June 13, 1912: Municipal Journal editorial. The American Water Works Association. “This association has experienced a growth during the past few years which is extremely gratifying to the old members and officers, and this year, its thirty-second, finds it with only a few short of one thousand. Ten years ago the membership was 329; two years later it had increased by 130, and the growth in numbers continued until in 1910 it had reached 946. In that year more than 100 were lost by a more stringent enforcement of the rule requiring dropping for continued non-payment of dues and by resignations, and the same was true to a less extent last year; but the addition of more than 200 new members during these two years has resulted in a net increase to 975.
More commendable than growth in numbers has been the higher standing which the society has taken as an organization of professional technical men. Last week several hundred of such men attended the convention, and during the four days of this, eight sessions were devoted to discussing water works matters; two trips were taken to pumping and water purification plants, and only one was for pleasure alone. This indicates a seriousness of purpose comparing well with that to be found at the conventions of any of the national technical societies. Even more significant of the spirit of the members is the fact that fully one-half of the time of the business meetings was devoted to general discussions in which a large percentage of those present took part.”
Commentary: AWWA had a long way to go to achieve the professional reputation it experiences today. In the early days, it was little more than a social club. Yes, it was composed entirely of men back then. They did not know what they were missing by ignoring the expertise and enthusiasm of half of the population.