Minnesota Chapter of ASM International

ASM INTERNATIONAL HISTORY

With the advent of the automobile industry, the metal craftsmen noted a genuine need for the exchange of technical information. One of these craftsmen was blacksmith Bill Woodside from Detroit. In 1913, Woodside met with a small group of heat treaters, principally from Detroit, to establish the Steel Treaters Club.

The club soon became the Steel Treaters Research society as technical members were admitted. By 1918, the Steel Treaters Research Society had 1250 members with sections in Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland.

In 1919, the Chicago section seceded to form the American Steel Treaters' Society. They sponsored the first metal show in Chicago that same year.

The American Steel Treater's Society hired a young school superintendent, William Hunt Eisenman as its first business manager. (Appropriately, eisen is the German word for iron.) Eisenman traveled from city to city inviting influential steel makers and steel users to dinners where he introduced the aims of the society - to promote the application of new scientific knowledge to the heat treatment of steel. He was so persuasive that by the end of the evening, a new chapter would be formed. The society was open to all interested in metals, not just technical people.

The Steel Treaters Research Society also continued to grow. Sometimes both groups established chapters in the same city. The rivalry soon became damaging to the growth and development of both groups.

In 1920, talks toward reunification began. Col. Albert E. White, of the Army Ordinance Department, acted as "mediator" to negotiate a reunification. White successfully negotiated compromises to settle differences between the two groups. The new society name, the American Society of Steel Treaters, contained elements of the names from both groups. Each group wanted the headquarters in their primary cities, Detroit and Chicago. A compromise on this issue was reached, and Cleveland was chosen as the location of the new headquarters.

The first meeting of the new society was held along with the second Metals Show in September 1920 in Philadelphia. Col. White was selected as the president of the society in 1921.

From these roots, the society continues to grow and develop. In 1933, the society changed its name from American Steel Heat Treaters to American Society for Metals (ASM). In 1959, ASM headquarters was established at its current location in Metals Park (now Materials Park) just outside Cleveland.

In 1983, ASM officially expanded its scope to include, not only metals, but all engineered materials. As the society had progressed to a world-wide organization, a name change to ASM International was adopted in 1986. The current society identification of ASM International "The Materials Information Society" was approved in 1990.

Currently, ASM International has more than 44,000 individual members. The members are affiliated with 138 chapters in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The society sponsors conferences, publishes technical information, and manages information databases to continue to foster the goal of facilitating the exchange of technical information about engineering materials.