 
representatives. Dr. von Miller and Dr. Conrad Mat- 
schoss, and by extended correspondence with the Secre- 
tary of the Society, Past-President E. D. Meier, and 
others on an executive committee. The booking of pas- 
sage on the steamer Victoria Luise of the Hamburg- 
American Line began very early in the winter and the 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 255 

sailing of upward of 300 members and guests took place 
on June 10. The same problems were met this year as 
before on similar occasions, in adjusting a limited ac- 
commodation both on the steamer and on the tendered 
excursions on shore to the requests of members to bring 
with them guests of their families or acquaintance. To 
what proper extent may such outsiders, booking accom- 
modations early, be allowed to occupy places of members 
who are debarred from early decision, and who may 
rightly feel aggrieved that places primarily intended for 
them by virtue of their membership should be filled by 
non-members ? 

The steamer trip of the 1913 party was made a special 
feature of the pleasure of those who went with it as in 
1910. A committee was organized of which Prof. A. M. 
Greene, Jr., was the leading spirit and provided enter- 
tainment for nearly every day. A reception on the second 
evening out brought the entire ship's company into ac- 
quaintance both with the officers of the ship and of the 
party and made all participants in what was to follow. 
These features were lectures by competent members on 
some assigned topic, and included one by Mr. Henry 
Hess, tracing the history of the German Empire, the 
steps leading to the unification of the States and the pres- 
ent industrial activity; one on German art by Prof. 
Henry E. Clifford ; one by Mr. Worcester R. Warner on 
German cities ; and one by Prof. C. R. Richards, on the 
German Educational System. 

The ship being a German vessel, and the party bound 
for Germany, the occasion was taken to celebrate the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of the accession of the present 
Kaiser, falling on June 16. Prof. Wm. H. Carpenter, 
provost of Columbia University and an expert in 
Germanics, responded to the Captain's toast at the Silver 
Jubilee dinner. Besides these formal features of the ship 
life, informal and frolicsome occurrences were not lack- 
ing. Mr. Frank B. Gilbreth was sworn in with pomp and 
formality as special police officer, and later brought to 
mock trial for misdemeanors such as exceeding the speed 



256 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

limit on deck. There was a prize baby show, deck sports, 
games and contests. A game of wireless telegraphy was 
organized in which a message of twenty words was to be 
written in rhyme. Two dances were given, one a cotillion. 

Representatives of the Verein deutscher Ingenieure 
came aboard at Plymouth, England, to greet the party 
and sail with its members to the port of entry into 
Germany. The party landed on Thursday, June 20, at 
Cuxhaven, and were taken by train to Hamburg. 

On Friday forenoon the company assembled at the 
Landing Stage Restaurant of the river steamers where 
after breakfasting they listened to a lecture about the 
Harbor of Hamburg and the tunnel under the Elbe by 
Geheimrath Bubendey who is responsible for much of the 
recent work, and then took an excursion about the harbor 
in steamers. 

In the evening a reception was tendered to the visitors 
by the Senate of Hamburg, which is one of the free cities, 
a miniature republic with a government of its own. The 
address of welcome was made by the Lord Mayor, and an 
opportunity was offered to inspect the magnificent 
Rathhaus, the seat of the local government. A banquet 
tendered by the Hamburg Section of the Verein deutscher 
Ingenieure in the Rathskeller beneath the same building 
completed the evening's entertainment. 

On Saturday the tunnel under the Elbe, a municipally 
owned project with two driveways and two sidewalks, and 
with elevators at either end for teams and passengers 
was inspected. It was a pleasure to notice that the 
elevators were American, made by Otis. The party was 
then taken to the shipbuilding yards of Blohm and Voss 
where among other interesting things the Vaterland 
(55,000 tons, five tons larger than the Imperator) was on 
view. After lunching at the yards the party was taken 
to the power station of the elevated railroad at Barmbeck 
whence after being further refreshed they proceeded to 
the Hagenbeck Zoological Gardens, the attractions of 
which were explained by the younger Mr. Hagenbeck 




PRESIDENT I906 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MEGHAN ICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOEY OP THE SOCIETY 257 

himself. The evening was thoughtfully left free and 
profitably employed in viewing the interesting points of 
the city itself. 

AT LEIPZIG 

Sunday, the 22d, was spent in going from Hamburg to 
Leipzig where the party arrived late in the afternoon, in 
time to witness the flight of several Zeppelins. Here the 
attendants at the Leipzig meeting were already as- 
sembled and the first union of the guests with the greater 
body of their hosts took place at a tremendous reception 
at the Crystal Palace. The word ''tremendous" is used 
advisedly for everything, company, place and entertain- 
ment was upon a large and generous scale, and of an 
informal character which afforded an excellent oppor- 
tunity for the initial amalgamation. 

On Monday morning the opening session of the gen- 
eral meeting of the Verein deutscher Ingenieure was held 
in the Central Theater and it is an index of the esteem 
in which the engineer and this, his professional organiza- 
tion, are held in Germany that His Majesty the EZing, 
Friedrich August of Saxony, was pleased to be present 
and to be ''promoted" to Doctor of Engineering. Count 
Zeppelin was also there and spoke briefly and the Grashof 
medal was awarded to Mr. George H. Westinghouse. 

At the conclusion of the award of honors. Dr. Lam- 
precht presented a paper upon the Technical Science and 
Culture of the Present, and Dr. W. F. M. Goss's paper 
upon Influences Affecting American Engineering Prac- 
tice was presented in Dr. Goss's absence by Past-Presi- 
dent Jesse M. Smith. One of the most enjoyable features 
of the whole trip was a concert at the Gewandhaus 
tendered by the Senate of the City of Leipzig with an 
orchestra of nearly 100 pieces. This was followed by a 
banquet in the large festival hall of the Central Theater, 
in the course of which several numbers were rendered by 
the Thomaner-Boy Choir founded by J. Sebastian Bach. 

Tuesday's session of the Verein was held in the 



258 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

lecture room of the Architectural Exhibition, then in 
progress. Opportunity was afforded to view the expo- 
sition, to visit several local industries and to take part 
in the dedication of the monument to the Battle of the 
Nations. The evening party at the Palm Garden was 
somewhat disorganized by a violent thunder storm, es- 
pecially the intended celebration of the solstice on the 
lawn and the illuminations and fireworks. 

AT DRESDEN 

Leaving Leipzig the party arrived at Dresden before 
noon, and at two o'clock was taken to the Bastei (the 
Switzerland of Saxony) returning as far as Pirna by 
steamer on the Elbe and thence to Dresden by special 
train. In the evening a reception and banquet were given 
the visitors in the Town Hall by the City of Dresden. 

The following forenoon was devoted to sightseeing. 
At the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory of the Tech- 
nical High School, Professor Mollier, author of 
the steam tables and the Total Heat-Entropy diagram 
which bear his name, escorted the visitors through his 
department. Interesting work upon heat interchange 
between an exploded charge of gas and the metal of the 
containing vessel involving the determination of the 
specific heat at constant volume were in progress. An- 
other interesting feature was an engine provided with a 
delicate apparatus at every working bearing to indicate 
and analyze knocks. Other points of attraction were the 
local industries, the picture gallery and the Green Vault 
where the crown jewels are displayed. The visit to Dres- 
den ended all too quickly with a luncheon tendered by the 
local division of the Verein and at 2 :30 the party took its 
special train for Berlin. 

AT BERLIN 

To do Berlin in two days was beyond the power even of 
this now experienced group, but a frantic effort was made 
at it. In a little over two hours after the train reached 
the city the visitors were at a reception in the Palace of 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 259 

the Imperial Diet. Friday and Saturday they visited 
many of the local industries and the Eoyal Technical 
High School at Charlottenberg. Saturday afternoon 
i^ they were taken in automobiles for a drive over the 
I famous Heerstrasse to Wannsee, given a steamer trip 
on the Havel, and a farewell supper in the Swedish 
Pavillion at Wannsee. 

AT DUSSELDORF 

It is an all-day ride from Berlin to Dusseldorf, the 
next stopping place. The party arrived there late on 
Sunday afternoon and was given a reception in the Ton- 
halle by the City of Dusseldorf at which Dr. Frohlich, 
secretary of the Verein deutscher Maschinenbau-Anstal- 
ten, read a paper upon the Rhenish- Westphalian Indus- 
tries, illustrated by lantern slides. This was followed by 
an opportunity for social intercourse with the refresh- 
ments without which no occasion there is complete. 

Monday was devoted to visiting various industries 
and an inspection of the harbor, with a banquet in the 
evening given by the Rhenish-Westphalian Committee of 
the Verein. The feature of the evening was an allegorical 
play in which a huge billet of red-hot steel was flattened 
out under the forge press and when turned up revealed 
I the emblems of the Verein deutscher Ingenieure and The 
f American Society of Mechanical Engineers emblazoned 
on the apparently glowing metal. 

Tuesday was again devoted to visiting industrial es- 
tablishments by the men and to auto rides and visits to 
the art galleries by the ladies. A dainty lunch was served 
at the Mahlkasten, an artists ' club, and the party moved 
over to Cologne, only an hour away, in time to see some- 
thing of the city and dress for the evening on the Rhine. 
The program announced that supper and fun had been 
prepared by the Rhenish-Westphalian Committee and 
there was no lack of either, nothwithstanding that cold 
and damp weather prevented them from being served 
upon the lawn as this feature of a regular Abend-am- 
Rhein should properly be. Particularly enjoyable was 



260 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEBBS 

the singing by the Kolner Manner-Gesang-Verein, a male 
chorus of over a hundred voices, which has held the 
emperor's prize for a number of years. 

AT COLOGNE 

On Wednesday an opportunity was afforded to visit 
the industries of Cologne and the vicinity, the museums, 
etc., and the cathedral, the ladies and gentlemen of the 
local committee acting personally as guides and inter- 
preters. In the evening a reception and banquet was 
given by the City of Cologne in the historic old Giirzenich 
built by the city in 1441-1447 for festival and similar 
purposes, serving for the ceremonial receptions of the 
emperors Frederic III and Maximilian I in the 15th 
century, of Charles V in the 16th century, an imperial 
diet of Maximilian in 1505 and the meeting of the 
Electors to choose King Ferdinand I in 1531. 

AT FRANKFOBT-ON-THE-MAIN 

On Thursday the visitors started on their journey up 
the Rhine, going by train to Coblenz, then by boat to 
Riidesheim and thence by rail to Frankf ort-on-the-Main, 
where they were received by the Frankfurter Bezirks- 
Verein deutscher Ingenieure. The evening was spent 
in the Palm Garden, with feasting, music and special 
illumination. 

At noon of Friday, the Fourth of July, luncheon was 
given in the Romer by the City of Frankfort and an op- 
portunity afforded to inspect this and the neighboring 
old Guild houses. In the afternoon the party divided 
into groups for the inspection of various shops and fac- 
tories. In the evening the Americans became the hosts, 
inviting the officers of the city and the Verein and the 
committee to help them celebrate the national holiday 
with a banquet in the Kurhaus Homburg. 

AT MANNHEIM 

On Saturday forenoon the party proceeded to Mann- 
heim where it arrived in time for luncheon. After an 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 261 

afternoon of sightseeing among the works for the men 
and of receptions at the homes of the directors for the 
ladies, a banquet was given by the city of Mannheim in 
the Nibelungensaal of the Rosengarten in the evening, at 
which a picked chorus of 24 male voices was a specially 
enjoyable feature. 

AT HEIDELBERG 

Sunday was devoted to a visit to Heidelberg. The 
inspection of the castle was somewhat interfered with by 
the rain, which abated, however, in time to allow the party 
to go in open boats upon the Neckar and see the castle 
illuminated and an elaborate display of fireworks upon 
the bridge and river bank. Heidelberg had been a bright 
spot in a glittering program, and notwithstanding the 
unpropitious weather the expectations even of the most 
sanguine were fully satisfied. 

AT MUNICH 

Monday, the 7th, was spent in getting to Munich, 
where the trip ended. It would seem as though there 
was nothing left that man could do to sustain the inter- 
est of this much entertained crowd and provide new sen- 
sations of pleasure and enjoyment, but the Bavarians 
were equal to it, and their welcoming evening in the 
world-renowned Hofbrauhaus was so in keeping with 
the reputation of the place for good fellowship and 
camaraderie, and different enough from all that had gone 
before that the enthusiasm of the guests was aroused to 
a higher pitch than ever. 

On Wednesday, July 9, a visit was paid to the German 
[ndustrial Museum. The president of this. Dr. Oskar von 
Miller, is also an Honorary Member of our Society and 
was to be president in a later year of the Verein 
deutscher Ingenieure. Luncheon was served in the still 
uncompleted building, and this was made the occasion of 
presenting to the Museum a model of the Panama Canal, 
which the Society had brought over. Past-President E. 
D. Meier made the presentation, and in his response Dr. 



262 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

von Miller presented to the Society an original Fraun- 
hofer spectroscope. In the afternoon an excursion was 
made to the Lake of Starnberg; and the closing cere- 
monies took place at a banquet given by the City of 
Munich in the old Town Hall. 

A final assembly of the party was held in the Regina 
Palast on Thursday morning, July 10, where resolutions 
were passed to all who had been concerned in its enter- 
tainment. Dr. Conrad Matschoss, who had been of those 
who boarded the steamer at Plymouth, received a special 
demonstration. In his response he expressed the hope 
that one of the results of the visit might be the establish- 
ment of permanent and pleasant relations between the 
engineers of the two countries, and urged upon the 
Americans the preservation of monuments and the record 
of their history of industry and engineering. World 
history as now written is full of deeds of kings and glori- 
fies warriors, but is silent on the work of great inventors 
and industrial captains, whose work has done more to 
develop the race and its civilization than those whose 
portraits fill the galleries and whose deeds have moved 
the historians, painters and poets. He urged a concerted 
movement to preserve the records of the work done by 
such American engineers as Charles T. Porter and John 
Fritz, so that its meaning and importance might be em- 
phasized. The models and apparatus used in classic and 
historical experiments should be preserved and the data 
of the beginnings of all industries. This was the work 
in which he had been engaged and he pleaded for trans- 
Atlantic cooperation. 

In the afternoon the Technical High School was 
visited, where Dr. Knobloch personally exhibited his 
laboratories and where his work with Jakob is the present 
basis of knowledge upon superheated steam. Dr. Diesel, 
Honorary Member of the Society, received a number of 
the visitors in his home. 

After this the party broke up, going its way in differ- 
ing directions, some to travel further in Germany, others 
to sail directly for home from various ports. The So- 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 263 

ciety lias on its files and among its records the originals 
of invitations and programs of the entertainment in 
various cities, and noteworthy and valuable souvenirs 
were brought back by the party and particularly by its 
ladies. The albums of photographs taken by the party 
will keep fresh a gallery of delightful memories. The 
history of the next international interchanges will be- 
long to a later period in the history of the Society. 

ENGINEERING CONGRESSES 

A congress of engineering is a gathering of engineers 
in the various specializations of their profession, for the 
reading and discussion of papers. An international 
congress is such a gathering which shall embrace practi- 
tioners from different countries and usually, therefore, 
speaking several different languages. 

A convention attended by representatives of two 
nations has been called a joint meeting. Such were the 
meetings in London in 1889 and 1900, in Chicago in 1904, 
in Birmingham in 1910 and in Germany in 1913. The 
only true congress was that of Chicago in 1893, when the 
four societies of American Engineers appointed a joint 
committee to issue such invitations as were required in 
connection with the authorities of the Columbian Exposi- 
tion to the societies in Europe to send papers and dele- 
gates. The congress was divided into sections or groups : 
(a) civil engineering, (h) mechanical engineering, (c) 
mining engineering, (d) metallurgical engineering, (e) 
engineering education, (/) marine and naval engineering, 
and (g) military engineering. 

A group covering electrical engineering was omitted 
because the society specializing in this direction had made 
arrangements for a special joint meeting with the British 
Society at another date, and could neither change the date 
nor hold its reunions twice. Each of the other engineer- 
ing societies made itself responsible for the meeting of 
its group, the departments of the United States Govern- 
ment undertaking the last two, and specialists from the 
other bodies undertaking (e). This congress resulted 



264 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

in the formation of a new society, to concern itself with 
engineering education, under the title of the Society for 
the Promotion of Engineering Education. 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers made 
the sessions of (h) take the place of its Spring Meet- 
ing, secured papers for presentation and undertook the 
publication of papers on mechanical subjects by other 
participants, non-members of the Society, in its Society 
volume for that year. Its excursions for its own mem- 
bers were also made features of the entertainment of the 
foreign delegates and the members of American societies 
operating the other divisions. The sessions were held in 
the Memorial Art Palace on the Lake Front of Chicago. 
President T. C. Bonney of the Congress Auxiliary Com- 
mittee of the Columbian Exposition opened the congress 
on the morning of July 31, 1893, and responses were 
made. The congress then separated to various rooms. 
The Mechanical Engineers, following their usual custom, 
established headquarters for registration in the Art 
Palace and gave pamphlet copies of their papers freely 
to all who requested them. 

On Saturday, August 5, the Congress met in joint 
session for final session. Mr. Octave Chanute, chairman 
general then announced the Congress adjourned. 

The Society found some diflficulty in getting the 
authorities of the exposition to take what appeared to 
be their share of the general expenses of the Congress; 
there were incidental increases in the cost of everything 
connected with its own meeting due to its size. There 
was a fee for every participant in the Congress to cover 
the cost of publishing the volume of the proceedings of 
the Congress. All these made a heavy draft on the budget 
of that year; and made the authorities of the Society 
wonder whether the value of the professional results of 
the congress was worth either the labor or the direct out- 
lay in funds. The profession received some advertising, 
however, which it might not otherwise have had. 

Hence, when in 1904 the authorities of the St. Louis 
Louisiana Purchase Exposition of that year asked the 





-^^^f^ (/^zzzz^IZ^ 



PRESIDtNT 1907 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 265 

four national engineering societies to assume a share of 
the responsibility for a repetition of the Congress of 
1893, the chairman of such a committee of conference as 
was appointed under this request, reported that the Insti- 
tute of Electrical Engineers had completed arrangements 
for an assembly international in character, and that both 
the Mining and Mechanical Engineers were planning 
joint meetings with English or continental bodies. There 
appeared no expressions from the profession at large 
calling for such a congress, nor urging an interest there- 
in; nor had the exposition authorities committed them- 
selves to the meeting of the expenses entailed in the 
summoning of such a congress for postage, printing, 
publication or the compensation of clerical and other 
personnel. Hence it was the recommendation of Col. H. 
S. Haines who had represented the Mechanical Engineers 
in the conferences that the effort of the Society should 
be directed to giving the Chicago joint meeting an inter- 
national character. In this advice the Council and So- 
ciety concurred. 

In spite, however, of this experience, the Society has 
felt constrained by a species of noblesse oblige to become 
a gTiarantor of an Engineering Congress, desired in 1915 
in California and as a feature of the Exposition which 
signalizes the opening of the Panama Canal. The future 
only can show whether the experience of previous years 
will be repeated, or whether changed conditions will make 
the projected gathering the success desired by its pro- 
motors. 

Enough has been said in the early part of this chapter 
to make it clear that joint meetings at proper intervals 
are of splendid value, and are a stimulus to friendly re- 
lations between engineers of the two nations concerned. 
But the introduction of a third nation or of more than 
three frustrates this wise purpose, by virtue of what 
appears to be a psychological law, whose popular 
recognition is expressed in the adage, ''Two is good 
company ; three is a crowd. ' ' No friendships are formed 



266 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

in a crowd, unless two join together and against the 
crowd, and that is just what is not desired. 

The surroundings of a crowded exposition in any city, 
which are the dream and ambition of the hotels and rail- 
ways and commercial interests in general behind such 
an exposition, are the very ones to deter engineers from 
coming together to expose themselves to these discom- 
forts. The broad philosophy of modern meetings of an 
engineering society in its flood tide of activity, where 
many topics are considered in synchronous meetings of 
sections or groups, gives to these stated meetings the 
significances which attach to sessions of a Congress, and 
without the display features which add no strength but 
consume time and energy and money. The policy of 
holding meetings at places some distance from the 
main body of the membership within the country, or of 
holding meetings outside of it, should not be followed to 
the degree that members should have any ground to 
complain that only a wealthy and leisured class of the 
members can get to such meetings. The meeting of the 
Society is the right of all ; and it does more good to the 
younger man on a small salary than to the veteran in the 
profession compensated handsomely for the value of his 
experience and service. Within these limitations, the 
joint meeting is better than the more flamboyant con- 
gress. 



CHAPTER XV 

The Libraby of the Society 

The nucleus or starting point of the library of an 
engineering society is the first issue of its professional 
papers in book or pamphlet form. This is a legal tender 
or currency of acceptance with other societies of kindred 
aim, also publishing papers and desiring an exchange of 
commodities, and technical journals published in all parts 
of the world are glad to consider the courtesy of trans- 
mittal of the society papers to be an offset or equivalent 
for the regular issues of their publications. 

The transactions of societies are among the most 
valuable treasures of a library, for these are up to date, 
while the textbooks are as a rule on their way to 
obsolescence before they are completed by their authors. 
Transactions are also historically and professionally 
valuable, because they give with fulness of detail what 
the later condensations in general books will summarize 
and omit. 

While the Society had no office but that of its Secre- 
tary from 1880 to 1883, there was no Library, because 
such exchanges as were arranged for could not be sent 
forth in shape to be consulted, and there were no funds 
available to bind the loose units into volumes and sets. 

At a meeting of the Council on February 15, 1883 
(the same meeting which elected F. R. Hutton as Secre- 
tary of the Society), Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury moved 
that the new Secretary be instructed to insert in the next 
communication to the members and to the technical press, 
a request for circulars and price lists of manufacturing 
establishments and reports of engineering operations, 
with a view to making a catalogue of contemporaneous 
engineering work, to be filed properly and placed at the 

287 



268 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

service of members. It was requested that in the price 
lists the ruling prices and discounts in January 1883 be 
affixed and that such catalogues of machinery be con- 
tributed as would show the growth and development of 
the industry to which they belonged. This motion, which 
was carried and put into effect, was the foundation of the 
present valuable library of The American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers, which is now housed with the col- 
lections of the other founder societies, the American 
Institute of Mining Engineers and the American Insti- 
tute of Electrical Engineers, on the upper Ifloors of the 
United Engineering Building, thus forming an integral 
portion of what is doubtless destined to become one of 
the great professional libraries of the world. 

The response to the request contained in Mr. Wood- 
bury's motion was prompt and liberal, many of the tech- 
nical periodicals contributing complimentary copies of 
their publications, and some of them sending complete 
bound files of their back numbers. Manufacturers sent 
not only their trade catalogues but books, to aid in found- 
ing the library. A standing committee on the library was 
appointed, and in the first announcement sent out by 
Secretary Hutton, dated March 1, 1883, the statement 
was made that the Secretary's office contained a grow- 
ing collection of periodicals, transactions, and books ac- 
cessible to members, and the hope expressed that in the 
near future the collection would receive such additions 
as would render it both interesting and valuable for ref- 
erence. 

