Region 1 (Northeastern U.S.) History
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This report is prepared by the Region 1 History Committee as part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 125th year anniversary. This document is intended to be a living history of Region 1 and officers and members of the 22 Region 1 Sections are urged to provide data updates. Data desired includes special past Section activities, special history milestones that have not been reported to the IEEE History Center and activities by members who have made significant contributions to Region 1, and IEEE. The data contained herein is from many sources, therefore if any members find required corrections please notify us at: History Chair, 6328 Lorena Road, Rome, NY, 13440-7514.
We wish to acknowledge the significant support we have received in the collection of Region 1 history data. Our history collection was started by the first Historian of Region 1, Rudy Stiefel, of the New York Section during his tenure of 1988-1989. He was followed by Frank Logan, also from the New York Section in 1990-1991. The third Historian was Roderic Lowman, from the Long Island Section who served from 1992-2000. The current Historian , who served from 2001, is Richard Ackley of the Mohawk Valley Section. All of the Historians have collected data from the IEEE History Center, at Rutgers University; from the Regional Activities Board (RAB) at Piscataway; and from the Region and Sections. Roger Sullivan, the Director of Region 1 in 2004-2005, requested that the Historian start a Region 1 History document. At his request visits were made for the collection of data at both the History Center and RAB, which is part of this report. Again our special acknowledgement to the History Center and RAB. We wish to thank Dr. Howard Michel, 2008-2009 Region 1 Director for his support in the generation of this report.
The IEEE was formed by a merger of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE); and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), in 1963. A brief history of AIEE, the senior society will be discussed in Chapter 1, followed by IRE in Chapter 2, and IEEE in Chapter 3. The 22 Region 1 Sections brief histories follow.
Chapter 1, Brief History of The American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)*
The nineteenth century was marked by a tremendous growth in electrical technology. By the early 1880s the United States was crisscrossed by telegraph wires, and Europe and America were connected by underwater cable. Arc lights were in use in several cities, Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station was supplying power for incandescent lighting, there were numerous firms manufacturing electrical equipment, and the telephone was growing in importance as a communications tool. This burgeoning electrical activity prompted the Franklin Institute to sponsor an International Electrical Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1884. This exhibition in turn proved to be the catalyst, which resulted in the formation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the senior founding society of today’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
By 1884 civil, mining, and mechanical engineers had all formed their own national societies, but there was no organization of electrical engineers in America. In the April 15, 1884 issue of “The Operator,” the major American electrical journal, twenty-five prominent individuals in electrical technology, including men like Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, Edwin Houston, and Edward Weston, were listed as signers of a “call” drafted by Nathaniel S. Keith. The call noted that the upcoming Philadelphia Exhibition would be attended by numerous “foreign electrical savants, engineers, and manufacturers” and that “it would be a lasting disgrace to American electricians if no American electrical national society was in existence to receive them with the honors due them from their co-laborers in the United States.”
On April 15 the signers of the call, plus five additional electrical practitioners, met in the headquarters of the American Society of Civil Engineers in New York to devise an organizational structure for the proposed electrical engineering society and the first general meeting was held on May 13, also at ASCE headquarters. Here the proposed organizational rules were adopted and officers were elected. Norvin Green, president of the Western Union Telegraph Company, was elected president, N. S. Keith, drafter of the call, became Secretary, and R. R. Hazard became Treasurer. Six Vice-Presidents were also chosen: Alexander Graham Bell, Charles D. Cross, Thomas A. Edison, George A. Hamilton, Charles H. Haskins, and Frank L. Pope.
The AIEE held its first technical session on October 7-8 at the Franklin Institute during the Exhibition. The papers presented there were published in the initial volume of “Transactions” of the AIEE, issued in 1884. The first paper, “Notes on Phenomena in Incandescent Lamps” by E. J. Houston, was a discussion of the Edison Effect, the phenomena that became the foundation of electronics.
One of the important continuing activities of the AIEE was the development of standards for the engineering profession and the electrical industry. The Institutes earliest efforts were directed toward standardizing units, definitions, and nomenclature relating to basic electrical science. The first action in this area was the adoption of the name “Henry” for the practical unit of inductance in 1890.
In later actions the Institute adopted names, definitions, and values of units of magneto-motive force, magnetic flux, reluctance, flux density, reactance, and luminous intensity. The appointment of the Committee on Standardization in 1898 signaled the movement of the Institute into the area of technical standards related to engineering practice. As explained by an early AIEE president, A. E. Kennelly, the purpose of this committee was to “define and state in as simple language as practicable, the nature, characteristics, behavior, rating, and methods of testing electrical machinery and apparatus, particularly with a view to setting up acceptance test standards for the electrical industry.”
In 1920 the Institute first appointed representatives to the American Engineering Standards Committee (later the American National Standards Institute). This marked the beginning of AIEE efforts in production and manufacturing standards. Here the purpose was to establish standard sizes, specifications, and tests, and to eliminate wasteful duplication.
Although its first technical session was held in Philadelphia, most of the early meetings of AIEE were held in New York City. This necessarily limited attendance to those engineers living in the New York area. As the membership of the Institute grew, efforts were made to increase the participation of those living in other parts of the country. In 1893 arrangements were made to allow meetings in New York and other cities to be conducted simultaneously. Meetings were held upon petition by twenty members; and the same papers would be read and discussed at all meetings. Numerous such meetings were held in Chicago, but few were held elsewhere. In 1902 under the presidency of Charles F. Scott, the formation of local sections was authorized. Chicago and Ithaca, New York became the first two Sections. In the same year student Branches were organized at various engineering schools; the first such Branch was at Lehigh University. As the AIEE expanded beyond New York, so it soon expanded beyond the boundaries of the United States; in 1903 the first Section outside the U.S. was formed in Toronto.
