ATMES History




Organized:  March 22, 1967

Spartanburg,  South Carolina

Historian:  H. S. Colbath



For many years the men directly responsible for the functions of the Corporate Engineering departments of the American textile industries realized the need for an organization that would bring them together at regular intervals for the purpose of establishing a direct line of communication between these Managerial Engineers.

Such an organization, with proper cooperation between its members, could avoid duplication of errors in application, disseminate non-confidential information, making it available to its members to correct misinformation which frequently comes to Executive Management from other sources and assist engineers in selling their management on features which would benefit  their companies in making final decisions pertaining to subjects involving engineering functions.

For half a century or more of talking, writing and wishing, nothing was accomplished.  Then upon the scene appeared a man with the knowledge and organization to bring the The Textile Managerial Engineers together for a pilot conference and speedy organization.

To this man, friend, engineer, and executive,  Morris Gelders, we dedicate this history of the "American Textile Managerial Engineers' Society".  For he, more than anyone else,  extended a helping hand when one was most urgently needed.  After much correspondence, many telephone calls and personal visits with Textile Managerial Engineers, Mr. Gelders wrote letters to a list of engineers, inviting them to attend an organizational meeting to be held in Spartansburg, South Carolina on March 22-23, 1967.  The results of this meeting has led to the justification of this history of our society.

H. S. Colbath,   Historian     

History American Textile Managerial Engineers' Society 


The day of March 22, 1967, marks the begining of an organization which was first called "Textile Industrial Engineers";  however, this name was never accepted by the charter members and was replaced by the title "ATMES", as is more fully spelled out above.

The organization was assured of success before it convened, as will be evidenced by the fact that ninety percent of the engineers invited attended the meeting.

A list of the charter members attending the first meeting of ATMES deserves a place in our history and is as follows:

Mr. Harold Bridgeman - Chief Engineer, Central Manufacturing Division - M. Lowenstein & Sons, Inc. --Anderson, South Carolina.

Mr.Herman Granberry - Manager Engineering-Service Division Engineering Department--West Point Manufacturing Company - Langdale,  Alabama.

Mr. W. I. English--Chief Engineer - Burlington Industries--Greensboro,  North Carolina.

Mr. Jerry Holschlag - Director of Engineering & Services - Greenwood Mills--Greenwood, South Carolina.

Mr. C. B. Dixon - Chief Engineer - Clinton Mills--Clinton, South Carolina.

Mr. Arthur P. Earle - Chief Engineer - Dominion Textile Company Limited--Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Mr. T. O. Sills - Chief Engineer - Cannon Mills Company--Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Mr. Guy Lowe - Chief Engineer - Coats & Clark, Inc. - Toccoa, Georgia. 

Mr. Irv S. Bull - Chief Engineer - Synthetics Division,  J. P. Stevens & Company, Inc. - Greensboro, North Carolina.

Mr. L. L. Paxson - Chief Engineer  Cotton Division,  J. P. Stevens & Company, Inc. - Greenville, South Carolina.

Mr. H. S. Colbath - Plant Engineer - Bibb Manufacturing Company - Macon, Georgia.

Mr. T. J. Meyer - Director of Corporate Engineering - Riegel Textile Corporation--Ware Shoals, South Carolina.

Mr. Fred T. Eslick - Assistant Chief Engineer - Ameican Thread Company--Marion, North Carolina.

Mr. Cleve Miller - Director of Engineering - Springs Mills, Inc. - Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Mr. Joe R. Moore - Chief Engineer - Dixie Yarns, Inc. - Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mr. John C. Eagar - Chief Engineer - Standard-Coosa-Thatcher - Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mr. T. E. Smith - Division Manager Development and Expansion - Woolen & Worsted Division, J. P. Stevens & Company, Inc. - Milledgeville, Georgia.

Mr. Jerry Bishop - Vice-President-Engineering - Indian Head Mills  - Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Mr. O. C. Suttle - Director of Engineering - Beaunit Corporation - Gaston, North Carolina.

Mr. G. P. Watson - Manager of Engineering - Kendall Mills - Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mr. Wallace Storey - Chief Engineer - Deering Milliken Service Corporation,  Engineering Department - Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Mr. E. A. Spencer - Manager Staff Engineering - Collins & Aikman Corporation - Albermarle, North Carolina.

Mr. A. G. Singleton - Chief Engineer - Fieldcrest Mills - Spray, North Carolina.

Mr. Henry Woodhead - Chief Engineer - Graniteville Company - Graniteville, South Carolina.

Mr. Carl Buck - Director of Engineering - Woodside Mills - Greenville, South Carolina.

Mr. James W. Ward - Head-Engineering Depar tment - Avondale Mills - Sylacauga, Alabama.

Dr. L. H. Hance - Division Vice President Research-Engineering - Fieldcrest Mills, Inc. - Spray, North Carolina.

Mr. Harper Norman - Chief Engineer - Abney Mills - Greenwood, South Carolina.

Mr. Roger Hughes - Manager-Cost & Engineering - Reeves Brothers - Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The organizational meeting convened at the Spartanburg, South Carolina Holiday Inn at 2:00 PM, March 22, 1967.  The meeting was officially opened by our benefactor and host, Morris Gelders of Lockwood Greene Engineers and Architects.  Mr. Gelders welcomed the group to Spartanburg and this important meeting.

