The Philadelphia Society for Coatings Technology traces its beginning to an informal gathering of varnish makers on November 20, 1919, in the office of George B. Heckel, 636 Bourse Building. At the second meeting, on December 11, 1919, the Philadelphia Plant Managers Committee of the National Varnish Makers Association was formally organized, with Philip J. Whiteway, Sr., as Chairman. The early meetings were held in the old Chamber of Commerce Building at 12th and Walnut Streets, the basement restaurant of the Bourse Building, and at the Vendig Hotel located at 13th and Filbert Streets.
Members of the Plant Managers Committee of the NVMA were encouraged to bring paint men from their organizations to the meetings, and it was not until January 13, 1921, that formation of a separate paint group was considered. But only one month later, on February 10th, the members of the Plant Managers Committee of the Paint Manufactures’ Association were accepted as
co-members and the reorganized body was called “The Paint and Varnish Association Superintendents’ Club of the Philadelphia District.” After the Federation was formed in 1922, the name was altered to remove the word “Association.” Geographically, the club covered Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Among those attending these earliest meetings, the following names are well remembered.
Jack G. Binswanger ……………….B. Binswanger & Co.
Robert D. Bonney ………………Congoleum Nairn, Inc.
George Grera……………………….Atlantic Varnish Co.
W.T. Glidden…………..E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co.
George Matlack ………………Geo. D. Wetherill Co., Inc.
Daniel J. McCrudden, Sr………. McClosky Varnish Co.
H.A. Reddy ………………E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co.
Douglas M. Smyth ………………….Gilbert Spruance Co.
Eugene W. Storey ……………………..John Lucas & Co.
William Sullender ……………………..Felton Sibley & Co.
William P. Werner ………………………..Pecora Paint Co.
Thomas West …………………………..Felton Sibley & Co.
Philip J. Whiteway, Sr. ..Geo. D. Wetherill Varnish Co.
On June 15, 1922, the Federation of Paint and Varnish Production Clubs was formed at a meeting in Cleveland and Philadelphia became a constituent club. George B. Heckel of Philadelphia was appointed to act as Chairman of the Federation until a President was elected. A Federation President was elected at the first Annual Meeting in Atlantic City on November 10, 1922. He was Edgar W. Fasig, of Dayton, Ohio.
It was not until April 17, 1932, that the name was changed to the “Philadelphia Paint and Varnish Production Club,” and the resolutions adopted at the time also released the Baltimore territory so that a new club could be formed there.
In 1948, a course in Paint Technology was established at St. Joseph’s College, Evening Division. Dr. William T. Pearce was Course Instructor from 1948 to 1952, and Dr. Willard H. Madson was Course Instructor from 1952 to 1967. Robert H. Pascal was Course Instructor from 1967 to 1972, and Harold B. Gough was Course Instructor in 1974. A totally revised course was held at Drexel University in 1975 under the direction of Joseph Prane.
Seymore Hockberg presented the American Chemical Society short course on Organic Coatings in 1977 and has repeated it periodically to meet the need of the Society.
P.J. Sotorrio offered a special course in Color Science for the first time in 1979. In 1990, the Education Committee chaired by Richard Granata, sponsored a Lehigh University Continuing Education Short Course: Introduction to Coatings Technology. The instructor was Thomas G. Brown. In the spring of 1992, Mr. Brown taught another course called Basic Coatings Technology.
In 1959, the Federation of Paint and Varnish Production Clubs changed its name to the Federation of Societies for Paint Technology. The Philadelphia Paint and Varnish Production Club became the Philadelphia Society for Paint Technology.
In 1960, the Liberty Bell Award was established for members who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the protective coatings industry and to the Philadelphia society. This award need not be presented each year; recipients are listed in Section 3 of the HANDBOOK.
Also in 1960, the Society began sponsoring a series lectures in the format of a seminar. These seminars have been scheduled annually since and are listed in the HANDBOOK.
Under the influence of Joseph F. Vozzella, the Philadelphia Society Handbook was first published in 1965. The first editors were Donald J. Fritz and J. Richard Kiefer, Jr.
In 1980, Mr. Kiefer supervised the major change in format which resulted in the first issue of the loose-leaf HANDBOOK. In 2002, Handbook Chairman Marshall Jones changed the format to a bound directory.
The Society celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala evening on December 11, 1969, when a specially created bronze medallion was issued to all members.
The Technical Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the coatings industry through dedicated service on the Technical Committee, was established in 1973. Recipients are listed in Section 3.
In April 1974, the Philadelphia Society for Paint Technology changed its name to the Philadelphia Society for Coatings Technology. In November 1974, the Federation of Societies for Paint Technology changed its name to The Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology.
