History of the AIST Globe-Trotters Member Chapter
How it All Began
The Globe-Trotter group is a chapter of the AIST, of AIME. This group has roots back to 1937 when a sectional group was formed in St. Louis, Missouri by the Chairman of the Open Hearth Committee of AIME. In 1943, this group became the Southwestern Section of AIME. The Chairman at that time was Al Sommer of Keystone Steel who held the post from 1943 to 1949. Some of the companies in this Southwest Section at that time were Keystone, Granite City, American Steel Foundry, Scullins, Laclede and Glenco. We also had support from Canada and Mexico in the formative years of the Section. People like C. Benton of Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Jack Atkinson, Domonion Foundries, Hamilton, Ontario, and Arturo Lascono, Altos Hornos, Monclova, Mexico.
Mr. Sommer was very interested in developing the Basic Open Hearth practices and was eager to form a group to share experiences. It is a known fact that the mills associated with the SW Section were pioneers in the advancement of Open Hearth Steelmaking. Our friends in Europe were ahead of us in the use of Basic Refractory Open Hearth Construction. It was a SW Section Mill that bit the bullet and redesigned their Open Hearth Furnace into an all Basic Furnace. Al Sommer of Keystone Steel can be remembered as the real "Father" of the all Basic Open Hearth Furnace in the Western Hemisphere. The all Basic Furnace contributed highly to the growth of the SW Section. It drew people from all over the world to visit mills in the SW Section. Our award for the best technical paper, which is given at each technical meeting was initiated in 1967, and is called the Al Sommer Award. The first winner was Mr. William Wiggerson of Laclede Steel Company. He was presented his award by Tom Carver, President at the Fall Meeting at the Muelbach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
Over the years the group has grown first through the Midwest part of the country with companies like USS in Birmingham, Republic Gadston, Armco Kansas City, Armco Houston, Sand Springs, CF&I, Atlantic Steel, Inland, Northwestern and Lone Star. In the 50's the Electric Furnace made an impact in the industry and the Southwest section was the first to promote technical sessions for Electric Furnace Operators, again filling a need for sharing of experience.
The Globe-Trotter Name
The name "Globe-Trotters" was first recorded in the 1952 report to the National Open Hearth Committee by C.L. King, from Armco KC who was the Chairman of the Southwest Section at the time, when he referred to the group as the "Globe-Trotters".
In 1957-58 the little character that we all see on our program was born. Harry Hausner with the Lavino Co. is credited with the design of the little melter shaped like a globe with a brief case in his left hand. On the brief case it says "SW SEC. NOHC". It is thought that George Grosvenor Sr., Chairman in 1958, was the model for this character.
Chapter Meetings & Scholarships
There had always been 2 meetings a year, but until the middle 60's, the winter meeting was always a one day meeting held at the Lennox Hotel in St. Louis.
The Globe-Trotters were one of the first groups to start a Ladies Program. Prior to 1969 the ladies were not included in the National Meetings. Some wives were coming to the Southwest Section Meetings but did not join the men for the Reception or Dinner. The ladies would have their own reception and dinner and then join the men later for the entertainment, but even then had to sit in chairs behind their husbands. This changed in the spring of 1969 in Birmingham when the ladies were allowed to join the men for dinner. The first Ladies Program was organized for the Fall meeting of 1969 in Atlanta.
In the 1960's the meeting format was for 2 meetings per year, Spring and Fall. Each of these meetings was a 2 day meeting. They were held on Thursday and Friday. At the fall meeting they would have a tour on Thursday, a mixer on Thursday evening and the Technical Session on Friday. The Spring meeting was held in St. Louis. They would have a planning meeting on Thursday, a Mixer on Thursday evening and then the Technical meeting on Friday.
At the Fall meeting in 1969 the format was expanded to a three day format starting with a Program Planning Meeting on Sunday morning and a mixer on Sunday evening. On Monday there would be a Plant Tour in the morning and a Golf outing in the afternoon. On Tuesday there would be an all day Technical Meeting and a Fellowship Dinner that evening. This same format was used at both Spring and Fall and the group was then traveling to a different location for each meeting. A pattern developed where some plants were hosting a meeting every five years.
In 1972 the Scholarship Program for offspring of the AIME members was established. This program has grown from one scholarship per year to several scholarships per year.
In 1973 a joint meeting of the Western Section and the Globe-Trotters was held in Los Angeles, California. Another joint meeting of these two Sections was held in 1978 in Costa Mesa, California. Ameron Steel and Wire Co. hosted this meeting. Due to the cost of travel this was the last joint meeting.
