Early Baking Schools and Bakery Training
The Great War and the Origins of AIB, 1919-1929
The Great Depression and Beyond: 1929-1942
The Baker Boy Goes to War, 1942-1945
Postwar Growth and Expansion, 1945-1964
The "Years of Attrition:" 1964-1972
"From the Ground Up" 1975-1976
The "Renaissance" of AIB: 1976-1994
The Rebuilding Crew
A more in-depth study of the AIB's history is available from
300 N. Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor MI 48106-1346
or telephone 1-800-521-0600, ext. 3781.
Title is: Education and Training for the Baking Industry of the World: the History of
the American Institute of Baking from Its Origins to the Present Day
Portions of the text on this page is adapted from that source.
Early Baking Schools and Bakery Training
Training programs for bakers in America did not begin with the American Institute of
Baking. One of the first recorded instances of organized training in this country dates
from the Revolutionary War. Bread was a much more important food for the troops of the
Continental Army, than is true for the U.S. Army of today, but there was a serious
shortage of trained bakers in the ranks. As a result, George Washington requested that the
Congress approve the selection of a superintendent of bakers, and in May of 1777
Christopher Ludwick, a Hessian by birth, was appointed to this post. The "Baker
General" as he was called by the troops, traveled from camp to camp recruiting and
training bakers. At war's end, many of these former Army bakers opened shops of their own.
The first long-term Industry commitment to instruction in the
rudiments of bakery science was supplied by the the Bachman School of Baking, sponsored by
the Fleischmann Company and conducted at the Fleischmann Laboratories in New York City
from 1911 through 1942. This school provided much needed knowledge of fermentation to
baking leaders, and foreshadowed the intense interest in baking education on the part of
members of the so-called "Allied Trades" that would later become important to
the continued success of the American Institute of Baking.
Other early baking schools included Freed's Cereal Testing Laboratories and Modern
School for Baking Technology in Chicago, and the Bakers' Efficiency Bureau sponsored by
The Great War and the Origins of AIB, 1919-1929
As in other developing American industries, the early part of this century saw a great
many examples of the concentration of the factors of production, and direct involvement of
industry in the education and training of workers to enhance productivity and efficiency.
The importance of this general industrial trend became especially evident during the
course of World War I, and reached a degree of urgency in the baking industry due to the
vital need to produce increased amounts of acceptable foods from strictly rationed
supplies and ingredients. This was made very difficult by the limited number of trained
personnel and by the variable quality and scarcity of necessary ingredients, especially
wheat flour, and of adequate transport for both raw ingredients and finished products. The
shortage of flour was extremely serious--at one point flour was selling at $10.60 a
barrel, the highest price in 18 years, and there was only enough flour in the country to
last for six months--and no end to this situation was in sight due to the need to feed the
Even though the baking industry had experienced unprecedented growth during the war
years, the poor quality of bread and other bakery foods produced by those bakers without
scientific and technical assistance prompted many consumers to turn away from
factory-produced bread as soon as wheat and flour supplies began to return to normal after
Win Campbell, founder of the Campbell-Taggart family of bakeries, had been
appointed head of a scientific study group during the war to develop product formulas or
recipes that could be used with the substitute ingredients made necessary by rationing and
war regulations. The group was so successful that at the end of the war, commercial baking
concerns were determined to build on the foundation of trust and commonality of purpose to
create a state-of-the-art research and technology transfer center for the entire baking
Official establishment of the American Institute of Baking took place at the
22nd Annual Convention of the American Association of the Baking Industry, in Chicago, on
September 26, 1919. Approval was given to a temporary location in Minneapolis, with AABI
members pledging an initial $74,336 to operate the AIB for a period of three years, with
the implicit agreement that the Institute was to become as self-supporting as possible
after that initial period.
For some time before the actual beginning of the Institute, and even for a period after
it had actually begun operation, there was some disagreement concerning its' educational
mission, or even whether the Institute should have any educational function at all. This
was true even among those most intimately involved with its early development. As an
example, Peter Pirrie, who would become the head of the baking school only a year later,
stated flatly that:
"... it should be borne in mind that the American Institute of Baking is not a
school. It will not, at any time, enroll students as such, because if it did so it would
not only conflict with baking schools already established, but would be forced to
jeopardize its time otherwise available for research."
Instruction in applied science and in the practical aspects of
baking was originally to be supplied by the Dunwoody Institute of Minneapolis, which had
been set up in 1915. The original 1919 agreement with Dunwoody specified that the American
Bakers' Association was to provide twenty-five annual scholarships, while Dunwoody was to
establish a school for the scientific and practical training of men for the baking
industry, and that the research and technical staff of the AIB would serve as lecturers in
general and baking chemistry.
The agreement was in the form of a three-year contract between the Dunwoody Institute
and the new American Institute of Baking, with the Institute being maintained in
Minneapolis while longer-term plans were developed by baking industry leaders. The
technical and scientific services offered by this new entity with few resources and only a
limited staff were quite broad in scope and more than a little ambitious. They included
testing of ingredients for chemical and sanitary quality, determination of the
effectiveness of baking additives, development of a scoring system for bakery products in
order to define baking quality standards for breads in cooperation with the Federal
Standards Committee, development of standard methods of analysis for bakery ingredients,
simplification of existing analytical methods for better and more accessible results, all
this with a staff of only 3 persons. Furthermore, the AIB was charged with working with
the National Research Council in order to coordinate better the work of AIB's laboratories
with those of the NRC.
