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Society History

Founded in 1898, The American Ceramic Society was formed at a convention of the National Brick Manufacturers’ Association in Pittsburgh, PA. It was there that several attendees banded together to talk about the scientific side of ceramics through a free exchange of ideas and research. Among the original founders were: Elmer Gorton, Samuel Geijsbeek, Albert Bleininger, Edward Orton, Jr., Willard Richardson, Ellis Lovejoy, Gustav Holl, William Gates, and Carl Giessen.  


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The first Society members worked as teachers, industrialists, engineers, geologists, chemists and artists. The specific interest of these members included china, pottery, structural products, tile, and refractories. Edward Orton, Jr. served as secretary of the Society for 20 years and was the editor of the first nine volumes of the Society’s Ceramic Transactions.


During these early years, the Society mirrored the ceramics industry and was truly clay-based with the most common ceramic products being bricks, sewer pipes, tiles, glass, dinnerware and china. The American Ceramic Society played a large role in turning the industry from narrow commercial interests to a broader scientific outlook.


The Society has witnessed many changes through the years, however, the core mission has stayed the same; to advance the study, understanding, and use of ceramic and related materials for the benefit of our members and society.


Now the society has grown to more than 9,500 members and students with 30 percent of membership being internationally based in more than 60 countries.


Today, the Society is providing knowledge and forums to members who are shaping the way we think about materials science. From bricks to cell phones and appliances to space shuttle tiles and green technology, the members of the Society are leading the advancements in ceramic technologies that keep people safe and warm, explore and discover new frontiers and save lives. The American Ceramic Society is proud to be a conduit for these initiatives.


Events to Remember  

2008  President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) formed. Inaugural meeting held in Daytona Beach.


2008  ACerS 110th anniversary.


2007  ACerS Headquarters move from Ceramic Place to our new location 600 N. Cleveland Ave.


2007  Cocoa Beach meeting moves to Daytona Beach due to expansion of attendance and exhibit.


2006  ACerS Annual Meeting combines with MS&T.


2006  1st International Congress on Ceramics is held in Toronto.


2006  Scott Steen is named Executive Director.


2005  ACerS partners with Blackwell Publishing on Journal of the American Ceramic Society and International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology. Online access is free to ACerS members.


2005  ACerS forms Material Advantage student program with ASM, AIST and TMS.


2005  ACerS puts all back issues of Journal of the American Ceramic Society online for free to members.


2004  ACerS launches International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology.


2003  Glenn Harvey is named Executive Director and serves until 2006.


2000  ACerS is lead co-sponsor of National Engineers Week February 20-26.


1999  The governance is thoroughly revised and updated.


1998  ACerS launches the Centennial Traveling Museum Exhibit.


1998  The first Ceramics Pavilion is sponsored by the Society at the National Design Engineering Show and Conference in Chicago.


1998  The 100th Annual Meeting takes place in Cincinnati, May 4-7.


1997  Pottery Making Illustrated, a new publication, publishes its inaugural issue.


1996  The Society acquires Ceramics Monthly.


1996  The first female president, Carol Jantzen, is sworn in.


1995  The Society sends a delegation to China in recognition of the Chinese Ceramic Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, October 9-13.


1995  The Society launches its first website.


1995  The American Ceramic Industry Association (ACIA), the first Society subsidiary, is approved.


1994  The First Biennial Ceramic Manufacturers & Suppliers Workshop & Exposition is held in Louisville, Kentucky, September 25-28


1993  The Society holds its first offshore sponsored meeting, the PACRIM meeting, November 7-10.


1991  Society delegation goes to Japan to celebrate the Ceramic Society of Japan’s 100th Anniversary, October 16-17.


1990  The Society undertakes a new Strategic Planning initiative.


1990  The Society begins an initiative in pre-college education programming.


1989  Advanced Ceramic Materials is incorporated into the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.


1988  Society delegation goes to Australia for Austceram ’88 and Spain and Italy.


1987  Society delegation goes to South Korea and England.


1986  The Society’s building at 65 Ceramic Drive is sold.


1986  Grand opening of new headquarters at Brooksedge, December 4.


1986  Society delegation goes to France and West Germany.


1985  The new publication Advanced Ceramic Materials is created.


1984 Paul Holbrook succeeds Arthur Friedberg as Executive Director and serves until 2003.


1984  The Society sends a delegation to visit the Ceramic Society of Japan, May 12-26.


1982  On December 21, the Society and the National Bureau of Standards sign documents launching the Joint Program on Phase Equilibria for Ceramists.