At the Annual Meeting in New York in November 
1884, the committee appointed to take steps for the 
definite organization of the library made an extended re- 
port, which will be found in the full Transactions for 
that year. This report recommended the establishment 
of a permanent fund for library purposes and for the 
provision of its current expenses, that no demand upon 
the current funds of the Society need be made. Subscrip- 
tions for a permanent fund were solicited, and also con- 
tributions in the form of annual subscriptions of $2 or 



A HISTOBY OP THE SOCIETY 269 

more, and an appeal was also made for contributions of 
books and papers relating to mechanical engineering. 
It is especially interesting to note the realization even 
at that early date that the library might become the in- 
centive which should lead to the acquisition of a per- 
manent home of the Society, and the following quotation 
is given, as showing the beginning of an effort after- 
wards so abundantly realized (See Chapter XI) : 

Accommodation for the Library to be provided in whatever rooms the 
Society may occupy. In this connection, however, your committee begs 
respectfully to call attention to the great desirability for the advancement 
of the general interests of the Society, and especially for the adequate 
accommodation of the Library which it is hoped to create, of inaugurating 
early measures for the creation of a fimd to provide a permanent building 
for the general uses of the Society. 

Following this report of the Library Committee, the 
Secretary issued a circular to the membership calling for 
subscriptions to the fund and to the annual contributing 
list. The result was that more than 100 members re- 
sponded, and the organization of the library was thus 
effected. It continued, with modifications, until it was 
finally merged into that of the Society, as will be told 
hereafter. Reporting upon these facts at the Atlantic 
City Meeting, in May 1885, Mr. Henry E. Towne, chair- 
man of the Library Committee, called attention to the 
desirability of providing accommodations for the 
Library, and mentioned the discussion of the construc- 
tion of a union building for the several national engi- 
neering societies, showing the extent to which the idea 
had already taken root. 

In the report of the Library Committee for 1885 was 
given for the first time a list of accessions to the library, 
and it is interesting to note that valuable books were con- 
tributed by members, while the exchange list included 
the principal technical papers then published in the 
United States and Great Britain, with some Continental 
accessions. These lists continued to be published in suc- 
cessive volumes of the Transactions, and showed a con- 
tinual growth of interest in the development of the 
library, although the books were housed as yet in the 



270 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

limited quarters available in the Secretary's office, where 
they were by no means convenient for general use. 

Interest among the membership in the Library also 
began to show itself in the form of bequests and large 
contributions. Thus, in the report of the Library Com- 
mittee for 1888, appears the bequest of the private 
library of Mr. Alfred B. Couch of Philadelphia, including 
a number of important and valuable books. In like man- 
ner, there was announced at the Annual Meeting in No- 
vember 1889, an important gift of books from the library * 
of the late Charles W. Copeland, formerly Treasurer of 
the Society, the gift including many valuable books re- 
lating to the history and development of mechanical 
engineering. Important progress was also made in the 
completion of the files of the leading engineering jour- 
nals, and the library began to assume real value as a 
reference collection, apart from the important part 
which it was soon to play as a financial asset in the de- 
velopment of the Society. 

The move of the Society's office from the straitened 
areas of 15 Cortlandt Street to the Stewart Building 
at 280 Broadway was backed by the ambition to make 
the library more available for consultation and to put 
the files of Society Transactions and Proceedings within 
the reach of the members. Bookshelves were added to the 
earlier office furniture when this step was taken. 

But an office building with no adequate elevator serv- 
ice after business hours and with no adequate reading 
lights and without the library reading-room atmosphere, 
was still felt to offer no satisfactory solution of the 
library problem. These conditions brought about the 
decision to move to the first floor of the Mott Memorial 
Library Building at 64 Madison Avenue, then available, 
and the experiment of opening the library in the even- 
ings. Great improvements in the gas lighting were 
made, and the members began to drop in. But the 
library was in the charge of a stenographer of the office, 
albeit a man of studious tastes, and there was no cata- 
logue. 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 271 

Then came in May 1890 the great change significant 
in so many ways, but in none more than as respects the 
library of the Society. It moved from Madison Avenue, 
from a floor area shared with the insistent uses of the 
executive offices of the Society, to a building specifically 
fitted up for library purposes as respects its second floor 
and the gallery extension on the same level. The elec- 
tric light was also introduced to eliminate the injury to 
paper and binding from the heat and products of com- 
bustion from gas burners. The change came through 
the purchase from the New York Academy of Medicine 
of their former home at 12 West 31st Street, and the 
consequent development of a project that had been 
impossible or seriously handicapped before. The space 
devotable to the library was filled from floor to ceiling 
with convenient permanent shelving, and the quiet ap- 
propriate to a reading room could be secured by reason 
of the fact that the offices and their typewriters were in 
other parts of the building. 

The Society at once set out to realize its dream of a 
free public reference library of engineering; and to this 
end, as well as to attain some other desirable possibil- 
ities concerning which the Society charter had not been 
clearly worded, the Past-Presidents of the Society 
formed themselves into a Library Corporation and pro- 
cured a charter from the State of New York under favor- 
able general acts relating to the conduct of free public 
libraries. This body was called. The Mechanical Engi- 
neers Library Association. It held the title to the real 
estate for the benefit of The American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers and for the American Institute of 
Electrical Engineers for some years, and the by-laws 
provided for the support of the association, not only 
from the leases to the foregoing bodies but from two 
classes of sustaining members. One class was known 
as Fellows of the Library, contributing regularly to the 
library fund, the others were the Members, embracing all 
elected members of The American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers. The affairs of the Association were placed 



272 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

in the hands of a Board of nine trustees, elected by the 
Fellows of the Association, these trustees having the 
management and control of the affairs, property, and 
funds of the Association, with full power to mortgage its 
real estate, and to issue bonds secured by mortgage 
thereon, and also to conduct the library. 

A charter was obtained for this Association on 
March 4, 1890, for the conduct of a free public library 
containing a collection of books, charts, models, appa- 
ratus, and other literary and scientific works relating to 
the subject of mechanical engineering, so that the scope 
of the library was extended to include many things of 
historical value in addition to books, an extension which 
has led to the acquirement of numerous valuable relics 
which might have been dispersed, and possibly not pre- 
served at all. The fundamental object of the Library 
Association, however, was to act as a holding corporation 
for the real estate which it was proposed to purchase for 
use as a home, both for the library and for the Society. 
The Trustees, as originally selected, consisted of the 
Past-Presidents of the Society, together with the Secre- 
tary, the original board including Messrs. Thurston, 
Leavitt, Sweet, HoUoway, Sellers, Babcock, See, Hutton 
and Towne. Mr. Henry R. Towne was chosen Chairman 
of the Board, a position which he held until the consolida- 
tion of the Association with The American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers in 1907. 

The Library Association having thus been incorpor- 
ated, the purchase of the house in 31st Street was con- 
cluded, the price being $60,000, of which $33,000 was left 
on first mortgage by the former owners, while the balance 
of $27,000 was paid in cash. This amount, together with 
the additional funds required for the repair and decora- 
tion of the building, was raised by the issuance and sale 
of bonds to the value of $31,800. The bonds were 
promptly taken by members of The American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers who were especially interested in 
the movement, and the matter was thus most success- 




PRESIDENT 1908 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHA^J|CAU ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OP THE SOCIETY 273 

fully financed, a success largely due to the existence of 
the library and the association incorporated in its name. 

A portion of the building was let to the newly or- 
ganized American Institute of Electrical Engineers, but 
the greater portion was occupied by The American So- 
ciety of Mechanical Engineers, both societies being 
tenants of the holding corporation. The Mechanical 
Engineers' Library Association. Thus the library, from 
its modest beginning as a collection of trade catalogues 
and technical periodicals, became the means by which the 
Society was enabled to occupy a most desirable building 
in one of the best locations in the City of New York, 
under conditions which at that time might not otherwise 
have been practicable. 

The house, which had formerly been one of the fine 
old-fashioned brown-stone residences, typical of New 
York home life, had been converted by the previous 
owners, the New York Academy of Medicine, into a 
building admirably suited to the needs of a professional 
organization. The front parlor had been left practically 
unchanged, but upon the garden plot in the rear there 
had been built a convenient meeting hall, this being two 
clear stories in height, with good basement room beneath. 
The assembly hall communicated both with the back 
parlor and the main entrance hall. The second floor 
rooms were fitted for the use of the library, while a 
balcony running entirely around the upper portion of the 
meeting hall added a corresponding amount of wall space 
to the shelf capacity. On the upper floors were conveni- 
ent sleeping rooms for the use of members, in addition 
to the space originally let to the American Institute of 
Electrical Engineers, and subsequently added to the 
space available for the purposes of the Society. 

Although the real estate was thus held in the name 
of The Mechanical Engineers' Library Association, the 
books, etc., continued to be the property of The American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers, being loaned to the 
latter organization by the former as a part of the con- 
sideration passing between the two bodies in connection 



274 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

with the conduct of the building. The report of the 
Library Committee for 1890 showed a continual improve- 
ment both in the funds and in the collections, and it was 
evident that the library had become a most powerful 
auxiliary in the development of the Society. 

When the house at 12 West 31st Street had been used 
by the New York Academy of Medicine, the walls of the 
meeting hall, as well as the other rooms had been covered 
with portraits of eminent members of the profession. 
Those members of The American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers who had been in the party which visited 
Europe in 1889, had also seen and appreciated the man- 
ner in which the homes of the great societies there were 
adorned with similar works of art. When the house in 
31st Street was first occupied by the Society, the bar- 
renness of the walls contrasted painfully with the condi- 
tion in which they had been seen at the previous meet- 
ings held in the same room, before the pictures belonging 
to the Academy of Medicine had been removed. There 
thus appeared a stimulus to the members to begin a 
similar collection of portraits and works of art and to 
restore in some degree the effect which had formerly 
existed. Thus began the collection of paintings, photo- 
graphs, etc., which now forms so interesting a portion of 
the Society's property. 

One of the earliest pictures thus acquired by the So- 
ciety was an oil portrait of Alexander L. Holley, pre- 
sented by Mrs. Bunker, formerly Mrs. Holley, a gift 
which was formally unveiled and accepted in an address 
by Mr. James C. Bayles. Other early acquisitions of this 
sort include a marble bust of Mr. Joseph Nason, pre- 
sented by Mr. Carleton W. Nason; a portrait of Joseph 
Harrison, Jr., presented by Mrs. Harrison ; a portrait of 
Prof. Franz Reuleaux, presented by Mr. H. H. Suplee ; a 
pastel of Prof. W. J. M. Rankine, given by Prof. F. R. 
Hutton, together with numerous photographs of in- 
terest. A notable gift of much historical value was the 
original autograph drawing, by Robert Fulton, of the 
Fulton, the first steamer to ply on Long Island Sound, 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 275 

bearing the date of 1813, while various old drawings and 
correspondence relating to the work of Fulton after- 
wards came into possession of the Library. The portrait 
of Ericsson, by Ballin, was the one formerly owned by 
the designer of the Monitor, and was rescued by Pro- 
fessor Hutton from a curiosity shop where its value was 
hardly understood. Thus the interest of members grew 
continually in the development of this portion of the 
work of the Library, and further acquisitions of this 
sort form an important portion of the records of the 
growth of the Society. They will be described at length 
hereafter in this history. 

Now followed an era of a gradual and healthy growth 
of the library. Unbound series were brought together 
and strongly bound. Gaps in series were filled to make 
complete sets. New exchanges were secured to broaden 
the scope of the topics covered. A card catalogue of 
authors, subjects and titles was begun and developed, 
first under Mrs. Emma C. Griffin, and later under the 
trained hand of Miss Isabelle M. Thornton. 

The library of the Society was unique in several 
directions at this time. First, the catalogue was not by 
book titles but was an index of subjects. Under each 
subject were the book titles covering treatment of that 
item. Men in search of information usually know the 
subject they want to study, but do not know who has 
written upon it nor under which book title to look, A 
title beginning with the word treatise, for example, is a 
very blind indication as to the book wanted. Furthermore, 
the shelves were classified vertically in sets, with a title 
over the highest, giving the subjects grouped under that 
sign. Strangers could therefore browse among the 
shelves under the general heading or general class of the 
subject they were searching for. Some readers are an- 
noyed at the necessity for going always to an attendant 
for each move in their game. Certain shelves were as- 
signed to current periodicals and the gallery had the sets 
of Society Transactions with the current issues in a steel 
filing case until a volume was completed and ready to 



276 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

bind. Members calling for books not on hand were asked 
to supply the librarian with the title of the lacking book, 
and as fast as funds were available these gaps were sup- 
plied. But the increasing bulk of the binding required 
year by year kept the library always a little in arrears of 
the demand, and with a waiting list of books. Its trans- 
actions of societies and technical journal lists have al- 
ways been full and complete, for its own publications 
could be used as exchange for a desired periodical, but 
booksellers would use these only to a limited degree as a 
medium of exchange for books. 

The significance of Mr. Andrew Carnegie 's gift to en- 
gineering in the form of a United Engineering Societies 
Building in 1903-1904, was at once realized in its relation 
to a library development for the societies. The Insti- 
tute of Electrical Engineers had received from Dr. 
Schuyler Skaats Wheeler its splendid gift of the Latimer 
Clark Library, on the express condition that it be housed 
in a fireproof building and made available for general 
use. So the function of a Library was incorporated into 
the By-Laws of the United Engineering Society and thus 
into its charter, and the building committee planned the 
thirteenth or top floor of the building as a reading-room 
and the twelfth floor for book stacks with incombustible 
shelves. The top floor gives light, air, freedom from dust 
and reduces noise to its lowest terms. The three founder 
societies named in the deed of gift were at once asked 
to appoint three representatives on a joint Library 
Board and their recommendations were most carefully 
considered in the plans. 

After the societies entered the building in 1907, the 
Library Association of the Mechanical Engineers was 
legally wound up by action of the Supreme Court on plea 
and brief, and consolidated with The American Society 
of Mechanical Engineers, who already owned the equity 
in the real estate and received all other property by legal 
procedure on October 17, 1907. The books of the library 
had also always been the property of the Society and 
were only loaned to the Library Association to carry on 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 277 

its work. The increment in value of the real estate of the 
Library Association was used in part, to pay for the land 
on which the Society building stands. The house in 31st 
Street was bought in 1890 for $60,000, and was sold in 
1907 for $120,000. 

The library of the Society is now one of the con- 
stituent elements of the great library in the Engineering 
Societies Building. It is operated under a Library 
Board appointed by each of the governing bodies of the 
three founder societies, and approved by the repre- 
sentative Board of Trustees. This Library Board is in 
charge of all detail, and meets every month for its im- 
portant duties. It prevents duplication of e'ffort and of 
purchase, and seeks to coordinate the development along 
all lines of growth. Eecent improvements in lighting 
and increase in the shelf areas on the main library floor, 
have been the most noticeable physical changes of recent 
years. Mr. W. P. Cutter, the general Librarian under 
the present conditions, was appointed in February 1909. 
The library, at the end of the first third of a century of 
the Society life, contains about 50,000 volumes and 
pamphlets and monographs. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Some Professional Standards Recommended by 
Committees of the Society 

It has been said earlier that one of the great oppor- 
tunities which its founders foresaw for their new or- 
ganization was that of speech and action for the profes- 
sion as a unit, and as representing the weight of opinion 
of a large number when such action took concrete form. 
No individual can have the same weight as that of an 
aggregate of many such persons. 

It is true of applied science in engineering and of art 
in architecture to a degree not by any means the case in 
other lines, that there may be many correct solutions of 
a problem, but all different from each other by reason of 
the personality entering into each solution. But as a 
practical and commercial proposition, there are very 
great advantages attaching to a standard set of propor- 
tions which shall be used by all to whom the problems 
are submitted. Standards in the numbers of threads to 
the inch on all bolts of a given diameter were sought in 
one of the earliest attempts to bring order out of pre- 
existing chaos, and this was attained outside of the So- 
ciety and before it existed. But the advantage to the 
Society of creating an agreement on many other such 
matters was early brought to its attention. 

The Society also very early saw the wise distinction 
to be made between the action of the Society which ac- 
cepted a proposed standard reported by a committee and 
recommended its use, and the other plan of adopting 
such a standard as an official act. The recommendation 
made the use of such a standard a voluntary but exceed- 
ingly wise step. The adoption would have entailed a sort 
of obligatory aspect on loyal members, and there are 

278 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 27» 

those who are more easily led than driven. If some pe- 
cuniary loss was entailed by the use of an adopted and 
therefore a compulsory standard, a civil suit might lie for 
the damages so claimed, and it would be against the So- 
ciety as a corporate body. A recommended standard has 
the force of the ability of those who created it, and no one 
can find any legal ground on which to attack it or attempt 
to enjoin against its use to his alleged detriment. 

The usual practice to secure the creation and sub- 
sequent recommendation of a standard has had the fol- 
lowing steps (see also Chapter IV). 

(a) A paper by some person competent to speak, in 
which the need of such standard shall be made clear. 

(b) A discussion in confirmation of the need from the 
experience of others than the author. 

(c) A recommendation to the Council that it consider 
the advisability of appointing a committee, with power 
to appoint if it seems wise. 

(d) If affirmative action is taken, the committee is ap- 
pointed. The reader of the initiating paper is usually a 
member of such committee and perhaps its chairman. 

(e) The consideration in committee ; conferences with 
parties interested inside of the Society and without. 

(/) A report presented for discussion at a Semi- 
Annual or Annual Meeting. 

(g) The result of this discussion offers the alterna- 
tives : 

(1) The normal one is for the report and its rec- 
ommendations to be so conclusive and there- 
fore so acceptable that the Society takes its 
standard action thereon, accepts the report, 
recommends the use of the standard therein 
presented and orders the report printed in 
Transactions. 

(2) The report may be made as a report of pro- 
gress to make public the mind of the com- 
mittee, and to invite criticism and modifica- 
tions. After this treatment it is referred back 
with the discussion, and the committee reports 



280 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

again until the recommendations are ready 
for the action of (1) above. The discussion is 
printed in full, either bound up with the re- 
port, or as a separate pamphlet, or in both 
forms. It is supposed and assumed that the 
discussion includes all that can be said in 
opposition to the recommendations in the re- 
port, and is therefore a measure of the gen- 
eral unanimity with which the rest of the So- 
ciety has received it. That is, the discussion 
presents all that anybody can urge in disfavor 
of the ideas of the committee, so that every 
one can judge of the force and validity of 
attacks upon its work. The committee as a 
rule accepts the points which are well taken 
and incorporates them as its own action. 
This method of treatment is believed to be much more 
serviceable than letter ballots by the entire membership. 
Many would not vote, more would vote without expert 
knowledge or study of the problem presented, and on 
the basis of their trust in the ability and thoroughness 
of the committee 's labor. The few remaining have either 
taken part in the debate, or are so few that their vote 
adds little to the force already belonging to the per- 
sonalities on the committee. 

These committees reporting on standards or other 
matters have been called Professional Committees, be- 
cause the topic referred to them as a rule is a matter of 
professional significance and not one having a direct 
commercial or financial or administrative bearing. 

The first of these Society standards is embodied in 
paper No. 168, of Volume 6, and presents a Code for the 
Conduct of Trials of Steam Boilers. It embodies both 
the Standard Form of Log for use in such tests, the con- 
siderations which led to the standard, some possible al- 
ternatives, and a comment on standard apparatus. The 
debate on the Society policy respecting such a report is 
printed separately as paper No. 185 of Volume 6. Prof. 
William Kent was chairman of this committee, and it 




SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 281 

formulated and gave standing to the unit of boiler horse- 
power proposed by Mr. Chas. E. Emery in 1876, at the 
time of the great series of boiler tests at the Centennial 
Exhibition at Philadelphia. 

The second committee to report was that on a Stand- 
ard for the Diameter and Overall Dimensions of Pipe 
and its Threaded Ends, and the fittings which such 
threads were to fit. This report recommended and 
formulated the Briggs standards, created and offered by 
the late Robert Briggs of Philadelphia, a member of this 
Society, and first published in 1882-1883 in the proceed- 
ings of the Civil Engineers of Great Britain, under the 
heading of American Practice in Warming Buildings by 
Steam. The manufacturers of such material had con- 
sented to agree to such standards and to the use of gages 
for threads which embodied them, and thus put an end 
to the confusion and embarrassment which were at that 
time so annoyingly prevalent. The report and standards 
are in papers No. 226 and No. 241 of Volume 8. Mr. 
Frederick Grinnell was chairman of this committee, but 
all recognized that the working factor of the result was 
Mr. Geo. M. Bond, its eflficient secretary. 

The next topic to be broached in this class was in- 
troduced in a paper by Mr. Percy A. Sanguinetti at 
Philadelphia in 1887, on the Divergencies in Flange 
Diameters, and particularly the divergencies in diameter 
of the bolt circles in such flanges as used in pipe work, 
on engines, valves, pumps and fittings. The committee 
first reported progress in May 1890, but, by reason of 
deaths and other causes, was reconstituted to include 
representatives of the productive interests and reported 
its first standards in paper No. 481 of Volume 13 in 1892 ; 
and again in papers No. 504 of Volume 14, 1892, and No. 
826 of Volume 21, 1899. Mr. Carleton W. Nason was 
chairman of the committee which presented the first 
standard proportions, and Mr. Edward P. Bates pre- 
sented the last diagrams and tables. 

The continually increased pressures to be resisted 
and the increasing diameters of pipe for large power 



282 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

stations have called for extensions of the standards rec- 
ommended in 1899. 

A further standard, the Method of Conducting Duty 
Trials of Pumping Engines, was reported at the Cincin- 
nati Meeting in 1890; was discussed and reported anew 
at the Richmond Meeting in that same year ; and is pub- 
lished in its final form as paper No. 381 in Volume 12 
and with its discussion as a separate paper as No. 437 of 
Volume 12. 

