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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 21, 1936

I. The Board of Governors met in response to call of the Chairman at nine forty-five a.m., March 21, 1936 at Columbia University, New York, N.Y., in the Pupin Physics Laboratories.

Present: Chairman Compton, Messrs. Dodge, Fletcher, Klopsteg, Knudsen, Mooney, Palmer, peek, Pegram, Richtmyer, Tate, Waterfall, and Director Barton and Treasurer Buffum.

Absent: Messrs. Bingham, Crittenden, and Rayton

II. MINUTES OF MEETING, February 21, 1935

The Minutes of the Meeting of February 21, 1935 were read and on motion approved.

For the information of the Governing Board the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 21, 1936 were also read.


The Chairman submitted a report giving a brief review of the year’s operations which had been submitted to the Annual Meeting of members of the corporation on February 21, 1936.

In this report the chief points were the discussion of the status of the publication work of the Institute and a discussion of the recent activities of the Institute aiming at closer relations between the science of physics and the technical industries that had resulted in the appointment by the Institute of an Advisory Council on Applied Physics which in Pittsburgh on November 16, 1935 and which has several activities under way.

On motion it was voted:

that the report of the Chairman be accepted.

Copy of this report is attached to the Secretary’s copy of the Minutes.


The Secretary reported to the Board for record the following elections of member so the Governing Board made at the Annual meeting of the corporation on February 21, 1936:

Term to end at annual meeting
Karl T. Compton February 1939
W.B. Rayton February 1939
Vern O. Knudsen February 1939
Editor Eugene C. Bingham February 1937
Sec'y R.L. Peek Jr. February 1937
Pres. Melvin Mooney February 1937
Homer L. Dodge February 1939

(Note: the continuing members of the Board are:

Term to end at annual meeting
George B. Pegram February 1937
John T. Tate February 1938
E.C. Crittenden February 1937
  F.K. Richtmyer February 1938
  Wallace Waterfall February 1937
. Harvey Fletcher February 1938
Frederic Palmer February 1937
Paul E. Klopsteg February 1938


The Treasurer submitted as his annual report copy of the Report of the Auditors, Pasley and Conroy, certified public accountants, 63 Wall Street, New York, N.Y. dated January 27, 1936, which report had also been presented as the financial report at the Annual meeting of the Corporation on February 21, 1936 and of this copies had been sent to the secretaries of the member societies. Copies of three pages of the auditors’ report, namely Exhibit A – balance sheet, Exhibit B – report on deficit, and Exhibit C – statement of income and expense, were distributed to the members of the Board are attached to these Minutes.

On motion it was voted:

to accept the report of the Treasurer.


The Director submitted a report on important features of the work and the opportunities of the Institute, discussing among other matters the moving of the office to the Flatiron Building to take place in May; the general status of the Institute; operations and finances.

On motion it was voted:

to accept the report of the Director.

Copy of this report is attached to the official Minutes.

After discussion arising from the report of the Director it was agreed that it would be desirable for the Director to analyze the probable cost of taking care of collecting the subscriptions and dues for the Societies and to inform the Societies respectively. It was further agreed that it was the sense of the board that not only Mr. Barton as Director but also the members of the Governing Board should report as frequently and fully as practicable to the councils of the member Societies on the activities of the Institute.

In connection with the report of the Director discussion arose as to whether the Institute should not be much more active than it has been in making contacts with industry and in general in promoting the objects of the Institute and its member Societies. It was suggested that another man be employed at a salary of twenty-five hundred to three thousand dollars to assist the Director at least for a year. Mr. Buffum stated that he was so convinced that this is the time for the Institute to increase its activity and so sure that increased effort would be increased financial support that he would undertake to pay the salary of an assistant to the Director if upon employing him and freeing Mr. Barton to solicit the support of industry the Institute does not collect three times as much support from industry as last year. The Chairman restated the proposal as a proposal of Mr. Buffum to underwrite the employment for a year of an assistant to the Director of the Institute at a salary of $2500 to $3000.

On motion it was voted:

To accept this offer of Mr. Buffum and to authorize the Executive Committee to proceed with the matter of employing a suitable man and determining the conditions of his work and employment


As the report of the Executive Committee the Chairman asked the Secretary to read the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee on February 20, 1936 and certain items from the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee on June 7, 1935.