In addition to the intense level of practical work done at the Institute even at the
very beginning of operations, provision was made for academic research on baking chemistry
and technology. A cooperative program with the University of Minnesota was initiated
whereby research done at the Institute would be accepted as partial fulfillment of the
requirements for advanced degrees, notably the Ph.D.
During the war, consumers had been urged by the government to buy commercially-made
bread rather than to bake it themselves due to the greater efficiency of large-scale
commercial baking even at that time, and due to the fact that the home baker found it
difficult or impossible to make bread with the rice flour and corn meal that were required
to be used by law. Since the housewife often lacked the time for baking due to greater
responsibilities outside of the home, such as factory work or other war-related
responsibilities, there was a very sharp increase in bread sales during the duration of
the war. This increase was not shared evenly by all established baking companies, however.
As Dr. Bill Bradley notes in his article "Fifty Years of Progress in Conventional
"I can tell you today that most of the successful large scale baking companies of
today  stem directly back to the young, alert, aggressive bakeries which discovered
the way to meet the emergency (...) Many fine, well established companies were slow to
learn, slower to act and were outdistanced by their quicker acting competitors who thus
became the leaders in (the) great expansion period of the Baking Industry from 1920 to
As evidenced by the writings of George Ward, who succeeded Campbell as AIB's
Board Chairman, heads of major industrial baking companies were fully fledged members of
the elite fraternity of "captains of industry," and keenly conscious of the noblesse
oblige inherent in their role as business leaders and directors of the largest single
processed foods industry of the period.
As an example of this commitment, an official Code of Ethics had been adopted in 1921
by the American Association of the Baking Industry in order to promote the use of good
business and trade practices, to assure the manufacture of wholesome products produced
under sanitary conditions from wholesome ingredients, and to provide the highest possible
level of service to the public. One of the first goals of the reorganized and renamed
American Bakers Association was the effort to establish bread standards throughout the
country, with the conviction that "...bakers will either be making products which
conform to the standards or they will no longer be members of the baking industry."
The improvement in standards of sanitation, product quality, and working conditions
came about in a relatively short time, partly in reaction to consumer concerns and food
legislation, but also as a result of the shift of production from small shops to larger
manufacturing concerns. Industry leaders soon realized that improved product quality and
sanitation, as well as greater economies of scale, were dependent on the application of
science to baking, and that such science could only be managed by a better-educated and
more technically competent work force.
There was a growing conviction among industrial bakers that "bread
baking was a science worthy of a university background," as well as the feeling among
bakery managers and owners that technical training for bakery personnel was "one of
the most significant points in the present development of the industry." The American
Association of the Baking Industry entered into negotiations with Purdue University to
explore the establishment of a cooperative program for training in bakery technology, and
established a scholarship program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Harry Barnard served as
the first Director of the AIB from 1919 to 1925, and as the first president of the
organization from 1925-1927.
Due to the prestige, not to mention the considerable financial advantages, of
serving as the location of a national research and training center for what was at the
time one of the eight largest industries in the U.S., there was a great deal of interest
on the part of many municipalities and regional bakers' organizations in having the baking
industry training center located in their particular city or region.Chicago was finally
selected as the ideal site for the new baking school.
Chicago was given consideration primarily due to its central location as a terminus of
the nation's railroad network and the principal transshipping point for Great Lakes
commerce. The fact that the city was also one of the centers of the national and
international grain and flour trade, and the home of a thriving baking community, also
weighed highly in its favor. An added attraction was the availability of an existing
building which had previously been the location of the Wahl-Heinus Institute of
Fermentology, a national center for brewing science since the late 1890s which had
produced more than a thousand graduates. Prohibition had closed the Wahl-Heinus Institute,
but the building was still in good repair, and the cost of fitting it out as a baking
school was far less than that required for any of the other proposed locations. The entire
building, along with much of the fixed equipment, was offered by Max Heinus for the sum of
$135,000, which he quoted at "less than half the cost of new construction," and
only a fraction of the cost of locating in some of the other cities under consideration.
George Ward was selected chairman of the American Institute Committee in September of
1921, and on Friday, Sept. 23, 1921, entered into negotiations to acquire the Wahl-Heinus
Institute 1135 Fullerton Avenue in Chicago as home of AIB. There was some speculation at
the time that Ward's importance in these negotiations was really more than pivotal.