At the Cincinnati Meeting in 1890, a committee on 
Standard Methods of Testing Locomotives was ordered, 
and reported at Chicago in 1893. The report is paper 
No. 552 in Volume 14. A committee which presented a 
large volume of professional material in the form of re- 
ports of progress leading up to a standard was that on 
Standard Tests and Methods of Testing Materials. Its 
first official paper is printed as an appendix to the papers 
of the New York meeting of 1889, No. 378 of Volume 11, 
which was supplemented at Cincinnati as paper No. 380. 
Further supplemental reports were again brought to the 
Society as Nos. 479 and 480 of Volume 13; as Nos. 550 
and 551 of Volume 14, and Nos. 633 and 654 of Volume 
16. Paper No. 698 of Volume 17 is a report on the ac- 
tion taken at Zurich conferences in 1895. The working 
member of this committee was again its secretary or re- 
porter, Mr. Gus C. Henning, who not only labored in- 
defatigably, but who attended European conferences 
and congresses, at his own sacrifice of time and in- 
cidentals, receiving only a minimum allowance for his 
traveling expenses from the Society. It was the purpose 
of the committee and its effort to bring about a standard 
form of test specimen for use in physical and mechanical 
tests ; and further to standardize the methods of test, the 
time to be taken in the process of fracture and the re- 
cording autographically of the behavior of the test piece 
in the testing machine, that recorded tests by different 
observers might be mutually comparable. After Mr. W. 
J. Keep's Tests on Cast Iron and his observations on 
test pieces were on record, Mr. Henning included many 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 283 

of Mr. Keep's series of tests in the work of his commit- 
tee, running as papers Nos. 631, 655, 656, 695, 878, 1041, 
and included in Volumes 16 to 25. 

As a result of the formation of the American Society 
for Testing Materials and its inevitable assumption of 
much of the work, Mr. Henning and his committee had 
planned to do, there was no final or conclusive summary 
or official report presented, but the Society approved 
each section and in 1900 discharged the committee. Mr. 
Henning 's failure in health and his entry thereafter into 
other lines of business prevented his giving the matter 
the personal attention which it might otherwise have 
had, and he never received the meed of praise which his 
devotion to the matter would have justified. No com- 
mittee reports of the period are more full and exhaustive 
than his. Messrs. Towne, Thurston, Egleston and 
Morgan were Mr. Henning 's associates, and of these Mr. 
Towne is the only survivor. 

In 1892 a committee reported Standards for Tests to 
be made of Engines and Machinery at the Columbian 
World's Fair of 1893 if such should be made, with a 
view to having these of real scientific and comparable 
value (No. 503, Vol. 14). 

In 1895 Mr. F. W. Dean, in paper No. 650, criticized 
the Code of 1885-1886 for reporting boiler trials, and in 
1898 Mr. Barrus, in paper No. 781, made a Plea for a 
Standard Method of Conducting Engine Tests. The re- 
sult was a revision of the Standard Boiler Code, pre- 
sented as papers Nos. 827 and 828 of Volume 21, and rec- 
ommended to replace the previous standard code. The 
necessity for this action and the ease with which it was 
taken supplied another argument in favor of the Society 
policy opposed to the adoption of standards. Had the 
previous standard been adopted, it must have been recon- 
sidered, the former action rescinded, and the new code 
acted on, in order to become a new standard. A further 
and more extensive revision of standards for testing 
power apparatus was reported by an enlarged committee 
in 1913 and which completed its work in 1915. 



284 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINBEES 

At the Washington Meeting of 1899 a paper by Mr. 
J. B. Stanwood, on the necessity for cooperation between 
the builders of the engines and those of the generator 
armatures in direct-connected sets of such power-trans- 
mitting apparatus, resulted in the appointment of a com- 
mittee on Standards for Direct-Connected Generating 
Sets, of which Professor Stanwood was made chairman. 

It was to work in cooperation with a similar commit- 
tee on the armature standards for the generator. It 
made a preliminary report for discussion at Milwaukee 
in 1901 and its final report in New York that same year 
as paper No. 916 of Volume 23. Mr. Barrus's paper. No. 
781, had resulted in a Report on a Standard Method of 
Testing Steam Engines, published as Nos. 973 and 974 
of Volume 24, and recommended in 1902. It had been 
suggested (1897) that the previous work on standardiz- 
ing the threads and proportions of pipe and fittings had 
not covered the design of pipe unions, and the impor- 
tance of this fitting in compressed air and other in- 
dustries would justify a committee and its consideration 
and report. Such committee reported in 1901, and this 
is published as Nos. 917 and 948 of Volume 23. 

At the Annual Meeting in December 1905 the Society 
received the report of its professional committee on a 
Proposed Standard for Machine Screws, both as to the 
threads and the proportions of the heads. The so-called 
Sellers or U. S. Standard of many years ago covered 
sizes of bolts and of cap screws from one-half inch 
diameter of stock and upward. The new electric and 
motor vehicle industries were calling for a similar 
standard for sizes smaller than one-half inch. This re- 
port is again a monument to Mr. Geo. M. Bond and is 
published as paper No. 1142 of Volume 29. 

At the conclusion of the third of a century, a move- 
ment is nearly concluded to make the Briggs Pipe Thread 
Standard, now of America and Great Britain, the inter- 
national standard of the world. If this is consummated 
it will put a fitting period to the splendid achievements 
of the Society in these fields through the wise and 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 285 

energetic labor of the notable committees who have so 
unsparingly given their time and effort. 

There are also other conomittees of the membership 
who have labored through the Society, but whose labors 
have not enriched the profession by a report creating 
a standard for professional use. Among such are the 
committee to secure a renewal of the United States Com- 
mission to test iron, steel and other metals. This com- 
mission had an existence and governmental support 
before the Society came into existence, but on the ex- 
piration of its period and the first appropriations Con- 
gress had not extended its period of service, and it had 
lapsed. It had created the great Emery Testing Ma- 
chine now at Watertown, Mass., but no work on full- 
sized members had been possible. Prof. Thomas Egles- 
ton was the working energy, and he kept working at it, 
and reporting the lack of forward progress for many 
earlier years (1882-1886). There was cooperation in the 
American Society of Civil Engineers and through the 
Chief of Ordnance, United States Army, and the Society, 
in days of poverty, appropriated $200 for its committee's 
expenses. 

Other committees were as follows: A committee to 
secure relief at the United States Patent Office in 
Washington from the conditions of congestion due to lack 
of room, and such changes as would result in expediting 
the procedure of issue of the patents after applications 
were sent in. The committee reported to the Society and 
the individual members were urged to use their influence 
directly with members of both houses (1884). 

A committee to present a memorial to the houses of 
Congress urging on them the founding or a participation 
in the creating of a suitable memorial to Capt. John 
Ericsson for his achievements and to commemorate his 
services before and during the war of 1861-1865 (1889- 
1890). 

A committee to memorialize the United States Con- 
gress for the creation of a commission to recommend 
standards and a bureau for their maintenance as re- 



286 THE AMEBICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAX, ENGINEERS 

spects industrial products from various States where 
confusion now prevails (1889-1891). 

A committee to provide joint headquarters in 
Chicago during the continuance of the World's Fair of 
1893. 

A committee to report a recommendation and proper 
action with respect to making general the use of a metal 
wire and sheet gage, the numbers of which shall be the 
thicknesses of the plate or wire expressed in thousandths 
of an inch. This committee reported the oval thickness 
gage, which was patented for safeguarding by one of the 
members of the committee and ownership assigned to the 
Society (1893-1894-1897). 

A committee to conduct tests of fireproofing ma- 
terials, tested the material used to cover the steel 
skeletons of tall buildings. The experiments were made 
at the plant of the Continental Iron Works at Green- 
point, and the material and steel were furnished by in- 
terested manufacturers. The report of these tests was 
published as No. 700 in Volume 18, but the tests could 
not be carried to completion by reason of the costs 
(1898). Later the best work in this field was done at 
Columbia University by Prof. Ira H. Woolson, member 
of the Society, and the apparatus and methods used 
were described in papers by him before the American 
Society for Testing Materials (1896). 

A committee to sit upon a revision of the building 
laws of New York City (1896). 

A committee to prepare and have in readiness the 
available material which may be used in opposition to 
a movement to make the use of the metric system and 
its units of length compulsory on the industry of the 
United States (1896-1902). The paper by Mr. F. A. 
Halsey, No. 971, Volume 24, and the report. No. 972, are 
the papers in the case, and the action of the Society is 
in paper No. 975 of the same volume. 

A committee of conference on international standard 
electrical rules. Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury has represented 
the Society in these conferences and has reported on 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 287 

their work and decisions (see Nos. 749 and 790, Volume 
19). 

A committee on standard specifications for steel in 
its various industrial forms, reported through Mr. W. R. 
Webster, as paper No. 945, Volume 23. 

A committee advisory to the authorities of the Expo- 
sition in St. Louis in 1904, to act with a similar commit- 
tee of the American Railway Master Mechanics Associa- 
tion in laying out tests for locomotives on the testing 
plant in the Transportation Building which the Pennsyl- 
vania Railway built and operated (1903). 

A committee to consider and recommend a standard 
unit or units to be the basis of the thermal and dynamic 
performance in the processes of mechanical refrigera- 
tion. This committee is yet to make its final report. 

A committee to further the movement for the con- 
servation of natural resources, in water, fuel and forests, 
and to furnish the engineering knowledge and experi- 
ence required in intelligent legislation to this end. This 
committee is still at work. 

A committee to formulate standards for specifica- 
tions and construction of boilers and other containing 
vessels in which high pressure is maintained. Work of 
monumental character and extent, completed in the early 
months of 1915 and reported in Volume 36, No. 1469. 

A committee to recommend standards for use in engi- 
neering drawings to denote the materials used in con- 
struction; report published in Volume 36, No. 1468. 

A committee to foster the creation and use of 
standards in all engineering and industrial departments. 
This committee is still at work. 

A committee to foster standardization of sizes in the 
commercial literature of production and trade and other 
catalogues ; report published in Volume 35, No. 1394. 

A committee to report on the proper shapes and 
angles to be used in the tracing of gear teeth in the in- 
volute system. 

A conmaittee to recommend desirable changes in the 
patent laws of the United States. 



288 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEEo 

Sub-committees under general direction of the Re- 
search Committee of the Society, and preparing to re- 
port on safety valves, on electrical materials, and on 
steam. 

A committee to recommend a code of ethics for prac- 
tising engineers. 

A committee to report recommendations respecting a 
National Museum of the productive industries. 

A committee to report standard tolerances in the 
fit of screw threads. 

This last series of eight have been appointed by the 
Council after discussion of their significant value, and 
there are, in addition, conference committees of that 
body appointed to sit with committees of other engi- 
neering societies upon questions of mutual interest as 
respects matters of common interest. Such committees 
have acted on the procedure to be followed when legis- 
lation is proposed of unfortunate or ill-advised purport. 
The Council has also had committees recommended to it 
on which it has not passed favorably ; and others have 
found it impracticable or unwise to report and their ap- 
pointment has been quietly ignored and forgotten. 

The Committee on Meetings has also recommended 
special professional committees, whose primary function 
is the creation of professional literature on an assigned 
topic, in the form of papers and discussions, and the hold-*; 
ing of special sessions at conventions or at other times tol 
make these public and available. The topics now crystall4 
ized from the general planning in this field include : tex- 
tiles, administration, cement manufacture, depreciatiof^l 
and obsolescence, machine shop practice, iron and steely 
hoisting and conveying, air machinery, railroads, in^ 
dustrial buildings, and fire protection. As time shall sho 
and as the Society can afford it, there will be additions 
made to the list. As the permanent importance ani 
the volume of papers gathering around each topic sha 
justify, the members adhering to any one topic will be 
formed into a professional section of the Society. It ii 
not worth while to create and multiply sections of th 




PRESIDENT 19IO 

OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 289 

Society, when after a few papers and a limited number 
of professionally specialized sessions of the members in- 
terested, it will be found that the topic has been prac- 
tically exhausted and no more papers are forthcoming 
in groups as previously under pressure. Papers coming 
singly and at intervals as the normal flow can best be 
handled in the general sessions, to give breadth of in- 
terest to them. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that the committee 
channel of Society activity is one of its most useful and 
effective ones, and is to be warmly encouraged by legisla- 
tion and official action. The capacity of the Secretary 
as the Society *s executive is enormously multiplied by the 
voluntary service of the committee members, and the 
membership and the profession strengthened and ad- 
vanced by the results of this skilled and expert energy 
which is expended for the good of all. 



CHAPTER XVII 

Professional Sections, Local Groups, Student 
Branches, Affiliates 

It has already been emphasized elsewhere that the 
basic concept of organization and administration was 
that The American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
should be the recognized national body of its practi- 
tioners in the United States, or the North American 
continent. Hence any tendencies to localize it, or to give 
any group of its members the feeling that they were 
isolated from it, or did not get the same return as some 
others more favorably located, were to be opposed as 
blunders of policy. 

On the other hand, to overdo this philosophy and to 
lean backward in an effort to be upright, by opposing 
local gatherings in the important centers where large 
groups of members have their homes and duty, would be 
no less a blunder. The important matter seems to be to 
keep clearly in view the fact that such local membership 
gatherings must not be claimed to be meetings of the 
Society; that they should not take legislative or other 
action representative of it, nor seek to get into control 
of it politically or technically. With proper safeguards 
in operation to these ends, the holding of meetings in 
the various industrial centers of the country will not 
only be an occasion of pleasure and value to the member- 
ship, but be of the greatest service to the Society as a 
whole. 

The history of the monthly reunions of members 
during the 31st Street period from 1890 to 1907 has 
been elsewhere recorded. It was subsequent to the au- 
thor's presidential address of 1907, in the first year of 
occupancy of the Engineering Societies Building, that 

290 



I 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 291 

the plan of holding meetings in cities other than New 
York began to take definite and workable shape. Five 
fundamental principles were molded into the structure 
on which they were built: 

(a) They must in no wise invade the field and func- 
tion of a local society in that territory where such exists. 
Meetings must be held in cooperation, or as joint 
meetings. 

(h) They must not be meetings of the Society, but 
always be called and conducted as meetings of the Mem- 
bers of the Society in such a place. 

(c) The entire membership of the Society must share 
in any papers or other professional material of value 
which come to the group of local members at such a 
meeting, so that the good of the few may become the good 
of all. 

(d) The meeting shall be in control of its own people. 
The Council will ask only the right to approve the per- 
sonnel of the committee in charge. All expenditure 
properly chargeable to the Society must first be ap- 
proved by its Secretary. 

(e) All members of other engineering societies shall 
be invited and made welcome at such meetings, and no 
distinction shall be made as respects engineers, not 
members of any society but who would be benefited by 
attending meetings. 

The reasons which lie behind the foregoing policies 
seem hardly to need discussion. Experience shows them 
to be sound and to work well. Under them, meetings are 
statedly held in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cin- 
cinnati, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Haven, New York, 
Philadelphia, Providence, St. Louis, St. Paul-Minne- 
apolis, San Francisco and Worcester. The Boston meet- 
ings were among the first to be organized and they have 
been the occasion for some excellent papers and for the 
presence of distinguished visitors. What may be desig- 
nated as the social expenditure of the meetings is en- 
tirely in the hands of the local members, and the Society 
is not responsible for it, nor asked to help in it. 



292 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERtt 

Such meetings or reunions of members, with a simple 
and unpretentious local organization for their conduct, 
seem to approach most nearly to ideal conditions. In 
some places, however, the idea of a Section of the So- 
ciety seems to be preferred, and under this name the 
gatherings are held in St. Louis, San Francisco and Cin- 
cinnati. It does not seem material what name is used, 
provided the safeguards are present, and the future may 
manifest all geographical groups operated under the 
legislation for sections. If the principle of benefiting 
all by the activities of one section is lived up to, the 
geographical groups or sections should be the occasions 
of great professional strengthening of the Society, since 
papers procured by a section for itself will be read after- 
wards in other sections and discussed therefore with a 
national breadth of treatment most stimulating to think 
of. The Journal of the Society will be the organ and 
channel for such wide distribution of the papers of the 
sections. The one important view is to keep from con- 
sidering the Society as an aggregate of self-seeking 
sections. The Society as a unit may subdivide for the 
purpose of convenient activity in smaller bodies, but the 
integrity and unity of the whole is a philosophic princi- 
ple to be maintained. 

Under this same head as the geographical groups, will 
be brought by logic and by polity the meetings and the 
organizations under the Student Branches of the Society. 
These are exactly like the local sections, with the limita- 
tion that the executive control and the territorial resi- 
dence attach to engineering schools of recognized stand- 
ing, and the meetings are primarily meetings of their 
students. Student members pay an annual fee of $2, to 
cover the expenses of their connection to the Society 
and a subscription to The Journal. The Student organi- 
zation in many cases is the existing engineering society, 
and The American Society of Mechanical Engineers only 
requires the privilege of approving the by-laws of such 
organization if its members are otherwise eligible. The 
graduate may retain student privileges for two years 




PRESIDENT 1911 



THEAMERICAN SOCIETY Of MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 293 

after graduation, but must thereafter become a Junior 
Member if he desires to retain an organic relation to 
the Society. Thirty-five Student Branches have been 
formed, with an enrollment soon to reach 1000 names. 
The list is subject to growth each year, but at the moment 
of writing includes the following: Armour Institute of 
Technology, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Case 
School of Applied Science, Columbia University, Cornell 
University, Kansas State Agricultural College, Lehigh 
University, Leland Stanford Jr. University, Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, 
Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State College, 
Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Purdue University, 
Eensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The State Agricultural 
College of Colorado, State University of Iowa, State 
University of Kentucky, Stevens Institute of Technology, 
Syracuse University, Throop College of Technology, 
University of Arkansas, University of California, Uni- 
versity of Cincinnati, University of Colorado, University 
of Illinois, University of Kansas, University of Maine, 
University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Uni- 
versity of Missouri, University of Nebraska, University 
of Wisconsin, Washington University, Worcester Poly- 
technic Institute, Yale University. 

A second grouping of the elected members of the So- 
ciety is into the professional sections. These are formed 
of members interested in a subject or a department of 
mechanical engineering, desirous of securing and dis- 
cussing papers on a single topic or on a series of topics 
related to one professional line of work or achievement. 
Their organization for this purpose may be simple or 
more complex. In the simple organization and the one 
to be preferred, they are a voluntary body, with an execu- 
tive committee to manage their affairs, and with no dues 
and little or no expense outside of that which the Secre- 
tary's office incurs for all members in the procuring of 
papers to be read, their printing and publication and 
distribution, and the holding of occasional special ses- 
sions at conventions or at other times. The Council asks 



294 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

only that it may control the personnel of such an execu- 
tive committee, and that all expenditure be made through 
the Secretary and with his approval and provided for in 
the annual budget. The more complex organization ap- 
proaches to that of an engineering society, with commit- 
tees and its own officers, perhaps also with a procedure 
of election of members and officers, and an increased 
outlay for the more elaborate routine of management. 
In the carrying out of the simpler plan, the committees 
of the Society in charge of special topics are sections of 
the professional class, and will be so developed by pro- 
cedure and legislation. The Gas Power Section is being 
so handled that it will gradually be transformed into a 
body of simpler organization and conduct, but practically 
autonomous under its own executive committee. 

Professional sections, active and full of energy, are of 
the greatest practical professional significance to the So- 
ciety. They secure specialized papers, they procure live 
discussions, and they bring into touch with the Society, 
its work and its excellencies, persons who perhaps other- 
wise could not have been interested in it. 

A fourth group of persons who are brought together 
to serve and benefit the Society and be themselves bene- 
fited are included under the term Affiliates, and their 
relation is that of affiliation with The American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers. They are of two classes, af- 
filiated societies, and affiliate members. 

An affiliated Society is one with which the Society 
has the right and privilege of an interchange of pro- 
fessional papers. Any society may have, publish and 
present, any of their papers at a meeting for discussion ; 
conversely, the affiliated society may take Society papers 
published in The Journal for reading and discussion. 
Valuable discussion is also the property of both parties 
to the affiliation. This policy enables the Society to be 
of material benefit to organizations, the scope of mem- 
bership of which makes the securing of papers for its 
meetings not always a simple or a practical process ; and 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 295 

the Society broadens enormously the area from which it 
may draw papers, data and significant discussion. 

The affiliate member is not usually a member of an 
engineering society, who desires or is desired to take 
part as by right in any engineering meeting of group or 
section or branch, either in presenting papers or discuss- 
ing those of others, or who feels it to be to his advantage 
to support the work of such an organization without 
going through the process of election as a member of 
the national society. His experience or age may not 
qualify him for a regular grade, yet his cooperation and 
participation will be most valuable in the work of the 
section, for example. Again others, self-distrustful as 
to the acceptability of their experience as qualifying 
them for a regular membership, may like to become 
affiliates first as a stepping-stone to the full members' 
relations. From whatever cause the hesitation may come 
or the delay in seeking full membership by parties 
eligible, the affiliate relation is believed to strengthen 
the Society on the one hand, and to be of service to its 
holder on the other. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
HiSTOKic Gifts to the Society 

Reference has been made in an earlier chapter to the 
fact that when the Society moved into its house at 12 
West 31st Street and into an assembly hall which had 
been decorated with numerous life-sized portraits of 
eminent practitioners in medicine, the first feeling of 
those who dwelt in the house and made use of it was that 
these bare walls must be covered with memorials of those 
whom the profession of mechanical engineering de- 
lighted to honor. It was a significant fact voiced by Dr. 
James C. Bayles in presenting the portrait of his friend, 
Alexander L. HoUey, that he hoped the gift of this oil 
portrait would be the first in a long line of similar gifts 
which would make the assembly hall of The American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers a sort of pantheon or 
hall of fame, on whose walls the portraits of eminent 
engineers would group themselves as the years went by. 

It was along this line that the first effort to secure 
gifts for the Society shaped itself, in the direction of 
securing the portraits of those two deceased members 
who had been recognized by the Council as founders of 
the Society and made Honorary Members in perpetuity. 

In reviewing the history of gifts to the Society, it 
would perhaps be more convenient to disregard the 
existence of historic succession, and to group the gifts 
to the Society rather along the line of their character and 
significance. Reference has been made elsewhere to 
many of these gifts as signalizing the administration of 
the President of that year, so that the historic and 
chronological features can be easily traced. On this 
principle the gifts to the Society will be grouped in the 
following classes: (a) portraits of eminent members, 

206 




PRESIDENT 1912 

OF 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 297 

including busts; (h) equipment for the house and head- 
quarters; (c) material having historic associations; {d) 
miscellaneous. 

PORTRAITS 

(1) A portrait in pastel of Prof. W. J. M. Rankine. 
This was picked up by the Secretary in 1889 in Glasgow 
and was considered by all who remembered Professor 
Bankine as a splendid likeness. It was life size and was 
the first portrait on the walls of the assembly hall. 

Professor Rankine was the author of the textbooks 
used by most early engineers and which have remained 
classics to this day, although superseded by simpler 
treatises which are more easily used in teaching. Pro- 
fessor Rankine worked out much of the computations 
made for the early compound steamship engines built 
on the Clyde. 

(2) An oil portrait of Mr. Alexander L. Holley, 
founder of the Society. This was the gift of his widow, 
who had become Mrs. Bunker. It was presented with 
appropriate ceremony, the address being made by the 
late Dr. J. C. Bayles, an intimate friend and associate of 
Mr. Holley. 

(3) An oil portrait of Mr. Henry R. Worthington. 
This was presented by his son, Mr. C. C. Worthington. 

