October 21, 1938

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

I. The Executive Committee met at the call of the Chairman at 9:30 a.m., Friday, October 21, 1938 at the office of the Institute, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y.

Present: Chairman Tate, Messrs. Hardy, Peek, Pegram, Richtmyer and Waterfall, and Director Barton, also by invitation Mr. Hutchisson, Editor of the Journal of Applied Physics, Miss Mitchell and Mr. Copp for part of the meeting.

II. Miscellaneous Items:

The Director reported to the Committee several items as follows:

  1. A letter of thanks from the Franklin Institute to the Institute of Physics for sending a delegate to the dedication of the new building of the Institute last spring.

  2. The Director reported that certain of the employees had been absent for a considerable periods on account of illness, that he had assumed the Committee would wish him to take a generous attitude in such cases and continue the salaries for a reasonable period.

  3. Statement that the loan of $5,000 which had been obtained from the Research Corporation for promoting the Journal of Applied Physics bears interest at two percent, therefore an item of $100 must be included in the budget to cover this interest.

  4. That the Rockefeller Foundation underwriting of the per page charge in journals comes to an end next summer, in fact that the $1000 available this year has already been used up and that account will have to be taken of this in considering the budget for next year.

  5. That Professor George Harrison’s book on Applied Physics has progressed to the point of having one-half of the manuscript in the hands of the publishers already and that the other half is expected to be turned over to the publishers by March 1, 1939.

  6. A letter from the Secretary of the Society of Rheology, Mr. Peek, stated that the Society of Rheology had voted to make its contribution to the support of the Institute by the payment of a sum amounting to forty cents per member for the calendar year 1938 and thereafter at the rate of thirty cents per member yearly.

    On motion it was voted:

    that this generous action of the Society of Rheology should be reported to the Governing Board together with a resolution of thanks for the approval of the Board. (ratified by vote of Board)

III. Minutes of Meeting of February 24, 1938:

The Minutes of the last meeting of the Executive Committee on February 24, 1938, which had been manifolded and distributed to the members of the Committee, were on motion approved.

IV. Report of Treasurer:

The Treasurer submitted comments as follows on the financial operation of the Institute for the first three-quarters of the year 1938 (IVA):

The financial operations of the Institute for the first three-quarters of the year 1938 are set forth in detail in the several schedules prepared by the Director and Assistant Treasurer and placed in the hands of the Committee.

The following comments are submitted:

  1. The revised set-up of the account books, which was made early in the year with the advice of the auditor, has worked smoothly. So much of the auditing has been done at the end of each quarter that the annual audit can be done with much less work and more promptly than in previous years.

  2. The Institute has for the first three-quarters of the year operated very close to the balanced budget authorized this year.

  3. The loan of five thousand dollars to the Institute by the Research Corporation has to the extent relieved the effect of the deficit on the cash position of the Institute. On October 19 the indebtedness ($17,674.20) of the Institute was about $10,000 more than its cash balance ($7,798.11) at the bank. This indebtedness consists of Lancaster Press bills since July, amounting to $16,444.72 and miscellaneous bills amounting to $1,229.48. The excess of indebtedness over cash on hand will increase toward the end of the year reaching a maximum of about $15,000 in early December. With the influx of subscriptions for 1939, about $1,000 in November and $20,000 in December, there will be money on hand to meet more than all bills that will be received by the end of December. This of course will be using next year’s money to pay this year’s bills.

The Lancaster Press full understands our situation and so far has entirely acquiesced in our schedule of payments.

October 20, 1938. George B. Pegram, Treasurer

V. Discussion of Deficit Account:

The director submitted to the members of the Committee copies of a "Statement of the Deficit Account, December 1, 1937" in which the deficits or surpluses arising from the publication of the Review of Scientific Instruments for five years and the Journal of Applied Physics for one year, and from other operations of the Institute were shown. A copy of this statement is attached to the Secretary’s copy of the Minutes (V. B.).

The Director stated that it would be possible from the present system of accounting to show deficits or surpluses by each project of the Institute. It was suggested by Mr. Peek that advertising should be set up as a separate project.

