February 28, 1946

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Present: Messrs. Paul E. Klopsteg (Chairman), Harvey Fletcher, G. B. Pegram, A. G. Worthing, Wallace Waterfall

Admin. Staff: Messrs. H. A. Barton, Director, T. Vorburger, Asst. Treas; Miss M. S. Griffin, Publications Manager

In accordance with notices sent by authority of the Chairman the Committee met at 10 a.m., in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55 Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

At the request of the Chairman the Secretary reviewed the minutes of the Committee meeting held on November 29, 1945 and it was on motion voted

To approve the minutes of the November 29, 1945 meeting as circulated.

The Director reported briefly on the follow-up of certain actions taken at the last meeting, as follows:

Unused office space in AIP Building: An informal committee consisting of Messrs. Pegram, Waterfall, and Barton had surveyed the amount of unused office space and concluded that, while taking into account the possible needs of space for the new journal staff, there still remained certain space on the fifth floor of the building which could, upon alteration, be utilized by the American Meteorological Society – this subject to be discussed further later in the meeting.

Placement Service: Approximately $300 of the $500 appropriation for the Employment Clearing House held at the January meeting of the American Physical Society in New York had been expended, and this project had been very successful and brought the Institute considerable credit. The Institute plans to hold another Clearing House at the forthcoming meeting of the Physical Society in April at Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Max Planck: Correspondence with several people regarding the welfare of Dr. Max Planck had brought a report from authoritative sources in Germany that good care is being taken of Dr. Planck. Accordingly, the following resolution was voted

That a message of good wishes and felicitations be sent to Dr. Max Planck in Germany from the American Institute of Physics.

War Surplus Property: Mr. Barton had nothing to report on this subject.

2. Financial:

  1. Tax Exemption: Mr. Barton reported that the City Tax Commission had exempted the Physics Building from real estate taxes for the period July 1, 1946 to June 30, 1947.

  2. Budget: The Director presented schedules and after discussion it was on motion voted

    That the Committee recommends the adoption by the Governing Board of the Budget for 1946 as submitted but modified to increase the item of General Operations salaries from $15,000 to $20,000, with the understanding that the Director be authorized, with the approval of the Executive Committee, to employ an assistant at an annual salary of approximately $5,000.

    A copy of the Budget as amended is attached to the official copy of these minutes.

  3. New Banking Facilities: On motion it was voted

    That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board the opening of new bank accounts with the Bankers Trust Company at 57th Street and Madison Avenue, New York, and that the usual resolutions required by the bank be made a part of the minutes as having been voted, these resolutions to cover a custodian account and a general depository account.

  4. Percentage of Supporting Contributions from the Member Societies for 1947: On motion it was voted

    That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board that the contributions of the Member Societies for 1947 again be set as 15% of the funds received by each society as dues.

3. Reports of Committees:

  1. Committee on Physics Monographs: Mr. Barton read the conclusions contained in the Report of the Committee on Physics Monographs, a copy of which is attached to the official copy of these minutes. It was moved by Mr. Pegram and unanimously carried

    That the Committee recommends approval of the Report of the Committee on Physics Monographs.

  2. Committee to Study a Retirement System for the AIP Staff: Mr. Waterfall, a member of this Committee, reported that while a study is being made of the possible adoption by the Institute of a suitable retirement plan, the Committee had no formal report to make at this time.

  3. Committee to Decide on a Suitable Donors’ Tablet for Institute Building: The Committee received a report from Dr. Dodge, copy of which is attached to the official minutes, proposing a bronze plate which would open, having room behind it for a book in which would be recorded the names of donors. After some discussion a number of alternative suggestions were made and the decision was reached that the Committee should consider all proposals and proceed with the design and acquisition of a suitable arrangement with the expense not to exceed $1,000.

4. Appointment of Committees:

It was voted that the following committees should be continued with the present personnel:

Committee on Mathematical Typography

  • J. H. Van Vleck, Chairman
  • Philip M. Morse
  • John T. Tate
  • Richard P. Rohrer
  • Mrs. John T. Tate
  • Miss M. S. Griffin

Committee on Advertising Rates and Policies


  • Wallace Waterfall, Chairman
  • Homer L. Dodge
  • George R. Harrison
  • Louis N. Ridenour
  • John T. Tate (Consultant Ex-officio)

Committee to Study a Retirement System for AIP Staff


  • M. J. Kelly, Chairman
  • J. C. Boyce
  • G. B. Pegram
  • W. Waterfall
  • Mrs. John T. Tate

Committee to Decide on Suitable Donors’ Tablet for Institute Building


  • Homer L. Dodge, Chairman
  • R. H. Bolt

5. Appointment of Editors:


On motion of Mr. Fletcher it was voted

That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board that the Editors of the Journal of Applied Physics and the Journal of Chemical Physics be re-elected for a three-year term beginning January 1, 1947.

6. Appointment of Counsel:

On motion of Mr. Waterfall it was voted

That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board that the law firm of Bate, Loeb, Klein and Churchill be appointed counsel for the Institute for the year beginning March 1, 1946 and ending February 28, 1947 at a fee of $500.00 (Five hundred dollars), with Mr. Robert E. Lawther of that firm conducting the legal business of the Institute.