(4) An oil portrait of Mr. Jos. Harrison, Jr. Mr, 
Harrison was the designer of the oast-iron sectional 
boiler which had considerable vogue, and also was known 
for his work in connection with the equalizing system of 
spring levers in locomotives and other similar work. The 
portrait was the gift of his nephew, Mr. Henry H. Suplee. 

(5) An oil portrait of Robert Fulton, alleged by its 
donor to have been painted by Fulton himself at the time 
he was a portrait painter by profession. The portrait 
had been bought by Mr. Alanson A. Gary and kept in his 
library, until the breaking up of the home induced his 
widow to make a gift of the picture to the Society. 

(6) An oil portrait of Dr. Franz Reuleaux. This 
was painted from original sittings by Miss Suplee and 



298 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

presented to the Society through her brother, Henry 
Harrison Suplee. 

(7) An oil portrait of Mr. J. F. Hollo way. This was 
painted from photographs after the death of the subject 
and was never considered as successful as the subscribers 
to the fund had hoped it would be. 

(8) An oil portrait of Prof. John E. Sweet, Past- 
President, later Honorary Member. This portrait was 
the gift of Mr. Ambrose Swasey. It was unveiled 
after a presentation address by Mr. Chas. Wallace Hunt. 

(9) An oil portrait, three-quarters length, of Mr. 
John Fritz, Past-President and Honorary Member. This 
was a gift from Mr. Fritz which he had not intended 
should be made until after his death, but he was per- 
suaded, sorely against his will, by a group of his friends 
to allow it to come into the Society's possession, so as 
to have the pleasure of it while he was still alive. 

(10) An oil painting of Sir Isaac Newton, copied 
from the original in the National Portrait Gallery in 
London. 

(11) A similar oil portrait of James Watt. 

(12) Oil portrait of George Stephenson, similarly a 
copy of the London original. These three copies were 
presented to the Society by a syndicate of Past-Presi- 
dents, among whom were Messrs. Swasey, Dodge and 
others, and were copies made in London by Miss Suplee. 
They are among the most cherished possessions in their 
class, which the Society is proud to exhibit upon its walls. 

(13) A crayon enlargement from a photographic 
original of the late John C. Hoadley. This was pre- 
sented by the family of Mr. Hoadley and through the 
active cooperation of his son, Francis W. Hoadley. Mr. 
Hoadley had been a notable figure in the generation about 
to pass away as the Society was formed. He had ex- 
hibited at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 a form of 
engine in which the governing was effected from re- 
volving weights in the plane of the flywheel and was the 
initial type of the single valve automatic engine. His 
priority in this field is disputed only in England, where 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETy 2W 

the governor of Hartnell is claimed to embody the same 
ideas. 

(14) Oil portrait of John Ericsson. This was found 
by the Secretary of the Society in the collection of a 
dealer of antiques on the upper East Side and was bought 
and turned over to the Society. It was recognized by 
those who had known Captain Ericsson as a portrait that 
had hung in his parlor in Beach Street, New York, and 
later, on a visit of the artist Ballin, was recognized as 
executed by himself. It needed only retouching and re- 
pairs to the frame to be made a distinguished possession 
of the Society. 

(15) An oil portrait from an enlargement made after 
death from a smaller photograph of the late George H. 
Corliss and presented to the Society by his widow and 
his estate. Mr. Corliss was asked by the Society to be 
its first President and previous to its formation had had 
a position in steam engineering which was unique and 
distinguished. 

(16) A photographic reproduction of the National 
Portrait Gallery original of the portrait of James Watt. 
This was hung in a niche, formed when the shelving 
of the library gallery was installed for the portrait of 
the donor of the building to the New York Academy of 
Medicine. It retained its position all through the sixteen 
years of Society life in that building, even when the oil 
copy from the original was placed in the assembly hall 
below. 

(17) A bust in plaster of Captain John Ericsson, pre- 
sented with its ornate pedestal by Mr. James M. Dodge. 
This was a copy from an original made in Ericsson's 
early life which had stood in the library of Mr. Dodge's 
uncle, Mr. Mapes. The Society had it reproduced in 
bronze and has both the original plaster and the bronze 
reproduction in its present building. 

(18) A marble bust of the late Joseph Nason, with 
its pedestal. This was the gift of his distinguished son, 
Mr. Carleton W. Nason, who succeeded his father in 
business and who was greatly interested in the Society's 



300 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

work up to the time of his death. He was active in add- 
ing noteworthy memorials of interest to the Society house 
and in the early reunions. 

(19) A bust in plaster of James Watt, but colored 
black, a replica from a Scotch original, reduced in size 
and presented by Mr. Erwin Graves. This bust was on 
the mantlepiece of the 31st Street house for many years.^ 

(20) A bronze relief tablet, executed by H. A. Ma( 
Neil, in memorial of Prof. Robert H. Thurston, fin 
President of the Society, It is a replica from an original 
at Cornell University, and was secured by a subscription 
started shortly after Dr. Thurston's death, particularly 
from alumni of Stevens Institute, by the energy of Mr. 
Gus C Henning and an interested committee. The first 
offerings in the form of a bust were rejected as unsatis- 
factory. The present most pleasing form was secured 
by permission from the Alumni Association of Cornell. 
The bronze was unveiled in 1909 by Dr. A. C. Humphreys 
as chairman of the reorganized memorial committee, and 
accepted by President E. D. Meier. 

EQUIPMENT 

In the collection classed as gifts to the Society for the 
equipment of its house and headquarters should be 
listed : 

(21) An oil painting representing a bold sea coast 
with the sea dashing against it. 

(22) A landscape showing a winter scene with snow 
upon the ground and a cold brook running between ice- 
bound banks. These oil paintings were the gift of an 
interested group of members for the decoration of the 
Society parlor in 31st Street and were bought by the 
Secretary at a clearing-out sale. They hung facing each 
other upon the walls of that parlor all through the time 
of its use. 

(23) A crayon showing a head of Minerva in heroic 
size. This was presented by the Secretary to fill a needed 
space. 

(24) A dining table of the colonial period, once the 




l^-^^^'l-'Ti.xy^-ty^L^^ 



PRESI DENT 19 I 3 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



A HISTOEY OF THE SOCIETY 301 

property of Robert Fulton. It was given by him to Miss 
Egleston, and by her to her brother, Prof. Thomas Egle- 
ston, who presented it to the Society. It was an extension 
table made with leaves which hung or dropped when such 
leaves were not in use, and consisted of a center section 
and two rounded ends. A brass plate was inserted into 
the table showing its history and passage through several 
owners. It is interesting to record that a lady, whose 
Southern home had been ravaged during the march of 
Sherman's army to the sea, visiting the house some years 
after the Society came into its possession, laid claim to 
the Fulton table as being her property and was quite in- 
sistent until she had been shown certain details of con- 
struction which she recognized as different from her 
original. The table belongs to the period at the end of 
the eighteenth century. It had been abused by common 
uses in the kitchen in the old Egleston home but was 
easily put in order and made a distinguished ornament. 

(25) The upright piano. This was the gift of mem- 
bers interested in the musical evenings of the first winter 
of occupancy of the 31st Street house and was a great 
source of pleasure to those who used the house as a home. 

(26) The John Fritz chiming hall clock. This is a 
handsome modern reproduction on antique lines of the 
tall clock of the colonial period, bearing an inscription on 
a silver plate: **0h! Time, deal gently with our loving 
friends, John and Ellen Fritz. August 21st, 1892, 
Bethlehem, Pa." It was presented to Mr. and Mrs. 
Fritz on the occasion of the celebration of Mr. Fritz's 
seventieth birthday at a large banquet given by his 
friends in Bethlehem, and was conveyed to the Society 
by his estate in 1913 after Mr. Fritz's death. It plays 
the Westminster chimes every quarter hour. 

(27) The memorial plaque presented by general sub- 
scription to Rear- Admiral Geo. W. Melville on the occa- 
sion of his seventieth birthday. It is of silver inscribed 
and mounted in a frame. The recipient asked that the 
Society might preserve it after his death, which occurred 
in February 1912. 



302 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

(28) Illuminated addresses of welcome, presented to 
the Society by guests from European countries who had 
been entertained by the Society, or on the occasion of 
such visits by the Society outside of the United States. 

(29) A photograph of Sir Henry Bessemer. 

(30) A photograph of Mr. Eckley B. Coxe. 

(31) A photograph of Mr. Chas. H. Haswell, first 
engineer-in-chief of the United States Navy, and 
Honorary Member of the Society. These three are the 
nucleus of a collection, prepared under the Secretary and 
House Committee in 1911-1912 to include all the Honor- 
ary Members and the Past-Presidents of the Society. 

(32) A combination instrument thermometer and 
barometer belonging to the estate of the late Mr. W. F. 
Durfee. This stood on the mantlepiece of the Society 
parlor on 31st Street for many years. 

HISTORIC 

In the group of material having a distinctly historic 
outlook come the following articles: 

(33) A drawing of the date of 1813, showing the 
steamer Robert Fulton with design of the engine and 
some historic data concerning the boat. This was auto- 
graphed by Robert Fulton, although, of course, it is 
not known whether he drew it himself or had it drawn 
for him. It was the gift of Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler 
and was one of the most interesting and valuable historic 
elements of the growing Fulton memorabilia in the So- 
ciety's possession after an entertainment had been given 
with Robert Fulton and his achievements as the central 
features. These had great significance at the time of the 
Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New York in 1909. 

(34) A water color drawing, also autographed by 
Robert Fulton and probably an original by him, illustrat- 
ing the carriage of a canal by an aqueduct over a ravine 
and in which the power for the boat was derived by the 
overflow of water from the canal. This was the gift of 
Miss Cornelia J. Carll. 

(35) A model of the Ericsson Monitor, on a scale of 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 303 

one-quarter of an inch to the foot. This was presented 
to the Society by Thomas F. Rowland and his associates 
of the Continental Iron Works at Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 
in the shipyard of which company the hull of the Moni- 
tor had been constructed. The model was suspended 
under the Ericsson portrait for many years. 

(36) A model of the steam yacht Reverie, made from 
the designs of Mr. G. W. Hillman for Mr. Stephen Wil- 
cox. When the yacht ceases to be in existence it will be- 
come a historical model. The model has been loaned to 
the later owner of the vessel, Mr. A. F. Hoxie. 

(37) A photograph of the first Straight Line engine 
constructed by Professor Sweet in his works at Syra- 
cuse, showing the engine body and details of the shaft 
governor. This was presented by R. H. Davis and is 
exhibited under a yellow glass, with the hope that the 
use of a non-actinic medium may prevent the fading 
of so valuable an original. 

(38) The first hydraulic jack made by the late Mr. 
Dudgeon, to illustrate the principle of that machine. 
This was a gift from Mr. F. H. Stillman. 

(39) A lathe tool such as was used by the early me- 
chanics before the invention of the mechanically operated 
tool carriage and used in all work of engine turning, 
screw cutting and the like. This tool had been known 
and used by John Fritz in his apprenticeship and was 
steadied by having its wooden handle long enough to go 
under the arm of the worker while he controlled the 
point with both hands. 

(40) A silver cup presented to Captain Ericsson 
after the success of his Monitor by those who recognized 
the debt which the nation owed to him when the Monitor 
prevented the entire United States Navy from oblitera- 
tion. This was a permanent loan, equivalent to a gift 
from Mr. Ericsson Bushnell. 

(41) A specimen of boiler scale taken in the rough 
from the water tube of a marine boiler of 1876, and cut 
into its present form and presented by Mr. Charles H. 



304 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEES 

Haswell. The sample of scale is about two inches thick 
and is as hard as rock. 

(42) A sample of armor plate, showing the marks of 
shell impact, taken from a monitor which was cut up by 
the Tredegar Iron Works of Eichmond. Presented to 
the Society by Colonel W. E. Archer. 

(43) A set of Whitworth plug and ring gages, 
brought from England about 1856 and used by Mr. Aaron 
M. Freeland for many years in his shops in New York 
City. These were probably the first set of gages to be 
used in this country. The gift was received from the 
Ingersoll-Eand Company. 

(44) A similar set of Whitworth gages for screws. 

(45) A most valuable set of models to illustrate the 
inventions and experiments of Captain Ericsson in con- 
nection with his work on the hot air engine and solar 
motor, and other objects of his inventive capacity. These 
were presented by his executors to the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art in New York City because at the time 
of his death there seemed to be no appropriate place 
where they could be preserved. By arrangement with 
the executors of Captain Ericsson's estate and the 
trustees of the Metropolitan Art Museum, this set of 
models and the case containing them were presented to 
the Society and are exhibited in the United Engineering 
Society's fireproof building. 

(46) By the generosity of Mr. Stephen W. Baldwin 
and some other friends of the late Mr. J. C. Hoadley, a 
large proportion of his apparatus for testing boilers and 
engines was purchased from his estate and presented to 
the Society. Some of the elements of this gift were so 
valuable that one by one they were stolen from the So- 
ciety's collections. Others which had no great value 
were loaned to members of the Society and to university 
laboratories, where they still remain. Others are still 
in use in the Society's offices. 

(47) A pair of Novelty Iron Works or Stillman in- 
dicators of the James Watt design, with no lever-multi- 
plication for the pencil motion. Presented by Mr. John 



A HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY 806 

C. Kafer, then engineer with the Morgan Iron Works of 
John Eoach's Sons, which had bought out much of the 
tools and other property of the Franklin Forge and the 
Novelty Iron Works of New York. 

(48) A gear cutter of 1848, made and used at the 
works of Russell, Birdsall and Ward, Port Chester, 
N. Y., presented by Mr. A. D. Finley of the Society. The 
cutter was formed on a lathe by hand tools and the teeth 
were cut by a file. Most of the work was chipped by 
chisel and finished by a file, as the works had no planer 
or shaper for this class of work. The machine was de- 
signed by Mr. W. E. Ward, former member, and used 
under his supervision. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

In the miscellaneous collection of gifts which are not 
historic are the following : 

(49) A set of Pratt and Whitney gages for standard 
machine screw threads. 

(50) A model made by the Pratt and Whitney Company 
of the breech loading gun, known as the Long Cecil and 
made in Kimberly, South Africa, during a siege of 
1899-1900 in the absence of any adequate tools or ma- 
chinery for such manufacture. Presented by the Pratt 
and Whitney Company. 

(51) A model of the Buckeye steam engine showing 
its characteristic valve gear with a double movement. 

Among the miscellaneous gifts also should be men- 
tioned a copy of the special book prepared by Captain 
Ericsson at the time of the Centennial ExMbition in 
1876, when certain models and machinery which he had 
desired to exhibit were refused for reasons which seemed 
inadequate to him. Only a few copies of this publication 
are in existence and this copy was presented to the So- 
ciety by Mr. A. H. Raynal. 

The collection of unique books in the Durfee library 
with the enclosing book cases are not a gift, but should 
properly be listed among the material the Society pos- 
sesses which is of unique value. 



306 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

Photograplis from the Walker Manufacturing Com- 
pany of the cable railway machinery which they manu- 
factured previous to the supplanting of cable motive 
power by the electric motor system. These units are 
already historic. 

Photographs or other reproductions of the achieve- 
ments of members in pumping engines, steam engines 
and other mechanical creations. 

If it should come to pass in the future that room 
should be found for anything approaching an adequate 
engineering museum, the collection of apparatus ac- 
cumulated by the Society during its years of formation 
will be of the greatest significance. Americans have 
been so busy creating new elements that historic forms 
are turned out and find their way to the scrap heap before 
their real historic value is realized. There is at Columbia 
University the original single valve automatic engine 
made by Mr. J. C. Hoadley, exhibited at the Centennial 
Exposition in 1876. There is also an exhibit of the 
Ericsson hot air engine of his early design. Unfortu- 
nately there is no room for their adequate display and 
their existence is unknown to many. A museum for such 
historic specimens exists in Munich, Germany, and it is 
greatly to be desired that a similar undertaking should 
be begun at once in the United States. 





^TL^^^vL^ — c--»-<3 



PRESIDENT 1914- 



HE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



CHAPTEE XIX 

Peizes and Medals 

A further and important activity in the Society has 
been stimulated by the gift of generous and far-seeing 
members, either by deed of gift in theiK lifetime, or by 
bequest in their will. These funds are held in trust by 
the Society, the income to be devoted to stimulating 
activity in a chosen direction. 

The first of these are two prize funds of $1000 each 
given by Mr. Henry Hess, a Vice-President of the So 
ciety. The first is for a prize for the best paper by a 
Junior member of the Society. The second is for the two 
members of Student Branches of the Society who shall 
contribute the best papers in any year. It is the purpose 
of these funds that they should be of valuable aid to the 
young engineer, to make it possible for him to undertake 
original work and present the results of such investiga- 
tion in well-considered papers. The decision of award is 
made by three members of the Society, not members of 
the Council but appointed by that body, and including 
one member of the Committee on Meetings. The prize is 
to consist of $50 in cash and an engraved certificate 
signed by the President and Secretary and shall be 
awarded only in case the paper in competition is ad- 
judged to be of sufficient merit as a contribution to the 
literature of the profession. 

The committee on award for the prizes for Student 
Branches is to consist of three, one of whom shall be the 
Chairman of the Committee on Student Branches. The 
honorary presidents of the Student Branches shall act as 
advisory members to the Committee on Award. Each 
prize of the two given to students shall consist of $25 

307 



308 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

each in cash, with an engraved certificate signed by the 
President and Secretary of the Society. 

Rear- Admiral George W. Melville, Past-President of 
the Society and Honorary Member, created by will a 
trust fund to be held by the Society, the income to be de- 
voted to a gold medal to be awarded by the Council for 
the best paper or thesis on any mechanical subject. It 
will be known as the Melville Medal, but the rules for its 
conferring have not been entirely formulated. 



CHAPTER XX. 

The John Fritz Medal 
United Engineebing Society 

In addition to these activities wMch are purely per- 
sonal, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
has united with other bodies for the joint prosecution of 
matters of common interest. The first of these is in the 
consideration and awarding of the John Fritz Medal. 
The second is its participation in the United Engineer- 
ing Society. 

The John Fritz Medal is a gold medal presented for 
achievement in applied science, as a memorial to the 
great engineer whose name it bears. In 1892, just after 
Mr. Fritz 's seventieth birthday, a number of his friends, 
representing membership in all the engineering so- 
cieties, united to tender him a dinner in celebration of 
his birthday. The dinner was held in the opera house of 
Bethlehem, Pa., Mr, Fritz's home city and the affection- 
ate devotion of all who were assembled centered in a 
mock trial after the banquet. The victim was accused 
of having made the City of Bethlehem a place where 
grass no longer grew between the stones in the streets 
and a place where the meadow by the river had no 
longer an opportunity to feed the common or bucolic 
pig because of the enormous production of pigs of an- 
other sort which was a feature of that area. He had, it 
was alleged, made hollow forgings so that the content of 
phosphorus might escape through the hollow of the man- 
dril through which they were forged, and there were 
other high misdemeanors of success with which he was 
charged. 

In 1902 when his eightieth birthday was approaching, 
the idea of a similar celebration and social event was 

309 



310 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

canvassed, but in view of the merely temporary and 
eifervescent character of such a celebration, there was 
born the larger concept of a fund, to be subscribed by the 
same persons who would attend such a dinner, the income 
to be used in creating each year a John Fritz Medal for 
scientific and industrial achievement in any field of pure 
or applied science. The idea was received with acclaim 
and the fund necessary was raised in a very short time. 
The names of subscribers to the fund are on record in an 
album which the executors of Mr. Fritz have turned over 
to the Society for safekeeping. A committee was ap- 
pointed consisting of representatives from The Amer- 
ican Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American So- 
ciety of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Min- 
ing Engineers and the American Insitute of Electrical 
Engineers. This Committee secured an appropriate 
design of a medal by Mr. Victor D. Brenner and the first „ 
impression from the artist's design was cast and given I 
to Mr. Fritz himself, at an important dinner held in the 
Waldorf Hotel, New York, which strained the capacity 
of the great ballroom to its limit. After the die of the 
medal had been completed, the Committee which had 
been appointed by the several societies was continued as 
the John Fritz Medal Fund Corporation. Four members 
from each of the engineering societies named above are 
appointed by the governing board of such society to 
serve for four years. The medal has been awarded to 
John Fritz, Lord Kelvin of England, George Westing- 
house, Alfred Noble, Charles T. Porter, Sir Wm. H. 
White of England, Thomas A. Edison, Alexander 
Graham Bell, Robert W. Hunt, John E. Sweet and James 
Douglas. The representatives on the John Fritz Medal 
Board have been Messrs. Ambrose Swasey, Henry R. 
Towne, John R. Freeman, W. F. M. Goss, F. R. Hutton 
and John A. Brashear. 

The United Engineering Society is the name which 
has been given to the Board of Trustees which represents 
the three founder societies named in Mr. Andrew Car- 
negie 's deed of gift of the sum to build a union building. 




PRESIDENT 1915 



THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



I 



A HISTOBY OF THE SOCIETY 311 

The conference committee named in 1904 to confer with 
the representatives of the other societies hecame the 
building committee after the special charter was granted 
and the plans of the building were to be decided upon. 
The building committee again became the representa- 
tives of the Society on the Board of Trustees and under 
the charter granted by the State of New York for the 
control of that building. The first members were Messrs. 
James M. Dodge, Charles Wallace Hunt and F. R. 
Hutton. These served two terms. Subsequently, Messrs. 
Jesse M. Smith, Fred J. Miller and Alex. C. Humphreys 
have been chosen Trustees and Prof. F. R. Hutton has 
been Secretary of the Board by successive re-election 
under its by-laws. The Board of Trustees consists of 
nine members, three appointed from each of the three 
founder societies and each to serve for three years. It 
is their province to conduct the building in the interests 
of the founder and associate societies, to build up the 
engineering library and to foster and favor the interests 
of the engineering profession in every appropriate way. 
The Board has been made the custodian of the funds 
given by Mr. Ambrose Swasey in 1914-1915 to establish 
The Engineering Foundation, and its organization and 
functions are emphatically suggestive of the tendency 
towards unity and cooperation for the common good in 
the various branches of the profession of engineering. 



APPENDIX 

It has been thought desirable that the address of 
Prof. F. E. Hutton on retiring from the presidency 
in 1907 should appear as an appendix to the volume of 
the Society History. It was delivered as the results of 
his many years of study and effort in the work of admin- 
istration of an engineering society and covering discus- 
sions of certain philosophies of which the History gives 
only a summary treatment. It gives also the lines of de- 
velopment of the profession of mechanical engineering in 
the thirty years since the date of the HoUey address in 
the field of mechanical engineering, as he then saw it 
in 1880. 



