IEEE Northshore Subsection History


IEEE Northshore Subsection History
Established date 1911/10/05
IEEE Region 1
IEEE Council
IEEE section Boston
Geographic region Northshore
Home page
Became section
SPO ID R1000501

The Northshore Subsection has taken the IEEE Centennial year as an opportunity to review its past and summarize its history of events that took place over the years. This summarization can act as a short form record that can be used as a guide for better directing the Subsection future. At the same time provide a means to reminisce and share some of the highlights and results of the activities with the present and past members of the Suhsection and with others in the Institute.

The accuracy of the events as summarized below arc based upon the interpretation of the contents of the Subsection Records and memory of past and present members of the Executive Committee.

The Lynn organization had its founding as an American Institute of Electrial Engineers, AIEE Section as far back as 1911. The Section was officially instituted on October 5, 1911. The organization was based on a strong area of interest in the emerging of electrical manufacturing, lighting and power distribution industry at that time. This was less than twenty-five years after Edison Pearl Street Station went into operation in New York City. The wide spread interest in electrical technology was obvious by the many Section meetings in the early years which eventually hosted six hundred or more with many being turned away because they could not get into the meeting place.

The AIEE was formed in May 13, 1884 at a meeting held by a number of electricians and investors for the purpose of properly hosting a foreign delegation expected to attend the International Electrical Exhibition, planned for fall at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

During the success full years of the Section activities monies came into the organization which were carefully handled and thus made it possible to establish a surplus that was above the amount needed to run the Section. Since the surplus was of a significant amount it was concluded by the Executive Committee to establish a Board of Trustees consisting of three members independently from the Committee for the purpose of maintaining the surplus in a fund isolated from the Section Treasury so to assure monies would only be available to the Section in the event funds were in real need. The Board of Trustees had the power to invest these funds into securities and bonds and pass only the income from these securities and/or bonds on to the Section Treasury. The intent of the incoming monies at that time were to help to defray the expenses for elevating and raising the standards of its meetings by obtaining good speakers and programs that would bring the members out.

Some time during the late Twenties the Section worked up an attractive design for a Lynn Section insignia which was approved by the National Group of New York and later made a standard insignia for all sections of the AIEE.

Over the years a strong technical program and local convention activity developed, including the 1939 National Summer Convention held at the New Ocean House in Swampscott under joint sponsorship of the Boston and Lynn Sections.

Because of the National Summer Conventions successes, they were continued by their sponsorship of the Boston and Lynn Sections. Each of these Conventions drew over 2000 attendees from throughout the Institute and they lasted as long as four days.

By the Fifties, membership was at the 350 level with technical programs covering general science, electrical machinery, lighting technology, instrumentation and electronics; attendance was over one-hundred at most sessions. A broad field trip program was presented, as well as, a community good-will program of a general public Travelogue series of lectures. The Institute became well known locally by means of this non-technical activity which lasted until television entertainment replaced it a decade later.

During the Mid-Fifties and running into the early Sixties two fiscal reports were printed and made available to all members. One report was the Annual Report which included the outgoing Chairman and all Standing Committee Chairmen reports of the highlights that took place within the year and listed the names of the Executive Committee. The other report was for the upcoming fiscal year complete with tentative dates of technical and non-technical programs, the listing of the new Executive Committee and the Standing Committees, as well as, local membership requirements to join and its fee.

It is interesting to point out that the membership was open to the general public and directed to people who enjoy popular and science programs.

During the same 50's decade, the Lynn Section sponsored the Maine Subsection and Merrimack Valley Subsection within its territory. The Maine Subsection was chartered on April 7, 1954 and it became a full section, AIEE with its own program and active member participation in the late summer of 1955.

The formation of the Merrimack Valley Subsection, AIEE was started in March of 1956 and formed officially by June of 1956. An affiliation that lasted until June of 1963. Thereafter, for a number of years joint meetings of common interest were planned for the month of February. However, as the years went by this joint effort faded away.

At about the same period a petition was submitted to the Lynn Section requesting the establishment of a student affiliate branch at Merrimack College, North Andover. The petition was granted.

On November 12, 1958 an active member of the Lynn Section proposed that the Lynn Section of AIEE be reorganized and have its name changed to Merrimack-Essex-AIEE. However, this idea dwindled away for apparently no further action was taken.

The Sixties and Seventies saw semiconductor technology blossom in our area with its impact on all the electrical industry. One result was the merger between the AIEE and IRE (January 1, 1963) to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE. The merger at the national level was officially on January 8, 1963. However, the transition period for the Lynn Section, AIEE to change over to to the Lynn Subsection of the Boston Section, IEEE did not become effective until June 1, 1963.