In 1901 Schuyler Skaats Wheeler, who would later become president of the AIEE, purchased the library of the British electrical engineer, Latimer Clark. The Clark Collection was one of the world’s great libraries of electrical technology. Wheeler gave this collection to the AIEE, with the stipulation that the Institute provide a suitable building for housing the library within five years. This stimulated the growing movement for a permanent home for the Institute. Early meetings were held in various locations throughout New York City, until the AIEE was invited to share the new offices of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at 12 West 31st Street.
In 1903 Andrew Carnegie provided $1,000,000 (later increased to $1,500,000) to build a joint headquarters building for the ASME, AIEE, and the American Institute of Mining Engineers (ASME. The three societies moved into the building at 33 West 39th Street in April of 1907 and were joined by the American Society of Chemical Engineers (ASCE) in 1917. The four Engineering Societies formed the Engineering Foundation. The Engineering Societies Building served until the late 1950s when the need for more space resulted in the construction of the United Engineering Center, which was sold in the 2000’s. The Engineering Foundation and the four engineering societies now rent office space at Three Park Avenue.
As electrical technology in the United States advanced, the “electricians,” the practical men who had cut their teeth in the telegraph industry, were gradually replaced by engineers,’ more often than not college graduates. In 1910 an Institute committee drew a distinction between electricians and engineers, categorizing the former as workers who could perform “certain classes of electrical work, such as the installation of electric lights and bells, and the operation of small electric plants.” As the scope of electrical engineering expanded, engineers became more specialized and sought to exchange information with others engaged in the same specialties. Thus, in 1903 the first Technical Committee, the High Voltage Transmission Committee, was formed. By the time of the merger with the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1963 the number of Technical Committees had risen to 58.
By the beginning of the twentieth century the AIEE had taken its place alongside the older engineering societies. It remained a prosperous, growing organization into the 1950s, when it became apparent that major changes were required if the Institute was to respond to the changing nature of electrical technology itself.
- This data has modifications of documents provided by the IEEE History Center
Chapter 2, Brief History of The Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) *
The Institute of Radio Engineers grew out of the merger of two earlier organizations. The Society of Wireless Telegraph Engineers, (SWTE) which was started in 1907 in Boston by John Stone Stone. It was an outgrowth of seminars held at the Stone Wireless Telegraph Company, and membership was initially limited to employees of that company. Ultimately the membership was opened to men from Reginald Fessenden’s National Electric Signaling Company and other firms. By 1911 the SWTE was barely functioning, however, since Stone’s company had gone out of business and Fessenden’s had moved to Brooklyn, New York.
The second attempt to form an organization of radio engineers was the work of Robert Marriott in 1908. Marriott was clearly influenced by the success of the AIEE, and felt that wireless engineers could emulate the older organization. On May 14, 1908 he mailed a circular letter to some two hundred persons interested in wireless, outlining the nature of his proposed society. He received nearly sixty favorable replies. A temporary organization was formed on January 23, 1909 and the first regular meeting was held on March 10th at the Engineering Societies Building in New York.
The new organization was named The Wireless Institute (TWI). The Institute began successfully, but by 1912 membership had fallen to 27 from a high of 99, and Marriott’s society was struggling to stay in existence. In an attempt to salvage one strong society from two weak ones, Marriott and Alfred H. Goldsmith of The Wireless Institute and John V. L. Hogan of the SWTE met and devised a plan to consolidate the two groups. TWI met on April 5, 1912, with members of the SWTE also attending, and agreed to the merger.The Wireless Institute held its final meeting on May 6, and the new Institute of Radio Engineers held its first official meeting one week later. At this time the members approved a constitution and elected the following officers: President, Robert H. Marriott, Vice-President, Fritz Lowenstein, Treasurer, E. D. Forbes, Secretary, Emil J. Simon; Editor, Alfred N. Goldsmith; and Managers, Lloyd Espenschied, Frank Fay, J. H. Hammond, Jr., John V. L. Hogan, and J. S. Stone.
The members of the Institute agreed from the beginning that the publishing of papers andrelated discussions was an important function of any engineering society, and the first issue of The “Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers” was published in January of 1913. Alfred N. Goldsmith became editor of the new publication, a post he would hold for 41 of the next 42 years. The selection of a name for the new organization indicates something about the ambitions and aims of the founders. By explicitly excluding the word “American” the radio engineers were attempting to become an international society. These ambitions were soon realized. By the end of 1915 there were 83 members from eleven countries other than the United States, and when the Institute named its first Fellow in 1914, it chose a citizen of Germany, Jonathan Zenneck. In 1930 the IRE began the custom of always electing a Vice-President from a country other than the United States, and in 1957 both President and Vice-President were from outside the U. S.
As with other engineering societies, one of the main concerns of the IRE was the writing and publishing of standards. The report of the first Standardization Committee, published in 1913, dealt with definitions of terms, letter and mathematical symbols, and methods of testing and rating equipment.
In the years 1920-1930 the IRE began to coordinate its standards activities with radio and electrical trade associations such as the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the Radio Manufacturers Association. Following the precedent set by the first Standardization Committee, the IRE generally limited its efforts to promulgating standards for definitions, symbols, and testing methods. The manufacturers associations generally concentrated on standardizing size and characteristics of equipment, promoting interchangeability of parts, and establishing standard performance ratings and material specifications. During this same period the IRE was active in the successful effort to have intervals between assigned broadcast channels measured in frequencies rather than wavelengths. In addition the IRE joined the AIEE to sponsor the Sectional Committee on Radio of the American Standards Association in 1927. This was an effort to cooperate with other engineering groups to insure standardization on a broad basis. In an area related to standardization, the IRE throughout its history cooperated with the Federal Government in the development of regulations for the broadcasting industry. In the years 1922-1925 Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover held a series of National Radio Conferences in which the IRE actively participated. These conferences led to the formation of the Federal Radio Commission (later the Federal Communications Commission) in 1927. In 1948, at the behest of the FCC, the IRE and the Radio and Television Manufacturers Association formed the Joint Technical Advisory Committee (JTAC). JTAC reports dealt with such topics as FM broadcasting, television interference, standards of good engineering practice, and interference from arc welders.
