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Brief History: IEC-USNC-ANSI Chronology

In 1904, leading scientists and pioneering industrialists from around the globe came together at the Coliseum Music Hall in St. Louis, Missouri, to discuss the need for cooperation leading to the standardization of electrical apparatus and machinery. This pivotal meeting ultimately led to the establishment of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1906.

One year later, in 1907, U.S. interests rallied to form a National Committee (the USNC) to oversee the country's participation in IEC activities.

Today, the IEC promotes international cooperation on all questions of standardization and the verification of conformity to standards in the fields of electricity, electronics and related technologies.


In recognition of 100 years of global standardization efforts in the electrotechnical industry, and in remembrance of the historic meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, held in 1904, the IEC, the USNC/IEC, and ANSI have published a series of commemorative articles to begin the IEC Centenary Celebration.

1904 IEC formed by a resolution of the Chamber of Government Delegates to the September 1904 St. Louis (USA) meeting of the International Electrical Congress
1906 First IEC Statutes drawn up in a Preliminary Meeting in London
1907 The United States National Committee (USNC) is formed
1908 First IEC Statutes are adopted
1931 Prior to 1931, administrative services for the USNC were provided by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers -AIEE (which became part of the IEEE)
1931 USNC affiliated with the Electrical Standards Board of the American Standards Association – ASA, ASA Pays IEC Dues and provides administrative support
1966 ASA reorganizes into the United States of America Standards Institute – USASI, USASI continues administrative support and payment of IEC dues.
1969 USASI reorganizes into the American National Standards Institute – ANSI continues administrative support and payment of IEC dues.
1973 Indemnification and insurance concerns of USNC were resolved by a Memorandum of Understanding between the USNC and ANSI. In effect, the USNC served as an unincorporated Committee of ANSI, subject to partial technical control but no control of expenditures.
1976 USNC became formal, integrated, body of ANSI with a new set of ANSI ByLaws to cover and govern the relationship. The revised ANSI ByLaws were approved by the ANSI Board in September 1976 and subsequently accepted by the USNC. Under the new arrangement with ANSI, the USNC was not an independent body, but was a wholly integrated body of ANSI operating under its own Operating Procedures subject to approval by the ANSI Board of Directors and the Executive Standards Council.
1986 USNC undertook a revision of its Operating Procedures in order to comply with 1984 ANSI Criteria for the Development and Coordination of U.S. Positions in International Activities of the ISO and IEC. These revisions were completed and approved by the ANSI Executive Committee in 1986.
1993 The document “ANSI USNC Governance and Modus Operandi” approved by ANSI and USNC. It described the governance of ANSI, the governance of USNC and the interrelationship between the two.
1997 ANSI Board of Directors challenged ANSI constituency to initiate mechanisms necessary to financially support desired operations, “pay to play” philosophy initiated.
1998 USNC initiated, with ANSI Board approval, a funding program whereby individual Technical Advisory Group participants were required to pay a TAG Participation Fee. The USNC also established a Business Plan Task Force to develop recommendations for the future organizational structure of the USNC.
2000 New USNC Statutes and Rules of Procedure approved by the USNC and the ANSI Board of Directors. The new membership of a reorganized Council and Technical Management Committee were elected. The 1st meetings of these management bodies took place December 2000. The Council has responsibility for policy issues and the TMC for technical issues. Also added to the USNC funding program was an opportunity for companies, organizations, and government agencies to become USNC members with resulting benefits.
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