According to the Siebel Alumnae Bulletin, it was very likely that he may have purchased
the Institute building on his own in order to guarantee that such an opportunity not slip
The Great Depression and Beyond 1929-1942
At the 1926 meeting of the ABA Board of Directors on Nov. 16 and 17 in
Chicago, it was unanimously decided to implement a "federation plan" of
organization to "bring the national trade body up to the standard of usefulness to
the industry it ought to hold." Henry W. Stude, elected to the ABA presidency at the
1926 convention, campaigned aggressively for this overall reorganization of the ABA,
including the Institute and School of Baking. All state and group associations were to
guarantee the current level of dues paid to the national association for five years, with
a tabulation being made as to the level of support pledged for the Association itself, the
Institute of Baking, or the School of Baking. The perceived advantage was that members of
the Association would thus pay only one set of dues, and that multiple contributions to
different segments of the Association could thus be avoided. The end result of this
five-year plan was to be the evolution of the ABA from a national association with a
limited number of members to a more representative national congress of the entire baking
Stude's proposals for the AIB included rebuilding of the bakery in the School of Baking
"to the end that it may be a show place for visitors, an inspiration to instructors
and an incentive to students," appointment of a committee of bakery owners and
production managers to confer with and advise the school faculty and review the course of
instruction (the precursor to the present Educational Advisory Committee), employment of
an additional instructor so that teaching staff would have the opportunity to visit
operating bakery facilities, development of a course of lectures by baking and allied
leaders to be presented to each class, immediate development of baking extension courses
to be presented on request by district, state, or local associations, revision of the
system of bread scoring, development of home study courses in bread production, cake
production, bread sales, and retail sales, reference of the entire question of
laboratories to a special committee in order to secure a wider use of laboratory
facilities by the industry, and appointment of a committee to study the subject of
Institute short courses of two or three weeks duration for intensive study of special
topics or for allied tradesmen. It was also proposed to inform the entire baking industry
as to the nature of the Nutrition Education department, in order that better use of it
might be made by the entire industry. An advisory committee was also to be formed to
advise on the organization, use, and promotion of the library to the entire industry.
Stude seems to have received the wholehearted support of many other baking leaders in
that "The entire proceedings between the President and his Executive Committee were
so harmonious and enthusiastic that it augurs mighty well for the future of the
industry." These recommendations, which were presented on Feb. 9, 1927 to the ABA
executive committee, culminated in the resignation of Dr. Barnard on Sept. 1 of that year.
Barnard was replaced as president of the AIB by Stude on Sept. 27, at an emergency meeting
of the AIB board. At the 1927 convention of the ABA which took place two months later
Stude was elected president of both the ABA and the AIB, thus consolidating his power and
setting the stage for a period of redirected and consolidated activity for the ABA and the
AIB that was to last for a decade.
One result of this change was an almost immediate reduction in all but the most needed
technical service work, and virtual elimination of research on nutritional aspects of
breadstuffs and function of ingredients. Although the delay of this basic research posed
many problems for the industry in future years, it is also probable that this radical
"downsizing" of operations had a long-term beneficial effect on the stability of
Such severe reduction in the scope of Institute activities doubtless helped to preserve
intact the skeleton structure of the AIB during the years of the Depression. Many similar
educational and research institutions were rendered bankrupt or permanently dissolved due
to the serious economic situation which existed at that time. By formally calling into
question the continuing existence of the Institute, and by forcing the AIB to drastically
reduce expenditures and programs in basic research while at the same time promoting the
practical service aspect of Institute assistance, Henry Stude may in fact have helped to
ensure the survival of both the ABA and the AIB through a very difficult economic period.
By March of 1922, Peter Pirrie was able to state that the bakery operated by the
Institute would not be just a small-scale laboratory operation, but "a life-size
affair" to be run on a quasi-commercial basis, though products would not be for sale.
In fact, as a result of consultations with the bakers of Chicago, the bread was to be
donated to charity, beginning a tradition that continued during the whole of AIB's stay in
that city. He also noted that "Mistakes will be deliberately made in bread baking, to
show the faults of poor formulas and the unhappy results of carelessness."
By May of that same year, Pirrie reported that the school was capable of operation as a
10,000 loaf per day bakery, and also had a small twelve-man experimental bakery. In actual
fact, however, output was normally limited to a 1,000 lbs. per day basis (generally 1000
loaves or less) to allow for instructional work. Pirrie noted that instructors and others
had worked night and day in order to get the school equipment installed in time for the
new 1922 class. It is apparent that many bakery supply companies also were convinced of
the value of the school, since Pirrie was also able to note that the millers of the United
States were supplying the school with flour so that it would not be necessary to sell
bread, permitting the school to run as a purely educational institution.
Pirrie, who was first principal of the new baking school, also stated that the course
was to be extremely intense, even to the point that "while the student is assigned to
experimental baking work, he will have no time for a lunch period, and will have to eat
while on the job." It was at this time that the 16-week format of the course in
Baking Technology was first established. There was an initial offering of a bread and
rolls course alternating with a sweet goods and confectionery course, but the latter was
dropped after just a few years for lack of demand. According to a published report of that
time, the intensity of the course was not overstated.
H.R. Hopper, an AIB student who was a baker of many years' experience, said that he had
never worked harder, and that after ten hours in the school he frequently had "enough
home study to keep us going until midnight." Hopper further noted that:
"The men have to work to get their diploma. Those who had already received a
college education were able to assimilate the technical lectures more easily, of course,
and those who were already experienced bakers obtained higher points on the practical
baking days. A finer collection of men I have never met anywhere. They come from all parts
of the world, most of them from the United States and Canada, but men have also been
enrolled from England, Switzerland, Japan, Germany."