1982  Society delegation goes to Brazil for the Brazilian Ceramic Association annual meeting.


1981  The Ross C. Purdy Museum of Ceramics in Columbus, Ohio is dedicated and opens.


1981  ACerS is adopted as the official acronym of The American Ceramic Society.


1981  Society delegation goes to the 90th Annual Meeting of the Ceramic Society of Japan.


1980  The first edition of the Advances in Ceramics series is published.


1980  Society delegation goes to the People’s Republic of China.


1979  Arthur Friedberg succeeds Frank Reid as Executive Director and serves until 1984.


1978  The first poster session is held at the 80th Annual Meeting in Detroit, May 6-11.


1975  The first CEC short course is offered: “Kinetics in Ceramic Processes.”


1973  The new Society-owned Ceramic Park office building is completed.


1970  The Ceramic Endowment Fund is established.


1969  The first Annual Exposition is held at Washington D.C.’s Sheraton-Park Hotel, May 4-6.


1969  The Constitution is thoroughly revised and updated.


1968  For the first time, paid Society memberships and publication subscriptions exceed $10,000.


1967  An addition to the Society’s Headquarters Building is dedicated June 1.


1966  The Design Section of the Ceramic Educational Council votes to split from the Society and form the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).


1964  The Ceramic Company Directory is published for the first time.


1963  Frank P. Reid is named as General Secretary and serves until 1979.


1961  A hotel strike during the Annual Meeting, April 23-27, at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, forces ceramists to make their own beds!


1957  The first Ceramographic Exhibit is held in Dallas.


1954  The first Society-owned headquarters building, in Columbus, Ohio, is dedicated December 4.


1953  The publication Ceramics Monthly begins in January.


1946  The Purdy Collection of ceramic objects is given to the Society.


1946  Charles S. Pearce is named General Secretary and serves until 1963.


1943  The first “double the membership” or “member get a member” campaign is begun.


1938  Formation of classes is approved by the Board of Trustees.


1937  Engineering curricula are accredited for the first time.


1936  Sessions are split between two hotels for the first time, at the 38th Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, March 29-April 4.


1935  The Association of Ceramic Educators is organized.


1933  The Summer Excursion meeting is held in Chicago during the Century of Progress “Engineers’ Week,” June 25-30.


1933  The first Edward Orton, Jr. Memorial Lecture is given by E.W. Washburn on February 14.


1931  At the first induction ceremony in Cleveland, on February 25, 153 members are inducted as Fellows.


1930  The Glass Division becomes the first division to hold a fall meeting, at Cove Point, Maryland, October 4-6.


1930  The first One Hundred Fellows holds its organizational meeting.


1930  Edward Orton, Jr. becomes President of the Society.


1929  The week of the 31st Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, February 4-9 is designated National Ceramic Week and the “First Exposition of Ceramic Products in America.”


1928  The Society holds its Summer Tour to Europe.


1926  The Society’s offices move to 2525 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio.


1925  The first high school ceramic courses are taught in East Liverpool, Ohio.


1925  Ceramic Day is observed at the Chemical Exposition Fall Meeting.


1925  The Ohio State University celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the founding of Ceramic Education.


1922  Volume 1, Number 1 of the Ceramic Bulletin is published in May.


1922  The Society’s editorial offices in Illinois and business offices in Columbus, Ohio combine and relocate in new quarters on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus.


1905  The Society’s Articles of Incorporation are subscribed, acknowledged and filed in the office of the Secretary of State in Ohio.


1902  The Summer Excursion Meeting takes place September 5-8 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, a “wholly social” event.


1902  The Collected Works of Hermann August Seger is translated and published by the Society as its first major project.


1902  Rutgers University establishes its Ceramic School.


1902  Beta Pi Kappa, the ceramic engineering fraternity, is established at The Ohio State University.


1901  The first associate members are elevated to the grade of full members at the Third Annual Meeting.


1900  The New York State School of Clay-Working and Ceramics is established and run by founder Charles Fergus Binns.


1899  The first volume of Transactions of the American Ceramic Society is published.


1899  The First Summer Excursion Meeting takes place July 4-7, with a session aboard the Put-In-Bay Steamer en route to Put-In-Bay, Ohio.


1899  The “First Meeting” to organize a permanent organization is held in Orton Hall with Edward Orton, Jr. as secretary.


1898  During the National Brick Manufacturers’ Association meeting in Pittsburgh, (February 15-18) the formation of a new ceramic association is discussed.


1894  The first ceramic engineering course is established by Edward Orton, Jr. at The Ohio State University.



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