On motion it was resolved:

That the Governing Board approves the actions of the Executive Committee at its February 20, 1936 meeting and adopts as resolutions of the Board the following:

  1. American Physics Teacher:
  2. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Executive Committee in Paragraph VII of its Minutes of the meeting on February 20, 1936 adoption of the following resolution was moved and voted unanimously:

    In view of the fact that the American Institute of Physics Incorporated recognizes the contributions to physics made by the American Association of Physics Teachers, in its work of improving the teaching of physics of college grade and recognizes also the financial difficulty in which that organization finds itself, due to the limited amount of the dues which its members are at this time able to pay;
    Resolved: that the American Institute of Physics Incorporated make a grant of $400.00 to the American Association of Physics Teachers for the purpose of assisting the Association towards balancing its budget of the current year.

  3. Budget for Review of Scientific Instruments:
  4. On motion it was voted:

    That the Board adopt the budget for the Review of Scientific Instruments for 1936 as recommended by the Executive Committee in Paragraph VIII of its Minutes of the Meeting on February 20, 1936 as follows:

    Review of Scientific Instruments
    Budget for 1936

    1935 1936
    Operation Budget
    Subscriptions $492.41 $6,600
    Net Income from Published Articles and Reprints 699.65 700
    Net Income from Sales of:    
    Single Copies 205.98 200
    Net Income from Advertising 6,440.45 6,000
    Miscellaneous 124.34 ---
    $7,962.83 $13,500
    Printing and Mailing $9,309.35 $7,700
    Editorial Mechanics Expenses 864.18 1,000
    Editor's Office Salaries and Expenses 2,022.83 2,000
    Business Management Expenses 2,551.32 2,600
      $14,747.68 $13,300
    Excess of Expense over Income $6,784.85 -$200*

    (This budget is to provide for 750 pages in 1936 as against 736 for 1935).

  5. Budget for the Institute
  6. On motion it was voted:

    To follow the recommendation of the Executive Committee in Paragraph IX of its Minutes of the Meeting on February 20, 1936 and to adopt the following budget for the Institute for 1936:

    American Institute of Physics Incorporated
    Budget for 1936

    1935 1935 1936
    budget actual budget
    Service Charge $10,500 $10,347.31 $10,000
    Dues of Associate Members (net) 2,200 1,551.00 3,000
    Contributions --- 3,000.00 1,000
    Miscellaneous 50 18.52 ---
    $12,750 $14,916.83 $14,000
    1935 1935 1936
    budget actual budget
    Organization and Education
    Amer. Physics Teacher $400
    Salaries $6,300 $6,077.29 7,300
    Other Expenses 2,000 1,071.22 1,900
    Travelling Expenses 1,200 698.41 1,000
    Reorganizing R.S.I. --- 218.53 200
    Office Expenses 1,500 1,612.63 1,600
    $11,000 $9,678.08 $12,400
    Excess Income over Expense 1,750 5,238.75 1,600
    Excess Income over Expense R.S.I. 7,000* 6,784.85* 200
    Expense R.S.I. $5,250* 1,546.10* $1,800


  7. Proposal for Revising Financing:
  8. The proposal for revising financing in Paragraph X of the Executive Committee Minutes of the Meeting in February 20, 1936 was referred back to the Executive Committee.

  9. Staff Salaries-Removal of Office-Authorization to Sign Lease:
  10. On motion it was voted:

    To approve the action of the Executive Committee on staff salaries in Paragraph XI, the removal of the offices in Paragraph XII, and the authorization to sign lease in Paragraph XIII of the Minutes of the Meeting on February 20, 1936.


  1. Special Item – October Meeting:

    Mr. Barton reported for the Advisory Council on Applied Physics that the plans were going forward without obstacles for the arrangements of a special meeting of the Institute on applied physics combining with a joint meeting of the several member societies to be held in October 1936.

  2. Report of First Meeting:
  3. Mr. Barton also presented as a part of this report a reprint of “Report of Conference on Applied Physics”, pages 113-123 of Volume 7, No.3, march 1936 of the Review of Scientific Instruments, which article had been prepared by Mr. Barton as Secretary of the Advisory Council on Applied Physics. This report included certain resolutions which had been voted by the Council.