The IRE cooperated actively with both of the National Television System Committees, which were formed by industrial organizations with a stake in the development of compatible television systems. The first NTSC, formed in 1940, produced standards, which became the basis for commercial monochrome (black and white) television service in the United States. The second NTSC began in 1950 and developed the American standards for color television. The growth of the IRE reflected the growth of the radio industry in general. In the years prior to World War I maritime radio was the most important segment of the industry, and coastal cities had the largest concentrations of radio engineers. Thus the first local section was organized in Washington, D.C. in 1914, and by 1917 there were sections in Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco. In the post-war years domestic broadcasting became more important; by 1925 there were sections in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Toronto.
Almost from the beginning the IRE set out to attract younger members. It established a Junior Member grade for those under 21 in 1916, and in 1932 created a Student grade for those in engineering schools. Ultimately the Junior grade was dropped in 1943. It was not until 1947, however, that the first formal Student Branches were organized, at the College of the City of New York and New York University. As in the AIEE, members of the IRE who shared a common technical specialty sought ways to interact more directly. In 1948, therefore, the Institute authorized the Professional Group system. The first two Groups were “Audio” and “Broadcast Engineers.” After the merger with the AIEE in 1963, the Professional Groups became the basis for the IEEE technical Societies.
Prior to World War II the IRE was relatively small compared to other engineering societies, and its requirements for office space were modest. Headquarters were usually located in the New York offices of one of the national officers. In 1924 the Institute leased space at 37 West 39th Street and in 1928 moved a few doors down the street into the Engineering Societies Building. By 1934 more space was needed, and the offices were moved to the McGraw-Hill Building at 330 West 42nd Street, where they remained until 1946, when the Institute purchased a former mansion at 1 East 79th Street. Over the years the IRE acquired two adjacent buildings, and this was its home until 1963.
For the first thirty years of its existence the IRE was one of the smallest of the major engineering societies. But IRE members were practitioners of the technology of the future. In the years after World War II, electronics became the fastest growing branch of electrical engineering, and IRE membership soared past that of the older AIEE. In 1963 the IRE, born as the result of a merger, was itself partner in a merger with the AIEE to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
- This Data has modifications of documents provided by the IEEE History Center
Chapter 3, Brief History of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)*
Electrical engineering developed along two separate but related paths for most of the twentieth century. The last quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by the rise of wire communications, electric lighting, and centralized production and distribution of power. In 1884 the practitioners of these technologies formed the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. The early years of the new century saw the rise of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting. In 1912 the Institute of Radio Engineers was founded by those pursuing this new technology. The two societies grew and prospered side by side, sometimes overlapping, but maintaining largely separate identities and interests. The AIEE came to be oriented towards the electric utilities and industrial users of power, while the IRE became the electronics society.
The years after World War II brought drastic changes to these long standing arrangements. Electrical technology was moving rapidly; radar, computers, television, solid-state electronics, and space exploration were burgeoning fields. These were largely electronic technologies; thus electronics became the glamour field, attracting the majority of electrical engineering students and offering the majority of new electrical engineering jobs. This translated into an increase in membership in the IRE. The table below illustrates the rapid growth of IRE and the almost stagnant growth of AIEE just prior to the merger.
YEAR AIEE MEMBERSHIP IRE MEMBERSHIP
1947 26,500 18,000
1957 50,000 55,500
1962 57,000 96,500
Justifiably alarmed by this trend, the AIEE in 1957 appointed a task force to devise a plan for dealing with the situation. The task force, headed by W. A. Lewis, who was also a member of the IRE, issued its report in 1959. It found that 1) the AIEE had failed to enter new fields as they opened up; 2) the Institute had insufficient appeal to college students; and 3) the board and committee structure did not adequately cover the whole field of electrical engineering. The task force’s recommendations included revising the Technical Committee structure to resemble that of the IRE’s Professional Groups. The recommendations were not put into effect, however, because the movement toward merger with the IRE had begun in earnest.
Merger was an old idea. Alfred N. Goldsmith, one of the founders of the IRE, had long advocated the joining of the two electrical engineering societies. In 1922 Goldsmith and A. E. Kennelly, then a past president of both societies, initiated a serious effort toward merger which failed due to the AIEE’s lack of interest in radio. After World War II, the AIEE became more receptive to the idea of consolidation. In 1945, 1952, and 1956 the AIEE Board of Directors expressed its interest in merging with the IRE, but the radio engineers chose to remain aloof although merger was becoming ever more logical. Neither society adequately represented the whole breadth of electrical engineering. There was duplication of staff, publications, and activities, as well as duplication of expenses for members who chose to join both institutes. The difficulties were first overcome on college campuses, where Student Branches of the AIEE and the IRE began to join together. In 1950 the Boards of both societies authorized the creation of Joint Student Branches, with one set of dues. On the national level a closer cooperation continued. In 1956 John D. Ryder and Morris Hooven, Presidents of the IRE and AIEE repective1y, met at the Engineers Club in New York and worked out a reciprocal membership plan, whereby members of one institute could join the other at an equivalent grade, without payment of fees or further substantiating documents. The plan was approved by the IRE in 1955, but the AIEE did not approve until sometime later. In 1958 AIEE President L. F. Hickernell and IRE President D. G. Fink worked out additional arrangements for closer cooperation, but these were not immediately implemented.
