In 1954 a number of spectroscopists, recognizing the existence of several regional societies of spectroscopists, organized a committee to promote a stronger exchange of information among these societies.  The efforts of this committee resulted in the formation of the Federation of Spectroscopic Societies on March 1, 1956 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

     The temporary officers at this meeting were Dr. Eugene Rosenbaum, Chairman, and Mrs. Sarah Degenkolb, Secretary.  The Societies adopted a Constitution at this meeting.  Five other societies were represented at this meeting including the Canadian Association of Applied Spectroscopy.

     The officers elected for one year were Mr. Edwin Jaycox, Chairman; Miss Grace Marsh, Vice Chairman; and Rev. James J. Devlin, S.J., Secretary-Treasurer.

     On March 7, 1957, the Federation held a meeting of the representatives of the member societies in Pittsburgh.  The officers elected were Mr. William J. Poehlman, President; Mrs. Sarah Degenkolb, Vice President; and Rev. James J. Devlin, S.J., Secretary-Treasurer.  The major business of that meeting was the appointment of a fact finding committee to consider the advisability of founding a National Society of Applied Spectroscopy.  After due inquiry, this committee reported a widespread interest in forming a national society and proceeded to draft a constitution.

     The enthusiastic response to the proposal of a national society and the expressed willingness of the New York area group to relinquish its name and journal, culminated in the foundation of a national Society for Applied Spectroscopy at a meeting of the Federation of Spectroscopic Societies in New York on November 4, 1958.  On November 7, 1960, the Society was incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania with its legal residence at Mellon Institute, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a nonprofit corporation.


     In 1958 the New York Society for Applied Spectroscopy donated its journal, Applied Spectroscopy, then in Volume 12, to the National Society and published it for the Society during that year.  In 1960, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy assumed the responsibility for publishing the journal.  Dr. Frederick Strong III, who was editor at the time of transfer, continued in that capacity until 1961.

     In 1966 the Society became an affiliate member of the American Institute of Physics.  At that time, the responsibility for publication of Applied Spectroscopy was assumed by the American Institute of Physics, but the editorial management remained under the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.  In addition to publishing and printing the Journal, the American Institute of Physics also processed membership forms and handled other routine matters such as balloting and dues collection.  In 1971, the Society retained its affiliation with AIP but transferred the printing and publication of the journal, together with the managerial services to The Williams & Wilkins/Waverly Press Company.  Subscription and managerial services were transferred to the office of the Executive Secretary of the Society in January 1982.  In 1984, the printing services were transferred to Allen Press, Inc. in Lawrence, Kansas.


     The logo was designed in 1960 by Rockwell Kent, III.


     There were seventeen original founding sections. These include:

Baltimore-Washington, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Delaware Valley, Detroit, Indiana, Milwaukee, New England, New York, Niagara Frontier, North California, Ohio Valley, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Southeastern, and Southern California


     In 1962 the Baltimore-Washington Section was host to an International Conference on Spectroscopy.  The Tenth Colloquium Spectroscopicum Internationale was also designated the First National Meeting of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.  The surplus funds from this meeting were donated to establish a fund for use by other Sections of the Society sponsoring national meetings in succeeding year.  National meetings have been held annually since that time.

     In 1974 the Society began holding its Annual National Meeting in conjunction with the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS).

Click here for even more information on the Early Years of SAS.