    Resolution 1, page 114, which was adopted by the Advisory Council on Applied Physics at its Pittsburgh meeting stated that it was the opinion of the Advisory Council that the interests of applied physicists would be promoted if there were created in the American Physical Society to division of applied physics which would devote itself to:

    1. Consideration of the education and training of men for work in applied physics, and consultations and exchange of ideas with university faculties in this respect.
    2. Consideration of the services of the Founder Societies and the Institute to physicists engaged in industrial research and other applications, and recommendations concerning meeting programs, journal articles, etc., to these organizations.
    3. Consideration of ways in which the valuable contributions physical science can make may be brought to the attention of industries not yet well aware of them.”

    Since the American Physical Society has already been giving much attention to these suggestions it was on motion voted:

    That the Secretary of this board should inform the Advisory Council on Applied Physics of the result of the actions of the American Physical Society on these proposals.

    On motion it was further voted:

    That resolution 1 of the Advisory Council on Applied Physics on page 114 be referred to the Executive Committee for further consideration.

    On motion of Mr. Barton it was voted;

    To adopt the following preamble and resolutions concerning the Advisory Council on Applied Physics:

    Whereas the Advisory Council on Applied Physics appointed by the American Institute of Physics has accepted the functions asked of it, these being expressed in resolutions 1, 2, 3 and 4 on page 114 of the attached report, and

    Whereas it is the desire of the Board to give the Council a permanent standing and special powers as a Committee of the Institute,

    Be it resolved:

    1. That the Chairman of the Institute be authorized without further action of the Board to appoint the council anew each year after it, along with other Institute Committees, retires.
    2. That the Council be empowered to appoint sub-committees, including an executive committee with power to act for it, and also to hold meetings, call conferences, raise moderate funds for its own expenses and engage in other activities within the scope of the preamble and consistent with the broad policies of the Institute and the Founder Societies.
    3. That the Council be instructed to arrange through its executive committee or otherwise to nominate at the request of the Chairman of the Governing Board, persons for appointment or reappointment to the Council each year, with the provision that each Associate of the Institute is to be invited to nominate a member.


Mr. Barton reported that the journal appeared to be on the whole quite successful, that it had been discussed from financial and other standpoints in the Report of the Chairman and the Report of the Director which are attached to the Secretary’s copy of these Minutes.


Mr. Pegram for the Committee on Science Abstracts reported that the Management of Science Abstracts desired to expand the journal by about fifty pages more per volume which would mean that a subscription would cost the American Physical Society $3.50 instead of $3.00; that the Committee on Science Abstracts of the American Physical Society was continuing to urge upon the Management increased effort toward promptness in publication of abstracts, a greater watchfulness over important articles in journals not regularly abstracted, and if possible the adoption of an alphabetical index.


Mr. Barton reported for the Committee on Printing Contracts that it had not seemed feasible to the Committee to undertake a revision of contracts in the past year; that it may well be desirable to take up the question of printing contracts again by the end of the present year. In ensuring discussion it was agreed that the question of printing contracts should not be left unexamined indefinitely but that raising the question too frequently would be unnecessarily disturbing. The question of how soon to take up the possible revision of printing contracts was left in the hands of the Committee.


  1. Nominating Committee Report:
  2. Mr. Fletcher for the Nominating Committee consisting of Messrs. Fletcher, Palmer, and Pegram, reported to the Board that Mr. Compton for reasons of health had requested that his name not be considered in making nomination for the chairmanship; that the Committee, hoping that Mr. Compton might reconsider his request not to accept renomination, had talked with him just before the meeting of the Board and as a result of the conference were agreed that Mr. Compton should not be pressed further to continue under the circumstances the chairmanship of this Board to which he had so faithfully and so successfully given a great deal of his time and strength. The Committee then reported as its nomination for chairmanship of the Board Mr. John T. Tate.

    On motion it was voted:

    That nominations be closed and that the Secretary cast a single ballot for the Board.

    The Secretary reported that the ballot cast and the Chairman declared Mr. Tate elected the new Chairman of the Board.

    On nomination from the Board it was on motion voted:

    That Mr. Pegram be reelected Secretary of the Board.


No action was necessary on the appointment of administrative officers since by action of the Board on February 21, 1935 the terms of office of the Treasurer, Director, and Adviser on Publications continue automatically until further action of the Board.

On motion it was voted:

To approve the action of the Executive Committee on February 20, 1936 by adopting the following resolution:

“that Theresa A. Kraus be reappointed Assistant Treasurer with power to sign and endorse checks for the American Institute of Physics Incorporated and to perform such other duties as assigned to her by the Treasurer until December 31, 1936 or until further action by this Executive Committee or by the Governing Board.”