William Walmsley succeeded Pirrie as Principal of the AIB School of Baking.
Walmsley had been a professional baker and baking instructor for some time, and had
enlisted in the Quartermaster Corps in 1917 as a private after leaving his job as test
baker for Pillsbury Flour Mills, served briefly in the post bakery at Fort Snelling, MN
before being sent through a special six-week course at the Dunwoody Institute in
Minneapolis, then was transferred to the principal School for Bakery and Cooks located at
Fort Riley, KS. Walmsley was assigned to Bakery Company 343 as a sergeant, but by May 1918
was both a 2nd lieutenant in Bakery Company 350 and chief instructor at the school. After
notable service in France and in the army of the Occupation, Walmsley returned to the U.S.
to become superintendent of the Cleveland plant of the Ward Baking Company. Shortly
thereafter, at the request of George S. Ward, president of the AIB board of directors, he
became an instructor and eventually principal of that school. In the minds and hearts of
his many students, he came to be known as "Mr. AIB."
One of the original functions of the American Institute of Baking was the
operation of a library for the collection and dissemination of research on baking, the
position of librarian first being occupied by Rosabelle Priddat, then by a number of
professional and non-professional personnel until the employment of Ruth Emerson in 1947,
twenty-eight years after the founding of the Institute and twenty-two years after the
dedication of the Louis Livingston Library.
The resource collection with which AIB had begun its existence did not concentrate on
the science of baking at all, but had originated as a sizeable collection of works on
fermentology, particularly beer brewing, as the library of the the Wahl-Henius Institute,
an internationally known brewing school founded in 1886. When Prohibition closed the
brewing school and the building was purchased by the American Institute of Baking in 1922,
Mr. Henius maintained an office rent free in the building, the library remaining his
property and serving as a resource for both his work and that of the AIB.
The Wahl-Henius collection was unique and valuable, containing many works on chemistry,
physics, biology and biochemistry, in addition to specialized items on fermentation in
English, German, and several other European languages. It was purchased from Max Henius in
1925 by Julian and Milton Livingston and subsequently donated to the AIB as the Louis
Livingston Library, in memory of their father, a successful Chicago baker who had been
especially well-known for the quality of his rye bread. The association of the Livingston
family with the Institute library continued for more than a half century. When the AIB
moved to the new building on Ontario Street in 1950, the Livingston family again
generously provided the library facilities as a continuing memorial.
Although the majority of baking books added to the collection after 1925 were in
English, such as the pioneer work Technology of Bread-Making by the British
bakery researcher and educator William Jago, many other valuable works continued to be
acquired in other languages, either as purchases or gifts from bakers, researchers, other
institutions such as the Siebel Institute, and trade and scientific publishers. Some of
these items, such as the Japanese-language Scientific Bread-making Industry
received in 1930, illustrate the considerable influence of the AIB on the baking world
even at that early date, since the author, K. Mitzutani, had dedicated it to his former
instructors at the Institute. Other items, such as an autographed 2-volume set of the
works of the French author Carême, a finely-printed and illustrated L'art du
boulanger, and numerous German-language books published before 1860 were and are
valuable both as sources of information on baking processes and products and as historical
artifacts in their own right.
Due to the relative scarcity of technical and professional books on baking, especially
during the early years of the Institute, one of the most highly utilized parts of the
library was the massive vertical file collection, begun by the first AIB librarian, R.E.
Priddat about 1924. From very early in the history of the Institute the Library vertical
files have functioned both as an information source and an unofficial archive, containing
hundreds of published and unpublished research reports, manuscripts, laboratory notes,
carbon copies of articles, interviews and speeches. There are also thousands of
consumer-quantity recipes from popular magazines, and more thousands of
commercial-quantity professional bakers' formulas in the form of clippings from trade
journals and printed formula collections issued by baking ingredient companies or other
supply and service agencies. There are also many troubleshooting bulletins published by
ingredient company service representatives, industry technical writers, AIB researchers
and technical personnel, and consulting writers for the American Society of Baking.
The third major component of the Livingston Library resource base has always been the
collection of scientific and technical journals on baking and related fields, including
titles such as Bakers Helper, published from 1887 to 1951, Bakers' Digest,
published from 1941 to 1984, Bakers Weekly from 1919 through 1967, Baker's
Review, from 1919 to 1968, the annual proceedings issues of the meetings of both the
American Society of Baking and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers' Association, and Southwestern
Miller, now Milling and Baking News. The support of technical journal
publishers has always been especially vital to the success of AIB's mission, and numerous
baking journal and newsletter publishers have provided complimentary subscriptions of
their publications to the library for many years.
While these journals form a unique resource for the baking industry, for the first
quarter-century of the library's existence it was difficult to utilize them for research
or to answer practical questions without expending a great deal of time and physical
effort. Early librarians attempted to solve this problem through the compilation of
subject bibliographies and "package libraries" of clippings and other
information on specific subjects, but the work was extremely tedious and time consuming.