In 1975 a new set of by-laws were developed and we officially became the Globe-Trotters Section of AIME. The people who signed these by-laws were S.L. Norwood, R.K. Ozeki, S.M. Purcell, H.W. Schoenig, R.B. Webb, L.J. Huber, G.L. Faulkner, T.R. Carver, D.C. Knupp and F.J. Todd.
In the 70's and early 80's the mini mills were a welcome addition to the group. Companies like Chapparal, North Star, Birmingham Steel, Florida Steel, Sheffield Steel, SMI, and Nucor. We also have been joined by more friends in Canada at LASCO, Manitoba, and Stelco as well as Steel Companies in Mexico.
In 1984 a Rolling Mill Section was added to the Globe-Trotters Group. The addition of this group was the results of the effort of Ron Lincoln and Lou Colatriano, who saw again a need that existed to give the Rolling Mill Operators in mini mills the opportunity to gain knowledge of new methods and get questions answered. This was an example of the kind of leadership and foresight that Ron Lincoln brought to this organization. He was undoubtedly one of the strongest leaders in the history of this organization.
An organization meeting of the Rolling Mill Section was held at the Broadmoor in the Fall of 1984. In attendance were Lou Colatriano, Chapparal Steel , Dick Murray, North Star Steel Iowa, Gerry Penn, Knoxville Iron Co. and Tony Greaves, Manatoba Rolling Mills. A paper on "Chapparalís Medium Section Mill" was presented by Lou Colatriano at the Tuesday Technical Meeting. The first separate Rolling Mill Technical program was presented the following Spring in Dallas. This group has grown from these "Four Horsemen" to over 100 members.
We cannot discuss the history of the Globe-Trotters without recognizing the roll of the suppliers in supporting this organization and its programs. The Globe-Trotters would not be as successful and enjoy the reputation they have were it not for the support of the Suppliers as well as the Steel Companies. One of the most critical needs of this organization that was furnished by the supporting Supplier Companies is the fantastic people who have filled the position of Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary Treasurer over the years. These people have done all the behind the scenes, planning, negotiating, worrying, and sweating out of the arrangements and weather for all of us. The Globe-rotter meetings are known industry wide for their efficiency, quality and professional presentations. These people have become experts in picking hotels and arranging all the meetings and activities for the members of this ever growing organization.
At the fall meeting in 1993 at Kansas City, a new format was used. The meeting was shortened to a two day schedule held on Sunday and Monday. The meeting consisted of a round table Technical Meetings of the Melt Shop Section and the Rolling Mill Sections on Sunday morning. These meetings are open to representatives of the Steel Companies only. In the afternoon on Sunday these discussions are continued but the Suppliers are invited to participate also. In the evening on Sunday there is a mixer for all. On Monday Morning there is a Plant Tour of the Host Company. This shortened format was being tried to reduce the expense of the meeting and the amount of travel expenses to the attendees. This format would also require people to be away from their jobs only one work day. Before this format was implemented a survey was taken of the members. It is planned that this shortened format will be used for the Fall Meeting only. The Spring Meeting each year will be the regular three day format.
It is amazing how this group has not only survived the ups and downs of our business but has managed to grow in reputation and in size through the years. We have seen attendance grow to almost 600 people including 80 to 100 women. The plant tours average about 200.
I think this success of the meetings can be attributed to several factors, some of these are:
First, it filled a need for steelmakers to find solutions to the problems and knowledge of new technology.
Second it was blessed with some strong leadership along the way to keep its standards for the technical meetings on a high plane.
Third, was the excellent support of our Steel Mill Management.
The early leaders of the Globe-Trotters developed a format for the meetings which made it unique and more beneficial to the members:
They alternated meeting sites to expose members to other plants.
They established the shared planning of meetings with input from members for the content of technical sessions.
They welcomed steelmakers, metallurgists and suppliers and their wives to attend the meetings.
Along with this history of the Globe-Trotters Chapter of the AIST, there is a listing of all meetings of this Chapter with the names of the Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, meeting locations, and Host Companies. If you have information which will fill in any void in this data or any other information which will give us a more accurate and complete story of our great organization please submit it to the Historian so we can update this story.
I would like very much to thank those people who have helped in the collection of this information. Without their input we would not have this story. I know they will continue providing more information as time goes on. My thanks to Steve Purcell, George Faulkner, Dan Murphy, Lou Colatriano, Dave Miller, Bob Webb, George Grovsner, Ron Ozeki and especially Sid Norwood, Tom Carver, Tom Fallon and Red Schoening.
Thank you all, Leroy Cundiff, Historian