12 



THE MECHANICAL ENGINEER AND THE 
FUNCTION OF THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY 

President's Address. 1907 
By prof. F. R. HUTTON, E. M., Ph. D., Sc. D., NEW YORK 

The convening of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers for 
its Annual Meeting in the splendid building devoted to the needs and uses 
of such a Society and for the first time in such surroundings makes it seem 
fitting that the opening address of the meeting should consider the duty 
and function of the engineering society in its relation to the profession 
which underlies it. The speaker takes special pleasure in availing himself 
of this opportunity by reason of the many years of his service to such a 
Society and of the close touch permitted to him for this reason with the 
problems which the topic presents. 

It would be an attractive possibility to consider the wide range of the 
Engineering Societies as they are grouped under the roof of this Engi- 
neering Building, and to discuss their functions with respect both to their 
own specialties and to the profession as a whole. This woxild open up the 
possibilities of the building and the significance of it as a gift to our 
profession in a way which would be both stimulating and suggestive; and 
would present the greatness of the thought in the mind of its donor in a 
way to make it remembered. But the limitations in space and time and 
the proprieties of the case make it appear fitting to confine consideration to 
the one field of the Mechanical Engineer, and to the function of The 
American Society which bears his name. This simplifies the questions into 
two: What is the mechanical engineer at the opening of the twentieth 
century; and, what are the duties and functions of an American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers to that branch of the profession? This latter logically 
divides into two sections ; the duty of the Society to those without its 
membership ; and the duty of the Society to those enrolled within it. 

In seeking a defensible definition of the mechanical engineer in these days, 
which are those of specialization on the one hand and of broadening scope 
upon the other, there are several courses open. The first and obvious one is to 
rest upon authority and inheritance and to follow recorded standards whicl? 



Presented at the New York Meeting (December 1907) of The American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers, and forming part of Volume 29 of the 
Transactions. 

313 






314 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

have some vogue or acceptance. The second is to gain definiteness of 
thought by differentiating the mechanical engineer from other specialists by 
noting what lines of professional activity are not his; and the third will be 
to scrutinize the list of membership in the Society and so dividing the 
members into groups to generalize therefrom as to what the man is doing v 
who is or claims to be a mechanical engineer. 

In turning to the historical definition, or that which has its authority i 
from long usage, the stately language of Tredgold of England always 
claims first place as of right. At a meeting of the CouncU of the Institution 
of Civil Engineers of Great Britain on December 29, 1827, Mr. Tredgold, 
Honorary Member of the Institution, was requested by resolution to ' ' give 
a description of what a Civil Engineer is," in order that this description 
might be embodied in the petition for a charter for such a body. Mr. 
Tredgold 's historic definition is: 

"Civil Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power 
in Nature for the use and convenience of man." He amplifies this by 
adding that it is a practical application of the most important principles 
of natural law, and has among its objects that of improving the means of 
production and of traffic for external and internal trade, such applications 
being directed to the construction and management of roads, bridges, 
railroads, aqueducts, canals, river navigation, docks and store houses, ports, 
harbors, breakwaters, moles and lighthouses. He includes also the pro- 
tection of property from injury by natural forces, as in the defense of 
tracts of land from encroachments by sea or rivers: the direction of 
streams and rivers for use either as powers to work machines or as supplies 
for towns or for irrigation, as well as the removal of noxious accumulations 
as by drainage. He touches also upon navigation by artificial power for 
the purposes of commerce, and adds that the scope of utility of engineering 
will be increased with every discovery in natural law and physics, and its 
resources with every invention in mechanical and chemical art. The Charter 
of the Institution repeats the Tredgold wording, and describes the profes- 
sion of the civil engineer as "the art of directing the great sources of 
power in nature for the use and convenience of man, as the means of 
production and of traffic in states both for external and internal trade as 
applied in the construction of roads and bridges, aqueducts, canals, river 
navigation and docks for internal intercource and exchange and in the 
construction and adaptation of machinery and in the drainage of cites and 
towns. ' ' 

In comment upon this definition it may be observed: 
a It should receive the respectful homage which is due to a great achieve- 
ment. Its breadth and comprehensiveness show us how great was the 
man who created it, and so early in our industrial history. By suitably 
extending the meaning of its terms and by reading into them the fuller 
significances of the later years, the definition is still defensible for 
what it can be made to cover. We have not outgrown it yet, by any 
means. 



APPENDIX 315 

h It should be regarded as a definition of engineering in its broad and 
comprehensive sense, and should not be used to apply only to that 
specialized department of the profession to which in America the 
term civil engineering is applied in education and in popular use. 
What Mr. Tredgold meant was the profession of the civilian practi- 
tioner of engineering, as distinguished from the military engineer, the 
latter being concerned with the special problems of the fortress and 
the work of the army. The civilian and the military engineer have 
much the same problems in any case, and the military engineer in the 
field of ordnance becomes perforce a mechanical engineer of high 
order,* but the purpose of the Tredgold definition was to form the 
basis of a character for an organization of civilians as differentiated 
from employees of the British Government in their own engineering 
field; and the qualifying word applied to the engineer should be so 
understood in the light of its purpose. 

c In the third place it should be noted that this definition of engineering 
as practised by the civilian was given in the infancy or at the birth 
of the modern industrial epoch in which we are now living. This con- 
stitutes an element of the admiration we must feel for the greatness 
of its creator, that under these conditions he should have seen so far; 
but the fact is also responsible for the limitations which are suggested 
by it and which must be removed in the light of our present clearer 
vision. The year 1827 was two years in advance of the competition at 
Eainhill where Stephenson won fame for the solution of the motive 
power problem of the railway: the first power driven steamboats on 
the Thames had been struggling against the tides only since 1813, and 
Dr. Dionysius Lardner had convinced all conservatives that the con- 
sumption of fuel as the standard then existed would preclude all suc- 
cessful working of long distance marine service such as across the 
Atlantic Ocean or around the Cape. The machine tool was stUl a small 
thing, whose tools were held by hand to the work to be done. Engi- 
neers were highly pleased when the fit of the engine-piston in the bore 
of the cylinder was so close that "at no point in its circumference or 
traverse could you drop a shilling through the space between the two." 
The mining of England whUe important relatively was yet limited for 
lack of shaft-machinery and was largely or entirely carried on by mine- 
bosses of experience. Faraday had yet four years to labor before he 
made his historic discovery of the electric current induced by motion 
before the pole of the magnet. The metallurgist and chemical engineer 
could only come into being when the needs of a community, built upon 
industrial production with cheap power at its base, should have called 
for him. What did exist were mills driven by water-power: the iron 
works built upon the puddling and rolling processes originated by 
Henry Cort, and the achievements of Boulton and Watt in respect to 



^See paper by Brigadier General William Crozier, p. 65, vol. 29. 



816 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

stationary steam engines. Nasmyth with the steam hammer and the 
large machine tool were still in the future; but most of all and most 
significant of all from the present point of view, the idea of manu- 
facturing or production upon a large scale, in factories or shops where 
great groups of productive machinery were gathered together to be 
served by a common source of mechanical power had not yet been born. 
The industrial commimity or civilization made possible and present by 
the combined achievement of the physicist, the mechanical engineer and 
the electrical engineer, in whose power house and from it are liberated, 
generated and transmitted the vast volumes now in use of industrial 
energy is truly dependent upon the powers of nature controlled and 
directed by engineers. The implication is however that these forces of 
nature are in existence and active and are awaiting control and di- 
rection. The definition is silent upon that group of engineers concerned 
with the liberation, the generation and the transmission of forces which 
are potential and are not realized in nature until in accordance with 
natural law some engineer has caused them to appear. 

d Again, it is only by a great stretching of the inclusive character of 
terms, that the expression ' ' powers of nature ' ' can be made to include 
the forces which are economic or social or psychological in their 
application, and which come into play for control and direction when 
production on a large scale is under consideration, and large numbers 
of human beings become the organs or implements of the factory as 
a tool for production. The aggregation of power, machinery and 
producers is a unit; it is to be created, organized and operated for an 
end. By whom? The ordinary commercial or financial or business 
training alone is not adequate for proper direction and control: the 
learned professions of law, medicine or divinity are not suggested for 
the purpose; but as the engineer has created the plant in its physical 
aspects, he would seem the proper one to operate it in its industrial 
functions. The engineer has therefore become an economic factor as 
he was not conceived to be in that earlier day. The energies directed 
and controlled by such an engineer may only be included within the 
"powers of nature" by an effort which strains their meaning to the 
breaking point in unfriendly hands: he is yet a director or controller 
of forces, and of no insignificant type. 

e The inclusion of the powers of nature within the scope of the elements 
of the profession of engineering carries with it the utilizing of the 
resisting forces created in the materials of engineering when such 
powers are exerted to deform them. Engineering, therefore, correctly 
covers the creation of structures to resist the dynamic action of forces, 
meeting by the principles of statics the impact or action of impressed 
energy. The definition might properly be extended, therefore, to cover 
both the adaptation of the physical properties of the materials of 
nature or manufacture to the withstanding of stress, and the direction 
and control of forces. 



APPENDIX 817 

/ Finally, he who commits himself to the splendid Tredgold definition must 
take its alleged defect with its excellency. It is that it includes as 
engineers not alone those who create and install apparatus to control 
and use the powers of nature, but those also who direct and control 
the machines or apparatus when created and installed. This will 
include those who may be called "coordinators of design," who take 
the boilers, engines, dynamos, condensing apparatus, piping and pumps 
which are on the market, and combine these into a consistent whole. 
They have not designed any of the units themselves, or created a new 
machine, but they have created a power house, and are utilizing the 
powers of nature for the use and convenience of man. Somewhat 
under the same category is he who receives the finished power house 
with all its units from the foregoing type of engineer and his allies, 
the contractors who have done the construction work, and is then and 
thereafter entrusted with this upkeep, repair and continuous operation. 
Such a man also directs and controls the powers of nature, albeit on a 
less exalted plane than the creator or designer or the coordinator. 
There are those who would make the coordinator appear as a mere 
purchasing agent, and the operator as a mere craftsman, and neither 
an engineer. I cannot agree with them, believing that their function 
calls for skill and acquirement of a high order. The historic definition 
unquestionably provides for them. 

g If the writer may modestly put forward a suggestion for a revision of 
the historic definition, he would word it: "The Engineer is he who 
by science and by art so adapts and applies the physical properties of 
matter and so controls and directs the forces which act through them 
as to serve the use and convenience of man, and to advance his economic 
and material welfare." 

h It may be of interest to add that the accepted dictionaries of the day, 
the Century and Standard, define the engineer as one versed or skilled 
in the principles and practice of any department or branch of engi- 
neering, deriving the word from older forms which means he who 
makes or uses an engine. Engineering is further explained as the 
science and art of making, building, or using machines and engines; 
or of designing and constructing public works or the like, requiring 
special knowledge of materials, machinery and the laws and principles 
of mechanics. Both give as a secondary meaning, one who runs or 
manages an engine. Both the French and the Germans avoid this 
latter double use of the word by calling the practitioner of this sort 
of engineering a machiniste or a maschinist. The French also have 
the word mechanicien. The dictionary phrases are a little hard on the 
mining engineer, for example, who is scarcely visible in the description. 

This leads up naturally to the differentiation of the mechanical engineer 

from those versed and skilled in other branches. 

In making the following classification it is obvious that unanimity 

cannot be secured from all as respects the number of branches to be 



318 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

recognized. With this apology and for the purpose in hand there are at 

least thirteen: 

a The mining engineer and his close ally, the metallurgical engineer, is 
concerned with the discovery and the winning and extraction from the 
earth of its buried treasures of oil, fuel and rock. He touches the 
geologist and mineralogist on one side of his functions, and the chemist 
upon the other. Midway he allies himself to the machanical engineer 
for the power to overcome his resistances and to the electrical engineer 
for its convenient transmission to the working point. If he concentrates 
his ore after winning it from the earth he calls again for his machinery 
upon the mechanical engineer. JEis profession passes at one limit into 
the craft of the quarryman; and the other, he calls on the art of the 
civil engineer for his tunnels and for his shafts; or the tunneling and 
shaft work of the civil engineer is done for him by the miner. The 
metallurgical engineer who transforms the crude ore into marketable 
metal or into the merchant form or structural shape is allied to the 
chemist upon the one side for his processes and to the mechanical 
engineer upon the other for his machinery. The electrical engineer is 
more and more furnishing him the energy for conversion by heat 
through electrical channels, the mechanical engineer furnishing the 
latter his power. The mining engineer may be both miner and 
metallurgist. The iron and steel metallurgist is usually a mechanical 
engineer. 

6 The electrical engineer is primarily entrusted with the transformation of 
mechanical or chemical energy into electric form, and its transmission 
in that form to the point of use, where it will be again converted into 
some other shape. The electrical engineer has made his own the ques- 
tions of generating such electric energy for the solution of the problems 
of lighting, transportation of passengers by railway, and communication 
by telegraph and telephone. He touches the physicist in the realm 
outside his applications of science, and has the mechanical or hydraulic 
engineer next to him to supply mechanical energy to his generator, 
and the mechanical engineer beyond him, where his energy drives the 
tool, or operates the pump or the elevator. Where his energy is made 
to appear as high heat, he serves the metallurgist, the chemical engi- 
neer; where it appears as low heat or as light, he serves the individual 
members of the community directly, as he does in the problem of 
communicating speech. His field is very definite. 

c The naval engineer and marine architect is a specialized mechanical and 
structural engineer. His hull is a truss unsymmetrically loaded and 
variably supported: his motive power a definite yet widely diversified 
problem. He covers in addition a wide range of special problems when 
his vessel is also a club house or hotel, on the one hand, or a powerful 
fighting machine upon the other. 

d The military engineer must cover both the defensive and the offensive 
department of his avocation. On the one side he is a structural engi- 



APPENDIX 319 

neer, and the problems of effective transportation enter his field, which 
he therefore shares with what is usually called the civU engineer. On 
the side of attack, the problems of ordnance both for its construction 
and for its operation take him into the field of the mechanical engineer 
and electrical engineer, and his problems touch those of the physicist 
and the chemist and the mathematician on the research and theoretical 
side. In fact the problems of the military engineer are probably those 
in which the solutions offered by pure theory can be most directly 
utilized of any presented to the engineers, inasmuch as questions of 
cost and of financing are usually secondary for him. If the result is 
worth attaining at all, the national governments will always be among 
the most lavish spenders. 

e The chemical engineer is a new applicant at the door of professional 
recognition in certain quarters. He is the engineer in charge of pro- 
duction or manufacture where the process or the product, or both, are 
chiefly or entirely dependent upon the theories and practice of chem- 
istry. He shares his field with the metallurgical engineer as respects 
the manufacture of metals; he is a mechanical engineer as soon as the 
plant becomes large enough to warrant the application of power and 
machinery to the mechanical handling of his product. Gas-plants, 
sugar and oil refineries and the straight chemical manufacturing 
corporations call for such a man, whatever his designation. It would 
appear, however, that the normal tendency of growth and development 
in this field will be toward the utilization of two types of man. The 
one will be the chemist and the scientist; the other wUl be the me- 
chanical engineer and executive. It may easily happen that in the days 
of small things the two sets of duties may devolve upon one man; 
later on it will be found that the best qualifications for both duties 
will not be found in one individual, and the volume of duty becomes 
too great for one man to be effective in both. When separated, the 
cleavage wUl be along the above lines. 

/ The sanitary engineer is a specialist in hydraulic engineering in the 
applications of water supply and drainage as means to secure the well 
being of the community as respects its public health. His field expands 
from that of the wise precautions respecting the piping of the indi- 
vidual house, where he touches the craftsmanship of the plumber, up 
to the broadest problems of sewage disposal and utilization, and the 
healthful supply of potable water for cites, free from bacterial or 
inorganic pollution at its source or in transit. His co-workers are the 
bacteriologist and the physician. It would seem more serviceable 
however for the purpose in hand to group such men with what are 
hereafter to be called the civil engineers. 
The heating and ventilating engineers, making a specialty of the sanitary 
requirements of enclosed houses as respects their fresh and tempered 
air supply, are really sanitary engineers, having however an outlook 



320 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

and a relation to mechanical engineering in the appliances of their 
function rather than toward civil engineering. 

h The refrigerating engineer is concerned with the transformation of me- 
chanical or heat energy so as to lower the amount of such intrinsic 
energy in any material or apace. He is most unassailably a mechanical 
engineer. 

t The hydraulic engineer is of two groups. The one type concerned with 
the problems of the river or canal for navigation or for power with 
the dam and its accompanying details of water ways and controlling 
gate houses and sluices; and with the gravity storage and distribution 
by mains of the city water supply has plainly his outlook toward civil 
engineering. The other type, concerned with the water motor and its 
attached machinery for its operation; with the mechanical handling 
of water for city use or for power in industry, the designer of pumps 
and hydraulic utilization machinery has his outlook equally definite 
upon the field of the mechanical engineer. The future is likely to see 
this differentiation emphasized, the one class calling himself a civil 
and hydraulic engineer, and the other class a mechanical and hydraulic 
engineer. 

j The gas engineer has two sets of problems: The one is the intra-mural 
manufacture and storage of his product, where his functions are those 
of the chemical manufacturer, and he should be both chemical and me- 
chanical engineer; the other is the distribution problem for whose 
solution is required the skill and knowledge of a type which is unnamed, 
but which logically in parallel with the hydraulic engineer above, 
should be called the pneumatic (or gas) engineer. Industry has never 
stopped to be logical however, and the pneumatic engineer should be 
a name to suppress. The future wiU doubtless widen the scope of the 
gas engineer to cover the plants which make and use fuel gas for 
power and heating in units not so large as those on the municipal scale 
now in evidence for lighting mainly. Such creators and engineers for 
heat and power will plainly belong in the mechanical field. 

h There is no recognized gi'oup of engineers of transportation, or trans- 
portation engineers. Such a group obviously exists, however, whether 
or not the name is attached to an organization inclusive of all, or is 
in general use. Such are the engineers of motive power on the steam 
railways, with the master mechanics and the signal engineers and the 
operative class on locomotives; such are the street railway engineers; 
the car builders; the maintenance-of-way engineers, the bridge engi- 
neers, the engineers of floating equipment. From the bottom of the 
rail upwards, these have their outlook on mechanical or electrical engi- 
neering ; from the bottom of the rail downward, upon civil engineering. 
The foregoing grouping does not claim to be exhaustive nor inclusive 

of all subdivisions of engineers even so far as it has gone. The current 

activities of the Engineering Building reveal bodies of municipal engineers, 

of illuminating engineers, of engineers concerned in fire protection, and 



APPENDIX 321 

many others. But the purpose has been to clear the way for the separation 
of the two most closely allied in function and service, the civil and the 
mechanical engineer. The civil engineer is confessedly differentiated from 
the electrical and from the mining engineer: he has been more and more 
utilizing the achievements of the mechanical engineer, or the latter has been 
invading the former field of the civil engineer. 

It is plain that to the civil engineer belong as of right all problems 
relating to the canal, the lock, the river, the harbor, the dock, the sea-wall, 
the break-water, the highway, the aqueduct, the bridge, the viaduct, the 
retaining wall, the permanent way of the railway below the foot of the 
rail. He also has nearly the whole of the municipal problem in streets, 
sewage, distribution of water; the location of railways, with geodetic and 
other surveying are his. He has the foundation of structures in any event, 
but may have to share the roof and the skeleton steel frame with other 
specializations. Tunneling is usually done by civil engineers, although it 
was originally a mining engineers' prerogative. 

To the mechanical engineer on the other hand, belong as undoubtedly, 
and as of right the problems of the generation of power in power houses 
and power plants, and its transmission to the operative point unless this 
latter is done by electric means. It is a fair question, however, when the 
electrical engineer simply transmits energy generated by the mechanical 
engineer and utilized in industry by the latter after transmission, whether 
the electrical engineer as an engineer of transmission is not for the time a 
mechanical engineer. If the transmission were by compressed air on a 
sufficient scale, calling for a specialist in that field, would such a man be 
called a compressed-air engineer? 

It is also plain that to the mechanical engineer belong all design, 
creation and manufacture of tools and machinery. This makes him there- 
fore the natural administrator or executive of the production processes 
involving the use of machinery in factories and mills, and it is here that 
he finds his broadest scope and widest opportunity, as will be further 
demonstrated hereafter. As creator of machinery he will be a draftsman 
or designer of a producing plant: as operator of the plant considered as a 
tool for production, he will be a general manager or superintendent, or will 
perform these functions as owner or as president, vice-president, agent, 
secretary or treasurer. As a productive of power, the railway will make 
the mechanical engineer their superintendent of motive power, and the rail 
and joint become also responsibilities of his; as administrator of men and 
machinery, he becomes master mechanic of the railway and more and more 
such engineers are chosen to be general superintendents. The automobile 
or motor vehicle engineer is of course a mechanical engineer. From his 
knowledge and special training he becomes the inspector and tester for aU 
departments of mechanical production. 

But this relation of engineer of production borne by the mechanical 
engineer is at the bottom of very notable developments of progress. As 
the scale of production increases with the aggregation of capital invested, 



322 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

the permanence of the business becomes inseparably bound up with the 
oatisfactory quality of its output. Hence there grows a system of business 
in which the reputation of the producer becomes a factor compelling him 
to satisfy the buyer as respects the engineering excellence of his purchase; 
and it becomes possible for the contract between the two to be based upon 
the specifications created by the producer or seller, and not by the engineer 
of the buyer. This makes for cheapness and promptness of production and 
delivery, since standard articles become possible and frequent. It is a 
system lying largely at the base of the American success in competition in 
foreign markets, as it differentiates our practice from that of England for 
example. It points to a narrowing of the scope of the office of consulting 
practitioner as compared with the widening scope of the manufacturing 
engineer. It marks a broad differentiation between the civil and the me- 
chanical engineer, in that the former never or very rarely attaches himself 
to a producing interest. He serves a municipality, a corporation or an 
individual always as a representative of their interests as a buyer or user. 
It is his function to see that specifications unfriendly in intent to the 
interests of the seller are carried out by the latter. The engineer of pro- 
duction is called on to originate his specifications and to enforce them in 
production, in order that the guarantee of quality and of economy in use 
may both be satisfactory to such user. The entire point of view of the two 
types is radically diverse. 

This achievement of the manufacturing or production engineer gives 
significance to the work of the considerable group of mechanical engineers, 
who have been earlier designated as " co-ordinators of design." These 
are they who take the satisfactory designs or creations of the producing 
engineer and combine such elements into a unit for some industrial purpose. 
It would be foolish and unwise for such men to pass by existing standards 
upon the market and create special designs of their own. These latter 
would not only be more costly to pay for, but their delivery would be 
slower, and problems of repair and replacement be many times more difficult, 
costly, and delaying. Their creative function as engineers however is 
different from that of the producing engineer proper; yet to succeed de- 
mands the same faculty of critical selection and of adaptation of means to 
ends upon a basis of sound science which distinguishes the other group. To 
them belong those engineers of operation and development of existing 
plants, who rarely create, but who skilfully select and adopt and combine. 