The Baker Boy Goes to War, 1942-1945
Although a matter of concern, the impact of food shortages and restrictions on
the American baking industry was felt to a somewhat lesser degree than in the First World
War, due to enlistment of industry under government orders and the commitment of the
country on a total war footing. As early as the end of 1941 there was a great reduction in
the available sugar supply. In addition to reduced stocks of wheat flour, there were
reductions in fats, oils, and shortenings, reduction or elimination of cellophane and
special wrappings, and extension of the working life of baking machinery far beyond
normal. In fact, there was essentially no replacement of baking machinery for the duration
of the entire conflict.
In the face of these shortages and restrictions, the baking industry was obligated to
actually increase the nutritional value of bread and bakery products and to achieve
greater economies of production than ever before. Due to scarcities in other foods,
consumption of wheat products in the American diet increased from 25% in 1939 to 40% in
1944. The number of bread and cake bakers in the U.S. increased by 27% from 1943 to 1944
alone, with a gain of 65% in production volume during that same period. In that single
year white bread production increased by 11% and rye bread by 9%, with a sharp increase in
cake production as well. A survey conducted in 1944 indicated that commercial bakers
supplied 85% of all bread and 35% of the cake consumed in that year, although profits were
lower than in 1943 because of increased ingredient costs.
During the earliest stages of the war, many AIB graduates were inducted into the
various services. However, this limited supply of trained personnel was not sufficient,
and it rapidly became apparent that, as in all the other armed conflicts in which the U.S.
had been involved, that there was a need for the training of men to produce nutritious and
palatable bakery products under field bakery conditions. The Army operated the Jackson
Barracks Field Bakery School in New Orleans, with seven bakery companies and more than
1000 troops, few of whom had much baking experience. This school operated 112 field ovens
and produced more than 180,000 lbs. of bread per day under open air conditions.
The direct involvement of AIB in the war effort increased dramatically in early 1942,
when the U.S. Army took over the Institute and staff on a "considered cost"
basis. The Army School for Advanced Baking carried on operations at AIB from February 1942
until mid-August 1943, during which time a total of 927 graduates was turned out. Major
Charles F. Kearney was responsible for the overall program, with 1st Lt. Harry W.
McCormick serving as on-site liaison officer from March through July, 1942, followed by
1st Lt. Arthur Freeland from July through November 1942, and 1st Lt. Ralph J. Shea from
November 1942 until the termination of the program in August 1943.
This was not the Institute's first incidence of involvement with the military. In 1923,
AIB baking labs had helped Major Robert Littlejohn solve problems with "green"
or unaged flour to produce acceptable bread. In 1924 a delegation of U.S. Army and Navy
personnel, along with one representative of the French armed forces, toured the Institute
to examine the baking school and research labs. AIB had actually been involved in the
training of Quartermaster Corps personnel in bakery management for some years before the
war, ten officers and two non-commissioned officers having completed the AIB
"civilian" course from 1931 through 1939. Among these were Colonel Paul P. Logan
and Lieutenant Colonel Charles F. Kearney, both of the Office of the Quartermaster
General. It was at the request of Lt. Colonel Kearney that AIB Principal William Walmsley
prepared several proposed plans of instruction for review by the Office of the
Quartermaster General. After the approval of one of the plans at a conference in
Washington, Lt. Colonel Kearney inspected the Institute in January of 1942 to approve the
suitability of the facilities for the instruction of Army personnel.
Upon the announcement of the Army's contract with AIB, Bakers' Weekly noted that
William Walmsley, principal of the AIB, had been involved in the installation of Army
bakeries in France during the First World War. Walmsley's involvement was actually
somewhat more extensive than that statement would seem to indicate, and the instructional
methods used at AIB during the Advanced School for Army Bakers were in part derived from
his experiences as commander of a bakery company at Liffol Le Grand in France during the
First World War. Walmsley was very familiar with both the Army and field baking
conditions, and had been known in Europe as an innovative and efficient officer. In
addition to AIB's officer graduates, he had many contacts in the military, both through
his service in the First World War and the subsequent fifteen years which he spent as an
Army Reserve captain. All of these factors were doubtless important considerations in the
selection of AIB as a primary training center for Quartermaster Corps personnel.
Although the Army operated more than ninety schools for cooks and bakers in
the U.S. at the time, the School for Advanced Baking Instruction was unique in that it
taught only one subject -army bread- and spent 2/3 to 5/6 of instructional time in the
actual baking of bread under field conditions.
Baking was taught under field or battle conditions, the yard of the Institute being
crowded with various types of field ovens and even with emergency battle expedients such
as oil drum or earth-banked ovens. Early classes of the Advanced Baking School were also
transported to nearby forest reserves to set up and operate field bakeries under the most
primitive conditions, and all classes also had to operate under simulated
"blackout" and with the "loss" of important equipment items such as
oven fireboxes, mixers, and proof boxes.
The Army courses were conducted at AIB in Chicago under three separate contracts for
approximately eighteen months, although more room for the field baking exercises was badly
needed. In recommending a fourth contract, Col. W.R. Reynolds, Director of the Military
Training Division, stated that:
"It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the benefits already derived from the
education given Army personnel to date by this institution is in a great measure
responsible for the high standard established throughout the Army in the products produced
by both garrison and field bakeries."
