STC Chicago History

In honor of STC Chicago’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, Chapter Historian Bill Leavitt wrote a detailed account of the chapter’s storied history. Here is an excerpt:

It is amazing to me that our chapter is now 60 years old.

To many people, 60 years sounds like a long time. However, to someone who has been a member of STC/STWP for most of that time, it is merely the blink of an eye. During that time, the membership changed from mostly middle-aged men, to mostly younger women. The tools changed from telephones, typewriters, pencils and correction fluid, to smart phones, computers, software, and an array of other technological devices. In short, what changed … is everything.

The Chicago Chapter was originally formed in January 1955; it was one of the first ten chapters to form. The first meeting was attended by eleven people and was held on January 6, 1955, at Putnam Publishing Co. in Chicago. At the time Chicago Chapter was formed, two related organizations were in existence, the Society of Technical Writers (STW) and the Association of Technical Writers and Editors (TWE). Later, in 1957, through a merger, the Society of Technical Writers & Editors (STWE) was formed, and then the Society of Technical Writers & Publishers (STWP) in 1960. The leadership soon came to realize that this name was not satisfactory because, while it mentioned writers and publishers, it failed to mention technical illustrators. Thus it was changed to the more inclusive name, Society for Technical Communication (STC), in 1971.

A sincere thank you to Bill Leavitt for taking the time to share his experiences!

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