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History Article - October 2020

20-Oct-2020 2:24 PM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

Continuing with the historical sampling of the earlier writings on behalf of the Rochester Engineering Society, the years following "The Great War", into and through the “Great Depression”, continued to be a time of reaching out for the maturing Society, both locally and nationally.  The meeting minutes describe a series of technical discussions and presentations intended to broaden the technical horizons of the membership (especially the CE's, ME's and EE's).  The RES affiliated itself with a number of National technical societies, adopted local Affiliated Societies, frequently held joint meetings with them and continued taking action on a growing list of public matters.  Certain issues of standardization, some crucial to public safety, became the responsibility of the RES and its affiliates. In the pervasive economic downturn of the “Great Depression”, the magazine offered classified advertising for unemployed engineers, technicians and draftsmen and took other steps to try to deal with the crisis. Still, it continued its effort to shape the function, purpose and infrastructure of the City of Rochester, and beyond. World War, again affected the Society, taking away many of its leaders while providing opportunities for others to step forward to fill these vacancies.  In an effort to provide even greater perspective on the happenings and concerns of the day, a synopsis, featuring selected items from "The Rochester Engineer" has become an integral part of this series. The Second World War and the Korean Conflict are now history, and the Vietnam War has recently become a focal point. These experiences have changed the face and, no doubt, the future of the community. The Rochester municipal leadership and the industrial community have become immersed in the cold-war, growth economy.

“The Rochester Engineer” (September 1972) The announced September, season-opening, RES evening meeting featured a buffet dinner at the Rochester Training Academy, on Scottsville Rd. Co-sponsored by the RES, ASCE, ASM, AIPE, CSI, CEC, MPES and the ASSE, this was followed by a full-scale demonstration by City Firemen, under the direction of Fire Commissioner John F. Hurley and Deputy Chief, William Pietsch. It was announced that RES President, Edwin Anthony, would deliver his inaugural address, “What’s Next for the RES?” at the season-opening, October 4th, RES luncheon meeting, at the Chamber of Commerce.

October 11, 1972 (Board Meeting, Chamber of Commerce) The Board approved five applications for Regular Membership. The Board entertained a motion that the RES endorse the November 7, 1972 passage of the Environmental Quality Bond Act. After much discussion among those present (four Board Members were absent), it was decided to put this important action before the entire Board. This resulted, subsequently, in a 13 to 4 passage of this resolution by the RES Board. Howard Beers of the RES Career Guidance Committee announced that the RES Explorer Post would begin activities with a meeting at Pfaudler Company, and that, having no resources of its own, there should be modest funding provided in the RES Budget. The Education Committee reported that a mock trial on the topic of Product Safety would be held in conjunction with the Monroe County Bar Assn., at Valley Echo. The Engineers’ Week Committee announced that Dr. Henry Diamond, NYS Commissioner of Environmental Conservation had been invited to be the February 22, 1973, event’s Key Note Speaker. RES Director, James D. Row, reported that recent attacks on the Operation RESOURCE Report at public meetings seemed to indicate that the Report had not been thoroughly read and understood. Consequently, two groups had been formed to respond to these criticisms. George A. Hammond, reporting for the RES Civic Affairs Committee, announced that Edward Maybeck was working on updating the local building codes, RES Member Richard N. Blazey was serving on the Genesee Regional Health Planning Council, RES Member Victor F. Vinkey was representing the RES on a commission to revise the City of Rochester Zoning Ordinances and RES Secretary Dr. Richard A. Kenyon was initiating a long-range study of regional transportation.

“The Rochester Engineer” (October 1972) In an article, “The Status of the City of Rochester vs. NYS Building Codes”, RES Building Codes Committee Chairman, Edward Maybeck, PE, reported that his  Committee had recommended that Rochester should retain its own building codes, and not adopt the State Building Code. The reason given for this recommendation included: maintenance of “home rule”, the Rochester Code is a good code, slowness of action by the NYS Codes Bureau, Rochester could amend its code to agree, in part with the NYS Building Code, where there is a conflict between the two. Announced recent additions to the RES Luncheon Series included: “The Mt. Morris Dam vs. Hurricane Agnes”, by Col. Robert L. Moore, District Engineer for US Army Corps. of Engineers, “Our Environment – What We’re Doing About Preserving It”, by Eric Seiffer, Regional Engineer for Environmental Quality and Howard F. Christensen, Monroe County Director of Solid Waste.

November 8, 1972 (Board Meeting, Chamber of Commerce) The Board approved applications for three Regular Members. RES Luncheon Series Chairman, John Robertson, announced the completion of scheduling for the 1972-73 season, and the establishment of a “season ticket” for the eight luncheons, at $12.50 per person, for the entire series. RES Director James D. Row announced that a presentation on “Operation RESOURCE” had been schedule for the Monroe County Public Works Committee. Further, he stated that RES Member, William F. Kaiser, had been named Chairman of a special public relations committee charged with increasing public awareness and understanding of the “Operation RESOURCE” Report. It was further stated that, “contacts with the press, or other public groups should be cleared through him and RES President Anthony, and that any public utterance of positions on behalf of the Society will be presented for Board approval, before issuance.” On behalf of the RES Education Committee, Chairman Roger Kober announced that RIT would be offering two evening courses; “Effective Reading” and “Reviewing Engineering Mathematics”. He also reported on RES Explorer Post activities, recommending that members of the Post receive complimentary copies of “The Rochester Engineer”, that past and future activities of the Post be regularly reported in the RES magazine, and that the Post members be invited, annually, to an RES meeting to receive certificates of participation. RES Director Roger Kober further reported that the RES Explorer Post Counselors and the Treasurer were assembling a list of expenses for submittal to the RES, toward establishing an annual budget line-item for the RES Explorer Post’s operation.

Subsequent articles in this series will describe the RES' continuing outreach to other technical societies as it considered its role in this and the larger community, along with more of the activities of the RES as it moved to be of greater service to its membership, especially those suffering from current economic crises, and adopted a greater role in shaping the future of the City and its environs. Noted also, will be the contributions made by RES members in the struggle to meet the challenges coming out of World War II and the Korean Conflict, as well as a period of post-war growth and prosperity. These articles will also feature an impressive array of RES activities in support of post-war re-emergence of Rochester area industry, and the ensuing prosperity of the second-half of the 20th Century.

We welcome your questions and comments on this series.


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