The contract was not renewed, however, due to the General Order of the War Department
to discontinue use of civilian facilities for service training schools. In all, nearly
1000 military personnel were trained in fundamental and advanced bakery techniques at
In September, 1943, the course was moved to Ft. Lee, Virginia, where it was to operate
for the next two years. AIB personnel continued to act as instructors in the Advanced
Baking School, since Principal Walmsley and Instructors Norton and Killon were granted
leaves of absence for that period by the directors of the Institute.
Following the cessation of hostilities with the end of World War II, the
School of Baking at AIB experienced an unprecedented growth which mirrored that undergone
by many institutions of higher education or adult learning during that same period. One of
the reasons for this growth was, of course, the G.I. Bill, which made it possible for
millions to seek higher education with the support of the U.S. government. A more
fundamental reason, however, was that the entire nature of the baking industry had
undergone a gradual evolution, and that it required more technically competent personnel
to oversee increasingly complex manufacturing processes, including the continuous-mix
process of bread production.
"The men operating successful bakeries today are highly trained business
executives who have built the industry from a lowly and despised business to one of the
largest and most respected. To continue building the industry to still higher levels we
will have to maintain a better balance between business management and production. We have
ample business schools to furnish a continual flow to students to handle the office
routine, but we sorely lack institutions for the training of technical bakery engineers.
We are still adhering to the obsolete method of apprenticeship in the bakeshop and then
follow up with a short course in technical training. Whereas in other fields the process
is reversed, the technical course is given first and then followed by practical
application. Aren't we putting the wagon before the horse?
For some time it had been apparent that the old AIB building at 1135 West Fullerton
Avenue had been outgrown, and that it was "greatly overcrowded and unsuited to much
of the work which needs to be done." Due in great part to the anticipated influx of
new students at the end of the war, consideration was given as early as 1945 to the
building of a new and larger facility. During the October, 1945 meetings of the Board of
Directors of the American Institute of Baking in Chicago, it was decided that both the AIB
building and school curriculum were in need of revamping.
The old building was sold, ironically to the Wahl-Henius Institute which had originally
sold the same property to AIB, with the provision that AIB vacate the premises by Sept. 1,
1950. A lot was purchased on East Ontario Street and McClurg Court for the sum of
$119,641.71, of which $85,000 was provided as a loan by the American Bakers Foundation.
The cost of construction, estimated at $700,000, was provided by a loan from the American
Bakers' Association, the parent organization of the AIB. The new home of the Institute was
considerably more spacious than the 27,000 square-foot Wahl-Henius building, with more
than 40,000 square feet of space, of which the School of Baking occupied 16,000 square
feet. This was divided among four multi-purpose classrooms with accordion wall partitions,
a science laboratory, a bake shop housing three ovens, an air-conditioned proof box and
fermentation room, and numerous items of processing equipment. In addition to the school,
space was allocated for two other important recent additions to the AIB program, both of
which also had missions which either were initially or which became basically educational
in nature. These were the Consumer Service Department and the Department of Bakery
Sanitation. Growth in both of these programs, as well as in the Baking School, resulted in
the construction of a second-floor addition over the central and east wings of the
"new" building in 1956, at a cost of only $200,000, since the original
architectural planning for the building had taken the future need for additional space
Postwar Growth and Expansion, 1945-1964
Howard O. Hunter served as President of the AIB, replacing Lou Caster.
Hunter was a dynamic leader and extremely competent administrator, and his period of
service coincided with rapid expansion of three major Institute service departments. Under
his twelve-year stewardship, AIB continued to operate at a modest budget surplus. Towards
the very end of his tenure, however, U.S. social, political, and economic conditions
resulted in a gradual decline in support for AIB programs.
AIB Sanitation Department and Dr. Ed. Holmes
In addition to the hard-felt shortages in supplies, personnel, and ingredients, the Second
World War and the preceding Great Depression had contributed to long-term neglect of the
facilities of food production, a situation that became keenly apparent in the post-war
years. George P. Larrick, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Commission in the early 1950s,
"During this period of economic difficulty many firms, including some in the
baking industry, conserved their limited resources by economizing on the costs of plant
and equipment upkeep, and also by spending as little as possible on housekeeping. These
economies inevitably led to a deterioration in the physical condition of the plant and
equipment. As a result, plant sanitation suffered. This period of depression was followed
by war. Skilled manpower became scarce. It was difficult and sometimes impossible to
procure materials essential for adequate plant upkeep."
The combination of a deep economic depression, followed by a total war during which
there were a great many shortages of all types, resulted in the severe deterioration of
many food producing establishments, including numerous baking plants. As a result of this
unfortunate situation, a new version of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act was
enacted, which mandated higher standards of sanitation in food processing and handling
establishments and set penalties for violations of these standards.
As an example of the seriousness of the problem, Larrick quotes the annual FDA report
for 1944 noting that: "Again in 1944, well over a million pounds of insect-infested
and rodent-contaminated flour was seized. A large percentage of the flour became
contaminated after shipment, as a result of storage in infested warehouses and
In response to this situation, and largely due to the efforts of Louis Caster, the
Institute established a new Department of Bakery Sanitation in December, 1945, with one
clerical employee and one sanitarian / director, Dr. E.L. Holmes, to which one additional
person "thoroughly conversant with the practical problems in sanitation confronting
bakery management" was added in 1948.