The Governing Board adjourned for luncheon and the Chairman asked Mr. Palmer to preside at the afternoon session (after luncheon at the Faculty Club the Board continued its meeting).


On motion it was voted:

That the Chairman should appoint the Executive Committee and other committees which in his opinion should be continued.

The following are the committee appointments made by Mr. Tate for 1936:

Executive Committee: John T. Tate, Chairman, Paul E. Klopsteg, R. L. Peek Jr., George B. Pegram, F.K. Richtmyer, Wallace Waterfall, Director Barton and Treasurer Buffum.

Committee on Review of Scientific Instruments: H.A. Barton, Chairman, F.K. Richtmyer, and John T. Tate.

Committee on Science Abstracts: George B. Pegram, Chairman, H.A. Barton, and John T. Tate.

Committee on Printing Contracts: H.A. Barton, Chairman, and the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Institute.

Advisory Council on Applied Physics:
Carl L. Bausch, Bausch & Lomb Optical Company
Carl Breer, Research Laboratories, Chrysler Corporation
Lyman J. Briggs, Director, U.S. Bureau of Standards
Detlev W. Bronk, Johnson Foundation, University Hospital, Philadelphia
O.E. Buckley, Director of Research, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.
Wm. W. Buffum, General manager and Treasurer, The Chemical Foundation
L.W. Chubb, Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company
Karl T. Compton, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E.C. Crittenden, U. S. Bureau of Standards
George O. Curme Jr., Vice-President, Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation
Wheeler P. Davey, Research Professor of Physics and Chemistry, Pennsylvania State College
W.F. Davidson, Director of Research, Brooklyn Edison Company
Marion Eppley, Eppley Laboratories, Inc.
Harvey Fletcher, Physical Research Director, bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.
Paul D. Foote, Executive Vice-President, Gulf Research and Development Corporation
Francis C. Frary, Director of the Aluminum Research Laboratories, Aluminum Company of America
John J. Grebe, Director of Physical Research, The Dow Chemical Company
L.O. Grondahl, Director of Research, Union Switch & Signal Co.
George R. Harrison, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maurice Holland, Director, Division of Industrial and Engineering Research, National Research Council
A.W. Hull, General Electric Company
John Johnson, Lead of Research Department, United States Steel Corporation
Loyd A. Jones, Physics Department, Research Laboratory, Eastman Kodak Company
M.J. Kelly, Vacuum Tubes and Transmission Instruments Director, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.
A.W. Kenney, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company
Paul E. Klopsteg, Central Scientific Company
C.H. Kunsman, Chief, Fertilizer Investigations, Bureau of Chemistry & Soils, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
S.C. Lind, Dean, Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota
J. T. Littleton, Chief, Physical Laboratory, Corning Glass Work
G.M.J. Mackay, American Cyanamid Company
John P. Magos, Testing Engineer, Research Testing Laboratory, Crane Company
E.J. Martin, General Motors Corporation
Archibald F. Meston, Research Corporation
George B. Pegram, Professor of Physics, Columbia University
H.M. Randall, Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
Harvey C. Rentschler, Westinghouse Lamp Company
F.K. Richtmyer, Dean of the Graduate School, Cornell University
Charles A Scharschu, Director of Research, Allegheny Steel Corporation
Herman Scneider, Dean, University of Cincinnati
C.R. Soderberg, Turbine Division, Manager Engineering Department, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company
John T. Tate, Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota
John Wulff, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts institute of Technology
Henry A. Barton, Director, American Institute of Physics


  1. Board of Consulting Authorities
  2. The Director suggested that it might be well for the Institute of Physics to have a Board of Consulting Authorities somewhat similar to the Medical Investigations Board of the New York Academy of Medicine and the County Medical Society. He stated that frequently the Institute is called upon for information of one kind or another relating to physics, that it would be very helpful if he could refer such enquiries to one of a group of physicists who might be willing to undertake to answer such enquiries that might be felt worthwhile. It was agreed that it would be appropriate for the Chairman and the Director to try out an arrangement of this kind

  3. Dues of Associates:
  4. On motion it was voted:

    To refer the question of dues of associates to the Executive Committee for consideration and report.

  5. Resolution of Appreciation:
  6. A committee consisting of Messrs. Pegram, Fletcher, and Barton was appointed to prepare a resolution expressing in some measure the appreciation of the members of the Board of the services of Mr. Compton to physics through his chairmanship of the Board of this Institute.


The Governing Board adjourned at four o’clock.