Chapter History


ASM Cleveland Chapter: A History of People, Research, Innovation and Production

Cleveland and the Cleveland Chapter have a long and rich history of people, research, Innovation and production.  From turn-of-the-Twentieth Century steel mills that helped make Cleveland an economic powerhouse to cutting edge aerospace technology research in the Twenty-First Century, Cleveland has always excelled.  The Cleveland Chapter Web site header reflects that spirit with several examples of our rich history and current successes.

Republic Steel Electric Arc Furnace

The development of the electric arc furnace was a major step forward in steel production, and Cleveland was a leader in producing high-quality steel using this new and economical process.

Original Photo Caption:

"Two electric furnaces at Republic Steel's Canton plant are being converted to top charging. Compared to the conventional side door charging method, top charging greatly reduces the time required to load steel scrap into electric furnace. Photo shows roof of furnace swung aside for top charging."


(Photo courtesy of Republic Steel Corp. and The Cleveland memory Project)

Dr. Zay Jeffries

The "Dean of American Metallurgists" in the first half of the Twentieth Century, Dr. Jeffries was also an active ASM member.  The Cleveland Chapter still honors his memory each year with a special technical meeting help in his honor that acknowledges a person that excels in academia, research and business.


(Photograph courtesy of Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery)

Charles Martin Hall and Aluminum

The Age of Aluminum began in Oberlin, OH, when Charles Martin Hall was able to first refine aluminum ore into aluminum metal economically and in quantity.  In doing so, he turned a metal more precious than gold into an everyday commodity that revolutionized everything from airplanes to food containers.

Original Caption:

"Charles M. Hall house in Oberlin" -- photo verso. A National Chemical Landmark, this home in Oberlin, Ohio is depicted in 1936. Charles Martin Hall was an Oberlin College graduate and Oberlin resident when in 1885 he discovered the chemical process that made the commercial production of aluminum possible. Hall also founded ALCOA.


(Photo courtesy of ALCOA and The Cleveland Memory Project)


Polymer research and production has played a major role in Cleveland's economy.  For many years, Cleveland was a leading manufacturer of rayon and other polymer fibers.


Original caption:

"Chemical Industry becomes part of the textile industry at plants like those operated in Painesville, Cleveland and other cities where deft women workers help the company turn out 120,000,000 pounds of rayon yarn a year in continuous process. May 18 1954."

(Photo courtesy of Industrial Rayon Corporation and The Cleveland Memory Project)

Rolled Steel Product

Cleveland was an integrated steel manufacturing center capable of taking raw materials such as coal, limestone and iron ore and producing all forms of carbon and stainless steel at its many steel mills throughout the region.  Large industrial rolling mills with multiple stands could quickly break down a large ingot and turn it into precision rolled steel plate and coil.


 (Photo courtesy of The Cleveland Press and The Cleveland Memory Project)

Hulett Unloaders

Until the advent of the Hulett ore unloaders, invented by George Hulett of Ohio, the unloading of ores and other bulk product was tedious, time-consuming and manpower-intensive.  The Huletts allowed ports throughout the Great Lakes to quickly and efficiently unload ships bringing the raw materials needed for Cleveland's steel and other industries.  The Huletts remained in operation in Cleveland until about 1992, when self-unloading ships became standard on the Great Lakes.  Two remain with the Cleveland Port Authority in a disassembled state, awaiting a new home as historical artifacts.

Original Caption:

Close-up of a Hulett Iron Ore Unloader with railway hoppers lined up to be unloaded.

(Photo courtesy of Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Co., Cleveland, Ohio and The Cleveland Memory Project)

Machine Tools and Machine Shops

In addition to being a primary materials manufacturer, Cleveland has long been a center of the machine tool manufacturing and machining industries.  Dozens of local companies still produce machines, fasteners and other parts.


Original caption:

"Twister bobbins on which rayon tire cord and rayon textile yarn are wound at Industrial Rayon's manufacturing plants are precision-bored at the company's Central Engineering Shops which recently moved into enlarged quarters on West 160th St., Cleveland. The machine shown above is a four spindle, double and boring machine. Joe Marek."

(Photo courtesy of Industrial Rayon Corporation and The Cleveland Memory Project)


ALCOA's 50,000 Ton Press

The roots of ALCOA and many other primary materials manufacturers run deep in Cleveland.  The Aluminum Casting Company located in Cleveland became part of ALCOA after World War I, and the company has continued to invest in the local facilities.  The twelve-story tall, 50,000 ton press, one of the largest in the world, recently underwent a $100M renovation and upgrade.  It is capable of forging parts as large as 22 feet long and 70 inches wide, weighing 10,000 pounds.

Other large scale manufacturing can be found throughout Cleveland.

(Photo courtesy of ALCOA)

NASA's MISSE Experiments

Cleveland's research into new materials does not end at the atmosphere.  NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field has one of the largest concentrations of scientists and engineers in the world dedicated to aerospace materials and structures research.  In Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), a series of pallets were attached to the exterior of the International Space Station to evaluate the effects of the space environment upon them.  As one spin-off of the work, atomic oxygen has been developed for a variety of terrestrial uses including cleaning and restoring artwork.

