Milestone-Proposal talk:First Technical Meeting of AIEE 1884


Thread titleRepliesLast modified
First Tech Meeting of the AIEE 1884218:31, 7 March 2013
Comment(s) from History Committee Member(s)118:59, 5 March 2013
Wordsmithing016:17, 5 March 2013
First AIEE meeting020:25, 16 January 2013

First Tech Meeting of the AIEE 1884

This is a fine milestone and I congratulate those who initiated. Is there a way to find out who else attended?

Gilmore Cooke

Ggcooke16:53, 10 January 2013

I enthusiastically support the application of the Franklin Institute for a Milestone. The application appears correct and the sources cited have been confirmed. My own articles and research on the establishment of the AIEE match the assertions made in the application.

The main obstacle was obtaining general acceptance for telegraph and electrical professionals to participate in a technical society. This represented a new paradigm for professionals in general, especially those engaged in a new field of endeavor with electrical applications. In addition, the organizers faced a very short time frame to get a society and its initial meetings organized.

The International Electrical Exhibition hosted by The Franklin Institute was scheduled to take place in Philadelphia in September, 1884. Nathan S. Keith, an inventor and electrometallurgical engineer, wanted American professionals to form their own organization so that they could participate in the Exhibition on an equal footing with their international peers. Keith, along with Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, Edwin Houston, Edward Weston and twenty other prominent leaders in the American electrical sciences, issued three published “calls” to create a national organization in April 1884. Keith organized a formal meeting on May 13, 1884 at the American Society of Civil Engineers (the oldest American professional society founded in 1852) to “unite those involved in the art of producing and utilizing electricity” The attendees drew up a charter and named themselves the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). The first technical session of the newly formed AIEE was held at The Franklin Institute during the ten day Exhibition. By far, the largest numbers of new members were inventor-manufacturers and corporate managers, but electrical engineers, electricians, professors and instructors were well represented. Nine future presidents of the AIEE were among the Exhibition’s eighty-nine American representatives {See}

David Bart

Jbart6420:43, 14 January 2013

I strongly support this Milestone, and support the shorted suggested edited citation (cutting it from 79 to 65 words).

I.engelson18:31, 7 March 2013

Comment(s) from History Committee Member(s)

This is a thoughtfully and carefully crafted proposal of an IEEE Milestone that provides insight into the earliest astivities of the AIEE which with the IRE became the IEEE.

Tbickart23:52, 4 March 2013

I am in favour of the proposal.

Fiorenza18:59, 5 March 2013


I support this milestone, but suggest the following changes in the citation:

On 7-8 October 1884 as part of the International Electrical Exhibition organized by the Franklin Institute, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (predecessor of IEEE) held its first formal technical conference on electrical engineering. Members delivered papers on a variety of theoretical and practical interests, followed by an open discussion of the topic, and eventual publication in Transactions, thus setting the format for later conferences.

My edits were prompted by a desire to eliminate redundant or empty phrases (cutting it from 79 to 65 words) while adding more information about what happened at the conference & its impact.

Allisonmarsh16:15, 5 March 2013

First AIEE meeting

I agree wholeheartedly with this proposal. This meeting was surely a momentous occasion.

Mischaschwartz20:25, 16 January 2013