Since a critical need existed for the the dissemination of information on the
importance of bakery sanitation, AIB's first activities in this area involved the
publication of informational and training bulletins and attendance and presentations at
local, state, and national bakers' meetings. The result of this initial thrust was a
series of seventeen bulletins on aspects of bakery sanitation published from 1945 through
1950, and widely distributed throughout the food industry.
In 1946 a second facet was added to the AIB effort, with the presentation of courses on
food plant sanitation held throughout the United States. These courses were presented by
AIB sanitarians, assisted by food sanitation and safety officials from Federal, state, and
local offices. The first special course, in 1946, "was converted into a traveling
circus giving 25 performances from coast to coast and from New England to the Gulf."
In 1947, courses were held in Los Angeles, Portland Oregon, New York, Pittsburgh, Dallas,
and Atlanta, for a total of 395 students. By 1954 more than 33 such courses had been
given, resulting in specialized training for more than 1500 individuals throughout the
U.S. food industry. It soon became evident that even these efforts were not sufficient to
deal with the nationwide problem of unsanitary food plant conditions, and as a result an
in-plant sanitation training program was begun in 1948. From virtually the beginning of
the Sanitation Education program, a multi-faceted approach to bakery sanitation was
utilized, combining inspection of food plants with the on-site training of plant personnel
in the establishment and maintenance of proper sanitation, supplemented by the issuance of
informational materials and the conduct of special off-site courses in bakery sanitation
for plant sanitarians and other key personnel, along with a "graduate" course in
sanitation offered beginning in 1952.
The growth and influence of AIB's sanitation program was rapid, both under the
leadership of Dr. Holmes and of Louis A. King, Jr., who had succeeded him in 1952. By
1954, sanitary conditions in the Baking Industry had been improved to the point that
George Larrick was able to state that: "In any event, it is our view that the
inspection service provided by the Department of Bakery Sanitation has made an important
contribution to the tremendous improvement in bakery sanitation which has taken place over
the years.(...)We are convinced that the present generally excellent sanitary practices in
the American baking industry have been in no small measure brought about by this
Department.(...)and all in all had demonstrated the great value of self-regulation by an
By 1957 more than 450 major bakeries were subscribers to the program, and the
department staff included ten sanitarians under the Direction of Mr. King, along with a
bacteriologist, Richard J. Makowski, who had been transferred from the AIB laboratories.
In 1968, the Sanitation Education department conducted inspections of 920 baking and food
plants, some of which received more than one visit.
AIB was also directly involved in the compilation of sanitary standards for baking
equipment, as a member of the Baking Industry Sanitary Standards Committee, and conducted
a conference to assist in the drafting and implementation of practices for the handling of
potentially hazardous bakery foods as a segment of the Good Manufacturing Practice for
Sanitation promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration in 1968.
Ruth Emerson was employed as AIB librarian in 1947, and came to her position with degrees
in both food science and library science. Miss Emerson addressed the problem of access to
research published in journals early in her career, initiating the development of a system
that she called her "non-electronic computer," a massive author-title-subject
card index to articles, formulations, patents, and all types of other baking and food
science information. This project, which she began early in 1958 and continued for
virtually her entire career at AIB, remains her most enduring legacy to the baking
industry, and is gradually being incorporated into AIB's current in-house computer
The maintenance of such a specialized collection posed numerous problems, not the least
of which was the development of a system of subject classification. Such a system had been
in development since the earliest years of the Institute, and Ruth Emerson systematically
built on the efforts of her predecessors in maintaining access to the collection of
vertical file materials. Due to the unique nature of both the vertical file and book
collections, specialized subject heading lists were also developed for both of these
collections, based generally on standard library subject classification schemes, but
extensively modified to provide a much more detailed access to baking information.
Ruth Emerson also had the distinction of "moving" the entire library at least
three times. The first occasion was the move from original Wahl-Henius building on
Fullerton to the newly-constructed headquarters on Ontario Street. Due to the need for
meeting space for short-term seminars, the library was relocated in 1970, following
reconstruction of a 2300 square foot storage area on the second floor for library use and
installation of a stairwell and stairs to provide access to Ontario street. The third move
was much more involved, as it required preparation of the entire collection for the move
to Manhattan, Kansas. This included many miscellaneous uncataloged and unclassified
materials, such as the complete transcript of the Bread Enrichment Hearings and the
literature files of the Consumer Service Department, sets of AIB Technical and Research
Department bulletins, and publications from the American Bakers Association and the Bakery
Equipment Manufacturers Association. Without her intercession, most of this unclassified
material would have been lost or discarded. It is unfortunate that the demands of her work
prohibited any effort at classifying or indexing any of these items.
