At its 20th anniversary in 1924, vice president Howard Jenks reflected on the contributions of The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE). "I would say to the younger men, don't think for a minute that refrigeration started 20 years ago," he said. "Long before that there were able men who were working on refrigeration and accomplishing great things. The difference is that they did not cooperate. Every man who then possessed information on refrigeration hugged it to his own bosom and would not give it to the world. Today, as you see here in these meetings, the men are giving their data and their ideas, and the contact of these minds and different opinions is what is bringing out the work and progress of this society."
As ASHRAE kicks off the centennial celebration of its predecessor society, the same holds true. "ASRE and now ASHRAE provide a clearinghouse and a place for sharing knowledge," William "Joe" Buck, chair of the centennial committee, said. "In the early days, each practitioner had to stand on his own. If he encountered a problem, he had no organized place to go for help. ASHRAE also provides a source for standardized technical information. Without this central clearinghouse for information and without the research provided by ASHRAE and ASRE, the marketplace would be chaotic at best."