A Brief Look at 87 Years of Progress
The A.S.M. was first organized in Detroit in 1913 as the Steel Treaters Club. In 1917 the American Steel Treaters was organized in Chicago. These two joined in 1920 to form the American Society of Steel Treatment.
On Monday March 1, 1920, 38 representatives of manufacturing from New Haven, Meriden, Ansoinia, and Derby met at the Taft Hotel in New Haven to form a local Chapter. The officers were:
William Gibson - Chairman, from Marlin Rockwell
William K. Shephard - Vice Chairman, from Yale University
The first meeting was held on March 4, 1920 in the assembly room of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce; 125 were in attendance.
On March 5, 1920, a similar group of industrialists met in Bridgeport. The later disbanded and joined the New Haven Chapter. In fact, the early by-laws stipulated that the meetings be held as follows:
Three in New Haven
Two in Bridgeport
Two in Waterbury
One in Ansonia
Over the past 33 years ( since 1970) the majority of the meetings have been held at Rapps in Ansonia.
Regular meeting places were the New Haven Lawn Club, Hammond Laboratory at Yale, Wilcox's Pier at Savin Rock, and the Taft Hotel in New Haven, just to name a few.
According to the 1929-1930 yearbook:
"The objective of the society is to promote the arts and sciences connected with the manufacture or treatment of metals or both."
In 1929 there were 36 chapters nationally with a total of 5,520 members, in 2002 there were 33,000 members and the society had become international.
The New Haven Chapter ( now Southern Connecticut) membership grew as follows:
1925-1926.....58 members 1961-1962....598 members
1935-1936....191 members 1965-1966....618 members
1945-1946....395 members 1968-1969....665 members
1955-1956....482 members 1975-1976....660 members
2006-2007 …305 members
Selected snapshots of information along the 87 year trail are:
1935-1936: The national society officially became the A.S.M. Meetings were held at the Hotel Guarde in New Haven, the Stratfield Hotel in Bridgeport, the Bristol Company cafeteria, and the Singer Manufacturing Cafeteria.
1939-1940: The meetings and a six session, special lecture series were held at 8 p.m. Dinner was at 6:30 and was held at the Taft Hotel in New Haven, University Club in Bridgeport, the Elton Hotel in Waterbury, and the Derby Gas and Electric Auditorium.
1944: A permanent chapter secretary was appointed and small stipend was paid.
1945-1946: The 25th Anniversary was celebrated. Dinners were held at the Hotel Eaton, the Chi Psi Lodge in New Haven, Hotel Clarke in Derby, and the Hotel Barnum.
1953-1954: Ads in the first yearbook.
1967-1968: A junior chapter was chartered at Waterbury State Technical College.
1970: The 50th anniversary was celebrated with dinner at the Waverly Inn in Cheshire.
1977: The name was changed to the Southern Connecticut Chapter.
1978: The first Metallurgy Week was observed and the site of the Old Waterbury Brass designated as a National Metallurgical Historical Landmark.
1987: The National organization changed its name to ASM International.
1993: The Arthur Geary Scholarship was founded at UCONN.
2003: The Eli Whitney Armory designated as a National Historical Metallurgical Landmark
2006: Sailing Simulator project with ASM Hartford and UCONN, brought to and used at the Sound School in New Haven
In addition, the Chapter sponsored a special metallurgical explorer post at Eli Whitney Technical School and was a member of The Connecticut Council of Science Education, as well as established scholarships of $100.00 at Norwalk State Technical College, Waterbury State Technical College, Bridgeport Engineering Institute, University of Bridgeport, and New Haven College.
In recent years the Southern Connecticut Chapter has supported the Connecticut Science Fair (prizes), The Connecticut Invention Convention( prizes), Greater Naugatuck Valley Community College ( the Toni Tabak Scholarship), and the University of Connecticut ( the Arthur Geary Scholarship). The Chapter has been instrumental in student out reach activities and networking with its fellow technical societies and local universities and colleges. In addition continues to support and lead the annual Connecticut Material's Week observances which bring attention to the contributions of the Materials Industry to the economy and well being of Connecticut.
Please note that the Historian is continually seeking information, memorabilia, books, yearbooks, catalogs, and samples. The archives of the Chapter along with its significant items have been given to the Mattatuck Museum, the Hartford Graduate Center, the University of Connecticut Institute of Material Sciences, and the State Archeologist, and the Seymour Historical Society.
Any donation of items, information or help would be greatly appreciated
Robert John Klancko, Past Chairman, Historian, Founder – Materials Week
2 Orchard Rd.
Woodbridge, CT 06525-1122