This economic condition also has given rise to a group of engineers 
properly mechanical, who are directly and productively related to the pro- 
ducing corporations as their representatives in their selling organization 
over a large territory. It is unfortunate that these men of professional 
standing and of engineering qualification should be so often called "Sales 
Managers." It is their duty to act exactly as the coordinator of design 
does in his office, and secure for the intending purchaser an engineering 
solution for his needs which shall be satisfactory to him. His value to the 
producing corporation is inevitably measured by the number of contracts 



APPENDIX 323 

which he brings them : his value to his clients is measured by the engineering 
value of the specifications upon which such contract is based. The mere 
salesman could not perform the duty of the case, unless the buyer were 
protected by a consulting engineer. It is economically to be preferred as 
above, to have the specification emanate from the seller. 

And finally, the group of engineers of production must include the 
industrial engineers who are organizers of men or departments or works 
as tools of production. These men are not creators of visible machines 
embodied in steel or iron, which perform material functions before our 
eyes. Yet are they creators of power and directors of forces under the 
fundamental definition. They may do this as independent consulting 
engineers from an office relation; or they may be continuously employed 
for this purpose by one producing concern. In either case their successful 
achievement is the same in principle and in result as that of him who 
devises a new automatic machine by which output is increased and cost of 
production cut down. 

The final criterion or touch-stone for all these claims for the scope and 
function of the mechanical engineer must be the answer and attitude of the 
profession itself. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers exists to 
promote the Arts and Sciences connected with Engineering and Mechanical 
Construction. The Member must be competent to take responsible charge 
of work in his branch of engineering as designer or constructor, or he must 
have served as a teacher of engineering. The Associate must be competent 
to take charge of engineering work or to cooperate with engineers. This 
brings in the journalist, the patent lawyer, the business man, the contractor. 
The Junior must be either an engineering school graduate, or have had such 
experience as will enable him to fill a responsible subordinate position in 
engineering work. Candidates must be proposed by members of the Society, 
supposedly familiar with its functions and standards, and such proposers 
are called on to answer searching questions by the scrutinizing Membership 
Committee of five. The Committee on Membership reports recommendations 
of qualified persons to the Council of the Society, who again scrutinize the 
list, and it is finally submitted to the entire voting membership by letter 
ballot, with privilege of rejection by a limited niumber of adverse votes on 
any name. Hence it may be assumed that the membership contains only 
those whom the administration of the Society and its active membership 
regard as suitable members of a Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

Who are these members, and what are they doing? The actual list of 
members enjoying the privilege of membership is increasing month by 
month, so that the figures for the autumn of 1907 are correct for only a 
few days. Taking the membership in the summer of 1907 as 3152 and 
neglecting the foreign or nonresident membership of 175 from the count 
and correcting the remainder for deaths, a total is used for the present 
purpose of 2957, in all grades. The list has been then carefully scrutinized 
and classified as given in the published catalogue respecting avocations. 
The grouping for the purpose in hand has been into the following classes: 



324 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

a The Unclassifiable : made up of members who have retired, or who are 
not in practice or whose record in the list is a mailing address only, 
and their sphere of activity unknown to the writer; these are 306. 
If the groupings were more nearly of a size, this nimiber might hold 
a balance of preponderance which would disturb the later conclusion. 
As the matter stands, however, the number is not a material factor, 
since in aU they number only 10 per cent. 

6 The army and navy engineer 11, and the marine engineer 18. 

e The hydraulic engineer 12. 

d The patent attorney, solicitor and expert 25. Doubtless many engineers 
grouped later imder Office Practitioners are also engaged in this same 
department. 

e The technical journalist, editor and contributor 30. These men have a 
wide familiarity with engineering matters and expert knowledge. 

/ The mining engineer and metallurgist 31. This includes the type follow- 
ing mechanical engineering at mines or at the metal producing plants 
other than steel works. These last have been called manufacturers. 

g The contractor 48. He is a man who is a business man for the profit of 
the thing, but who makes his engineering knowledge, skill and ex- 
perience contribute to his business. Such are the men who build great 
railway terminals and do their own engineering in connection with the 
undertaking. 

h The testing and inspection engineer 49. He acts either for a producer, 
or as a consultant for the buyer. 

t The operating engineer 55. He is the man to whom is entrusted a plant, 
to operate and bring results from it. He may be a creator, or he may 
make effective the creations of others. He is in charge of power houses, 
street railway systems, institutions, factories and the like. The sea 
going engineer and the railway engineer might be added to this class. 

3 The locomotive and railway engineer 57. This is the motive power man, 
the locomotive designer and builder, the railway shop superintendent 
and master mechanic and all others concerned in the power end of the 
railway business. 

h The electrical engineer 65. These are the power plant experts, the street 
railway engineers who are not power plant men, and a few of the 
engineers connected with the great electrical producing companies. 
Most of the latter however from their position and duties will be 
included in the manufacturing class. That they are manufacturing 
electrical equipment is a mere accident of the present demand and they 
are not electricians so much as producers. 

As respects many of the foregoing and their representation in this So- 
ciety, it must be noted that great numbers will owe a primary allegiance to 

other bodies closely related to their specialty. Their membership in this 

Society is an extra adherence for reasons of greater or less personal weight. 

{ The professor or teacher of engineering 185. This is a large group, 
probably larger than in any other similar body, and for the reason 



APPENDIX 325 

that through the Middle West the state college is very strong in its 
industrial and mechanical departments, and its officers desire touch 
with the work and personnel of the producing enterprises of the 
country. Comment or criticism by such users of the university product 
will be most helpful to the instructors of every grade. 

m The draftsman and designer 115. 

n The local manger, or district representative engineer of the manu- 
facturer 153. 

The shop executive, superintendent, department manager, assistant super- 

intendent in large works 338. 

p The producer or manufacturer, owner of the plant, president, vice- 
president, or executive officer of the corporation, and the mechanical 
engineer of such producing bodies 966. The subdivision of the last 
four groups is for the purpose of showing the widespread significance 
of the contention of this paper as to the economic significance of the 
mechanical engineer; if all four were grouped into one, they would 
include 1572 or practically half of the total membership. 

q The last group is the office practitioner or independent consulting engineer 
not officially or visibly related to a producing enterprise, 493. This 
includes doubtless many who might have been included in one of the 
other classes previous to Class I. It covers the coordinators of design, 
who are often also contractors, probably many patent men, hydraulic 
engineers and local managing experts, which if placed under the other 
headings would stiU further reduce the size of this class. The broadened 
scope and opportunity for doing great work which are presented by 
the large aggregations of capital in the producing enterprises, as 
compared with the difficulty of great engineering achievement with little 
capital, are continually attracting men from this group into Class n, 
0, and p. 

r Presenting these facts in tabular summary: 

Group Name Numbers Percentage 

a The unclassified 306 10 . 3 

b The army and navy 11 0.4 

and marine - 18 0.6 

e The hydraulic 12 0.4 

d Patents 25 0.8 

e Journalists 30 1.0 

/ Mining and Metallurgy 31 1.0 

g Engineering contractor 48 1.6 

h Testing and inspecting 49 1.6 

i Operating engineer 55 1.8 

j Locomotive and railway 57 1.9 

Te Electrical engineer 65 2.2 

1 Professor and teacher 185 6.3 



326 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 



m Draftsman and designer 115 " 

n Local manager 153 

o Shop executive 338 

p The manufacturer 966 

q Office practitioner 493.' 16.5 



4.0 

5.2 

1572 11.8 

32.6 



) 53.6 



Total 2957 100.0 

There would seem therefore a good ground for defending a twentieth 
century Tredgold who should define or describe the mechanical engineer of 
his period: "The Mechanical Engineer is one who by science and by art 
so adapts and applies the physical properties of matter and so controls 
the forces which act through them as to serve the use and convenience of 
man to advance his economic and material welfare. He does this mainly 
by storing and liberating motor energy through machines and apparatus 
which he designs and installs and operates for the purpose of fostering and 
developing the processes of industrial production which use and require such 
power upon a large scale." 

The foregoing discussion draws after it as in its wake a group of other 
interesting questions; or to change the figure, a number of open doors to 
other topics appear as we follow the guide along the corridor. Among 
these for example, is the historical one, as to how the engineer came to be 
the central figure which he is today. In the earliest times the patriarch 
with knowledge of safe and desirable pasturage for the flocks was the 
central figure; later, the war-lord was king; he in turn gave way to monkish 
priest as supreme center, and after a recrudescence of the warrior and 
conqueror we are now planning armament and training men and scheming 
policies to secure peace which shall enable the production engineer to do his 
best work and with the least waste. As early as the legend of King 
Solomon is the claim of the tool maker, and the mechanical engineer of 
today is the heir of the functions of the tool maker on the largest scale. 
Again, the educational significance of the definition is most important. We 
have derived our standards in the technical schools from the requirements of 
the historic Military Academy at West Point. This in turn inherited the 
policies and practice of the European governmental schools for engineers. 
We have borrowed also from France and Germany directly. Very close to 
the heart of such standards lies the devotion to the highest mathematics 
both as a discipline for the mind and character, as a preliminary training 
for study in statics and dynamics, and as a means of separating the qualified 
and the assiduous from the incompetent and lazy. But if fifty per cent or 
more of the graduates are going to find their life work along lines which 
make no call for extended use of the higher mathematics; if by using, as 
the separating sieve a device which lets through many men of a mentality 
ill adjusted to the demands of practical life in production, and which holds 
back many men who lack facility in working with symbols of quantity 
because they can better handle the larger problems of the quantities them- 



APPENDIX 327 

selves, then it is a fair question whether the splendid discipline of higher 
mathematics has not been bought at too high a price? Could we not get a 
better prepared man for his life work if the same discipline and the same 
selective process for the fit had been secured by more and better physics and 
more and better chemistry and more economics, even if these were bought 
at the price of some mathematics! 

But my time and the occasion demand that we pass at once to the 
second phase of the thought of the evening. What can or may the Engi- 
neering Society made up of Mechanical Engineers as above, do for the 
profession? What are its duties and functions? It is plain that these are 
in two directions; its service to the members within it, its duty to those 
outside of it. Some duties and service will be the same to those within and 
without; in others there will be differences. 

Taking up first the service to the members within it, the Society can 
do at least eight things: 

First it serves by its existence. The fact that there is such a body at 
all is a token of its strength. For it means that there are three thousand 
men and over, who with all their diversities have yet a common dependence 
upon law and principle, and who are pursuing a common aim. The courage 
and cheer which comes from association and comradeship is a service. The 
wave which buffets and all but overturns the struggling skiff beats fruitlessly 
for harm against the tonnage of the ocean liner. Steadily the great aggre- 
gation plows her way through stresses which would be fatal to the same 
totals if subdivided into units. The whole has a strength which is even 
greater than the sum of the strength of aU its parts. 

This benefit may be regarded as one of the most widespread that the 
Society offers. It is independent of residence location and is reaped by the 
foreign member as well as by the dweller near the centers. In fact it is 
more significant to the lonely dweller than to the metropolitan member. It 
remains even when the other returns to the subscriber to the Society in 
publications, in association and in meetings either lessen or cease. He may 
well keep on paying dues (perhaps reduced in amount) after the value of 
papers and meetings become no longer worth while. 

The value of this return is greater in proportion as the Society is larger, 
so long as its quality is maintained. This is the argument for the national 
and international body as contrasted with the local body or section. Any 
policy or step which gives occasion rightly to charge a tendency for a 
national body to localize is an invasion of opportunity and value. The local 
body may offer some advantages of its own. It does not offer this one. A 
localizing of an office organization or of a printing contract or even of a 
library is not a localizing of the Society as a whole. This happens when it 
narrows its outlook over the professional horizon or its spheres of influence. 
But the remotest and least considerable member profits more from the 
existence of the Society in this respect than the recognized leader or the 
man of acknowledged eminence. 

A second function or service of the Society is the offering of the right 



328 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

of association. By this is meant more than the opportunity of social inter- 
course at meetings to be referred to later, but the privilege of association 
in the larger sense. It is a great thing for a man to feel that his name 
appears upon a list which has been signalized by the names of John 
Ericsson and Chas. H. Haswell, and still bears those of John Fritz, Rear- 
Admiral Melville, Thomas Edison and Chas. T. Porter, John E. Sweet and 
George Westinghouse. Such association makes for a sense of distinction and 
of pride which is in itself a safeguard like the ancient obligation ' ' Noblesse 
oblige. ' ' Can any nobler human ideal be set before a body of men associated 
together than that it should occur to a man when tempted to lower the 
standard of professional or business ethics to draw himself up proudly and 
say ' * My dear sir, I absolutely decline. There are certain things no member 
of The American Society does. " To do dishonorably is to bring shame and 
confusion upon all his class and disgrace his associates upon the same roll. 

Further than this, by reason of this association, the triumph and 
achievement of one is the glory of all, * ' This advance in science, in art, in 
production, in management was made by my colleague and fellow member. * ' 
This also stimulates the individual to do his own share beyond the confines 
of his narrower or purely personal interest, inasmuch as he is bound by an 
esprit de corps to confer benefits upon his associates similar to those which 
he has himself received. 

And again the member of the Society is privileged by his association 
to feel that in cities which are strange to him he has yet the right of fellow- 
ship with other members there so far as the right may be wisely exercised. 
The business approach is easier ; the road to acquaintance on casual meeting 
is shorter where both parties recognize the standing of their common mem- 
bership. All these emphasize however but the more strongly the necessity 
for safeguarding the quality of the membership, by the proper committee, 
by the Council and by the voting members, lest abuse of this so great a 
privilege makes it necessary that the best members should withdraw it. 

The third function of the Society is that of furnishing the advantages 
of a body corporate in the profession. These advantages appear both 
among the common-places of the legal aspect, and also from a general view 
point. The Society becomes a continuing and permanent body whose policy 
is unaffected by individual deaths or removals. Hence it may safely be 
made a custodian and trustee of significant gifts. This very building in 
which this meeting is convened belongs to the Society and not to individuals. 
It is the Society who has furnished or is to furnish one-third of the ground 
on which it stands. It is the Society which has furnished the brains and 
the assiduity whose results appear in the details of its arrangement. If 
there had been no Society there would have been no buildiog, in whose 
splendor and distinction each individual is entitled to feel a share. The 
Society may therefore be made a legatee and beneficiary in wills and testa- 
mentary gifts. It can be entrusted with historical material which is so apt 
to dissipate in the hands of individual inheritors. 

But in the larger and general sense the Society supplies a corporate 



APPENDIX 329 

unity, in that as an organization things eome to it which would not be given 
to individuals. Nowhere is this more evident than in invitations to visit 
works or places which would not be opened otherwise, which has happened 
again and again in the past. The Society as an organization supplies the 
avenue of approach and contact when a body such as a governmental de- 
partment desires an action which shall be general, and not that of a few 
persons. This fact of corporate action calls for emphasis of a principle 
sometimes difficult to carry out except with the good-will of all. It is that 
when the Society is the recipient of special courtesies and invitations which 
would not be the privilege of all individuals, it calls for withholding of these 
privileges from those who are not members, but who are present at any 
time or place as invited guests accompanying members. It will be plain 
upon a moment's reflection that such persons should refrain from causing 
embarrassment by their unintended presence. 

A fourth function of the Society is that of providing meetings of its 
members at proper intervals during the year. An ideal meeting would be 
one in which at least three elements were combined in wise proportions. 
The first is a nental stimulus in the form of live topics of professional 
interest presented as papers or otherwise; the second is the opportunity for 
social or intellectual attrition with other minds and temperaments during an 
association or intercourse lasting long enough for acquaintance to ripen; 
the third is a mental and physical stimulus and relaxation of tension by a 
sight-seeing which shall not be interesting only for the empty minded or 
the uninformed. Danger lies in any excess or undue lack of these several 
elements. If there are too many papers or too much time is given to their 
discussion the meeting becomes a weariness from excess of the mental stress. 
It was a very good friend and shrewd observer of experience who cautioned 
the writer in an early day: ''An audience has a distinctly marked elastic 
limit of patience like a piece of steel. Strain that attention beyond its 
elastic limit, and it takes a permanent set; it will hate you and despise your 
best works." 

On the other hand, to have too few papers or on topics of little value 
and interest, is to make a failure for the earnest and busy man who has a 
work to do at home and is "straitened imtil it be accomplished." The 
Society wants his presence and approving attitude of mind for the good 
he can do by being there ; if he feels it not worth his while to come because 
the meeting is but a frivolity and undeserving of a serious man's attention, 
both presence and approval are lost. There must be a serious nucleus, else 
the meeting is a mere excursion. Too great an intellectual appeal, made at 
the expense of the opportunity for meeting other engineers for conference, 
for exchange of experience, for story telling, is to invite the member to 
stay at home and read the printed papers there at his own hearth. If he 
loses or must lose the vivifying and rousing effect of the spoken word and 
the electric snap of meeting mind to mind, why not stay awayf Particularly 
as a man grows older and reaches the plateau of middle life, the advantage 
to him of the renewal of old acquaintance — to which he clings more and 



330 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

more as his circle narrows — ^becomes greater and greater. It is a safe- 
guard against a stiffening and stagnation. In this view the practice of the 
Society in registering and even in labeling all members in attendance at a 
convention is not a whim or a fad. It arises from a definite desire and 
purpose to make the approach of unacquainted members both safe and sure 
and short in time required to effect it. We cannot aU remember names; to 
remember faces is for some a considerable effort. The time of a convention 
is too short to waste any of it in indirect or preliminary effort to know a 
man. Introduce yourself by emblem and by name, and enrich your memory 
of the meeting by what the other fellows thought and said. No home read- 
ing of the best papers will result in this. 

The third element or factor in a Society meeting is the sight-seeing. 
This must be a lure or bait, since the first or intellectual phase is partly 
attainable at home, and few men are brave enough to confess to the existence 
of the second factor. But the sight-seeing must have a professional or 
intellectual content or nucleus, or it will not appeal. It must be the op- 
portunity to see or study new development upon its own ground, or it must 
give a man a chance to examine a variant upon his own line of work, or by 
reason of its extent and magnitude or the brains or talent expended on its 
execution it must at least appear to be worth seeing. Otherwise as before 
the serious minded and the earnest are not attracted by it. These meetings 
do not occur in vacation time, they are in the midst of the serious business 
of the year. A meeting some years ago where the Society went to the sea 
shore and away from all engineering opportunity, while a memorable one 
professionally, was yet in the retrospect a terror to use by night against the 
misdeeds of naughty children. On the other hand, the things the member 
carries away in his memory are not the papers nor discussions. The 
pleasures lasting in his recollection attach to the things he saw and noted 
and the people he met. To repeat the shrewd comment of a gifted member 
who had been chairman of the local committee, and who was being compli- 
mented on the successful visit to a steel works of his city : ' ' The meetings 
of the Society are like a brick wall. The papers over which the Secretary 
labors so strenuously are the bricks, but these trips and their opportunities 
are the cement which makes the bricks a unit." Too few bricks, a poor 
wall; too little cement or badly chosen leads to equal faiure. 

This discussion of the function of the meetings gives opportunity to 
record some personal convictions. In a Society which is national in scope 
and membership, the selection of the places of meeting should have some 
regard to the center of gravity of the membership, as it asserts itself 
territorially. The alternate swing of meetings from the Atlantic slope to 
the Mississippi Valley has much to commend it; but the extreme is reached 
or passed when the meeting is so held that both the length of the railway 
journey and the consequent absence from their posts permit only a wealthy 
and leisured few to get away to attend it. In other words, the excursion 
or sight-seeing end here overbalances the other features of such a meeting, 
and many cannot afford it. In this same category is the proposition to 



APPENDIX 331 

hold a meeting for papers and discussion as a feature of an excursion or 
during its progress. The two elements do not mix; the excursion is spoiled 
for those who must bear the burden of the session; the session is spoiled 
because the most desired participants are not there. The only excuse will 
be when the excursion is so long or so tedious as to be a failure as an 
excursion — when it ought not to have taken place at all. 

The speaker has never been a partisan of the formal banquet as a 
feature of a Society meeting. Unless the Swedish custom prevails of 
changing seats at the tables, any one meets only those near whom he is 
seated. Breadth of association or contact is prevented and when fortunate 
to be among a group of friends, no advances of others are likely; and if 
among strangers or the uncongenial, few experiences are more dreary. The 
number of notable dinner speakers among a group of engineers who are 
earnest devotees of work is small in any case, and most of these are not 
likely to be present. Dull or futile dinner speech is unendurable. If the 
dinner is costly enough to be worth while in itself, there is barred out from 
it a considerable number of men who must regard the expense in planning 
to attend the convention at all. Shall the ladies present at the meeting 
be included or not? If included they blank one side of each member so 
accompanied, and smoking will not be general. Hence, it has always seemed 
that another form of public social function was much more worth while 
than the banquet was likely to be; and was very much less trouble to ar- 
range for. 

The presence of the ladies at the meetings of the Society has been 
invited and encouraged from the very beginning, not only as a means of 
pleasure to themselves and those who bring them, but because they had a 
distinct function in making the meetings successful. The woman in America 
as elsewhere is the social expert; the busy or lazy man farms out to her the 
doing of many social duties, in whose absence the community would lapse 
in manners and culture. Hence her presence and her activities at a meeting 
tend to raise the tone much above that which would prevail in a purely 
"stag" reunion. The man exerts himself in directions of social effort as 
he would not do in her absence. Her presence also is a restraint, and 
prevents things from happening which might occur if the man were alone. 
She secures for the man an access and an ease which without her he would 
lack. Doubtless also the woman acts to persuade the busy member to bring 
his participation to the meeting, when lacking her influence the pressure 
of business would be allowed to keep him at home. His presence and ex- 
perience cannot contribute to the meeting unless he is there. 

The meetings of the Society are one of its principal opportunities 
whereby the Society as such reaches and impresses the general public in 
the cities where it meets. The professional sessions do not wield a very 
great influence in this respect; but the other features of the meeting do. 
Hence it has been felt to be of the first importance that in all its outward 
relations the professional and scientific sides of its purpose should be 
strongly emphasized, rather than its contact with commercial problems. To 



332 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

this end, the prohibition of advertising or publicity procedure in its head- 
quarters has always been enforced, and so far as possible also in the hotel 
corridors and foyer. If the commercial instinct for business were once 
allowed a foothold, the meetings would become the arena of industrial and 
commercial rivalry, and their high character would disappear. At the 
meetings also, where the membership comes together on the social plane, 
the Society is rather comparable to a club, than to a purely impersonal 
professional body. It offers therefore the club opportimity for discussing^! 
business or personal interests and ambitions concerning purchase and sale, 
which are entirely legitimate if not abused. If the members do not desire 
immunity from interested partisans of any specialty, the Society can not 
secure it for them. It may discourage only the making of it inevitable. 