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

Materials Testing

Throughout its history, materials development in Cleveland has relied upon materials testing at local universities, research centers, materials companies and specialty testing houses.  From research to quality control, Cleveland companies have relied upon everything from simple tensile tests to complex thermal-fatigue mission simulations to ensure the quality and ability of materials.  Testing houses like NSL are leaders in mechanical testing, inspection, metallography, and chemical analyses.


Zay Jeffries

Dr. Zay Jeffries was a founding member of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Society for Steel Treating (ASST), which was the forerunner of the American Society of Metals (ASM) and ASM International. He was active in ASM throughout his life, even speaking at the dedication of the ASM Headquarters in 1960 at the age of 72. He served as national president of ASST (1929), and as Director-General of the First (1951) and Second (1957) World Metallurgical Congresses. He was a recipient of all six major ASM awards.

Zay Jeffries came to Cleveland from South Dakota in 1911 to become an instructor at the Case Institute of Technology (CIT). He became a professor at CIT in 1916 and later served as a member of the Board of Trustees after retiring.

Among his numerous industry positions, Zay Jeffries served as the Head of Alcoa's research laboratories in Cleveland where, along with R.S. Archer, he was responsible for the development of 2014, 2024 and 6051 aluminum alloys. At the same time Jeffries was a consultant to the National Lamp Works of General Electric (GE) in Cleveland (Nela Park) where he installed the first X-ray diffraction unit in US industry. He persuaded GE to undertake its first non-electric light related venture with the formation of Carboloy to make carbide tooling, a GE division that he later came to head. Other local companies for which Zay Jeffries was a consultant included National Tube Company of United States Steel, Electric Railway Improvement Company of Cleveland, The Cleveland Steel Tool Company, Lincoln Electric and W.S Tyler Company he often provided expert testimony for his clients.

Amid Dr. Jeffries many technical accomplishments were ground breaking work on the microstructure of ductile tungsten; pioneering work on the quantitative analysis of microstructures and X-ray diffraction as a laboratory tool; and one of the earliest explanations for age hardening, the slip interference theory published with R.S Archer in 1921.

During World War II, Zay Jeffries served upon and headed a large number of committees as a member of the National Research Council while continuing as President of Carboloy. He was also a consultant to Arthur Compton at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, the Manhattan Project facility that first produced a self-sustained chain reaction.

The Cleveland Chapter honors the memory of Zay Jeffries each year with a lecture presented by a premier researcher in the field of materials science and engineering. Like Zay Jeffries, the recipients show a broad range of abilities and are noted for their work in industry, academia and government. Below is the list of past recipients.

Year Recipient   Year Recipient
1951 Jeffries, Zay 1987 Kuhn, Howard A.
1952 Bain, Edgar C. 1988 Bridenbaugh, Peter R.
1953 Sykes, W. P. 1989 Weertman, Julia R.
1954 Frary, Francis C. 1990 Williams, Jim C.
1955 Troiano, Alexander R. 1991 DeArdo, Tony
1956 Glennan, T. K. 1992 St. Pierre, George R.
1957 Van Horn, Kent R. 1993 Mehrabian, Robert
1958 Spretnak, J. S. 1994 Wallace, John F.
1959 Croft, H. P. 1995 Starke, Edgar A., Jr.
1960 Hollomon, J. H. 1996 Moon, David
1961 Thum, E. E. 1997 Lawley, Alan
1962 Cohen, Morris 1998 Shewmon, Paul G.
1963 Darken, Larry S. 1999 Steigerwald, Edward
1964 Hibbard, W. R. 2000 Sanders, Thomas, Jr.
1965 Gensamer, M. 2001 Muzyka, Donald
1966 Dean, Walter A. 2002 Welsch Gerhard
1967 Roberts, G. A. 2003 Buckman, R. W.
1968 Fontana, M. G. 2004 Vandervoort, George
1969 Mehl, Robert F. 2005 Krauss, George
1970 Blickwede, D. T. 2006 Rapp, Robert A.
1971 Rhines, F. N. 2007 Pollock, Tresa
1972 Ansell, G. S. 2008 Hunt, Jr., Warren H.
1973 Hehemann, R. F. 2009 Antolovich, Stephen
1974 Hirth, John P. 2010 Matlock, David K.
1975 Leslie, W. C. 2011 Staehle, Roger W.
1976 Gilman, J. J. 2012 Michal. Gary M.
1977 Wayman, C. M. 2013 100th Anniversary Of Zay Jeffries Birth
1978 Decker, Raymond F. 2014 Williams, James C. 
1979 Westbrook, J. H. 2015 Turnbull, Keith
1980 Aaronson, Hubert I. 2016 Nix, William D.
1981 Flemings, Merton C. 2017 Forsmark, Joy H.
1982 Wert, C. A. 2018 Smialek, James L.
1983 Paxton, H. W. 2019 Perepesko, John H.
1984 Elliot, John F. 2020 Moved to 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic
1985 Apelian, Diran 2021 Koch, Carl C.
1986 Glicksman, Martin E.   2022 Dennies, Daniel