The Society became a not-for-profit Pennsylvania corporation on February 13, 1978, and celebrated this event and its 60th anniversary on December 13th of that year.
In 1978, the Federation published a Paint Dictionary which was very successfully offered for sale to the industry. This publication was the culmination of work begun in 1965. The committee was chaired by Stanley LeSota and assisted by David Engler, J. Richard Kiefer, Jr., John Landis, Seymour Mark, Michael L. McGroarty, Lothar Sander and Francis J. Willard.
In 1995, the Dictionary was updated and improved and Mr. LeSota was editor. The new publication was titled The Paint Encyclopedic Dictionary. Also in 1979, a new edition of pictorial standards of paint film defects was issued by the Federation. Robert C. Sonntag chaired the subcommittee, which updated this publication.
In 1979, the Society established a new position of Honorary Director. J. Richard Kiefer, Jr. was the first member elected for this position. He served that position for 15 years. He was succeeded in 1995 by Donald Fritz.
In 1992, the Ben Franklin Award was established to honor retired members who have served the Society as President and have continued actively throughout their careers; recipients are listed in Section 3 of the HANDBOOK.
On December 8, 1994, the Society celebrated its 75th anniversary at a special meeting with the Federation Officers and twenty-six past Presidents in attendance.
Between 1989 and 1993, a technical subcommittee, chaired by Thomas G. Brown, developed a computerized data base of coatings raw materials. The idea was to expand and improve on NPCA’s Raw Material Index by including all suppliers and all essential data needed for coatings formula calculations. Committee members also included John A. Parmer and Sue Nielsen.
In May of 1996, the Society sponsored it’s first Eastern Training Conference (ETC) and Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center. The event featured a three day course on “An Introduction to Paint and Coatings Technology”, accompanied by a trade show.
The ETC and Show was sponsored again in May of 1998. The events were chaired by Wayne A. Kraus and assisted by Samuel E. Firestone, Neil R. Shearer, and Donald F. Denny.
In May of 2000, the Society sponsored its third Eastern Training Conference and Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center. This featured two concurrent three day courses, “Introduction to Coatings Technology” and “Dispersion of Pigments into Fluid Media”. These courses were accompanied by a trade show and a plant tour. The Organization Committee was chaired by Wayne A. Kraus and assisted by Samuel E. Firestone, Neil R. Shearer, Brian W. Boorman, Daniyel Firestone, Carmen L. Rodriguez, Brian T. Gilbert and Barrett C. Fisher III.
The fourth Eastern Training Conference and Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center was sponsored by the society in May 2005. This featured two concurrent three day courses, “The Essential Knowledge for Coatings Formulation” and “Coatings Formulation in Advancing Technologies.” These courses were accompanied by a trade show and a workshop to learn about the instruments of a coatings laboratory. The Organization Committee was chaired by Wayne A. Kraus and assisted by Samuel E. Firestone, Neil R. Shearer, Stephen T. Schmidt,
Brian W. Boorman, Brian T. Gilbert, Edward Mark, Bruce L. Matta, William J. Fabiny and Julio Aviles. To honor the vision and leadership that created this series, The Annual Wayne A. Kraus Lecture was established by the society.
The 2005-2006 Session was commenced with the Board eliminating two Board of Directors positions; namely, Assistant Treasurer and Junior Member-at-Large. This change was made to decrease the overall time commitments for future Board candidates.
Sam Firestone was chosen as By-Laws Chairman and he successfully amended the PSCT’s Constitution and By-Laws to comply with the FSCT’s current practice.
The Board switched the General Meeting venue to every other month with a multi-speaker format in hopes of increasing attendance. A Career chair was activated and is now held by Mario Navarro. Mario is charged with communicating employment opportunities between members. SCT’s first annual “Honorary Wayne Kraus Technical Lecture” featured Dr. Edward Glass as the inaugural speaker. Wayne’s perpetual plaque was unveiled at the Awards Night held on the Battleship New Jersey. Also announced at this meeting was the
re-naming of “Manufacturing Night” to “The Sam Firestone Annual Manufacturing Meeting” in appreciation of Sam’s many years of commitment toward the success of the PSCT.
During the history of the Society, ten members have served as President of the national organization: The Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology. These members were: G.B. Henkel (1922), W.P. Werner (1925), V.C. Bidlack (1936), J.F. McMenamin (1941), J.C. Moore (1946), R.W. Matlack (1948), G.H. Wescott (1952), E.H. Ott (1960), H.B. Gough (1966) and Fritz Walker.
The society historian is Peter C. Kuzma.