Since 1928, the IAEI has brought unbiased focus to interpreting the National Electrical Code and the Canadian Electrical Code, and to teaching safe installation and use of electricity.
In the earlier years, most of the teaching was done in informal discussions. Then those sessions grew into regular training meetings.
In the 1980s, the IAEI began a serious thrust toward writing and publishing materials that could be disseminated globally through seminars, chapter presentations, various electronic media, and the Internet.
Composed originally of only electrical inspectors, membership in the IAEI quickly included any persons or organizations in the electrical industry who wished to focus on safety. It is this common code forum provided by IAEI that qualified it to properly refer to itself as the keystone of the electrical industry—that interlocking mechanism which ties the supporting pieces together.
At least four of the sections were organized before IAEI itself was incorporated:
- Eastern Section, 1903. First meeting of the National Association of Electrical Inspectors. Members of this organization went on to form the Eastern Section of IAEI in 1928.
- Western Section, 1904. The Western Electrical Inspectors Association, precursor to the Western Section, was formed.
- Southwestern Section, 1914. First recorded meeting of the Northern California Electrical Inspectors, at San Jose, California, was on June 21, 1914.
- Southern Section, 1928. The organizational meeting was in New Orleans on October 28, 1928. The 1929 section meeting laid claim to being the first Southern Section meeting.
- Northwestern Section, 1929. F. D. Weber, of Portland, Oregon, was elected as the first Northwestern Section secretary.
- Canadian Section, 1931. Meeting of Quebec Electrical Inspectors.
IAEI was organized in 1928 and incorporated in 1929. By March of that year, there were 1,989 active and associate charter members on its books. In May 1930, IAEI announced that Miss F. H. Pettee of the Simplex Wire and Cable Company of Jacksonville, Florida, was the first “lady member.” Through the years, membership has spread across the United States and Canada and into Mexico (1997), Japan (1969), Korea (2002), Saudi Arabia (1981) and 22 other countries.
Today, IAEI has a broad membership base but it remains the voice of the electrical inspectors and those in the industry who support electrical safety through code compliance — those who have the responsibility of making sure the consumer is safe. IAEI insists on fairness, code-compliance and dedication to electrical safety without commercial bias.
Wisdom from the past:
Know your code
Be loyal to its requirements
Administer it intelligently
Study to be helpful
Always be fair
—William Brown Hubbell, Organizing member of Western Association of Electrical Inspectors, 1905–1929