Chapter History

What was eventually to become ASM International started in 1913 as The Steel Treaters' Club by a group of Detroit heat treaters. This Club was renamed the Steel Treaters' Research Club in 1915 as technical members were admitted. The Club became the Steel Treating Research Society and broadened to include sections in Chicago and Cleveland by 1918. The Chicago group seceded and formed the American Steel Treaters' Society. Our Cleveland Chapter was organized on January 24, 1919, as the first Chapter of the American Steel Treaters' Society. The Steel Treating Research Society and the American Steel Treaters' Society reunited in 1920. The groups compromised on name, the American Society for Steel Treating, and location with a move of the National Headquarters to Cleveland. Another name change, to the American Society for Metals (ASM), occurred in 1933. ASM relocated to Metals Park, Ohio, in 1959. In order to recognize the international nature of ASM, and to acknowledge those members working with other materials, the name of the Society changed in 1986 to ASM International. Metals Park was also renamed to Materials Park in order to reflect the growth and diversity of the society's members.

The charter members of the Cleveland Chapter were:

  • W.F. Abel
  • R.S. Archer
  • E.C. Bartlett
  • R.T. Bayless
  • W.S. Bidle
  • W. H. Brainard
  • C.C. Buck
  • M.L. Burchfield
  • C.M. Campbell
  • L.H. Dunham
  • W.H. Eisenman
  • W.L. Emerson
  • J.V. Emmons
  • C.H. Erickson
  • S.A. Harris
  • J.H. Herron
  • Z. Jeffries
  • J.W. Kelley
  • J.T. Kist
  • F.E. Phelps
  • E.G. Pierce
  • C.R. Poole
  • C.G. Shontz
  • C.W. Simpson
  • J.D. Sterling
  • F.C. Teckmyer
  • A.S. Townsend
  • R.A. Townsend
  • H. Weidenthal
  • W.C. Whyte

The chapter membership has grown from its 30 charter members in 1919, to 644 members in 1939, 1050 in 1952, and 1277 in 1994.

The meetings of the Cleveland Chapter are generally preceded by a social hour and dinner. Some of the former meeting places include the Hollenden Hotel, Hotel Statler, Manger Hotel, Olmsted Hotel, Tudor Arms Hotel, Winton Hotel, Carnegie Hall, Cleveland Club, and Cleveland Engineering and Scientific Center, United Technologies Center at Cuyahoga Community College, Case Institute of Technology. More recent venues include the Holiday Inn Lakeside, Case Western Reserve University, NASA Lewis Research Center, various restaurants in the Flats, and at ASM International Headquarters in Materials Park, Ohio. Meetings that include tours of manufacturing and research facilities are always well attended.

One of the purposes of the Society is to provide avenues for communicating the results of research and disseminating technical information. The Transactions, Metals Progress, Metals Review, Metals Engineering Quarterly, and recently Advanced Materials & Processes have fulfilled this purpose admirably. Cleveland Chapter members have contributed significantly to all of these publications. Another goal of the Society is to bring together the metallurgist and the heat treater, the researcher and the manufacturer, so that they can exchange ideas and better understand their mutual problems. The Cleveland Chapter has always been a meeting place for a wide spectrum of individuals working in metallurgy and materials processing, and it is this factor, which has chiefly contributed to its healthy growth.

From a beginning of about 30 members in 1919, the chapter membership has steadily increased. In 1979, Cleveland Chapter had over 1300 members that came from all over the city. A group of chapter members from the eastern part of Cleveland met and decided to form a new chapter, the Northeast Ohio Chapter of ASM. Their membership came from the boundaries of Cleveland and Euclid east to the Pennsylvania state line, from the shores of Lake Erie south to ASM International Headquarters. The Northeast Ohio Chapter rejoined the Cleveland Chapter in the fall of 1994.

Cleveland Chapter has contributed many National Officers and Committee Chairmen to the Society. National Presidents from the Cleveland Chapter include W. S. Bidle in 1925, Zay Jeffries in 1929, and K.R. Van Horn in 1944. National Treasurers from the Chapter include W. S. Bidle, J. V. Emmons, Z. Jeffries, and K. R. Van Horn. Members that served as National Trustees include H. P. Croft and A. R. Troiano. The Cleveland Chapter is fortunate for being so closely associated with the National Office. The Cleveland Chapter is proud of its unique achievement in winning the President's Bell for the most outstanding chapter of ASM in 1933 and 1934. This Bell was first awarded in 1927 and Cleveland is the only chapter to receive it for two successive years. More recently, the Cleveland Chapter has received a 5 Star Rating (the highest attainable) from ASM International for the past eight consecutive years (1990-91 through 1997-99).

As a local chapter, Cleveland continues to be a pioneer of constructive activities including Educational Programs and Annual Outings. For example, the K. H. "Doc" Donaldson Scholarship was established in 1955 for an undergraduate metallurgy student at the Case Institute of Technology. The J.M. Kiefer Scholarship was established for undergraduate engineering students at Cleveland State University. Currently, three Donaldson-Kiefer Scholarships are awarded each year by the Cleveland Chapter: the first two are given to sophomores in engineering (preferably in Metallurgy or Materials Science) at Case Western Reserve or Cleveland State Universities, the third is given to an undergraduate relative of an ASMI Member.

Another feature inaugurated by the Chapter is an annual meeting highlighting an internationally renowned speaker. This annual event was established by action of the Executive Committee in 1950 in honor of the Dr. Zay Jeffries, "Dean of American Metallurgists."

The first Cleveland Chapter Roster was published in September of 1949. Advertising was first incorporated in the 1951-1952 Roster and included a Buyer's Guide with "Advertisers' Products and Service Listings." The Cleveland Chapter publication's name changed to the more familiar Directory and Buyer's Guide for the 1953-1954 issue. The size of the 1994-95 issue increased to an 8-1/2 by 11 inch format to more easily incorporate our growing membership and facilitate modern publishing techniques.

A Chapter Awards program was initiated in 1996-97 in order to recognize the people and companies that have made significant contributions and provided dedicated service to the Cleveland Chapter of ASMI and the local technical and educational communities. The five chapter awards are: Award of Distinction, Distinguished Service Award, Outstanding Company Support Award, President's Award, Technical Educator Award, and Young Member Award.

Chapter activities are possible only through the active participation of the members, corporate support and a sound financial program. Cleveland Chapter members have always shown dedication to the Society and a willingness to contribute time and effort to the direction of the Chapter, in conjunction with their responsibilities at home and their place of employment.

ASM Historical Landmarks in the Cleveland area:

  • 1976 Ford Tri-motor Airplane; Island Airplanes - Port Clinton, Ohio
  • 1979 Discovery of First Economical Process for Electrolytic Extraction of Aluminum - Oberlin, Ohio

Do You Have Any Historical Items Pertaining To The Cleveland Chapter?

Please send any corrections or additions to our History and Awards, or any other historical information pertaining to the ASM Cleveland Chapter that you wish to donate to the Chapter (including any old Directories, the older the better), to:

Diana EssockCleveland Chapter Historian34900 Jackson RoadMoreland Hills, OH 44022