The Historical Society of Pennsylvania obtains American Society for Testing Materials records

The American Society for Testing and Materials, now known as ASTM International, was founded in 1898 by a group of engineers and scientists to tackle the problem of frequent break in railroad tracks. From their work grew industry-wide standards for the steel used in rail construction. Among the society’s early founders was Charles B. Dudley who worked as a chemist for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The society once shared offices with the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia at 1315 Spruce Street. Today, ASTM International’s headquarters are in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. This small collection of ASTM records specifically pertains to one of the society’s committees--Committee A-8, cold drawn steel--that appears to have been headquartered in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are incoming and outgoing letters between East Pittsburgh and ASTM’s Philadelphia office, as well as letters between the committee’s chair, C. E. Skinner, and numerous firms that used and bought the cold drawn steel. These letters, to varying degrees of detail, discuss test results, new machinery, and new processes. There are also a few blueprints/schematics, forms, and test result sheets. This collection is open for research at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.