Landmarks Guidelines: A Starting Place

To nominate an artifact, collection or site for ASME designation is a formal procedure outlined in the History and Heritage Manual (MS-72), available from Information Central or Public Information. Any ASME member can nominate an item with the support of a sponsoring ASME unit, such as a Section or Division. Nominations forms must be completed and submitted appropriately one month prior to the next History and Heritage Committee meeting. Before reviewing the Criteria, here are four questions you can answer to begin consideration:

  1. Is the nominated item an example of mechanical engineering? Other societies recognize civil, electrical, etc., works. For an item to qualify for an ASME designation, it must be primarily mechanical in nature. This can, however, be a significant mechanical component of a non-mechanical work, such as the engine of a ship. In such a case the mechanical component must be of landmark quality in its own right.
  2. Does the nominated item represent a genuine advance in the practice of mechanical engineering? Landmarks are those signal achievements that represent significant changes in how things are done. This can be a new technology, a major improvement in an existing technology, or a significant new application of a technology. A representative example of an unusually common item also may be considered as being the most successful design within a particular technology.
  3. Did the nominated item make a worthwhile contribution to the human condition? Anything worthy of designation must have made a positive contribution to humanity, society, and the engineering profession. ASME does not wish to recognize engineering advances intentionally designed to do harm.
  4. Is the nominated item the best example of its kind? Why should this particular item be the one designated? The Committee looks for an item that is the first of its kind, the oldest surviving example, the most complete surviving example, or an item in (nearly)original or in-service condition. Where many equivalent examples exist, overall condition and public accessibility may be considered in selecting the item to nominate.

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