The view of the Society as a club during its meetings justifies it in 
exercising the right to protect itself from an undesirable member who would 
there bring it into disrepute by habits or behavior in which the majority 
cannot uphold or defend him. It may not be the primary business of a 
Membership Committee entrusted with the consideration of a man's pro- 
fessional fitness for membership to reject him if he is so addicted to the 
use of intoxicants or other drugs as to be likely to bring discredit on the 
Society at a meeting; the membership however will surely defend such a 
Committee when it seeks to protect the fair fame of the body as a whole. 
This must be the explanation of the policy of not admitting to membership 
candidates who belong to a race with which the Caucasion does not socially 
assimilate. The man may be all right professionally but his admission 
would be contrary to good policy. The Society has also the same right to 
protect itself against any who are known to be prone to unprofessional 
conduct of any kind. It must do so if the function and privilege of associa- 
tion earlier discussed is to have any meaning. 

This division of the subject would not be complete without a treat- 
ment of the question of local meetings of sections of the Society. Such 
sections may be either territorially grouped, or by topics and common 
interests. As provided for in the By-Laws and Rules of this Society they 
are to consist of elected members only as regular members of the Section, 
non-members havings only the guests' privilege of participation in papers 
and discussions. Members of sections therefore derive their advantage from 
the existence of the national body and from association with its members 
independent of the local section, and the advantages of the publications, 
hereafter to be referred to, from the same fact as well as the general 
meeting privileges. What they derive in addition is the privilege of meeting 
other members at shorter intervals, and without entailing expense for a 
journey or a diflBlcult absence from home. But the very frequency of the 
meeting and the ease and absence of sacrifice by which it is secured make 
for a lessened interest in such meetings after the first novelty has worn off 
and the acquaintances have been formed. The novelty of the more in- 
frequent general meeting is lacking, every one becomes tired of hearing the 
old "stand by's" at every meeting; the supply of local material for dis- 



APPENDIX 333 

cossion dries up, and what cornea from the office of the national bod7 does 
not happen to stimulate. Then the section becomes a social body only, and 
does not help the national body particularly, if it does it no harm. It 
would be much more useful if what is sought by the section or local chapter 
were sought in another way, or by means of a body made up of both 
members and non-members, acting in some affiliated relation with the 
national body, whose discussion properly therefore falls into the final part 
of this paper. 

In the fifth place, so long as the Members, Council and Membership 
Committee are sensitive to the duty respecting the quality of the applicants 
for membership, it wUl follow that the fact of membership in the Society 
is a stamp of quality of engineering achievement — a seal or cachet of re- 
liability and professional standing. Three or five men proposed this man, 
and answered most searching questions as to his performance and eligibility. 
A Membership Committee of five experienced scrutineers canvassed the ap- 
plication and the replies of the backers, and perhaps went outside to 
establish the candidate's claims or to force the proposers to effective de- 
fense of them. Then the CouncU criticized the report of the Committee and 
ordered the man's name to ballot; and finally among all who voted on his 
name there were not found two per cent who knew anything against him 
which would justify his rejection. All human judgment is fallible, of 
course; but the successful passage of such an ordeal is a strong favorable 
presumption as respects any man, to say the least. 

Now this stamp of approval upon every enrolled member is a very 
precious possession. The key to admit to it is held by the voting member- 
ship, and those who propose candidates. The Membership Committee unlock 
as it were an outer door to the vault, but they do no more than this. They 
do not admit to its privileges. Hence the reciprocal duty of the members 
is made very plain; if the Society has a function or service along this line, 
the individual voter is obliged to the greater scrupulousness in the exercise 
of his duty. If anybody can get into The American Society then member- 
ship in it wUl be little prized. If this separation of the members of the 
profession into the class within the Society and the class without it be 
objected to as anti-social, aristocratic and undemocratic, the reply would 
be that so also is the family. Any man can get into the Society who has 
shown himself to be qualified to do so. His objection must be against his 
lack of qualification and not against the Society which upholds a standard. 

The sixth fimction of the Society is its creation and maintenance of a 
Library. It was not so long ago that every professional man had his 
private library of some extent, containing the books and periodicals he 
specially valued and used. But in recent times the enormous increase in 
the number of books required for any library with a pretense to complete- 
ness; the necessity for rapid expansion if it was to keep pace with the 
progress of the day, the investment required in society memberships to 
secure their publications, and the bulk of the current periodical literature 
of the profession have all combined to bring about a change. The housing 



334 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENQINEEBS 

and the care of a worthy private library became a problem practically 
insoluble for the individual, either in office or in home. Hence the op- 
portunity arose for the Society Library, doing for all the members what 
each could do for himself only with the greatest difficulty or prohibitive 
expense. To reduce the unnecessary duplication of books and transactions 
and periodicals required only for occasional reference is a measure of 
evident economy and advantage. 

A reference library which is not also a circulating library can only be 
made really serviceable to members who live near enough to the library 
shelves to enable book and reader to be brought together at the home of 
the book. It is one of the problems of the immediate future to develop 
the circulating function of duplicate books and publications in a practical 
way, which shall protect the interests of all parties, enabling the library 
to render the largest net service. It would seem both narrow and unwise 
to lock up the library from the reach and use of those not fully qualified 
for membership, or not able to become such for other reasons. The Society 
therefore permits and invites a public use of its collections in addition to 
the proprietary use by the members. If such public use transcends the 
private use, then to impoverish the shelves by circulation without duplicates 
seems too heavy a price to pay. It should be noted that the coming together 
of the libraries of the three societies named as Founders of the Engineering 
Building has not only more than trebled the scope and extent of the library 
for all users, but has opened up the circulating possibility by bringing an 
increased volume of duplicates together. 

The library also offers the possibility through its staff, of having 
researches made for members at a distance, and extracts made and sent, 
which could not be done in a public library, but which is normal and ap- 
propriate in one belonging to the member as of society right. The library 
can also be made custodian and legatee for books of value and usefulness 
when their former owner has no longer occasion or convenience to control 
them himself and give them room and care. 

The foregoing services rendered by the Society to its members are all 
in an imponderable class, and do not have a value which is appraisable in 
legal tender. The non-member cannot buy them, however wealthy he may 
be. This makes them therefore of all the functions of the Society the six 
which are the most to be prized. They are like a franchise, in that the 
benefits which flow from them are not common to all members of the com- 
munity but are conferred by special act of the corporate body. There 
comes next a function and benefit which is extended to members of the 
Society, but which differs from its predecessors in that it has also a material 
or appraisable cash value and that it may be secured also by non-members 
for a price. It is the privilege of the publications of the Society. It must 
not be inferred from the fact that this return to the members is put seventh 
upon the list that it is therefore an inconsiderable or secondary feature. It 
is on the contrary one of the most significant and important, and one 
around which are grouped many of the activities and much of the organiza- 



APPENDIX 335 

tion of the Society's business office. It is the item for which directly and 
intentionally it makes its largest expenditure; it is the element which con- 
ditions very largely the esteem in which the Society will be held by members 
within and observers without. On the other hand, the putting of six other 
elements of Society worth and function before it, is intended as an attack 
upon an erroneous opinion held by some who have never had it attacked, 
that the publications of the Society are the only or the principal return .to 
them for their dues and continued membership. When the volume or value 
to them of the Society's annual output of papers and discussions fall off 
in their opinion in any year, this is an adequate reason for discontinuing 
their membership. The existence and value of the preceding factors first 
enumerated should be sufficient rejoinder in themselves. 

The publications of the Society come to the membership in three 
forms. The first is the monthly magazine or bulletin which is designated 
Proceedings, and distributes papers to be read at a future meeting, dis- 
cussions on papers current or past, memorial monographs, book-lists and 
Society notices and circular literature. These replace the ' ' Advance Papers ' ' 
of the former day, and so far as possible incorporate the individual and 
separate circulars which used to be issued. Some of the matter in this 
magazine is not to be of permanent record, but of present and current 
interest. The second form is the bound volume of papers and appended 
discussions with index and consecutive paging, intended to be the permanent 
record for future reference. This must issue of course after the regular 
meetings and at an interval sufficient for the execution of all editorial work 
required. It need not contain all that the Proceedings did by reason of the 
limitations of bulk and the inexpediency of permanently preserving every- 
thing that every one said in all discussions. But this book, known as 
Transactions is the monument of the year's professional work. The third 
form is the pamphlets ' ' Eeprints ' * from the volume of Transactions, being 
the excerpts therefrom which contain an individual paper and its discussion, 
printed from the same type as used in the volume. These are of use when 
single copies of one paper are desired for any purpose, and a stock of them 
is kept on hand to meet calls from the future. 

The publications at present include only material originating ia the 
membership for presentation at meetings, and the result of the activities 
of the Meetings Committee in persuading contributions from members and 
others upon topics which they suggest. It has been felt for some time 
that these were unnecessary and undesirable limitations to place upon the 
possibilities of usefulness of the publications. They would be of incalculably 
greater value and use if they could be made to include abstracts of papws 
before other professional societies than our own; reviews of contributions 
to technical journalism, book reviews and contributed material by non- 
members on current achievements, new work, and live topics. An index of 
professional literature in society proceedings and other journals would be 
of the greatest value. In fact there does not seem to be any reason outside 
of the cost of making it so, why the publications of the Society should not 



336 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEEBS 

be placed upon such a plane of value and usefulness that no engineer within 
or without the Society could afford not to regard them as a cherished 
possession and a valuable asset. Here however, also, as in the case of the 
value of cachet of membership, it is the willingness of the member to give 
of his time and service to the writing of papers and to the contributing to 
the material for the publication work of the Society which must be the 
great factor of success. 

The eighth and final function of the Society is that which it contributes 
through the personnel and organization of the of&cial staff of such a body. 
The Secretary is the natural and proper head of the Society office with such 
help in the editorial, the correspondence, the accounting and the clerical 
detail of the work as the size of the Society and the volume of its daily 
business make necessary. The conduct of the Society is a business and of 
no inconsiderable magnitude. The office is also most directly concerned in 
carrying on the detail directed by the working standing committees and 
under the Council. The degree and quality of the organization of the 
Secretary's office for its functions is the measure of its usefulness and 
service. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers may well feel 
proud that by the unselfish and self-sacrificing devotion of a special com- 
mittee in which a past president of the Society, an expert in such matters, 
was the leading spirit, the organization of its office is as nearly a model of 
such an undertaking as brains and good will can make it. 

Such an office discharges functions to the membership at large and as 
a whole, and also to individuals. Perhaps the most important duty of the 
first class is the prepartion of the semi-annual lists of members and its 
issue. This is not only a professional directory of the highest order, 
enabling members to know in what specialization every other is engaged; 
but it is a channel for intercommunication whereby any member may feel 
sure of reaching directly the other members if he so desires. Its correctness 
and its completeness are therefore the factors of its value. This explains 
the trouble taken twice a year to ask the members about their address and 
their professional engagement. The Secretary's office also reaches every 
member for service in the matter of the candidates for membership, the 
voting functions of the members and the details of the meetings as they 
are to occur. 

Besides these public or universal functions rendered to all enrolled 
members, the Society office may be compared to a ganglionic center through 
which the mentality of its management becomes converted into activity. 
Without the organization there would be no organ through which the Board 
of Directors or Council of the Society could exercise their functions as 
Trustees. The existence of elective office in the Society is made necessary 
by existence of administrative functions to be exercised. If there were no 
business there need be no President nor Vice-President, nor Managers to 
constitute the Council, nor need of choosing such from among those whom 
the profession is glad to honor. If a distinction attaches to membership in 
the Society among the ranks as a private, how much more impressive the 



APPENDIX 337 

cachet given to the chosen oiBeers. It is safe to say that office will never 
reach any save those who are without a blemish; to be entrusted with it an 
honor to be coveted, to be worn modestly, to be safeguarded jealously from 
harm or injury by error or misdeed on the part of its wearer. 

The office staff renders also individual service as a medium of exchange 
of knowledge of men and of opportimity. Lines of communication and of 
acquaintance radiate from it as a center to the remotest bounds of the 
membership. Along these lines may flow question and answer, problem and 
information, need and its supply. Much of the Secretary's correspondence 
is of this class, which does not fall into the channels of routine buiness and 
automatic office machinery. The office is also the channel through which 
from without the stores of influence and capacity within the membership 
may be reached for the rendering of civic or national service either by the 
Society as a whole or its individual members in particular, on commissions 
on committees and in other important ways. In addition to these of course 
are the unclassifiable services which are personal and individual. 

Is the privilege of service and of function aU on one side, or has the 
Society the right to ask from its members a reciprocal duty to itself f The 
latter, no doubt. It is the duty of the individual member and his privilege 
to make at least the following effort: 

a That no fancied advancement of his personal interests by a member should 
lead to any act or practice which will stain his character and injure 
his fair fame. If membership and its association carries distinction 
when its members are distinguished, so the same force carries disgrace 
to all with the disgrace of the individual. It is for this reason that 
the Society for its own protection must have a means of ridding itself 
of a source of defilement through the unprofessional behavior of any. 

6 The individual member should seek to buUd up the Society in professional 
and numerical strength. The quality must be kept up for the sake of 
the elements advanced early in the argument, but influence goes with 
numbers of the right sort, and opportunity for wider service follows 
with the increased income on the one hand, and from increased scope 
of interests on the other. The Society has barely begim to draw from 
the great reservoirs of professional activity throughout the busy in- 
dustrial centers of the United States; the world is ours also. 

e The individual member should build up the activities of the Society as 
respects its papers and discussions. This calls both for personal effort 
in contributing himself from his own experience and work, and for the 
interesting of his neighbor also to do the same thing. If the dream of 
making our published Proceedings and Transactions a professional 
necessity to every engineer is ever to be fully realized, it must be when 
from all over the flow of knowledge, data, skill and experience into the 
Society's channels is deep, full and never failing. What it will mean 
to the Society if these ideals are made realities, it is beyond the clearest 
and most hopeful vision to pierce and prophesy. 
Consideration must now pass to the final topie under review, which is 



338 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

the possible function of the Society to the profession who are not enrolled 
in its membership. If the foregoing argument has been conclusive, it is 
plain that such service or functions should be discharged without a prejudice 
to the interests of the membership itself. There are two extremes of view 
and opinion. The one is the aristocratic idea, that the Society exists ex- 
clusively for the advantage of the members. This in a modified form may 
be called the English idea, and is natural where passage from class to class 
is not easy by reason of their quite definite stratification. This plan would 
have the privilege of membership narrowly restricted, open only to proved 
and distinguished ability, and therefore to somewhat advanced years in the 
majority of cases. The other extreme is the commimistie view professionally, 
that all adherents or practitioners of engineering are equally eligible, re- 
gardless of professional achievement or training. All draw equally from 
the common fund of professional advantage from membership ; but of course 
there are no private fortunes of distinguished advantage, and no one draws 
as much in the larger community from an equal fund as he does in the 
former case. This again in a modified form from the extreme may be called 
the German idea. The American does not fancy either extreme ; but between 
them is room for a large diversity in the middle space. It was proposed in 
this Society (1889-1890) to create such an aristocracy. It has been urged 
(1902-1904) to so multiply the feature of sections of the Society as to 
approach to the more communistic or continental idea. The safe course is 
between these extremes. In the British aristocratic atmosphere, member- 
ship in the Institution carries with it a distinction which is recognizable; 
the advantages of membership in the German Verein of Engineers are on 
quite a different plane. Is a policy or plan possible which shall secure the 
advantages of both? The writer believes it is. 

A membership which is iU-assorted and non-homogeneous will not be 
a strong one regarded as a unit. The differences in education, in extent 
and quality of experience in culture and social equality as the former 
factors affect this, would seriously interfere with the success and unity of 
the meetings. Unwieldy size of meetings restricts the number of cities 
available for such meetings, and shuts out many places altogether for lack 
of hotel and housing accommodations. To extend therefore the privileges 
of the first five functions of association due to its existence, to the inferring 
of distinction, of meetings and of corporate unity either cannot be brought 
about at all to those not eligible under the present wise standards, or else 
would become theirs at a price so great by reason of the debasement of the 
coinage in which their value is reckoned, that it ought to be paid. No such 
restriction holds however with respect to local meetings which may include 
members, to the library, to the publications and to the office organization 
of the Society. 

The extending of the library function has already been referred to, 
when it was made a free public reference library. It is now open to free 
consultation by non-members as well as by members, the only present 
difference being that members are permitted aceess to shelves and alcoves 



APPENDIX 339 

directly, while others must work through the librarian and his staff in a 
general reading room. As the library grows in usefulness and in the 
members who use it, it will doubtless happen that the system of manage- 
ment will have to become identical for both groups, and the non-members' 
privileges be the same as those of the member. The same conditions — 
mainly financial — which will permit the addition of the circulating feature 
of the books among members, will also permit a similar although perhaps 
a more restricted circulation among the engineering public who are not 
members. This usefulness therefore would seem to be provided for. 

The usefulness of the office organization under its present completeness 
and elasticity would seem to be limitable only by the demand, made upon 
it, the room for its accommodation, and the cost of its compensation. If 
extensions of its functions are accompanied with a proportionate return in 
income, the possibilities of this function would seem to be provided for as 
widely as use can be found for it. 

The publications of the Society are available to non-members by sub- 
scription and by purchase. The cost of composition, illustration and 
editorial revision is incurred for the first copy of any paper, and all contracts 
and systematization are provided for the first paper secured and issued. 
After that it is merely the paper, press-work and distribution expenses 
which have to be met, which are the least in amount and vary directly or in 
a diminishing ratio with the number of copies made. Hence all that is 
necessary here is to create the demand by making the Proceedings and 
Transactions so valuable and so comprehensive that no member of the pro- 
fession, member or non-member, can afford to be without them on his desk 
or in his reference library; and the result is won. This also would seem a 
result and a function for which all preliminary steps had already been 
taken. What remains is to do it. 

This leads up to the final functions of the Society, with the urging of 
which this paper will have accomplished its ultimate purpose. It is that 
the Society should foster and cause the growth of other organizations or 
societies or clubs, specialized either by their location in city or district or 
state, or by their particular line of study and pursuits. Such bodies should 
be entirely autonomous as respects their officers and procedure and rules 
and financial support. Their membership should include both members of 
this Society and other engineers, the latter embracing both those who are 
eligible to membership in this Society, but having a prior allegiance to 
some other Society or do not as yet want to join any such organization, 
and those who by training or experience are not yet eligible to any existing 

national society. Such bodies should be known as: "The Society 

of Engineers, ' ' or some equivalent name, the blank being filled by the name 
of the place where they prefer to meet, and the full designation to be 

' ' The Society of Engineers Affiliated with The American Society of 

Mechanical Engineers." The emphasis is to lie upon the fact and relation 
implied under the word "Affiliated." The members of the local or 
specialized body would not be members of The American Society and would 



340 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

not or should not call themselves so. They are members of their own society. 
Their autonomy and self-support secures for them the dignity and re- 
sponsibility attaching to their own control. Their errors of judgment or 
policy would not complicate the national body nor introduce political 
problems into the latter of a sectional or factional sort. They are and 
would continue to be local societies, or national ones with a specialized out- 
look. Now what will be the basis of the word "Affiliated"? 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers shall covenant to supply 
every member of such affiliated body each month with a copy of its monthly 
magazine containing its Proceedings, and such additional copies as can be 
advantageously used either free, or much below cost, according to the size 
of the local body. The papers and discussions in these Proceedings shall 
be the topics of discussion at such meetings of the local and special body 
as may be held, but by no means to the exclusion of papers on topics 
originating in the local membership which will be welcomed in addition. 
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers shall furnish or pay for a 
stenographer to report and typewrite the papers and discussions of the 
local meeting, and shall pay in whole or in part for the rental of the hall 
in which such professional papers and discussions shall be presented. In 
return for this, the local shall send a full typewritten report of its profes- 
sional sessions to the Secretary of The American Society, which latter shall 
submit these to the Meetings and Publication Committees of the national 
body, with a view to the exercise of their right to publish in the Proceedings 
and Transactions such contributions as are judged of value. If the local 
desires to publish for itself material not available for the use of the larger 
body, it could do so through the advantageous large printing contracts and 
the editorial staflf of the large body at much less expense to itself than if it 
tried to do the same thing by itself. 

Among the arguments for this plan are: 
For The American Society of Mechanical Engineers; 
o A greatly increased scope of usefulness and influence, extending far be- 
yond the limits of its enrolled membership, and limited only by the 
horizon of interest in the undertaking. 
6 The creation and multiplication of sources and centers from which ma- 
terial wiU be procurable to enrich its publications. 
c Thereby a greatly increased value and demand for these publications: 
from the increased demand an increased income, and attendant increase 
in the value of the publications in a continuing ratio. 
d An increased appreciation of the Society and its work, leading to an ex- 
tended desire on the part of those eligible to join the national body, 
enhancing for the latter the significance of the first series of its 
functions referred to in this paper which increase with the character 
and number of the members. 
e The American Society attains these objects without lowering the profes- 
sional standard of membership, without admitting even to quasi or 
implied membership i>erBons who are not eligible through the regular 



APPENDIX 341 

diannels. It avoids any financial or other obligation for the local, as 
would be the case if the latter were called a chapter or section of the 
larger body. It pays only for what is of value to it, which is the 
supply of professional literature; and where the local held no meetings 
nor sent any papers there would be no expense. The price which The 
American Society would pay is the increased cost of its operating ac- 
count and publications, but this would seem likely to be more than 
returned to it, if not in cash directly, yet in other values. Probably 
also in cash. 
For the local or specialized body would be secured: 

a The prestige of affiliation with the larger body; doubtless therewith cer- 
tain privileges of courtesy for the members of the local when a con- 
vention was in their vicinity, and certainly the courtesies of the building 
in New York City for such affiliates. 

& A wide, certain, and cheap supply of invaluable professional literature, 
topics for their meetings when their own supply failed. 

c The reduction of unavoidable expenses attaching to a local meeting for 
papers and discussion to a mimimum even to nothing if so desired. 
This value for the minimum would probably not be desired by most 
locals, but the dues prevailing in that local would be small and would 
be mainly devotable to their own interests. 

d The maintenance of the standard in the local to a plane of creditable 
achievement. The continuance of the local could be conditioned upon 
an earnestness of devotion to it which should be worth while. 

e The local would be entirely self-governing, with its own officers and 
control in every respect. Its own officers would command the dignity 
which alone makes the burden of office worth while, and the local is 
responsible itself aJone for its success or failure by reason of the effort 
put forth by those interested. 

/ The local by operating its business detail through the office of the national 
society obtains the pecuniary advantage of the larger scale of business 
in The American Society and the service and cooperation of its trained 
experts. Their accounting and purchases, as well as their printing, 
could be done for them at much better advantage in the large office. 
If accounting and addressing of envelopes and circulars were done at 
The American Society office, the office expense of the local would dis- 
appear, and the cost of the former could be taken care of in its ap- 
propriation to the latter. 
Of course the financial responsibility of The American Society would 

have to be safeguarded by limiting the appropriations for the locals both 

in period and in amount, and making them conditioned upon a return from 

the local satisfactory both in quantity and quality. 