It was during the fiscal year 62/63 when the Executive Committee of the Lynn Section became involved in the discussions of a AIEE/IRE merger to form the IEEE. Some of the ideas that were formulated by the Committee were:

  1. The Lynn Section, AIEE to maintain the Lynn Section, IEEE status for a trial period of at least one year.
  2. Merrimack Subsection, AIEE and Lynn Section, AIEE area members to combine with IRE to form a Northeastern, Ma. Section of Lowell Section.
  3. Lynn Section, AIEE to adopt status of Lynn Subsection of the Boston Section, IEEE.

On October 30, 1962 an informal vote was taken at a technical meeting with a recorded result of 9 to 2 in favor of Subsection status associated with the Boston Section of the IEEE.On November 14, 1962 the Executive Committee met and it was decided by a majority of the Committee to recommend to the membership that a tentative decision has been made for the Lynn Section.

AIEE to become the Lynn Subsection of the Boston Section, IEEE.

A AIEE Newsletter dated November 19, 1962 included the proposed merger with pro and can statements. One of the pro statements have come a long way. That is:

The Boston Section, IEEE will be one of the largest Sections in the country. As such, it can run a top caliber technical program, one in which Subsection members can participate equally with Section members.

The AIEE National Members meeting on April 23, 1963 was the last meeting under the banner of the Lynn Section of the AIEE. The Lynn Section, AIEE became a Subsection of the Boston Section, a transition that was made easier by our long standing friendship with the people active in Boston. The Subsection membership stood at over three-hundred and covered such a broad area of engineering and science that the Executive Committee had reorganized the whole program into a few meetings of broad general interest together with a number of specialty technical topic meetings designed to attract a few but devoted regular participants. Public Service activities were continued in the form of sponsoring Junior Achievement Companies and Science Fairs at the local High Schools. Also, in the area of professional development, a Young Engineer paper competition has been run on a Subsection basis coupled with a competitive presentation meeting with Pittsfield and Schenectady Section participating.

During the transition period (fiscal year 65/66) the funds and securities from the Lynn Section. AIEE were passed onto the Lynn Subsection, IEEE. The funds were placed into the Subsection Treasury and the securities were placed with Paine, Webber, Jackson, & Curtos with the Lynn Subsection named as Beneficial Owners of the stock.

In the early Seventies a few members were active in initiating and judging Electrical/Electronic Projects and Paper Contests presented by the students of the Lynn Vocational-Technical Institute. It was during this period that a letter was drafted up with observations and suggestions for changes in the Electronic Curriculum of the Lynn Vocational-Technical Institute and it was presented to the Headmaster by the Lynn Subsection.

An attempt was made to run a number of lecture series with the results of only one fall lecture series, October/November of 1975 on Operational Amplifiers. The results of the series were successful. Since that the Subsection sponsored one lecture series in April/May of 1981 on Transistor Inverter A.C. Motor Drive. It was organized and run by the Industry Application Society, IEEE.

A student activity fund was established and from it three to four financial aids of $500 each were awarded to needy college students majoring in Electrical Engineering.

During the Mid-Seventies the Executive Committee looked at its membership and noticed that the active membership of the Executive Committee had shifted from participants of the General Electric Co. to participants from other companies. In actuality the active membership shifted away from Lynn. It was decided by the Committee to revise the name of the Subsection from Lynn to Northshore and at the same time update the By-Laws. The changes in the By-Laws (December 9, 1976) were approved by the general membership at a special general meeting and approved by the Boston Section, with the final approval and name change followed through by the Institute Headquarters in New York.

The Executive Committee over the years followed on a standard procedure of planning programs on a monthly base, with the aim of having at least nine programs per year with the subjects of general interests to the IEEE members. As in the past, inspection trips were treated as a regular program. The monthly "Reflector" and a special notice sent to all members in the Subsection have been the publicity carrier for all the programs. On an average the programs have attracted about twenty-five members and non-members.

In addition to the regular programs other activities such as providing Handbooks to local Universities Libraries, providing funds to the Greater Boston Section Student Paper Contests and the Massachuetts Engineers Council "Fresh Start Project".

Over the years the membership within the Northshore Subsection has not changed for as of September 1983 a total of 346 members are living within the chartered area which includes; Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Swampscott, Wenham, and West Peabody.

Archival Documents

Lynn and Northshore subsection officer lists (pdf)

Lynn subsection 1962-63 annual report