IEEE Schenectady Section History
History of the Schenectady Section of the AIEE from 1915
The text below is adapted from a 1915 publication of AIEE Section Histories
The Schenectady Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers grew from a small engineering club fostered by the General Electric Company and limited to its employees. Thus was the General Electric Engineering Society organized in the summer of 1898 at a meeting of engineers at which Mr. W. J. Clark, presided.
Mr. W.H. Buck was elected President of the new society and Mr. J. H. Jenkins as Secretary. Succeeding Mr. Buck two years later, Mr. Jenkins held the office of President for the next two years, and during his term of office the Society had grown to such size that it was necessary to secure new quarters for its monthly lectures.
A constitution and set of by-laws were adopted on June 1, 1898. A copy to those is still extant.
The Club’s activities were not limited to the electrical field but embraced subjects of general interest. Electrical subjects, however, were naturally given most attention, and the following list of speakers and subjects may be taken as representative: Mr. E. W. Rice, Jr., Problems of Modern Central Station Design; Prof. Elihu Thompson, Lightning and Lightning Arresters; Dr. W. R. Whitney, Electrical Chemistry; Mr. W.J. Foster, Design of Alternators; Mr. A. H. Armstrong, Current Railway Problems.
The General Electric Engineering Club soon recognized the advantages to be derived by merging with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and on January 26, 1903 it became known as the Schenectady Section of the AIEE. Dr. C.P. Steinmetz officiated for three successive years and was followed by Mr. D.B. Rushmore who held the office for two years. The following members in the order named have held the Chairmanship for one year: Mr. E.J. Berg, Mr. M.O. Troy, Mr. E.A. Baldwin, Mr. E.B. Merriam, Mr. J.B. Taylor, Mr. G.H. Hill, Mr. H.M. Hobart.
In the season of 1913-14 the Section was fortunate to be able to establish permanent and commodious headquarters in the building just then completed for the Edison Club. The auditorium of this building has a seating capacity of 500. The Eidson Club has also placed at the disposal of the Section an office in the building for the purpose of committee meetings. This also serves as the Secretary’s office.
The Schenectady Section was the ninth to be recognized by the Institute. In 1915, the Schenectady Section had 791 members and held 18 meetings. At the time, it was the largest and most active of the AIEE’s section groups.
The Schenectady Section has been exceptionally fortunate in being able to secure for its meetings speackers of authority in their respective spheres. That this has been the rule from the inception of the organization is in some measure an indication of the influential position which the Section occupies. The frequency of the meetings has varied somewhat in different years but even during the 1915 season, when an unprecedentedly large number of meeting were held, no difficulty was experienced in securing the desired speaker for each of the eighteen meetings. The season’s activities are varied by occasional meetings of a purely social nature, two of these in the form of smokers have been held last year. The season is usually ended by a dinner.
History of the Schenectady Section of the AIEE from 1945
The text below is adapted from the "A History of teh Schenectady Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers" pamphlet, printed in 1945. A link to a pdf of the entire document is in the Further Reading Section below.