This is an editorial from Plating magazine to supplement the October 2015 white paper by Arthur DuRose, the 11th William Blum Scientific Achievement Award Lecture in 1970, crediting the industry suppliers with there efforts.
James H. Lindsay, Sr.
AES President, 1969-70
Editor's Note: The following was an editorial that appeared in the August, 1967 issue of Plating magazine, written by then Second Vice-President James H. Lindsay, lauding the efforts of the supplier contribution to the industry over the years. It is a fitting preamble to the 11th William Blum Scientific Achievement Award lecture published in this space, and it is just as true today as it was in 1967.
In presenting Dr. Henry Brown as the 1967 Scientific Achievement Award winner, Dr. Harold J. Read (himself a notable holder of this honor) took occasion to note that Dr. Brown, as an industrial scientist, is the first recipient of our highest award to come from the ranks of the suppliers. That this should be so is a tribute not only to this modest and talented man, but also to that large and important segment of our industry which furnishes us with the proprietary materials which play such a major role in our operations.
Despite the fiercely competitive attitudes which are the common denominator of all its branches, our industry in this country has been singularly blessed by what is almost a fraternal relationship aimed at transforming into a science what in the past has been an art. In pursuit of this goal, the suppliers with their scientific research and development staffs have played and continue to play a major role. In view of their past performance, the fact that this is done in the hope of financial profit is really incidental.
Over the years, we have had a veritable cornucopia pouring into our laps dual nickel, self-regulating chromium baths, leveling nickel, leveling copper, ability to plate on plastics - the list is endless. Note, too, that the men who are responsible for these developments have found time and vision to look far beyond the relatively narrow immediate interests of their particular companies, as the subject matter and content of their published papers will attest. That this should be so is a tribute to themselves, and to the integrity and measure of their managements.
There is of course much more to be said: of the service man who may occasionally work around the clock, perhaps to solve a problem for you which lies in an area quite foreign to his own product; the salesman who may, but probably does not make the money you think he does, but who certainly would prefer a night at home to what you take for glamour; and all the others who help to make this miracle that we call "plating" possible. It is well that we stop once in a while to be grateful.
However, one more factor must be mentioned - the customer. All of the developments we have seen have come in response to the desire of some customer to do something better, easier, at lower cost, or to do something that had not been done before. Intelligent criticism on the part of those of us who comprise the market is therefore an important function, and dissatisfaction with things as they are must be a way of life for all of us. But momentarily, Suppliers, thank you!