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.
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. Learn more about his legacy here (PDF).
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, but 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 10,000 members consisting of scientists, engineers, researchers, manufacturers, plant personnel, educators, students, and marketing and sales professionals from more than 70 countries—with 40% of members based outside of the United States.
Today, the Society provides 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 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.
ACerS develops and begins implementation of an updated Strategic Plan.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic strikes the world, leading to mass scientific conference cancellations, travel restrictions, social distancing, and other unprecedented prevention measures.
ACerS forms the Energy Materials and Systems Division.
ACerS launches the open-access International Journal of Ceramic Engineering & Science (IJCES).
Mark Mecklenborg is named executive director.
ACerS headquarters moves from Cleveland Avenue to its new location at 550 Polaris Parkway, Westerville, Ohio.
All back issues of ACerS Bulletin become available through the Bulletin Archive Online.
ACerS celebrates its 120th anniversary.
ACerS forms the Bioceramics Division.
ACerS forms International Chapters, beginning with the United Kingdom Chapter, followed by Chapters in India, Italy, Canada, and Germany.
ACerS elects its first internationally-based president, William Lee, from the United Kingdom.
ACerS Whitewares and Materials Division transitions to the Manufacturing Division.
ACerS launches the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) to ensure the industry attracts and trains the highest quality talent available to work with engineered systems and products that utilize ceramic and glass materials.
ACerS Art Division transitions to the Art, Archaeology and Conservation Science Division, a crossover membership of ACerS and Potters Council.
ACerS forms the Young Professionals Network.
Charlie Spahr is named executive director and serves until 2018.
ACerS launches the International Journal of Applied Glass Science (IJAGS).
ACerS forms the President’s Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) and holds its inaugural meeting in Daytona Beach.
ACerS headquarters moves from Ceramic Place to 600 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville, Ohio.
The Cocoa Beach meeting of the Engineering Ceramics Division moves to Daytona Beach due to increased attendance and expanded number of exhibits.
ACerS Annual Meeting combines with the Materials Science & Technology conference (MS&T).
The first International Congress on Ceramics (ICC) is held in Toronto, Canada.
Scott Steen is named executive director and serves until 2010.
ACerS partners with Blackwell Publishing on the Journal of the American Ceramic Society and International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology and ACerS members get free online access.
ACerS forms the Material Advantage student program with ASM, AIST, and TMS.
ACerS uploads all back issues of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society online as a free member benefit.
ACerS launches the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology.
Glenn Harvey is named executive director and serves until 2006.
The Potters Council membership organization is established to serve the ceramic arts community.
ACerS cosponsors National Engineers Week, February 20–26.
ACerS revises and updates its governance.
ACerS launches the Centennial Traveling Museum Exhibit.
ACerS sponsors the first ceramics pavilion at the National Design Engineering Show and Conference in Chicago.
ACerS 100th Annual Meeting takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 4–7.
Pottery Making Illustrated publishes its inaugural issue.
The Society acquires Ceramics Monthly.
Carol Jantzen, the first female president, is sworn into office.
ACerS launches its first website.
ACerS approves the American Ceramic Industry Association (ACIA), the first Society subsidiary.
The inaugural biennial Ceramic Manufacturers & Suppliers Workshop & Exposition is held in Louisville, Kentucky, September 25–28.
ACerS holds its first offshore sponsored meeting, PACRIM, November 7–10.
ACerS begins an initiative in pre-college education programming.
Advanced Ceramic Materials is incorporated into the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.
The Society sells its building at 65 Ceramic Drive.
ACerS holds a grand opening of its new headquarters at Brooksedge, December 4.
Advanced Ceramic Materials publishes its inaugural issue.
Paul Holbrook succeeds Arthur Friedberg as executive director and serves until 2003.
The Society and the National Bureau of Standards sign documents launching the joint program on Phase Equilibria for Ceramists on December 21.
ACerS dedicates the Ross C. Purdy Museum of Ceramics in Columbus, Ohio.
“ACerS” is adopted as the official acronym of The American Ceramic Society.
The first edition of the Advances in Ceramics series is published.
Arthur Friedberg succeeds Frank Reid as executive director and serves until 1984.
ACerS holds its first poster session at the 80th Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, May 6–11.
ACerS offers its first CEC short course: “Kinetics in Ceramic Processes.”
The new Society-owned Ceramic Park office building is completed.
ACerS establishes the Ceramic Endowment Fund.
ACerS holds its first Exposition at the Sheraton-Park Hotel in Washington D.C., May 4–6.
The Constitution is thoroughly revised and updated.
For the first time, paid Society memberships and publication subscriptions exceed $10,000.
The Design Section of the Ceramic Educational Council votes to split from the Society to form the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).
ACerS publishes its first ceramic company directory.
Frank P. Reid is named general secretary and serves until 1979.
ACerS holds its first ceramographic exhibit in Dallas, Texas.
The first Society-owned headquarters building in Columbus, Ohio, is dedicated on December 4.
Ceramics Monthly begins publication in January.
The Purdy collection of ceramic objects is given to the Society.
Charles S. Pearce is named general secretary and serves until 1963.
The Board of Trustees approves the formation of classes.
Engineering curricula are accredited for the first time.
At the 38th Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, March 29–April 4, sessions are split between two hotels for the first time.
The Association of Ceramic Educators is organized.
The summer excursion meeting is held in Chicago, Ill. during the Century of Progress Engineers’ Week, June 25–30.
E.W. Washburn delivers the first Edward Orton, Jr. Memorial Lecture on February 14.
153 members are elevated to Fellows at the first induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on February 25.
The Glass Division is the first division to hold a fall meeting, at Cove Point, Maryland, October 4–6.
The first 100 Fellows holds their organizational meeting.
Edward Orton, Jr. becomes president of the Society.
February 4–9 is designated as National Ceramic Week and the first exposition of ceramic products in America, coinciding with ACerS 31st Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, Ill.
The Society holds its summer tour in Europe.
The Society moves its offices to 2525 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio.
The first high school ceramic courses are taught in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Ceramic Day is observed at the Chemical Exposition Fall Meeting.
Ohio State University celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of ceramic education.
ACerS publishes Volume 1 Number 1 of the Ceramic Bulletin in May.
Combining its editorial offices in Illinois and business offices in Columbus, the Society relocates to new headquarters on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.
The Society files its Articles of Incorporation at the office of the Secretary of State in Columbus, Ohio.
The summer excursion meeting, a “wholly social event,” takes place September 5–8 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Society translates and publishes the collected works of Hermann August Seger as its first major project.
Rutgers University establishes its ceramic school.
Beta Pi Kappa, the ceramic engineering fraternity, is established at The Ohio State University.
The first associate members are elevated to full members at the third Annual Meeting.
The New York State School of Clay-Working and Ceramics is established and run by founder Charles Fergus Binns.
The Society publishes the first volume of Transactions of the American Ceramic Society.
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.
The first meeting to organize a permanent organization is held in Orton Hall with Edward Orton, Jr. as secretary.
The formation of a new ceramic association is discussed during the National Brick Manufacturers’ Association meeting, February 15–18, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The first ceramic engineering course is established by Edward Orton, Jr. at Ohio State University.
Join ACerS today
Become a part of a community that will be with you for your entire career—join ACerS today!