Chapter History

Chapter History

A Brief Look at 95 Years of Progress and Services

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

                                                1980-1981....725 members

                                                1990-1991…

                                                2000-2001…375 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, theStratfield 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.

1978:   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

2009:  Materials Week is morphed into Materials Manufacturing Week by partnering with the New Haven Manufacturers Association

2009:  The Chapter decided to change its education emphasis and the UCONN Scholarship was placed in hiatus and the monies allocated between the Sound School, Eli Whitney Technical High School, and Platt Technical High School. It appears that the funds have a greater impact lower down in the educational chain, so these appear to be excellence choices.

2010:   The traditional pewter mug speaker's gift has been replaced with a machined metal map of Connecticut engraved with the speaker's name and mounted on a wooden plaque. The Chapter contracted with Dave Tuttle and the Manufacturing students at Platt Tech to create the plaques.

2012 :  The 35th Anniversary Celebrations of Materials Manufacturing week in partnership with the New Haven Manufacturers Association

2013 : In partnership with the NHMA, SCSU, and the Technical High School System, we  co-sponsor a Materials Manufacturing Summer Teachers Institute (MMSTI) focused on providing high school science teachers with experience regarding how a product is made. This is aimed at strengthening their STEM skills in the engineering and technology areas and is aligned with the new 'common core' curriculum standards.

2014 : During the 37th observance of Materials Manufacturing Week, Dr. Christine

Broadbridge of SCSU was named the 11th Materials Manufacturing Professional of the Year.  A check for $5000 was donated to the NHMA Workforce Enhancement Education Foundation  to help sponsor the outreach that we have collaboratively performed.   

2015 : We are entering our 95th year of operations and are investigating the sponsorship of a student chapter at Southern Connecticut State University

In addition, the Chapter sponsored:

  • A special metallurgical explorer post at Eli Whitney Technical School,

  • Was a member of The Connecticut Council of Science Education,

  • 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 TabakScholarship), 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
203-393-2978
203-393-2978 fax
rjklancko@gmail.com