The word ' * local ' ' has been used in the foregoing as descriptive of the 

affiliated body, inasmuch as usually such a Society will be made up of those 

residing in or near a city or town. There is nothing in the plan however 

to preclude an organization already existing and made up of specialists in 



342 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

any line, from asking affiliation with The American Society under its 
provisions. The body may now be national, and having for its special topic 
of discussion the engineering of the motor vehicle, or that of the production 
of artificial cold, or certain sanitary problems with a mechanical outlook. 
They would benefit by such aflfiliation and they would at the same time 
strengthen The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and sacrifice 
nothing themselves. 

The writer therefore as he lays down his official insignia of service 
after these many years, leaves the foregoing suggestions for the elaboration 
of his successors. All the organic change which would be necessary would 
be the creation of a Standing Conmiittee on Affiliated Societies with the 
required By-Laws for its guidance, on the same footing as the Research 
Meetings, Publication and Library Conmiittee, now in existence. The rest 
the Council may provide for by resolutions and standards in the Secretary's 
office. 

If these ideals and possibilities shall prove to be practicable and 
realized, the opening of the new Engineering Building and the twentieth 
century will mark the beginning of an era of progress of prosperity, of 
splendid usefulness and brilliant achievement which will give to the Society 
position and recognition which has never been dreamed of before. 



INDEX 

PAGE 

Abbott, Wm. L. (90) 139, 147 

Academy of Medicine building 177 

Academy of Medicine building houses Society library 271 

Accounting, Society 168 

Activities for benefit of members 167 

Addresses of welcome, illuminated 301 

Administrations of presidents 77 

Adoption of standards opposed 62 

Advance printing of papers 32 

Advertisement in Society papers 39 

Advertising in Society Journal 36 

AffiUate member of section or Society 295 

AflElliated societies 294 

Affiliates and affiliated societies 290 

Alden, Geo. I. (42) 135, 141 

Allen, Horatio 153 

Allen, Jeremiah M 159 

Allen, John F 159 

American ideals in production 25 

American Society of Civil Engineers decUnes Carnegie gift 188 

Annual meeting 49 

Anti-metric votes 61 

Appendix, The Function of an Engineering Society 313 

Arrol, Wm. (24) 154, 155 

Art of Cutting Metals 166 

ASPINALL, John A. F. (42) 156, 157 

Associate membership standards 27 

Associate societies in Engineering Societies' Building 191 

Auditorium, Thirty-first Street house 186 

Babcock, George H 91 

Badges at meetings 48 

Badge, membership 66 

Bailey, Jackson 13, 158 

Baker, Benjamin (16) 154, 155 

Baker, Charles Whiting (97) 136, 143 

Baker, W. S. G. (30) 135, 141 

343 



344 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAQB 

Baldwin, Stephen W. (39) 135, 141 

Ball, Frank H. (57) 136, 142 

Bancroft, J, Sellers (96) 139, 147 

Banquet at meetings 56 

Barrus, Geo. H. (84) 136, 143 

Basford, Geo. M. (87) 139, 146 

Bauer, Charles A. (51) 138, 145 

Bauschingeb, Johann 154, 155 

Bayles, James C 149 

Bayles, James C, secretary 15 

Berlin visit, 1900 250 

Bessemer, Henry (23) 154, 155 

Billings, Charles E 103 

Blackballing candidates 29 

Bond, Geo. M. (94) 136, 143 

Borden, Thos. J. (33) 135, 141 

BoYER, Francis H. (66) 138, 146 

Bramwell, Frederick (13) 154, 155 

Branches of the Society 290 

Brashear, John A. (67) 129, 138, 146, 157 

Breckenkidqe, L. p. (91) 136, 143 

Brill, Geo. M. (101) 136, 144 

British courtesies, 1910 252 

British hospitalities, 1900 245 

British ideal of society organization 24 

Buckeye engine model, 1890 305 

Caldwell, Andrew J. (88) 139, 146 

Carbutt, E. N., invites engineers to England 227 

Canet, Gustave (26) 154, 155 

Candidacy of new members 168 

Card of membership 65 

Carnegie, Andrew (40) 156, 157 

Carnegie letter of gift 188 

Carpenter, Rolla C. (95) 136, 143 

Centennial Exposition, influence of 3 

Certificate of membership 64 

Christie, James (75) 136, 143 

Church, Wm. Lee (21) 137, 145 

Clark, Daniel Kinneae (2) 153, 154 

Clausius, Rudolph (3) 153, 154 

Code of ethics 288 

CoGGiN, Frederick G. (28) 137, 145 

Cogswell, Wm. B. (5) 137, 144 

Commissions, U. S. and States 170 

Committee on meetings 72 



INDEX 345 

PAGE 

Committee on Membership 28 

Committees of Society 70 

Congresses of Engineering 263 

Congresses of engineering at Chicago 207, 226 

Conservation of natural resources 287 

Constitution and By-Laws Committee 75 

Constitution approved 212 

Constitution created Ill 

CooDE, John (20) 154, 155 

Cooke, Morris L. (115) 139, 147 

Cooke, Morris L., in reorganization of Society 115 

CooLEY, M. E. (72) 136, 142 

Cooper, Peter (4) 153, 154 

Copeland, Charles W 140, 147, 148 

Copyright of papers 38 

CORBETT, Charles H. (72) 138, 146 

Corliss, George H., suggested for president 20 

Corliss portrait 299 

Couch, A. B. (17) 135, 140 

Couch, A. B., bequest of books 205 

Council of the Society 134 

COXE, ECKLEY B 12, 99 

Cramp, Edwin 8. (57) 136, 142 

Crawford, D. P. (100) 139, 147 

Cutter, W. P., librarian 277 

Daniels, Fred H. (76) 136, 143 

Davidson, Charles J. (103) 139, 147 

Davis, E. F. C 102 

Dean, Francis W. (54) 136, 142 

Debates on papers, rules for 92 

Decimal thickness gage, presented to Society 207 

Dedication of Engineering Societies' Building 215 

Delamater, Cornelius H. (d) 154, 158 

DeLaval, C. Gustav p. (30) 156 

Denton, James E. (36) 138, 145 

Diagrams of papers at meetings 30 

Dickie, George W. (114) (54) 137, 138, 144, 146 

Diesel, Rudolph (31) 154, 156 

Diploma of membership 64 

Dodge, James Mapes 110 

Donkin, Bryan 159 

Dow, Alex (90) 136, 143 

Dredge, James (17) 154, 155 

Dues, increase of 97, 108, 211, 207 

DURAND, Wm. F. (104) 137, 144 



346 THE AMEEICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAGE 

DURFEE, W. F. (58) 136, 142 

Durf ee library acquired 306 

Dusseldorf visit, 1889 241 

Dwelshauvees-Dery, V. (19) 154, 155 

Early members of the Society 153 

EcKABT, Wm. R. (18) 135, 140 

Edison, Thomas A 156, 157 

Editorial work 171 

Egleston, Thomas, U. S. Commission for Testing Materials 285 

presents Robert Fulton dining-table 301 

Eiffel, Gustave 156 

Election of members 28 

Ely, Theodore N. (8) 135, 140 

Emery, Chas. E. (12) 135, 140 

Emery, Albert H., testing machine 200, 285 

Employment for members 169 

Engineer, mechanical, and the function of a society 315 

Engineering Societies' Building, dedication 215 

Engineering congresses • . . . 226, 263 

Engineering Education, Society for the Promotion of 264 

Engineering Foundation created 127, 131, 218 

Engineering literature in 1880 2 

Engineering Society, function of 315 

Entertainment at meetings 49 

Ericsson, John 158 

hot-air engine, historic 306 

invention models 304 

portrait and busts 299 

Ethics, code of 288 

European trips 226 

Excursions at meetings 45 

Fellowships of the library 182 

Felton, Edgar C. (63) 138, 146 

Finance Committee 70 

First meeting, preliminary steps 9 

Fisher, Clark 159 

Fisher, George W. (10) 137, 145 

Flagg, Stanley G., Jr. (101) 139, 147 

Fletcher, Andrew (39) 138, 145 

Forrest, James, invitation to Guildhall banquet 228 

Forney, M. N 12 

urges monthly meetings 221 

Forsyth, Robert (43) 138, 145 

Forsyth, Wm. (35) 137, 145 



INDEX 347 

PAGE 

Fox, Douglas (37) 156, 157 

Francis, James 159 

Freeman, John R 114 

French Society of Civil Engineers visits TJ. S. A 244 

French engineers visit America 100 

Fritz, John (25) 154, 155 

chiming clock 301 

medal 309 

portrait 298 

president 103 

Fulton, Robert, memorial 109 

colonial dining-table 300 

original drawings 302 

portrait 297 

Function of an engineering society 315 

Gages presented to Society 207, 304 

Gantt, Henry L. (110) 137, 144 

Gaskill, Harvey F 158 

Gates, P. W. (88) 136, 143 

German courtesies, 1913 254 

German ideal of society organization 24 

Gifts to the Society 296 

Gillet, Louis A., assistant to secretary 47 

GiLLis, H. A. (73) 138, 146 

Gillmore, Quincy a, (4) 12, 139 

GOODALE, A. M. (64) 138, 146 

Gordon, Alex. (40) 135, 141 

GoRRiNGE, Henry H 158 

Goss, W. F. M 125 

Growth of Society membership, 1880 to 1914 76 

Grashof, Franz (14) 154, 155 

Greene, Arthltc M., Jr. (109) 139, 147 

Grinnell, Frederick (31) — 137, 145 

GuUdhall banquet, 1889 235 

Haines, H. S. (58) 138, 146, 249, 265 

Hale and Rogers, architects of Engineering Societies' Building 190 

Hallauer, Otto (5) 153, 154 

Henning, Gustavus C. (59) 138, 146 

Harrison, J., Jr., portrait 297 

Hartness, James 126 

Haswell, Charles H. (28) 154, 156 

Hawkins, John T. (27) 137, 145 

Headquarters, meetings 46 

Headquarters of the Society 173 



348 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAGE 

Hebe, Edwin M. (102) 137, 144 

Herrmann, Gustav (15) 154, 155 

Herreshopf, John B. (48) 138, 145 

Hess, Henry (113) (104) 137, 139, 144, 147 

prizes for papers 307 

Hewitt, Wm. (22) 137, 145 

Higgins, Milton P. (74) 136, 142 

Hill, Hamilton A. (24) 137, 145 

HiNES, D, S 158 

Hirn, G. a. (6) 153, 154 

HiRscH, Joseph (21) 155 

Historic gifts 296 

Hoadley, Francis W., assistant to secretary 47, 150, 298 

HoADLEY, John C. (3) 137, 144 

original engine 306 

portrait 298 

HOBBS, Alfred C 158 

Hoe, Robert 159 

hollby, a. l 11, 79 

as banquet speaker 56 

memorial bust 242 

memorial session 199 

monument 199 

opening address 9 

portrait 297 

urges European interchanges 226 

HoLLis, Ira N. (105) 137, 144 

HOLLOWAY, J. F 88 

portrait 298 

HOLMAN, M. L 119 

Honorary members of the Society 153 

Honorary secretaryship created 116 

House Committee 71 

Humphreys, Alex. C 123 

Hunt, Alfred E 159 

Hunt, Charles Wallace 104 

Hunt, Robert W 96 

Hunter, John (110) 139, 147 

HuTTON, Frederick R 117 

elected secretary 150 

elected president 117 

The Function of an Engineering Society 315 

Hlustrations of papers 30 

Increase in dues 207, 211 

Insignia of the Society 63 



INDEX 349 

PAQE 

International electrical rules 286 

Institution of Engineers, Henry E. Towne proposes 94 

Introduction card 65 

Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain visits U. S. A 242 

IsHERWOOD, Benjamin F. (35) 156, 157 

Jackson, W. B. (108) 139, 147 

Jacobus, D. S. (78) 136, 143 

Jabvis, Charles M. (60) 136, 142 

Joint meetings 213, 226 

Jones, Washington (9) 135, 140 

Jones, Wm. R 158 

Journal, The 34 

Junior member meetings 105, 108, 222 

membership standards 26 

prizes 307 

Kafeb, John C. (62) 136, 142 

Katte, Edwin B. (109) (102) 137, 139, 144, 147 

Keep, Wm. J. (79) 136, 143 

Researches on Cast Iron 282 

Keller, E. E. (Ill) 137, 144 

Kent, Wm. (34) 135, 141 

Kerr, Walter C 159 

Laidlaw, Walter (84) 138, 146 

Landreth, Olin H. (23) 135, 140 

Leaute, Henri (34) 156, 157 

Leavitt, E. D. (47) 13, 83, 156, 157 

Legislation at meetings 58 

Leland, Henry M. (107) 139, 147 

Letter ballots on standards 280 

Letter ballots, Society 60 

Lewis, Wilfred (73) 136, 142 

LiEB, John W. (89) 136, 143 

address on Leonardo Da Vinci and gifts 218 

Library area 191 

board controls library 277 

committee 71 

sinking fund 182 

Society 267 

Local groups 290 

meetings 219 

meetings first held 121 

LoiSEAU, Emil 158 

LORINQ, Chas. H 98 



350 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAGE 

MacDonald, Charles, reports on European interchanges 226 

McParland, Walter M. (85) 136, 143 

McKiNNEY, Robert C. (86) 136, 143 

Mailing and shipping 172 

Mailloux, C. O., expert on electric installation in Engineering Society's 

Building 190 

Main, Charles T. (112) 139, 147 

Mallet, Anatole (43) 156, 157 

Managers of the Society 134, 137, 144 

Manning, Charles H. (45) 136, 142, 156, 157 

Mattice, Asa M, (79) 138, 146 

May, De Courct (71) 138, 146 

Mechanical engineer, definition of 315 

Mechanical Engineers' Library Association 118, 180, 271 

Medals 307 

Meetings, Committee on 72 

local, in different cities 290 

Society 195 

Meier, Edward D 122 

Melville, George W 105, 156 

medal prize 308 

memorial plaque 301 

Members, early 153 

election of 28 

Membership Committee 28, 74 

increase of, from 1880 to 1914 76 

philosophy, grades and qualifications 24 

Memorable meetings 197 

Merrick, J, Vaughan (19) 135, 140 

Metric and anti-metric votes 61, 286 

Miller, Fred J. (92) 136, 143 

Miller, Lebbeus B. (49) 138, 145 

Miller, Spencer (113) 139, 147 

Money value of technical training 113 

Monitor model, gift 302 

Monographs issued by the Society 38 

Monthly meetings 219 

Moore, Lyourgus B 148 

Moore, R. S. (74) 136, 146 

Morgan, Charles H 107 

Morgan, Joseph, Jr. (27) 135, 140 

Morgan, Thomas R., Sr. (29) 137, 145 

Morris, Henry G. (31) 135, 141 

Morse, 8. F. B., residence considered 178 

Morton, Henry (15) 135, 140 



INDEX 351 

PAGE 

Mott library headquarters 176, 270 

MouLTKOP, I. E. (107) 137, 144 

Mount Vernon memorial oak 209 

Nason, Carelton W, (37) 138, 145 

Nason, Joseph, bust and pedestal 299 

National Industrial Museum 288 

Navy Personnel Bill 59 

Necrology standards 68 

Negative votes on candidates 29 

New members, candidacy of 168 

Newton, Sie Isaac, portrait 298 

Noble, Alfred (106) 139, 147 

Nominating Committee, first 11 

Norman, George H 159 

Organization of Society 15 

Orrok, George A. (105) 139, 147 

Parkhtjrst, John F. (41) 135, 141 

Papers, notable 161 

Papers presentation at meetings 30 

Philosophy of Society 22 

Piano, gift of subscribing members 301 

Pickering, Thos. R. (47) 135, 141 

Porter, Charles T. (28) (22) 135, 140, 154, 155 

Portraits, gifts of 297 

Portraits and busts in Thirty-first Street 274 

Pratt, Francis A. (7) 135, 139 

Preliminary conference before organization of Society 15 

Presidents of the Society 77 

Prescott, Fred. M. (85) 128, 146 

Prizes 307 

Professional sections 290, 293 

Professional standards 278 

Program of meetings 43 

Public Relations Committee 74 

Publication Committee 70 

Purchasing department 172 

PusEY, Charles W. (46) 138, 145 

Rab, Thomas Whiteside 150 

Rand, A. C 159 

Rankine, Wm. J, M., portrait 297 

Raymond, R. W., at Holley memorial 199 

Raynal, Alfred H. (68) 138, 146 

Reading of papers at meetings 33 



352 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAGE 

Reed, Edward T 153, 154 

Registration at meetings 47 

Reist, H. G. (112) 137, 144 

Re-publication of papers 42 

Research Committee 74 

Resignation of Frederick R. Hutton, secretary 116 

Reuleaux, Feanz (8) 153, 154 

ReuIeauLZ portrait 297 

Revision of stenographic reports 34 

Reynolds, Edwin H 109 

Rice, Arthur L., assistant to secretary 108 

Rice, Calvin W., Secretary 116, 152 

Rice, Richard H, (83) 138, 146 

Richards, Chas. B. (35) 135, 141 

Richmond, George (62) 138, 146 

RiKER, A. L. (89) 139, 147 

Roberts, Percival, Jr. (48) 135, 141 

Robinson, A. Wells (57) 138, 146 

Robinson, Clarence W., mail and order clerk 185 

Robinson, S. W. (12) 137, 145 

Rockwood, George I. (80) 138, 146 

Root, John B 158 

Rose, Joshua 159 

Rowland, Thos. F., honored 207 

Rules of the Society 22 

Russell, Walter S. (61) 136, 142 

Sabine, A. H., expert on acoustics of Engineering Societies' Building. . 190 

Saque, James E. (115) 137, 144 

Sanders, Newell (76) 138, 146 

Sando, W. J. (95) 139, 147 

Schneider, Henri (9) 153, 155 

Scott, Irving M. (44) 135, 141 

Secretaries of the Society 134, 148 

Sections of the Society Ill, 290, 292 

See, Horace 91 

Sellers, Coleman 89 

Sellers, Coleman, Jr. (41) 138, 145 

Sellers, Morris (32) 137, 145 

Semi-annual meeting 50 

Sharp, Joel (37) 135, 141 

Shock, Wm. H. (5) 135, 139 

Siemens, C. W. (10) 153, 155 

Small, H. T. (49) 135, 141 

Smith, Erastus W 158 

Smith, Horace S. (29) 135, 141 



INDEX 353 

PAGE 

Smith, Jesse M 120 

Smith, Obeblin 95 

presents decimal thickness gage 207 

Society of Civil Engineers of France extends courtesies to Society 238 

visits U. S. A 244 

SOULE, ElCHAED H. (65) 138, 146 

Special committees 285 

Specifications originated by buyer and seller 25 

Standards and achievements prior to 1880 5 

Standards created by Society 61 

Standards, letter ballots on 280 

Standards recommended 278 

conducting engine tests 283 

direct connected engine sets 284 

duty trials of pumping engines 282 

flanges 281 

machine screws 284 

pipe threads 281 

tests on engines at the Columbia World's Fair 283 

testing boilers 280 

uniform methods of testing materials 282 

Standardization Committee 75 

Standing Committees 70 

Stanwood, James B. (60) 138, 146 

Steaens, Thos. B. (106) 137, 144 

Stephenson portrait 298 

Stetson, Geokge E. (64) 136, 142 

Stewart Building headquarters 174 

Stiles, Norman C, (56) 138, 146 

Stillman indicators 304 

Stirling, Allan (24) 135, 140 

Stott, Henry G. (108) (139) 137, 144, 139, 147 

Student branches 290 

prizes 307 

SuPLEE, Henry Harrison (61) 138, 146 

SwASEY, Ambrose 112 

establishes The Engineering Foundation 218 

Sweet, John E 13, 85, 157 

calls first meeting 4 

portrait 298 

complimentary banquet 217 

Tallman, Frank G. (86) 138, 146 

Taylor, Fred W 115 

Taylor, Stevenson (67) 136, 142 

Technical journals and the Society 39 



354 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OP MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

PAGE 

Tellers of election 29 

Thickness gage, gift to Society, 1897 207 

Thomson, John (45) 138, 145 

Thubston, Robert H., first President 20, 80 

bas-relief 300 

Toltz, Max (114) 139, 147 

Topical queries instituted 202 

TowNE, Heney R 92 

proposes a union library plan 269 

Townsend, David (68) 136, 142 

Transactions of the Society 37, 167 

Treasurers of the Society 134, 147, 148 

Tresca, Henri (11) 153, 155 

Trowbridge, Wm. P. (10) 13, 135, 140 

Trump, Edward N. (87) 136, 143 

United Engineering Society 309, 311 

United Engineering Society, created 114 

Unwin, Wm. Cawthorne (36) 156, 157 

Vauclain, S. M. (81) 136, 143 

Vaughan, Henry H, (103) 137, 144 

Verein deutscher Eisenhiittenleute visits U. S. A 242 

Vice-presidents of the Society 134, 135, 139 

Viva-voce legislation 58 

Von Miller, Oskar (44) 156, 157 

Waitt, Arthur M. (71) 136, 142 

Walker, Francis A. (18) 154, 155 

Walworth, Arthur C. (52) 138, 146 

Warner, Worcester R 104 

Warren, B. H. (65) 136, 142 

Watt, James, portrait and bust 298 

Webber, S. S. (77) 138, 146, 149 

Weeks, George W. (38) , 135, 141 

Wellington, A. M 159 

Wellman, S. T 107 

West, Arthur (93) 136, 143 

Westinghouse, George (32) 121, 154, 156 

Westinghouse, H. H. (82) 136, 143 

Wheelock, Jerome 159 

White, Wm. H. (27) 154, 155 

Whiting, S. B. (7) 137, 140 

Whitlock, Elliott H. (Ill) 139, 147 

Whyte, p. M. (96) 136, 143 



INDEX 355 

PAGE 

Wilcox, Stephen 159 

Wiley, Wm. H 147, 148 

nominated treasurer 87 

Wolff, Alfred E., candidate for secretary 84 

expert on heating of Engineering Societies ' Building 190 

Women at meetings 44 

Wood, De Volson (36) 135, 141 

Woodbury, C. J. H. (32) 135, 141 

initiates library plan 267 

WOBTHINGTON, CHARLES C. (20) 137, 145 

WORTHINGTON, Henby E. (1) 12, 135, 139 

portrait 297 

Yarrow, Alfred F. (46) 156, 157 

Year Book of the Society 169 



.«5^=^' 















if/ / % 



..>-tM^^s^11 



"^^^m^ 



;4i?^^^ 






^L ^.-'^. 



TJ 

i 1 

A78H8 



"^gln. 






i m 






Button, Frederick Remsen 

A history of the Araericar 
Society of Mechanical Engi- 
neers from 1880 to I915 



r 



PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE 
CARDS OR SUPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 




S!te«»^