History of the New England Section of the American Ceramic Society

by Neil N. Ault, NE Section Counselor and Fellow of the ACerS

The original Charter of the New England Section was granted by the American Ceramic Society on 11 February 1918. It was signed by Homer F. Staley, President of the Society and Charles Binns, Secretary. Al Klein was the first Chairman of the Section. Charter members were:

M. F. Beecher
Ross C. Purdy
Arthur T. Malm
Arthur E. Baggs
Leon B. Bassett,
Charles W. Saxe
Leon L. Katzenstein
Carl H. Lawson
Clarence B. Tilton
O. S. Buckner
M. F. Cunningham
A. Albert Klein
George N. Jeppson
C. H. Kerr
Wilson C. Broga
Charles J. Hudson

The Section was active from 1918 until World War II, but there are no Section records from that period.

The Section was reactivated on 10 December 1952, and Bernard Schwartz was elected Chair. Among the members of this newly activated group were:

S. L. Blum
W. D. Kingery
Robert Coble
F. H. Norton
A. L. Gormley
O. J. Whittemore
N. N. Ault

The minutes of that December 10, 1952 meeting follow:

The organization of a New England Section of the American Ceramic Society was completed at a meeting at the Norton Company, Worcester, MA, on Wednesday, December 10. Rules of the organization were formally adopted and officers were elected during a business meeting following dinner.

New officers elected were Dr. Bernard Schwartz, Sylvania Electric Products Company, Woburn, Chairman; Mr. O. J. Whittemore, Norton Company, Worcester, MA, Vice-Chairman; Professor W. D. Kingery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Secretary; Mr. Leo J. Cronin, Raytheon Manufacturing Company, Waltham, Treasurer; Mr. Norman Kendall, Bay State Abrasive Products, Co., Westboro, member of the Executive Committee.

Guest speakers were Miss Adelaide Toombe who spoke on the impressions she gained during a recent trip to Europe, with particular regard to the ceramic and art pottery in Sweden. Mr. O. J. Whittemore of the Norton Company spoke on the subject, "New and Unusual Refractories" and described the properties of some refractory materials withstanding extremely high temperatures and their use for unusual purposes. The next meeting of the New England Section has been tentatively set for January second.

Approximately eighty persons interested in ceramics from all over New England attended the meeting as Charter Members of the New England Section of the American Ceramic Society. Any other persons in New England who are interested in ceramics will be welcome as members of the organization and should contact Professor W. D. Kingery of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for additional information.


September 2005 - Past Section Chairpersons (l.-r.) Ed Maguire, Lou Trostel, Keith Costello, Marina Pascucci, Rick Gentilmen, Susan Munyon, Jeff Neil, Charles Landry, Mark Koslowske, Neil Ault, David Carnahan, Jim McCauley, Bob Sayre, Costa Sideridis, Bill Rhodes.

For a list of past chairs, click here.