|Introduction by George
Langford: When I started my professional career in 1966, I was
first employed at the Edgar
C. Bain Laboratory for Fundamental Research at the United States Steel
Corporation's Research Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
This was a prestigous position, but it didn't last. In October,
1971, a great many of us were summoned to our supervisors' offices to
receive notice of our impending layoffs. We then attended the
American Society for Metals meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, where all was
surrounded by gloom & doom as a result of the ill timed
notifications. Most of us quickly found new positions, and life
went on. Later, there were more layoffs, and to make a long story
short, the number of staff members at US Steel's Research Center has
now shrunk by at least a factor of ten. The story
at Bethlehem Steel's research site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
parallels that of US Steel's, perhaps with slightly different timing,
but the process went to completion. This summer at the Leesport,
Pennsylvania, flea market, I picked up the following document from a
vendor who was also hawking a number of official-looking photographs of
ships under construction at a former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, which
suggests that what I am showing below is a historical document, because
Mr. Homer was once in charge of shipbuilding at Bethlehem Steel.
Arthur Bartlett Homer, a distant relative
of Winslow Homer and best known as the highest paid executive in
America in 1958, died in 1972. The gold medal (which of course
was not part of this lot) was for his part in setting up what became
known as the Homer Research Laboratory of Bethlehem Steel. The
document features hand calligraphy on a parchment base.
Medal for the
Advancement of Research
American Society for Metals
to Arthur B[artlett] Homer
in recognition of his consistent sponsorship, foresight and influence in
financing and prosecuting metallurgical research, which have helped
substantially to advance the arts and sciences relating to metals.
In testimony whereof and at the di-rection of the Board of Trustees we have hereunto placed our signatures
and set the seal of the Society this twenty-third day of October, 1963.
[additional paragraphs reproduced below]
Corporate R. J. Roudebaugh, President
Seal, Stewart G. Fletcher, Secretary
ASM Allan Ray Putnam, Managing
of the Board, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, has demonstrated a profound interest in researchies and realized its importance to industry.
Mr. Homer's activities on behalf of his company, began in 1919 and shortly thereafter he designed one of the earliest gas turbines, a
project that led him into the metallurgy of high temperature steels. From that time and under his enlightened and far-seeing management
he made available the necessary financial funds and gave his personal encouragement to the advancement of research at his company.
This support has been continuous through adverse as well as prosperous years.
This awareness of the value of and the need for technological advancement in the highly competitive and rapidly moving world of today
and tomorrow, made it natural that he should during his presidency of the company, envisage the advantages of centralizing all research
in one place and under one head. After several years of planning, the first phase of a central research complex, which honors his name,
was completed in 1961. The facilities are the fruit of his ideas, his hopes, and his plans.
Under his guidance a new research
department was organized
which combined the functions of scientific and market research
for he was convinced that the study of markets and the needs of
customers are closely related. It is his conviction the function of
the research department is to search for better materials and
processes, to improve existing products, to better serve the
customer needs and to originate new products as well as help
develop and market them. More than forty years of sage council
and vigorous leadership has left a record of accomplishment few
can match. For his constant endeavors on behalf of research the
Board of Trustees of the American Society for Metals has awarded
its 1963 Medal for the Advancement of Research to Arthur B.
Homer, Chairman, Bethlehem Steel Corporation.