In January of 1961, IRE past President Ronald McFarlan was invited to attend an AIEE board meeting, where he described the organization and philosophy of his institute. Later in the year, Clarence Linder, President of the AIEE made a similar appearance before the board of the IRE. After these meetings, events moved rapidly. Representatives of the two societies met and arranged for the appointment of a joint Ad-hoc Committee to discuss the specifics of a merger. The eight-man committee did its work well; by October of 1961 the IRE board authorized its President, P. E. Haggerty, to present the AIEE with a resolution that the merger go forward. The Merger Committee was enlarged to fourteen members in 1962 and set out to devise merger recommendations that could be presented to the membership of both societies later in the year. In the election that followed, 87 percent of the voting members of each society approved the merger. Donald G. Fink, a Fellow of both the AIEE and the IRE, was chosen as General Manager of the new Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. On January 1, 1963 the IEEE was officially born.
The new society’s organization was clearly patterned after the IRE. There was to be a small Board of Directors with an Executive Committee to take care of everyday affairs, as opposed to the AIEE pattern of a large Board and no Executive Committee; the IRE Professional Group system prevailed over the AIEE Technical Committees; and the operation was in general decentralized after the IRE pattern. The merger resulted in the discontinuation of one periodical, and the start of another. The AIEE Publication “Electrical Engineering,” had suffered from a lack of advertising revenue for years, and was dropped.
The Proceedings of the IRE was profitable from an advertising standpoint, but its papers were too esoteric to serve the diverse membership of the new society. In 1964, “Spectrum” was launched as the new “core” publication, with Proceedings remaining as a high quality technical journal available by separate subscription.
In 1973 the IEEE took a step away from the traditions of both of its predecessors with the adoption of a new constitution. The IEEE gave up its role as a “learned society” concerned solely with the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, and assumed the role of a “professional society” concerned with the non-technical as well as technical interests of its members. The United States Activities Board, supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. residents, was created to oversee the non-technical operations of the IEEE within the United States.
Forty-five years have passed since the formation of the IEEE. Today the Institute is the largest professional association in the world, with 355,235 members in 2008, and its activities now extend far beyond anything its forebears could have foreseen. It remains, the premier spokesman for the most significant and exciting technological field of its time.
- This data has modifications of documents provided by the IEEE History Center
Chapter 4, Region 1 Section History
Over the past eight years the Region 1 History Committee has prepared a series of Section history reports to coincide with Regional Meetings held in that Section. This chapter will discuss Section history from the archives and excerpts from reports on these Regional meetings..
Board of Governors (BOG) Region 1 Meeting and Berkshire Section
Centennial Celebration conducted on August 27-29, 2004.
On March 25, 1904, Pittsfield became the 19th Branch of the AIEE, and the 4th in Region 1. Note that Pittsfield was the AIEE designation, which was changed to Berkshire when IEEE was formed. The AIEE designation was changed from Branch to Section in 1907. The first Chairman of Pittsfield was C.C. Chesney, and the first Secretary was H. H. Barnes. Pittsfield was very active in AIEE, assuming many Institute leadership positions. In 1942-43, K. B. McEachron became Chairman of District 1 of AIEE. Note that the AIEE District was a geographical entity similar to our Regions, and District 1 covered an area similar to Region 1, without the NY metropolitan area. Note also that the District Chairman was also a Vice-President of AIEE. McEachron was followed by another Pittsfield member in 1952-53, W. Scott Hill.
The only information in the archives regarding Pittsfield and IRE was their name: Western Massachusetts, and their membership date was 1958.
Edward Ptak, Berkshire Historian prepared an excellent history document which covers Section history from 1884-1984, which they called a “ Living History.” The document was appropriately named, since an addendum was issued in 1985, a second addendum in 1989, and a third now in preparation. The history document is provided on the Berkshire section web site. (Under the Berkshire Section at http://www.ieee.org.) Some excerpts from this excellent history follows.
William Stanley joined the Section (AIEE) in 1887, making him one of the first members of AIEE. He started the Stanley Electrical Manufacturing Company in Pittsfield in 1890, which was annexed by General Electric as their Pittsfield works. Stanley was the developer of alternating current, with encouragement from George Westinghouse, which resulted in the electrification of America. Their Section meetings had over 1000 attendees, with speakers that were well known in Science and society. Charles Steinmetz discussed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity; Floyd Bennett discussed The North Pole and back Again; Lowell Thomas discussed his adventures around the world; Amelia Earhart discussed adventures in the air; and Willy Ley discussed conquest of space, to name a few.
Berkshire Section Officers for 2008 are: Rob Reilly, Chairman; John DiNicola , Vice-Chairman; Bert Pritchard, Secretary; and Frank Fisher, Treasurer.
Binghamton Section History
Binghamton became a Sub-Section of Ithaca Section of AIEE in 1947, but did not become a Section of the Institute. Binghamton became a Section of IRE on March 7,1952 which is their IEEE anniversary date. The first IRE officers were: J.H. Merchant, Chairman; and R. F. New, Secretary. Binghamton Section Officers for 2008 are: Dr. Doug Hopkins, Chairman; Guru Madhaven, Vice-Chairman; Danny Tung, Secretary; and Edward Ware, Treasurer. A careful check of all available archives and the Binghamton Section Web Site provided no further historical data on Binghamton.
Boston Section History
Region 1 BOG Meeting, and Boston Section Centennial
Celebration Conducted on February 7-9, 2003.
