General Tools Award 2007 – Patrick Martin


Patrick Martin (center), receives the “Plumb Bob” from Bill McNiece (right), and Gerry Weinstein, Chairman of General Tools. Photograph taken by Don Durfee

At the Annual Business Meeting in Philadelphia, Committee chair Bill McNiece announced that Patrick Martin was the 2007 recipient of the General Tools Award for Distinguished Service to Industrial Archeology.

The General Tools Award is the highest honor that the SIA can bestow. The award recognizes individuals who have given sustained, distinguished service to the cause of industrial archeology. Criteria for selection are as follows: (1) The recipient must have given noteworthy, beyond-the-call-of duty service, over an extended period of time, to the cause of industrial archeology. (2) The type of service for which the recipient is recognized is unspecified, but must be for other than academic publication. (3) It is desirable but not required that the recipient be, or previously have been, a member of the SIA. (4) The award may be made only to living individuals.

The General Tools Award was established in 1992 through the generosity of Gerald Weinstein [SIA], chairman of the board of General Tools Manufacturing, Inc. of New York City, and the Abraham and Lillian Rosenberg Foundation. The Rosenbergs founded General Hardware, the predecessor to General Tools. The award consists of an engraved sculpture (”The Plumb Bob”) and a cash prize.

This year’s recipient exemplifies the criteria for selection. Pat Martin has been active in the cause of industrial archeology for some thirty years, making substantial contributions in a wide range of areas, including beyond North America as the SIA’s representative to the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). He has provided many private and government agencies with analysis and reports on archeological investigations of industrial sites, and he has made substantial academic contributions to the field. While the General Tools award is made for types of service other than academic publication, it also does not hold it against you ! Pat Martin has given substantial service to the SIA as editor of the journal, executive secretary and organizer of several meetings and tours.

As a faculty member in Michigan Tech’s IA program, Pat Martin has modeled, guided, encouraged, fostered and in some cases, prodded younger individuals to broaden and expand the range and depth of their knowledge and quality of service. It is in this area where this year’s General Tool Award recipient has truly excelled. He was instrumental in establishing the IA Master’s program at Michigan Tech where he currently serves as the Director of the IA Program. In that capacity, he has been a key figure in the professional development of a new generation of industrial archeologists who will carry the field further, wider, and deeper into still more areas, communities, and countries for many years into the future.