VI. Finances of Operations:

The Director submitted schedules as follows:

  • VI. C1 – Copy of budget for 1938
  • VI. C2 – Summery of October 14, 1938 estimates on operations for 1938 to compare with budget
  • VI. C3 – Income and expenses 1937 compared with 1938 budget and October 14, 1938 estimate for 1938
  • VI. C4 – Estimated results on Institute operations
  • VI. C5 – Institute operations (not journals) tentative proposals for 1939 budget
  • VI. C6 – R.S.I. Tentative proposals for 1939 budget
  • VI. C7 – J.A.P. Tentative proposals for 1939 budget
  • VI. C8 – J.C.P. Tentative proposals for 1939 budget

Mr. Barton also called upon Mr. Copp to discuss the present status of advertising and subscription promotion work for the Institute journals. To aid this discussion Mr. Copp passed out copies of an advance 1938 report on advertising and promotion work (VI. D).


A general discussion of the operations of the Institute principally advertising and the promotion of subscriptions of R.S.I. and J.A.P. ensued. It was suggested that in the accounting the cost of subscription promotion should be divided between advertising and journals. Mr. Richtmyer called attenetion to the fact that the material for publication in the R.S.I. has been increasing. Miss Mitchell exhibited charts of number of pages published, the cost and the number of subscribers.

At this point Mr. Hutchisson, Mr. Copp and Miss Mitchell withdrew from the meeting.

VII. Discussion of Prospects of Support for the Institute:

Mr. Richtmyer raised the question as to prospects of support by certain foundations. Mr. Barton replied that the proposal laid before the Rockefeller Foundation had not been favorably acted upon; that the Research Corporation, as reported previously, made a loan of $5,000 for the purpose of promoting the J.A.P.; that an approach had been made to the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and that there may still be some possibility of support for publication from that Society. As to support by industrial firms Mr. Barton reported that nearly all the associates were continuing their contributions as associates, that the Sperry Gyroscope Company is just coming in as an associate but that the time seems not particularly favorable for a campaign to increase the number of associates. As to the Carnegie Foundation Mr. Barton referred to the fact that it is giving support to the American Association of Physics Teachers to the extent of $1,500 a year for five years.

As to the Council on Applied Physics, the Chairman, Mr. Kelly, will move toward preparing to gain support of industry as associates and otherwise with the hoped for upturn of business.

VIII. Meetings and Conferences:

Mr. Barton reported continued progress on the proposed symposium on pyrometry; that it is now proposed to broaden the scope of the symposium to cover "Temperature, Its Measurement and Control"; that the Bureau of Standards and the National Research Council are giving support to the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Fairchild of the Tagliabue Company.

Mr. Barton raised the question of the possibility of putting an item of $300 in next year’s budget for conferences. Mr. Tate raised the question of what was being done in following up the results of conferences or symposia. Mr. Hardy queried as to whether it might be possible to interest the journal, Fortune, in publishing an article on the subject of physics in industry.

The question of whether it would be desirable to have a joint meeting of the Societies of the Institute in New York City was raised.

On motion it was voted:

that the Director should sound out the Societies with such definite proposals as to objectives of such a meeting as can be presented.

IX. Budget:

In the discussion of a possible budget for 1939 use was made of the schedules exhibited on Sheets VI. C 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 referred to under VI above. After discussion it was agreed informally that the members of the Board representing the several Societies should present the facts as to the Institute budget to the governing bodies of their Societies and raise the question of a continuance by the Societies of the special five percent contribution that was made for 1938.

The Committee adjourned for lunch at 12:30 o’clock and reconvened at 2:15 p.m.

X. Budget of Journals:

On motion of Mr. Richtmyer it was voted:

that the matter of readjusting the advertising and circulation promotion expenses of the Institute to decrease greatly the expenditures on those items be referred to the Chairman, the Director and the Secretary with power.

On motion it was voted:

that a tentative 1939 budget should be proposed to the next meeting of the Executive Committee which should be based on the budget proposal sheets referred to under VI. C 5-8 above, with revisions in the light of the discussion at this meeting.

XI. It was agreed that the Executive Committee should try to hold a meeting in Washington at the time of the meeting there of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, the date being tentatively set for December 29.

Mr. Barton reported on the subject of cooperation of the National Association of Manufacturers, stating that Mr. Eisenhart of the Bausch & Lomb Company had become Chairman of the Committee of the Association, and that Dr. F.R. Moulton and Dr. Ross Harrison had been added as scientific representatives on the Committee, Dr. Harrison to represent particularly the biological sciences.

XII. The Executive Committee adjourned at 3:30 p.m.