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Back in 1919 the Toronto Society for Coatings Technology (TOSCOT) began. Originally named the Toronto Club of Paint and Varnish Superintendents, the group first met in March and has since developed into an important source of technical information for the coatings industry.

TOSCOT was one of the founding societies of the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT), and has contributed much to the growth and development of the organization. The first international president it provided, Gordon C. McEwan, has much to do with shaping the direction of the Federation during his 1926-27 term. Since his tenure, five TOSCOT members has served as President of FSCT: Eugene E. Sparrow (1923-33); Joseph W. Tomecko (1957-58); William Dunn (1975-76); A. Clarke Boyce (1982-83); and Kurt F. Weitz (1990-91).

In 1994, the Toronto Society for Coatings Technology celebrated its 75th anniversary. At that time, a historical account of the group was developed. Some of the highlights reported in this account, prepared for the Toronto Society by Coatings Magazine, reveal a Society that has evolved over the past 75 years, much like the industry it represents.

One of the hallmark of TOSCOT in its early years was the unbridled enthusiasm of the group. Despite this, early meetings were marked by low attendance. Even if eligible members wanted to attend, they were often forbidden by their employers. The times and developing technology had much to do with this attitude. Paint chemists had only recently come into an industry that until then had been all art. One prominent company manager went firmly on the record at a Canadian Paint, Oil, and Varnish association meeting stating: "We never had problems in the paint industry until we let the chemists in."

The TOSCOT founding fathers quickly hit upon a successful format that has changed little in the intervening time since inception. The club held regular monthly meetings, from September until June, with invited speakers presenting the latest technological developments of the time. In those early years, it was felt that the annual $2.50 membership fee paid off for members many times because the club heard speakers tell of the development, uses, and potential of new technical revolutions that were to drastically alter the face of paint production.

Although many changes have occurred in the industry over the past years, the vision of the Toronto Society remains the same. TOSCOT's dedication to the advancement of the coatings education has resulted in significant accomplishments not only at the Society level but for the Federation as well. Milestones include hosting 160 people at the Federation's ninth annual convention in 1930 to welcome over 7800 attendees to the FSCT Annual Meeting and Paint Show in 1991. Educational courses, award-wining technical presentations, and successful seminars have been sources of pride for the group.

Above all, the success of the Society is attributed to the many volunteers who have served throughout the years. Proud of its heritage, the Society will continue this tradition into the future.

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