Boston was the 12th Branch in AIEE, and the 3rd in Region 1. This meeting not only Celebrated the centennial but also celebrated the election of Dr. Arthur Winston as IEEE President. Boston was very active in the founding of IRE, and provided 3 of the first 5 Presidents; John Greenleaf Pickard, Director of the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Company, in 1913; John Stone Stone, President of Stone Wireless and Telegraph Company, in 1915; and Arthur Kennelly, Professor of Engineering at Harvard and MIT, in 1916. Arthur Kennelly was also President of the AIEE in 1898-1900. There were three other Presidents of AIEE from Boston; Alexander Graham Bell, who taught and did his original telephone work in Boston; Comfort Adams, Professor at Harvard; and Frank Jewett, Professor at MIT. The first officers of IRE were: A. E. Kennelly, Chairman; and Melville Eastham, Secretary. The archives start in 1904, the year after Boston Joined the AIEE, and the officers for 1904 were: R. Fleming, Chairman; and G. H. Stickney, Secretary.
Boston Section has continued its very active support after the formation of IEEE in 1963. Richard Damon was elected IEEE President in 1981, and as previously mentioned Dr. Arthur Winston in 2004. Nine Boston members have been elected Region 1 Directors and Chairman of the Region 1 BOG; Dr. W. Crawford Dunlap, 1966-1967; Dr. Harry Mimno, 1968-69; Dr. James Storer, 1970-71, Harold Goldberg, 1972-73; Dr. James Shepherd, 1978-79; Dr. Bruce Wedlock, 1982-83; John Kaczorowski, 1990-91; Dr. Arthur Winston, 1996-97; and Dr. Howard Michel, 2008-09. Boston has conducted 23 Regional Meetings for Region 1. From 1980-1988 Dr. Bruce Wedlock conducted the Spring Meetings at the MIT Stratton building, Student Center.
The Boston Section has been continually involved in the development of engineering knowledge, and new electronic inventions and product development. The Section formed the New England Research and Engineering Meeting (NEREM), which they operated until 1976 when NEREM merged with the New York IEEE International Conference (INTERCON) to form the Trade Show ELECTRO. The Boston and NEW York Sections continued to operate ELECTRO shows annually for 20 years until the program ceased to be financially self supporting. Boston area also provided key research and development in Electronics, with MIT, Lincoln Laboratory, and large firms such as Raytheon. There were key activities in Military Electronics. Boston Section Officers for 2008 are: Lori Jeromin, Chair; John Conrad, Vice-Chair; Bruce Hecht, Secretary; and Karen Panetta, Treasurer.
Buffalo History and Region 1
BOG meeting for August 10-12, 2001.
The Niagara Frontier Section was chartered by the AIEE on February 10, 1925.
Curiously a small area around Niagara Falls was not included, or was later removed and incorporated into the Niagara International Section which was chartered in 1948. Niagara International included Niagara Falls, USA; Niagara Falls, Canada and St. Catherines, Canada. The first Chairman of the Niagara Frontier Section was J. Allen Johnson and the first Secretary was A.W. Underhill Jr. The Section was closely associated with local electrical industries and the Secretaries frequently listed their addresses as: GE, Niagara Electric. Westinghouse, NY Telephone and Dupont.
The IRE was incorporated in 1927, as the Buffalo-Niagara Section, with L. C. F. Hoyle listed as its first Chair, a position he held for at least three years. Several Section Officers listed their addresses as Colonial Radio Corporation, 1280 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. After the merger of the founding Societies to form IEEE in 1963, the name of the Section was changed to Buffalo.
The first Region 1 BOG meeting in the Buffalo Section was held on September 27, 1980, at the Niagara Hilton, Niagara Falls, NY, and the second Buffalo Region 1 BOG meeting was again held at the Niagara Hilton on August 19, 1989. Buffalo Section Officers for 2008 are: Jim Bates, Chairman; Judy Moshal, Secretary; R. Kent Roberts, Treasurer. (No Vice-Chair listed)
Connecticut Section History
and Region 1 BOG Meeting conducted on February 1, 2001.
The AIEE Connecticut Section was formed on April 16, 1921. The first officers were: C. F. Scott, chairman; and A.E. Knowlton, Secretary. The IRE Section was formed in 1928 and was named Connecticut Valley. The first officers were: W. G. Cady, Chairman; and George W. Pettingill Jr., Secretary. The Connecticut Valley Section had officers from both the Hartford area and Springfield MA, therefore Springfield Section should perhaps also be listed as an IRE member.
Michael Whitelaw from CT was elected Regional Director in 1986-1987. Due to Mike’s strong encouragement many of us became active in the IEEE. Region 1 BOG Meetings have been held at Windsor Locks, CT on February 3, 1996; February 3, 2001, and February 2007. Connecticut Section Officers for 2008 are: Charlotte Blair, Chair; Ravi Rajaravivarma, Vice-Chair; Oscar Tonello, Secretary; and Tom Freund, Treasurer.
Green Mountain Section History
and Region 1 BOG Meeting on August 11, 2007.
The AIEE formed a Student Branch at Norwich University, in Norwich, VT on June 28,1916. The University was moved from Norwich to Northfield, VT, and there is no indication the Branch continued after 1920. However, in 1994 the IEEE had a Student Branch at Norwich University, which is not mentioned on the Vermont Section WEB Site, unless the college name has been changed. In 1954 a Sub-Section of Pittsfield, MA was formed in Vermont, and in 1960 AIEE formed the Vermont Section.
