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The subject-matter of this book is given to our society through the kindness and courtesy of the authors of the papers for their various classes as engineers. We wish to thank them for their appreciated contribution.
We wish also to thank the members of this society for their cooperation in securing new members and advertising.
TO OUR PATRONS:
We ask for our advertisers the support and patronage of all our readers. They are all first-class, reliable firms, well and favorably known the world over.
As a considerable portion of the expense of publishing The Engineer is paid from the advertising, we expect every member of the Michigan Engineering Society will, when other things are equal, favor those who favor us with their patronage, and use his influence to send orders their way.
E are nearing the completion of our first year as the
Michigan State Assembly of the American Association of Engineers and it is fitting that we should pause to measure our accomplishment and give thought to the days ahead. What has “organization” brought to you and to me and to the Engineers in my community and throughout the State during the year just passed, and what is A. A. E. likely to accomplish for us as individuals and as a profession in the years to come? These are vital questions that are being asked today by those who think and take an interest in Society matters and it behooves us to give them sober reflection.
Since the last Annual Meeting of the old Michigan Engineering Society we have grown from a small State organization with a nominal membership of about 350, but an active participating membership of not to exceed 100, to a state-wide association of about 1,000 professional men, grouped in a dozen chapters, interested, intent and thoroughly alert to the possibilities, through organization, for self-help and public service.
Obviously our attention during 1920 has been taken up largely with matters of organization and the perfection of society machinery. Those who have carried the responsibility of direction have been concerned chiefly with constitutions and records, the formation and organization of chapters and the acquisition of new members. The campaign for members has been indeed a most absorbing task, engaging and maintaining the interest of many of us to the exclusion of other matters. Nor is the campaign over. There are still hundreds of men throughout the State who need to be acquainted with our objects and brought into affiliation with our Chapters.
Nor is our machinery perfect. It functions, but under difficulties, for its capacity is seriously overtaxed.
The paramount need of A. A. E. for 1921 is adequate constitutional machinery.
But the task of organization and our campaign for members have progressed sufficiently so that henceforth they need not and should not engage our entire attention. We must turn to other work and on our ability so to do depends our continued existence.
It is not the intent of this brief Foreword to present any elaborate plan of work for A. A. E. in Michigan. No one can do that at present because the field has not yet been investigated. Every community has its public problems of an engineering character which it is our duty to discover, study and report upon to our fellow citizens. Our municipalities have too long run haphazard courses and comprehensive planning to correct the evils of the past and avoid the pitfalls of the future is a prime necessity. The problems of City Government today are our responsibilities as technical men. Do we stand ready and willing as members of
. an awakened profession to do our civic duty and take our proper place as Engineer-citizens of our towns and cities?
In the state and nation the possibilities for service are no less clear. Government today is largely Engineering. Highway development, drainage, irrigation, forest preservation, land surveying and like problems in our state, and deep waterways, railroad transportation, and conservation and proper utilization of resources in the nation- are among the larger problems upon the solution of which will depend to a considerable extent the well being of our posterity. No project before the American people today is more pregnant with far-reaching possibilities than the St. Lawrence Deep Waterways and no issue more important than the establishment at Washington of a Department of Public Works.
All of these problems and many others, are the responsibilities of the Engineering profession, and it becomes your duty and mine each to do his part towards their solution. Is it not pertinent, therefore to inquire what the average young engineer, unknown and without influence or experience can expect. to accomplish in matters of such magnitude. In what manner can he become a factor even in city government or contribute a mite to the solution of state wide or national problems? As individuals most of us can do nothing, but through organization with proper leadership and the loyal backing of the rank and file there is almost no limit to our possibilities for constructive service. Through cooperation and collective effort each one of us, regardless of his capacity or station, can render his share of service. As an aftermath of the war there has been an awakening of professional men and an opportunity exists now as never before to crystallize the sentiment for co-operative effort among Engineers everywhere. Are we to fail to grasp this opportunity? The answer lies with you, fellow Engineer, in Michigan.
Do you realize, too, that all you give will be repaid with interest, but that you can expect no dividends if you make no investment. And remember this is a long time investment! Don't be impatient if you can see no tangible benefit from your membership dues in 1920. Dividends are never forthcoming in the business world until a considerable interval after a “going concern” has been established.
Let every man resolve for the year 1921 to invest to his limit in A. A. E. in Michigan by attending its meetings, taking part in its discussions and endeavoring, to the extent of his capacity, to become a potent factor in the direction of its activities. The job means everything or nothing. What will it mean to you? There is given to you and to me the opportunity to create a real profession, high in its ideals, effective and efficient in its service. The hope of a great profession is in our hands. Let us not betray our trust but one and all resolutely determine to carry forward during the years ahead the work that has been so well begun.
Some Legislation That Should. Interest
CLARENCE T. JOHNSTON Professor of Geodesy and Surveying, University of Michigan NGINEERS have probably done more for the benefit of man
kind in the last thirty years than have the members of any other single profession. They are the pioneers and the beacon lights of civilization. Heretofore, they have been satisfied to be workers rather than directors of the forces which stimulate and support society, and in consequence, they have generally been assigned to the second table. Among those who share in the councils of the state and nation, the engineers are regarded as an essential part of the social fabric; yet they are counted with the element that is kept subordinate. Their professional activities extend into every community and throughout all strata of society. Thinking people must now realize that engineers are soon to assert themselves in
*Delivered before the Annual Meeting of the Michigan Engineering Society, held in Lansing, Michigan, January 28, 29, 30, 1920.
support of a properly balanced leadership in the great fields of civics, industry, economics, and politics.
The law-maker acts only when public sentiment demands the recognition of measures or principles that underlie. legislation. Engineers have never organized thoroughly even in support of things technical. They have numerous societies, but each one stands for some distinct and independent purpose. Many engineers, whose judgment has not been seriously questioned, feel that the original technical societies have atrophied in the commercial and provincial atmosphere of New York City. It is said that the Hudson River is wider than the Atlantic Ocean when viewed from the top of the building which houses these societies. Many engineers feel that as long as their destiny is directed by the element that has been harbored for so many years in the national metropolis, no great interest will be manifested by the profession at large in the solution of the great economic and political questions which now seethe in the social cauldron. Expressions of this kind disclose unrest, to say the least.
The Michigan Engineering Society is moving with the current which is to bring the great body of engineers together in support of principles that are now strangers at the doors of our legislative halls. Engineers have discovered that the individual, however strong and courageous he may be, plays but a small part in the great conflict of ideas which finds its focus at Washington and at our state capitals. Opinion is translated into legislation only by the weight of numbers which lend it support. Effective support only comes when opinion is articulated. It is apparent
. to us that the engineers of the nation, as individuals, strongly favor the creation of a national department of public works, assuming that they have given the subject any consideration. The engineer who might voice a contrary opinion would be looked upon as a rare curiosity. However, individual engineers might continue to entertain favorable opinions regarding the establishment of such a department until the sound of the last trumpet, when Gabriel would record them as innocuous spirits, fully satisfied with the joy of anticipation. The movement for a national department of public works only assumed a tangible form when organized groups representing engineers and engineering joined their voices in a common demand.