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The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is the international  organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification and  inspection of plumbing systems. ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the professional growth and advancement of its members and the health, welfare and safety of the public. The Society disseminates technical data and information, sponsors activities that facilitate interaction with fellow professionals, and through research and education, expands the base of knowledge of the plumbing engineering industry. ASPE members are leaders in innovative plumbing design, effective materials and energy use, and the application of advanced techniques throughout the world.


A Recitation of the "Off Center" History of the Boston Chapter of the ASPE

Bernard J. McCarty, P.E., CIPE - Boston Chapter Historian

History, after all, is the story of people, and it is good to remember that it is the people who make the history, not the other way around.

It was Clarence Darrow who once said "History repeats itself. That's just one of the things wrong with History."


I hope to relate to you some unpublished history of our Chapter, and in the process, I am sure to repeat history already known to you older members (Clarence will be right once again).

To those of you not considered elderly, you will be provided a glimpse of what the "older guys" went through to enable the Boston Chapter to attain recognition as a top chapter in ASPE.

Chapter I

Let us begin by honoring Samuel Ussia, P.E. Let us give him credit for the initial gathering of 20+ Plumbing Engineers interested in pursing the creation of the Boston Chapter of the ASPE. Date - 1972.

Sam was our first Charter President. He served his year in office and became enamored with his birth homeland, Italy. We heard or saw little of him after that.

Chapter II

John J. McEvoy, P.E.… a great mover and our second President. It was John who proposed to a group of engineers and manufacturer/representatives that the time had come to thank our affiliate members for their help and support of the Chapter by sponsoring a "Plumbing Product Exhibit". By the way, Boston was the first Chapter to do this and has since become the model for other Chapters to follow.

John had the distinction of being appointed the first secretary of the newly organized Research Foundation. He served two terms as its secretary.

John was instrumental in and the moving force behind the awarding of Society's first Honorary Membership to Boston's Robert W. Sullivan.

Two energetic engineers sat in the back at meetings, complaining verbally. They indicated that things were not going as fast or as good as they might. John decided that grease had to be applied to the squeaky wheels, and nominated them for positions on the Board of Directors. They were ultimately elected to the two secretary positions on the Board.

After a term of one year or less, one young lad left Boston for California, settled in San Francisco, joined the San Francisco Chapter, and over the years ran for Board positions and became the Chapter President, after which he was appointed chairman for the 1982 Boston Convention (a success story of sorts).

The other young engineer worked his way up to the Chapter Board of Directors to become President, and 10 years later, became the second President to serve twice. He served as chair for the Chicago convention/chaired a Data Book committee, was Region I Chair, was elected ASPE Secretary and the first Society VP/Education, has been involved in the Plumbing Project Exhibit as co-chair many times, and is still a familiar face locally and nationally.

These two diamonds in the rough are symbols of what can be accomplished in ASPE. Who are they? Our San Francisco member is John Lento. Our Boston Chapter member is Frank G. Teebagy, P.E., CIPE.

Chapter III

The fifth Presidency was a bit nervous, caused by the unfortunate passing of Jim Banks, the V.P. Technical of the previous Jim Craig Administration. This left us without a report from V.P. Tech, which was required in order to receive our share of the dues payback. As a result, Robert L. Hough, P.E., another hero in our midst, paid all of the expenses out of his own pocket to sustain the Chapter until the report issue was resolved and the funding forthcoming.

That, my friends, shows confidence in the face of fire.

Chapter IV

To give James G. Craig, CIPE credit, a motion from the floor of the Architectural Center was accepted to form a Board of Governors made up of past Presidents, not to exceed 5, a pre-formed committee to assist the Board of Directors in an emergency.

Chapter V

P. Joseph Sullivan, P.E., ah yes, another diamond in the rough. I courted Joe for three (3) years before he consented to Boston Chapter membership. Once aboard, he became an avid supporter, worked up through the Board of Directors to become President, hosted the Boston Convention '82, and worked the floor at every convention he attended, supporting Boston Chapter nominees for office.

Chapter VI

Roger D. Wardwell, P.E., CIPE, our first 2 term President, became noted for enacting the rule "presentations must be generic". He dismissed a representative for violating that rule…I might add, to the satisfaction of all.

Chapter VII

We mention here our affiliates, and please remember the tireless support consistently received from: 
John Porkorny (Treasurer extraordinaire). 
Brian Bowes (Affiliate Rep to the Chapter BOD). 
Pat Haney (Secretary since dirt). 
Robert J. Pink, Sr. and Robert J. Pink, Jr. (Always there when you need them). 
And Jim Galvin, Greg Koval, John Joyce, Al Fehrm (Simmons Valve Corporation and Membership VPs).

Chapter VIII

The Boston Chapter's History Honor Roll includes: 
Jim Polando, P.E., CIPE (Chair of Society Long Range Planning). 
Joe Barbera, P.E., CIPE (Ever-present Core Educator, invocation for LA convention, and tech session on "Quality and Ethics" at Washington, DC Convention). 
Kevin Lally, CIPE (CIPE program educator). 
John Callahan (PBS Channel 2 telethon leader). 
And Bill Hughes (Our new membership VP for Society - he'll be a great one!).


For those that I have not acknowledged, please blame the limited time and space as well as my aging mind. I am very proud to have been part of and friends with the members of the Boston Chapter.

Thank you for your patience and kind attention.