The first Section Officers were: R. O. King, Chair; and P.M. Seal, Secretary. IRE formed a Sub-Section called Northern Vermont, but the parent Section is not identified. Other BOG meetings were held in September 1986, and February 2000. Officers for 2008are: Eugene Schlatz, Chair; Pascal Nsame, Vice-Chair; Nizam Ahmed, Secretary; and Jim Monzel, Treasurer. The name of the Section was changed from Vermont to Green Mountain in 2001.
Ithaca Section History
Region 1 BOG Meeting and Ithaca Section Centennial Celebration conducted on August 16-18, 2002.
Ithaca was the first Section in Region 1 to reach the enviable milestone of being a century section having been made a Cornell University Branch of AIEE on October 15, 1902. Ithaca shares 4th Section honors in AIEE with Lehigh University and The University of Wisconsin that had the same entry date. Cornell University Branch became a Section in 1908 and the name was changed to Ithaca. The archives are not available prior to 1904, therefore officers for 1904 are provided and were: Harris J. Ryan, Chairman; and George S. Macomber, Secretary. Starting in 1938 the archives show Ithaca had 47 members, which increased to 158 in 1949, the last year data was available. In 1947 Binghamton was made a Sub-Section of Ithaca.
Ithaca was also active in IRE , and a Sub-Section of Syracuse was formed in 1953.
They advanced to full IRE membership in 1954. The first officers were: Ben Warriner, Chairman; and R.L. Wooley, Secretary. Since the merger of AIEE and IRE in 1963, Ithaca has not been active in Regional affairs, No data exists in the archives regarding Section activities, and Ithaca does not have a Section site on the IEEE Geographic Activity Web Site.
Long Island Section History
and Region 1 BOG Meetings
The archives show no Long Island association with AIEE. Long Island was far more active in Electronics, having many companies doing Military work as well as home electronics. Long Island therefore formed an IRE Section on May 6, 1953. The first officers were: Vincent Learned, Chair; and J. F. Bisby, Secretary. Eight winter meetings were held on Long Island, most of which were held at or near LaGuardia Field. Dates of these meetings were 1976, 1978,1979, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, and 2006. The archives do not indicate whether NY or Long Island sponsored these meetings. Long Island has been very active in The IEEE, having two members elected President; Henry Bachman, in 1987, and Joel Snyder in 2001. Five Region 1 Directors have been elected from Long Island: Arthur Rossoff in 1976-77; Alex Gruenwald in 1984-85; Victor Zourides in 1988-89; Joel Snyder in 1992-93; and Louis Luceri in 1998-99. We want to give Peter Eckstein special recognition since he served as Secretary of the BOG for 12 years. Peter not only did an excellent job on his Secretary activities but did all the planning for the 24 BOG meetings conducted during his tenure. Officers for 2008 are: William DeAgro, Chair; Santo Mazzola, Vice-Chair; Jon Garruba, Secretary, and Brian Quinn, Treasurer.
Maine Section History
and Region 1 BOG Meeting on August 20, 2005.
The Maine AIEE Section was formed on June 30, 1955, and the first officers were: H. W. Murdock, Chair, and Basil Payne, Secretary. The archives do not show that Maine had any IRE entity. The only archival IEEE activity shown is the Regional Board of Governors Meeting noted above. Maine Section Officers for 2008 are: Ali Abedi, Chair; Paul Villeneuve, Vice-Chair; John Allen, Secretary; and David Kotecki, Treasurer.
Mid-Hudson Section History
Mid-Hudson became a Section of AIEE on June 1, 1960, with the name Hudson Valley.
The first officers were: D. R. Zeissett, Chair; and H. M. Round, Secretary. The archives do not indicate that Mid-Hudson had any association with the IRE. Mid-Hudson had two IEEE Regional Directors: Hans Cherney, 1980-81; and Barry Shoop, 2006-07. Region 1 BOG Meetings were held in Mid-Hudson in 1983, 1992, and 1994. West Point Military Academy, and the IBM Company are very active in the Mid-Hudson region; teaching, inventing and developing electronics. Mid-Hudson Section Officers for 2008 are: Lisa Shay, Chair; Baback Izadi, Vice-Chair; Greg Kilby, Secretary; and David J. Pittmann, Treasurer.
Mohawk Valley Section History
Mohawk Valley had no direct AIEE involvement, however, in 1950 Syracuse formed a St. Lawrence AIEE Sub-Section which was International because it included Cornwall, Ontario. Canada. When the IEEE was formed in 1963, the St.Lawrence area including Cornwall became part of the Mohawk Valley Section, as a Sub-Section thereby making it an International Section. The first Officers were: P. F. Mengel, Chair; and G. W. Reed, Secretary. This area has now become a direct part of the Mohawk Valley Section. IRE formed a Section on November 11, 1953, called Rome-Utica Section. The first Officers of the Mohawk Valley Section were: Harry Davis, Chair; and M.V. Ratynski, Secretary. Mohawk Valley has held two Regional BOG Meetings. The first was held at Clarkson University in, Potsdam, NY, on August 11, 1990. The second meeting was held in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, on August 19, 2000. The US Air Force Rome Air Development Center (Now Rome Laboratory) was very active in the design and development of Radar, Communications, Electronic Countermeasures, Intelligence, and Electronic Warfare. General Electric Aerospace was active in the design and development of Electronic Systems. Two Mohawk Valley members have been elected Region 1 Directors; Richard Benoit in 1974-75, and Richard Ackley in 1994-95. Mohawk Valley Officers for 2008 are: Gerard Genello, Chair; Lois Walsh, Secretary; and Bruce Rubin, Treasurer.
New Hampshire Section History
New Hampshire AIEE Section was formed on September 3, 1953. The first Officers were: R. W. Hunt, Chair; and R. A. Nichols, Secretary. The archives do not show an IRE entity for New Hampshire. The Region 1 BOG held a meeting at Durham, New Hampshire on October 1, 1982. New Hampshire Officers for 2008 are: Jim Anderson, Chair; Kenric Nelson, Vice-Chair; Celine Bilodeau, Secretary; and Don Sherwood, Treasurer.
