A Brief History of the Electric Club of Philadelphia 

In the fall of the year 1917 a group of six pioneers met at the Hotel Adelphia to discuss plans for the formation of an Electric Club, in the City of Philadelphia.  On November 15, 1917, the Constitution and By-Laws were adopted by the following, who became the “Founders” of the Club:

Edwin Arnold, M.E. Arnold & Co.
Benjamin B. Baessler
Percy H. Bartlett, The Philadelphia Electric Company
John F. Buchanan, J. F. Buchanan, Co.
John D. Cassell, Board of Education
Washington Devereux, Philadelphia Fire Underwriters Association


Alfred L. Hallstrom, Graybar Electric Co, Inc.
Joseph F. Israel, The Philadelphia Electric Company
Joseph Manypenny, Conduit Electrical Manufacturing Company
William T. Pringle, The Pringle Electric Manufacturing Company
Lambert K. Schauer
Frederick M. Shepard, Cates & Shepard
Gilbert S. Smith

 

Frank H. Stewart, Frank H. Stewart Company
George L. Thompson
James A. Vaughan, Stanley & Patterson
Harvey S. Walker, Walker Brothers
John L. Wansor
Philip H. Ward, Jr., Ward Electric Company
Roswell C. Williams, Jr.


Founders and Early Past Presidents

Washington Devereux
President, 1918

Frank H. Stewart
President, 1919

M. Edwin Arnold
President, 1920

Joseph D. Israel
President, 1921

Philip H. Ward, Jr.
President, 1922

A. L. Hallstrom
President, 1925

Fred M. Shepard
President, 1923

David C. Birdsell
President, 1926-27

Edwin Hulley
President, 1924

C. Lester Sherman, Jr.
President, 1928


The first luncheon meetings were held at the Hotel Adelphia.  Later on, a private room was secured at the Arcadia Café and stated meetings were held semi-monthly.  The formative period was continued at these quarters for several years.  Afterwards, meetings were held at the Hotel Sylvania.  Office quarters were then secured in the Hale Building at Juniper and Chestnut Streets.  From there, the office moved to the Stephen Girard Building.

In July of 1922, application was made for a charter, which was granted in December, 1922.  The Charter Members were:

M.E. Arnold, M.E. Arnold & Co.
Benjamin B. Baessler
John F. Buchanan, J.F. Buchanan & Co. 
John Cassell, Board of Education 
Washington Devereux, Philadelphia Fire Underwriters Association
William S. Eaton
Albert Gentle, Albert Gentle, Inc.
A.L. Hallstrom, Graybar Electric Co, Inc. 
E. E. Hedler, The Wiremold Company 
J. D. Israel, The Philadelphia Electric Company 
August Mandel, John Y. Parke Company 

J. P. Manypenny, Conduit Electrical Manufacturing 

John H. O’Brien, General Electric Company 
Dale B. Scarborough, Steel City Electric
F. M. Shepard, Cates & Shepard 
G. S. Smith
Frank H. Stewart, Frank H. Stewart Electric Company
J.A. Vaughan, Stanley & Patterson 
H. S. Walker, Walker Brothers 
John L. Wansor
Philip H. Ward, Jr., Ward Electric Company 
George G. Young, George G. Young & Co.


On December 27, 1925, the Club moved to 127 South Twelfth Street with an office, club and lunchroom facilities.

   

 

In the early part of 1928, the Club decided to more aggressively promote the local electrical industry, and then had prepared a development program, taking in a period of three years. In order to do this, it was necessary, of course, to employ the necessary personnel, whereupon, in August, 1928, Pierre Brosseau, formerly of the Chicago Association, was employed as Managing Director, together with the necessary staff of assistants. Mr. Brosseau continued in this position until February 1929, when he was succeeded by George R. Conover.  Early in 1929, a new set of By-Laws was prepared and accepted by the membership.  According to these new By-Laws, the object of this Organization was to advance the Professional, Commercial and Social Interest of its members, further the use of electricity and the greater development of the Electrical Industry.

In November 1929, after considerable thought and study, the name of the Club was changed to "The Electrical Association of Philadelphia."