Jerry Holschlag, Director of Engineering and Services, Greenwood Mills, was chosen as moderator.  Each individual present gave his comments concerning objectives of the group.  These objectives were many, varied and excellent and may be read by any member desiring to do so by requesting a copy of the minutes from the Secretary. 

The naming of the organization was discussed and many names were offered but no official vote nor choice was made, rather, it was decided to appoint a Rules and Regulations Committee, who would make recommendations concerning the name at the next meeting.

The form of organization was discussed and a simple form organization was approved.  Officers were to include a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and a Secretary-Treasurer.

The group approved semi-annual meetings,  one in the Spring and one to be held in the Fall of the year.  It was agreed that all meetings would be work shop or business meetings with member social activities being delegated to evenings.  A point stressed at this organizational meeting was that invitations for plant visitations would have to be completely voluntary without any obligations for reciprocal action.

Eligibility for membership was a topic of extended discussion at this first organizational phase of the meeting and after much discussion the matter of membership qualifications was placed in the hands of a committee for recommendation.

On March 23, 1967, the meeting reconvened at 9:00 AM with Morris Gelders presiding in the place of Wallace Storey, who was unable to attend.  The nomination of Jerry Holschalg for the First Chairman was offered by Harold Bridgeman and seconded by Jerry Bishop.  It was then moved and seconded that the nominations be closed.  This was passed unanimously and Jerry Holschlag assumed the position of the organization's First Chairman.

Irvin Bull was elected Vice Chairman.  There were three nominations from the floor but in the end Bull won the election.  Wallace Storey and Arthur Earle were also nominated. A motion and vote decreed that the Vice Chairman would succeed the Chairman in the following year.

Since this first meeting was classed as an organizational meeting,  the members voted to begin the official term of all officers with the 1967 Fall meeting and that the term of all elected officers be one year.

The members voted to authorize the duly elected Chairman to appoint a Constitution and By-laws Committee, Membership Committee and Program Committee.  The office of Secretary and Treasurer were also officially combined by vote of the membership.

Ted Meyer was elected to fill the first term as Secretary-Treasurer.  "Pax" Paxson and Harold Bridgeman were also nominated for the office.   

A very lively discussion followed in which various members discussed past experiences which might prove of interest to fellow members.  There were many participants and this part of the meeting proved so popular that it has become a fixed and interesting part of every meeting. Discussions often become so interesting, the presiding officer was forced to call time on the participants.  The list of the subjects discussed and the questions and answers would make a fine and valuable book, if compiled.

A list of committee appointments by Chairman Holschlag are made a part of this history.

Rules and Regulations Committee  (Constitution and By-laws also delegated to the above committee, as well as to recommend a name for the group)

Jack Colbath  -  Chairman

Ed Spencer -  Member

Cliff Suttle  -  Member

Morris Gelders  -  Ex-officio Member.  By reason of fact [*Mother] had all of the notes on the meeting. 

                               *An affectionate name given by charter members.

Program Committee

Wallace Storey  -  Chairman

Toby Hance  -  Member

Herman Granberry  -  Member

Membership Committe

Jerry Bishop  -  Chairman

"Pax" Paxton  -  Member                                                                                                               

The minutes of the first meeting were taken by Morris Gelders.  To those wishing a more detailed, word for word, outline of this organizational meeting,  the author suggests that you request a copy of the minutes of this meeting from the Secretary. 



Following the organizational meeting of the ATMES, much work was done by the committees and a preliminary meeting was held by members of the appointed committees at the Holiday Inn in Spartanburg,  South Carolina on June 8, 1967.  At this meeting rough drafts of committee plans and functions were submitted and discussed and final plans laid for the fall meeting to be held at the Holiday Inn on September 12-13,  1967 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

At two o'clock PM on September 12, 1967, the group convened and Chairman Holschlag welcomed members and guests.

The constitution prepared by Jack Colbath and his committee was presented to the group and approved as written with the exception that each eligible corporation under certain specified conditions might have as many as three (3) members affiliated with the organization.  It was also agreed that each member might bring one guest from his organization.

Prior to this meeting and final approval, copies of the proposed constitution had been mailed to each member inviting suggestions for changes.  These changes along with previously approved changes by the By-laws Committee were incorporated into the revised constitution.  The revised edition therefore represented the ideas and suggestions of the entire group and was appropriately presented for final approval when submitted. 

A copy of the constitution which also incorporates the official name of this organization is essentially a part of this history.  (Special Note:  this is included on the web site under its own posting "Constitution")

The program of September 12, 1967, covered such subjects as "Vibration in Weave Mills", by T. O. Sills;  "Roof Problems", by W. I. English;  "Air Conditioning Equipment", by Harold Bridgeman.

During the afternoon, the group toured the Deering Milliken Management Center in Spartanburg.

The social hour and banquet with the charming wives of those members fortunate enough to have their wives with them was the highlight of the evening entertainment.

The meeting convened on September 13, 1967 at 9:00 AM with several excellent speakers presenting papers on the following subjects: "Spinning Room Conditions", by Dr. L. H. Hance; "Waste Disposal", by C. F. Marshall; "Maintenance Effectiveness", by O. D. Suttles.

The interesting and vibrant discussion of "Mutual Engineering Problems" followed with the usual enthusiasm and again, time had to be called by the officiating member.

Since new officers would have to be voted upon at the Spring meeting, a nominating committee consisting of T. O. Sills and C. P. Watson were appointed by the chairman to bring in a slate at that time.