Florida West Coast Section History
For more details of this history read on:
50 Years And Moving On
Two important things happened in February 1952. On the 1st, the Tampa Section of the American Institute of Electrical
The yearbooks at IEEE Headquarters show that the Tampa Section of AIEE was formed Feb. 1, 1952. The first Chair
In 1952 there were 122 members in the section. Today there are in excess of 2300. There were 381 AIEE members in
There were three sections then, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. Members in the pan handle were part of the
We covered more geography in 1952 than we do now. At the time of organization the section territory included the following
The Florida West Coast Section of the Institute of Radio Engineers,IRE, was Chartered on November 14,
Then, members worked for the utilities and other companies such as: Tampa Armature Works, including its President, Raybo
In the merger of AIEE and IRE into IEEE in 1963 the two sections became one, using the Florida West Coast name.
At least four of the sections past chairs went on to be the Region 3 Director and a member of the IEEE Board of
First Chairs AIEE and IRE Sections
|Benjamin Nicholson Darlington||Ben Darlington was the first Chair of the Tampa Section of AIEE formed in 1952. In 1963, AIEE and the Institute of Radio
Engineers (IRE) merged to form the IEEE. The merged section, used the Florida West Coast name.Ben Darlington graduated from Tarpon Springs High School in the late 1920’s and attended the University of Florida in
Gainesville, Florida. He pursued courses toward a degree in Electrical Engineering. Returning home to Tarpon Springs,
Florida, he acquired employment as a mechanic in the Western Auto store. Among his duties was doing machine work and
rewinding electric motors. His interest in communication led him to taking a job with the Peninsular Telephone Company
and moving to Tampa, Florida. He had advanced to a position of General Plant Manager when a merger with General Telephone
Company occurred. He was the first Section Chairman of AIEE in 1952.In a Dennis R. Cooper article titled “the People machine”, an illustrated history of the telephone on the Central West
Coast of Florida, it was reported that the General Telephone Company of Florida Employee Chorus was organized in 1962. It
was led and directed by Ben. He was married to the former Doris Reed and together raised three sons.
|Col. Edwin Lee White||Col. White was the first Chair of the IRE Florida West Coast Section Chartered in 1956. Before coming to Tampa
he had retired from the Federal Civil Service in Washington DC., in the spring of 1956. He served during both World Wars.
He was recalled to active duty in 1941. During W.W.II he rose to the rank of Col. in the USAF.He had been active with the Washington DC Section of the IRE and in coming to Tampa he took the lead in organizing
the new section. At that time the closest section was in MiamiHis Fellow bio reads: (note he was a fellow of both the AIEE and IRE)
WHITE, EDWIN LEE, AIEE Fellow 1947, IRE Fellow 1955. Born: July 5, 1896, Valley City, ND.
Degrees: A.B., 1922, M.S., 1925, George Washington University.
IRE Fellow Award: “For his leadership in advancing the use of radio in the interest of safety and efficiency in industry.”
No citations were given to Fellows by the AIEE prior to 1952.Other IEEE Awards:
IEEE Centennial Medals
The IEEE, in 1984, in Honor of the 100th birthday of the Institute, awarded a total of 1984 Centennial Medals.
Florida West Coast Section Medal recipents were:
The presentation was made at the January 1984 Section meeting by Section Chair Richard Beatie.
The following were chosen by their society. Their medals were presented elsewhere:
Third Millennium Medals
As part of its celebration of the Third Millennium, IEEE awarded Millennium Medals to individuals for outstanding
Another Florida West Coast Section member, James H. Beall, received his Millennium Medal from the
Congratulations to these medal recipients. We thank them for their efforts on behalf of the Institute of
History of Meetings & Conferences
A Historical View of meetings held by other than the Section and its Chapters, since about 1975.
FWCS, the Florida West Coast Section (Tampa Bay) has been host to many IEEE meetings over the years.
The Region 3 Conference, “SoutheastCon,” a major event of Students, Professionals and the Region Committee, met
The PES Winter Meeting was held in Tampa January and February 1998 with the Hyatt Westshore as Headquarters.
In 1984 The Vehicular Technology Society Annual Meeting was held in Tampa, organized by Dr. Alan Gondeck. The
The Industry Applications Society, IAS, Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Department, I&CPS, met in St.
Other societies have held meetings here. The National Safety Council Committee, Z244, on Lockout/Tagout of Energy
Looking ahead, Southcon™ a Major Conference and Exposition, half owned by IEEE, was held in Tampa in the Spring of
We know that there have been IEEE meetings held here by some of the IEEE Societies that we have been unaware of.