First Tech Meeting of the AIEE 1884

Edited by another user.
Last edit: 19:33, 11 December 2018

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

20:43, 14 January 2013