A brief history of the union
In September 1897 on the initiative of Professor H. R. Procter (Yorkshire College, Leeds), Dr. J. Gordon Parker (Leather Laboratories, Herold’s Institute, London), Mr. A. Seymour Jones (Leather Manufacturer, Wrexham) and Mr. C. E. Parker (Penketh Tanner, Warrington), a three day conference of leather trades chemists was arranged and held in London. At least 200 people took part in the conference and present were chemists from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain and Sweden.
On September 29th, 1897 the originators of the conference constituted themselves into the first International Association of Leather Trades Chemists and specified the conditions for joining. They then invited applications for membership. Mr. Seymour Jones (Great Britain) and Mr. Franz Kathreiner (Germany) were elected President and Vice-President respectively.
The business of the conference largely centred around vegetable tanning materials and their analysis, but reference was made to use of lime in unhairing and its removal from skins. It is interesting to note that special mention was made of the necessity to deal with the polluting effects of tannery effluents.
By 1911, ten countries were represented in the Association and the membership had grown to 414. The Association’s journal, Collegium, under the editorship of F. Kathreiner, appeared in 1897 and became a multi-lingual independent publication in 1902.
It is not possible to reference all the early pioneers who supported the Association before 1914 but the following, in addition to those mentioned above are worthy of special mention by virtue of their outstanding work in the field of leather chemistry and technology. M.C. Lamb, E. Stiasny, F.H. Haenlein, H. Becker, W. Fahrion, K. Schorlemmer, L. Meunier, A. de la Buere, G. Abt, U.J. Thuau, P. Chambard, W. Eitner, B. Kohnstein, G. Grasser, J. Jedlicka, L. Pollack, E. Andreis, R. Lepetit, G. Baldracco, E. Schiaparelli, A. Gansser, E. Nihoul, D. Wauters, A.W. Hoppenstedt, H.C. Reed, H.C. Small and W. R. Alsop.
In 1917, due to hostilities, the members were divided into two groups. One group under the name “Internationaler Verein der Lederindustrie Chemiker (IVLIC); covered Germany, Austria, Hungary, Holland and Scandinavia. The other group, from 1925 under the name International Society of Leather Trades Chemists (ISLTC) covered Great Britain (and the Commonwealth), France Italy and Belgium. Switzerland (VESLIC) and the USSR formed their own societies, but the American Leather Chemists Association (ALCA) had already been in existence since 1906.
From 1926 joint discussions took place between members of the IVLIC and the ISLTC. Later the following joint conferences were held – Basle (1931), Amsterdam (1933), Brussels (1935) and Copenhagen (1937).
In 1946 the British Section of the ISLTC put forward a proposal that there should be a federation of separate autonomous national societies. The Executive Committee of the ISLTC agreed to this and on January 1st 1948 the Internal Union of Leather Chemists’ Societies (IULCS) was instituted simultaneously with the dissolution of the ISLTC.
A draft constitution was prepared and this was first published as “The International Union of Leather Chemists’ Societies (IULTCS) Provisional Statutes 1948”. This was approved with minor amendments by the first meeting of the Council of Delegates in Paris on September 26th 1949. (Further amendments to the Statutes have been approved since then.) Read more.