The Philadelphia Convention
The forty-second annual convention of the American Water Works Association, before another issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING reaches its readers, will be a thing to look back upon with pleasurable remembrance. This number, however, precedes the convention and therefore it is fitting to glance at the remarkable history of this organization. In this connection the article on another page with the reproduction of a circular letter written by W. C. Stripe, secretary and engineer of the Keokuk, Iowa, Water Works, which represented the initial step in the formation of the association, will be of intense interest, as showing from what small beginnings such a great movement can grow. Probably comparatively few of the present members are aware that the idea of an association of water works men arose originally in the mind of a single individual and the reproduction of Mr. Stripe’s letter will be the first intimation of this fact. It would seem that the A. W. W. A. is an excellent example of the necessity creating the occasion. When the few water works men met in the Engineering Hall of the Washington University of St. Louis, Mo., on March 29, 1881, probably not one of them realized the significance of their act, or that they were laying the foundations for such a large structure.
Vet forty-one years later the association meets with a membership of over 1,600 members and with the prospect of largely augmented numbers during the coining year. One of the important moves of the last convention was the formation of a Standardization Council, an act which not only raised the association into the first rank of technical bodies, but also began a new era in its usefulness to its members and the general public, through the establishment of standards in all matters connected with water supply.
The program for the forty-second convention promises well for one of the best meetings the association has ever held; the Quaker City, both through its water works officials, headed by genial Chief Davis, and its citizens, is determined to make the members’ stay enjoyable, and every indication points to a banner convention at Philadelphia.