7. Election of Associates:

The following list of industrial companies were, upon motion, duly elected Associates of the Institute:

  • American Can Company
  • Bendix Avaiation Corporation
  • Boeing Aircraft Company
  • Celanese Corporation of America
  • Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.
  • Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.
  • Farnsworth Television & Radio Corporation
  • Federal Telecommunication Laboratories, Inc.
  • Grinnel Corporation
  • Lever Brothers Company
  • Magnolia Petroleum Company
  • The National Cash Register Company
  • Pure Oil Company
  • Raytheon Manufacturing Company
  • Stromberg-Carlson Company
  • Union Oil Company of California

8. Proposal of the American Meteorological Society:


The Director reported conferences with officers of the American Meteorological Society which resulted in a proposal for the use of office space on the fifth floor of the Institute Building by that Society. This proposal was discussed at length. It was apparent that the Committee was desirous of cooperating with the Society of a very cordial basis. On the other hand, the Committee was by no means sure that the space could be spared for a sufficient period of time to justify the acceptance of the proposal. In addition to this the Committee concluded that there would be little or no financial benefit to the Institute resulting from such a transaction. Finally, and most important, the Committee was informed by the Institute’s attorney that such an arrangement might reopen the question as to the tax-exempt status of the entire building, an eventuality which would prove to be very costly and undesirable in other respects. The decision was therefore reached that it would be unwise to accept the proposal.

9. Public Relations:

Mr. Barton asked the Committee’s advice on the desirability of appointing a public relations counsel for the Institute. While it was the sense of the Committee that publicity services might be desirable, either within or without the Institute, no official action or recommendations were made. It was suggested that Mr. Barton might make a study of the actual public relations requirements needed and report further to the Committee.

10. Miscellaneous Items:

  1. Proposal of W. P. Davey to Promote Physics in High Schools: The Director read a letter from Dr. W. P. Davey, of the Pennsylvania State College, suggesting that the Institute might be interested in supporting the existing plan of the Pennsylvania Conference of College Physics Teaching of mailing a series of bulletins for High School Bulletin Boards within Pennsylvania to arouse interest in physics among the students. Sample bulletins were examined by the Committee members. The Committee felt that the Institute might well support such a project and instructed the Director to investigate the cost of distributing such bulletins on a nation-wide scale and to ascertain whether the American Association of Physics Teachers would sponsor such a program if undertaken by the Institute.

  2. Proposed Assistant to the Director: Mr. Barton outlined the greatly increased activities of the Institute and the amount of work which has to be undertaken, referring also to the resignation of Mr. G. H. Burnham as of June 30, 1945. Upon request, an organization chart of the various departments was distributed to the Committee members and the number of employees now employed were added. Mr. Barton requested permission to engage an assistant and one or two names were suggested for this position. The earlier action of the Committee in approving the Budget for 1946 was then amended as recorded in item 2.b. of these minutes.

  3. AIP Sponsorship of Annual Conference on Physics of Naval Problems: Mr. Barton reported a suggestion which had been made that AIP might sponsor an Annual Conference on Physics of Naval Problems. It was the sense of the Committee that such conferences or symposia would be desirable and it recognized the validity of the Institute’s interest. The Committee recommended that the Institute proceed in this general direction.

  4. Collection of early editions and manuscripts in Institute Building: Mr. Barton read a letter from Dr. Warren Weaver suggesting the collection and housing in the Conference Room of the Institute Building of early editions and manuscripts. The matter was discussed but no action was taken at the present time.

  5. Letter from A. C. Hardy about Physics Abstracts: The Director reported that correspondence is under way with the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London about Dr. Hardy’s suggestion that an attempt be made to enable the members of all Member Societies to subscribe to Physics Abstracts at a reduced rate through the AIP.

The Committee adjourned at 1:05 p.m. for luncheon.

11. Report of the Policy Committee:

The Committee reconvened at 2:15 p.m. with the following Policy Committee members present as guests: Messrs. R. C. Gibbs, Chairman, R. H. Bolt, D. L. MacAdam, H. L. Dodge, L. A. Du Bridge, O. E. Buckley. Mr. Lawther, counsel for the Institute, was also present.

At the request of the Chairman, Dr. Gibbs presented the Report of the Policy Committee. He stated that about a year ago the Policy Committee made recommendations to the Governing Board for a reorganization of the Institute and that the Governing Board then instructed the Policy Committee to consider further and report again to the Board through the Executive Committee. During the year the Policy Committee has held five meetings in the course of which about twenty other physicists attended as guests. Attached to the official minutes is a report as presented by the Policy Committee. The Executive Committee reviewed this report in considerable detail making various amendments. After amending the report of the Policy Committee the Executive Committee upon motion voted

That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board:

  1. That the report of the Policy Committee on new Constitution and Rules be approved and that the Constitution be transmitted to the Member Societies for approval as required by the present By-laws.

  2. That the Report of the Policy Committee on a new journal plan be approved and that the Executive Committee be authorized to proceed with the plans when funds are available.

The report as amended is attached to the minutes of the meeting of the Governing Board held the following day.

12. The Director’s Salary:

It was reported that in connection with the work of the Committee to Study a Retirement System for the AIP Staff present salaries of staff members were considered. Further recommendations on salaries will be made when the Committee submits its reports, but the Committee feels that an interim step toward the ultimate recommendations should be made immediately. The Committee recommended that the salary of the Director be increased as of March 1, 1945 by $1,000 per annum and that the Director be authorized to proceed with such other changes in the salaries of the Institute staff as he considers advisable.

On motion it was voted

That the Executive Committee recommends to the Governing Board that the salary of the Director be increased as of March 1, 1946 by $1,000 (One thousand dollars) per annum and that the Director be authorized to proceed with such other changes in the salaries of the Institute staff as he considers advisable.

13. Adjournment:

The Committee adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.