New Jersey Coast Section History
New Jersey Coast is the only Section in Region 1 that was formed after the AIEE/IRE Merger, on March 20, 1965. The archives do not have any information regarding the first Officers. Region 1 BOG held a meeting at South Seaside Park, NJ on September 26, 1981. New Jersey Coast Officers for 2008 are: T. K. Srinivas, Chair; Wei Su, Vice-Chair; K. Raghunandan, Secretary; and Rulei Ting, Treasurer.
New York Section History
New York AIEE Section was formed on December 10, 1919. The first Officers were: H. W. Buck, Chair; and H. A. Pratt, Secretary. Although the first technical session of AIEE was held in Philadelphia, most of the early meetings were held in New York City. The New York IRE Section was formed in 1943, and the first Officers were: H. M. Lewis, Chair; and H. F. Dart, Secretary. New York Section sponsored several Region 1 BOG Meetings: 1965, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1983,1985, 1989, 1991, and 1993. Laguardia meetings mentioned for Long Island may have been co-sponsored by NY. New York Section had two members elected President of IEEE; Eric E. Sumner, and Lewis M. Terman. Roger Sullivan served as Director of Region 1 in 2004-05. We want to give special recognition to Karl Sommer who ably conducted the BOG office of Treasurer for 9 different Directors over a period of 18 years. The New York Section has been continually involved in the development of electrical engineering knowledge and electronic development. New York formed the IEEE International Conference (INTERCON) to interchange electrical and electronics knowledge and show new products and ideas. The INTERCON merged with Boston’s New England Research and Engineering Meeting (NEREM) to form the trade show ELECTRO. New York and Boston continued to operate ELECTRO shows annually for 20 years until it ceased to be self-supporting. New York Officers for 2008 are: David M. Weiss, Chair; Warner W. Johnston, Vice-Chair; Balvinder Blah, Secretary; and Darlene E. Rivera, Treasurer.
North Jersey Section History
North Jersey became an AIEE Sub-Section of New York in 1947, with the name New Jersey Division. The first Officers were: Leland F. Stone, Chair; and L.J. Lunas Secretary.
The IRE Section was formed in 1954, with the name Northern New Jersey. The first Officers were: W. R. Thurston, Chair; and R. J. Kircher, Secretary. BOG Meetings were held in North Jersey in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2008. North Jersey has Edison Menlo Park located within their Section, where much of the early electrical and electronics marvels were invented and reduced to practice, which we don’t feel we can get along without today. North Jersey has another very critical location, the IEEE Headquarters, in Piscataway.
North Jersey Section Officers for 2008 are: Kirit Dixit, Chair; Amit Pater, Vice-Chair; Russell Pepe, Secretary; and Pete Donegan, Treasurer.
Princeton-Central Jersey Section History.
Princeton was an AIEE Sub-Section of Philadelphia in 1962, with Officers: H. M. Chandler, Chair; and J. L. VanDine, Secretary. Two Region 1 Directors are from the Princeton-Central Jersey Section: Dr. Gerard Alphonse in 2001-02; and Irving Engelson in 2000-01. Officers for the Section in 2008 are: Ashutosh Dutta, Chair; Wieslaw Bury, Vice-Chair; Habib Ahson, Secretary; and Rebecca Mercuri, Treasurer.
Providence Section History
Providence became a Section of AIEE on March 12, 1920, with Walter C. Slade, Chair and F. N. Tompkins, Secretary. The archives do not show any IRE involvement in Providence. Providence held a Region 1 BOG meeting in Newport, RI on August 12, 1987.
Providence Section Officers for 2009 are: David Casper, Chair; David Clarke, Vice-Chair; Ted Dawson, Secretary; and Shane Augustine, Treasurer.
Rochester Section History
Rochester became a Section of AIEE on October 9, 1914, with E. L. Wilder, Chair, and F. E. Haskell, Secretary. Rochester became a Section of IRE in 1926, with V. N. Graham Chair, and Harvey Klumb Secretary. When the founding Societies merged Lynn C. Holmes, Rochester Section was the first Region 1 Director and the only Director that served 3 terms; 1963, 1964, and 1965. Rochester hosted a summer Region 1 BOG Meeting on August 8, 1998. Rochester Section Officers for 2008 are: Jayanti Venkataraman, Chair; Paul P. Lee, Vice-Chair; Francesca G. Polo, Secretary; and Alexander Lovi, Treasurer.
Schenectady Section History
Region 1 BOG Meeting on August 15-17, 2003, and Schenectady Centennial Celebration
Schenectady Section is congratulated for reaching that coveted milestone of century membership in the Institute and in the same year, 2003, by having one of their members, Dr. Michael Adler elected President of IEEE. Dr. Adler was the second IEEE President from Schenectady, the first being; Harold Chestnut in 1973. Other Region 1 BOG Meetings were held in the Schenectady Section in 1993, 1994, and 2008.
Schenectady became a Branch of AIEE on January 26, 1903, and was the 10th/11th Branch in AIEE, and the 2nd Branch in Region 1 area.
Any discussion of Schenectady and AIEE must also consider the General Electric Company (GE) and its founding entities. Note that GE was formed in 1892, only eight years after AIEE. GE was formed by the merger of the Edison General Electric Company of New York and Thompson-Houston Company of Lynn, MA.
