1912-1915 — The Early Years

At that first meeting in 1912, the fledgling membership elected A.H. Rawitzer of Scott-Rawitzer Manufacturing Company, Omaha, Neb., as president. These early members also decided to conduct regular, bi-annual meetings.

Pictured are the first members of the association.
Standing, left to right: P. C. Schaefer, Denver, CO; A. C. Scott, Omaha, NE; Wm. H. Evans, New York, NY; Geo. H. Buchanan, St. Louis, MO; L. G. Walker, Chicago, IL; W. D. Trueblood, New York, NY; Al Rawitzer, Omaha, NE (1st Nat’l Pres.); Fred E. Kohler, Colorado Springs, CO; W.K. Jacobs, St. Paul, MN.
Sitting, left to right: Clarence Rawitzer, Mpls, MN; Tom Biggers, St. Louis, MO (Sec/Treas); R. S. Gutshall, Denver, CO; A. S. Proctor, Denver, CO; F. J. Burch, Pueblo, CO.

By 1915, membership had grown significantly, so much that the association decided to form a central executive office to coordinate its activities. After serving his two-year term, Rawitzer was succeeded by W.K. Jacobs, whose firm, Minnesota Tent & Awning Company, was located in the Endicott Building in St. Paul, Minn. The headquarters for the association was located in the same building, where it would remain for sixty-six years.

The association’s national industry trade magazine, National Tent & Awning Manufacturer’s Review, began in 1915. Jacobs hired James E. McGregor as editor. Mac (as he signed his editorials) also became the first employee of the association as the executive secretary. He held both positions for 37 years.