The great electrical engineering company and the great electrical engineering society grew together in Schenectady and basically utilized the same personnel. The Chair and Secretary of Schenectady AIEE invariably had a GE address GE grew rapidly annexing several smaller firms. One of these was Rudolph Eichemayers Manufacturing Company in Yonkers, NY. Whose Chief Draftsman was Charles Steinmetz. GE continued to grow in Schenectady when Thomas Edison moved his NY Tool Works there in 1886.
In 1894 Charles Steinmetz was transferred to Schenectady GE and was elected AIEE President in 1901-1902. An Employees Engineering Society was formed at GE in 1898 which grew rapidly and transferred into the AIEE as a Branch as noted above. In 1904 Dr. Steinmetz served as the AIEE Branch Chair, and R. Neil Williams was Secretary. In 1907 AIEE Branches were renamed Sections.
A Section of IRE was formed in Schenectady in 1950 with: H. L. Thorson as Chair, and J. D. Cobine as Secretary. Both had addresses at GE. Schenectady IRE Section was relatively late in being formed. It should be noted that GE was the major electrical manufacturer, and they concentrated on large power equipment and electronics did not become critical in these large systems until later.
Schenectady Section Officers for 2008 are: Peter Sutherland, Chair; Zong Qui, Vice-Chair and Secretary; and Kristine Short, Vice-Chair and Treasurer.
Springfield Section History
Springfield became a Section of AIEE on June 29, 1922, with Officers: W. A. Dick, Chair, and J. Frank Murray Secretary. The archives do not show any IRE membership for Springfield. Two Region 1 BOG Meetings were sponsored by the Springfield Section; both of which were held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA. The first was held on August 19, 1988, and the second on August 26, 1995. Springfield Officers for 2008 are: Dr. Quan Chen, Chair; Cesar Roda, Vice-Chair; Kevin Gorman, Secretary; and Craig Dahlquist, Treasurer.
Syracuse Section History
and BOG Meeting held on August 19, 2006.
An AIEE University Branch was formed at Syracuse University on February 24, 1905, and has been active since that time. The first Officer was W. P. Graham who was Chair and Secretary. The Syracuse AIEE Section was formed on August 12, 1920, with Edward T. Moore Chair and Frank Simpson Secretary. The Syracuse IRE Section was formed in 1947 with C. A. Priest Chair and R. E. Moe Secretary. At the time the Section was formed Dr. W. R. G. Baker, a Vice-President of GE Electronics was elected President of IRE. The support the History committee received from Syracuse in the preparation of this report was outstanding. Syracuse members contributing were: George Kirkpatrick, LFIEEE; Jay Lee, Syracuse University representative; Mike Hayes, Syracuse Section Chair; and our Regional long-term colleague Donald Herres. Mr. Kirkpatrick was very active in IRE and represented Dr. Baker at many IRE functions He was also a contemporary of Arthur Stern who was IEEE President in 1975 and Jerome Suran who was IEEE President in 1979.
Both Stern and Suran were at GE Electronics Park, Syracuse, but it is unknown if they were there when they were Presidents.He also did considerable volunteer work with Dr. George Haller who was also at GE Syracuse. Dr. Haller worked with engineers at Wright Patterson Air force Base to form the IRE Professional Group on Airborne and Navigational Electronics (PGANE). After the merger of IRE with AIEE the PGANE became a part of IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society (AESS). Mike Hayes reported that Nick Holonyak Jr. While at GE Syracuse, invented the first visible Semiconductor Laser in 1957.
Syracuse Section Officers for 2008 are: Prasanta Ghosh, Chair; Larry Durante, Vice-Chair; Mike Hayes, Secretary; and William H. Maxwell Treasurer.
Worcester County Section History
The Worcester Section of AIEE was formed on February 18, 1920, with C. R. Oliver Chair and Dean J. Locke Secretary. Worcester County did not have any indication of IRE involvement in the archives. Worcester County had no Regional BOG meetings unless they co-chaired with Springfield in 1988 or 1995. Worcester County Officers for 2008 are: Al Reinhart, Chair; Larry Nelson, Vice-Chair; and Jim Jensen, Secretary/Treasurer.
Larry Nelson is commended for his tireless and active support for the Worcester Section and IEEE, and also Larry Nelson Jr. for his support of Regional Electronic Communications.
The Regional archives from which these records were gleaned are incomplete, and in some cases contradictory. Readers who have any corrections or additions should contact the History Chair, Richard Ackley, 6328 Lorena Road, Rome, NY, 13440-7514 or on e-mail at: email@example.com.
Region 1 Founders of AIEE
|Ralph Wainwright Pope||Great Barrington, MA||Berkshire|
|Charles A. Cross||Boston, MA||Boston|
|Thomas Edison||New York, NY/ Menlo Park, NJ||NY or North Jersey|
|George Hamilton||New York, NY||New York|
|Theodore B. Vail||Boston, MA||Boston|
|Edward Weston||Newark, NJ||North Jersey|
|George Prescott||New York, NY||New York|
|Elihu Thomson||Swampscott, MA||Boston|
Region 1 Founders of IRE
|Robert H. Marriott||Brooklyn, NY||New York|
|John Stone Stone||Boston, MA||Boston|
|Franklin L. Pope||1886-87|
|Alexander Graham Bell||1891-92|
|Charles P. Steinmetz||1901-02|
IRE Presidents From Region 1
|John Stone Stone||1915|
|Walter W. R. G. Baker||1947|
|Henry L. Bachman||1987|
|Emerson W. Pugh||1989|
|Eric E. Sumner||1991|
|Joel B. Snyder||2001|
|Michael S. Adler||2003|
|Arthur W. Winston||2004|
|Lewis M. Terman||2008|
|John R. Vig||2009||)
Region 1 Section Anniversary Dates
50th 75TH 100TH
Buffalo 02/10/25 1975 2000 2025