Ruth Emerson's unflagging energy and continued interest in the improvement of the
collection may be judged by her proposal to the Wheat Industry Council just four years
before her retirement. She proposed nothing less than "to develop and maintain an
indexed world literature resource collection on the nutritional aspects of wheat and wheat
foods" to be maintained at AIB in hard copy form. This was to include "all
possible references to wheat and wheat products and their effects on nutrition and and to
factors affecting marketability of wheat and wheat products," with materials to be
selected from AIB's index files, published bibliographies, various computerized databases,
and the indexes and resources of major libraries such as the USDA in Beltsville, MD, the
FMBRA library in Chorleywood, England, the libraries of the Bundesforschungsanstalt fur
Getreide und Kartoffel Verarbertung in Detmold, Germany and several other world class food
research libraries. To accomplish such a monumental task she requested only two part-time
graduate assistants and a clerical assistant. Perhaps unfortunately for AIB, Kansas State
University, and the U.S. wheat industry, her proposal was not accepted.
Emerson remained with AIB until 1983, becoming in the process the "senior"
employee of the Institute with more than 37 years of continuous service to her credit. She
provided a continuity of organization and focus that was badly needed during the period of
rapid technological growth in the baking industry that followed the Second World War. In
the process, she became well-known for her capacious memory and encyclopedic knowledge of
baking, and was recognized as a major resource in her own right when the Louis Livingston
Library was renamed in her honor at the meeting of the AIB Board of Trustees at Atlantic
City in 1984.
One of the original concerns of the founders of the American Institute of Baking had
been the desire to provide education to consumers concerning the nutritional aspects and
health advantages of consumption of bakery goods produced under scientific management and
sanitary conditions. Although this function was not entirely devoid of self-interest --
one of the purposes was, after all, to sell more bread -- it was nevertheless a very
important task in the face of virulent anti-bread (and anti-carbohydrate) proclamations of
self-proclaimed "experts" who were most often uninformed and uneducated
"health food" faddists. Although AIB championed the nutritional advantages of
bread from the Institute's very beginnings, primarily through press releases and
interviews published in popular magazines and newspapers, the intensive public debate
prompted by bread enrichment during World War II and subsequently led to the creation of
the Consumer Service Department in 1944, of which the Nutrition Education department
became one segment.
The work of the Nutrition Education department took two main thrusts: the first was the
development of recipes and illustrative materials for use by both homemakers and
foodservice personnel. As early as 1947 more than one million copies total of the ten
different items developed during that year were distributed, along with 300,000 items of
printed matter from the AIB Test Kitchen. Seventeen years later, during the year 1962,
demand had grown to the point that the department filled requests for more than four
million copies of its publications and published bakery-related food news releases in
newspapers with a combined readership of 515 million - several times the total population
of the country at that time. By 1968, last year of its operation, this service had reached
an estimated total of 8.1 billion readers and developed 14,000 recipes and food use ideas,
all based on the use of bakery products.
The second main focus of the department was the development of classroom teaching
materials on nutrition. In all, 68 teaching packages were developed for use at all grade
levels. From 1953 through 1968, an estimated 760,000 requests from educators resulted in
distribution of 49.6 million items. The AIB-developed "Wheel of Good Eating" was
probably the most widely-recognized and had the most widespread distribution, being
reprinted in many elementary and secondary school textbooks and forming the basis for
subsequent nutrition schematics distributed by the U.S. Dept. of Health, USDA, and other
agencies. The total circulation of the "Wheel of Good Eating" is thought to have
reached 13 million copies by 1956. Indeed, it was not until the 1992 issuance of the
controversial "Food Pyramid" by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that the
"Wheel of Good Eating" concept was finally replaced altogether. The pamphlet
"Eat and Grow Slim" was another widely distributed single item, with total
distribution of more than 11 million in nine different revisions.
As might be expected from the volume of distribution of these materials, the staff of
the Department of Nutrition grew accordingly. A field staff of four persons was added to
the department in 1953, with one home economist being based in Los Angeles, another in
Dallas, a third in Philadelphia, and a fourth in Atlanta. All of these individuals had at
least a B.S. or equivalent in a nutrition-related field, and most had experience in radio
and television production work. This initial field staff eventually grew to nine, and in
1959 alone lectured or presented workshops in 486 cities in 47 states and the District of
Columbia. By that same year the overall program had grown to a staff of eighteen home
economists, nutritionists, and journalists, with a clerical staff of nine. In the first
six months of 1959, this department shipped more than 1,256,008 items in response to more
than 21,357 requests, much of which was underwritten by individual baking companies.
The Consumer Service Department continued in operation for nearly twenty-four years,
from its inception in 1944 until being disbanded in October 1968, but its influence was
such that requests for reprints of materials published by the department were received as
recently as 1992. Declining industry support for the program, as well as the emergence of
similar but less far-reaching agencies operated by other associations, had made the
continued operation a financial drain on the Institute for some years prior to the demise
of the department. In 1968, the Test Kitchen and related activities were dissolved, and
the Nutrition program was integrated into the work of the Research Department.
The "Years of Attrition:" 1964-1972
By mid-year of 1959, the total number of professional and administrative
employees at AIB had grown to more than fifty, with clerical workers bringing the total
staff to nearly one hundred. General economic and social conditions were to strain the
ability of the Institute to support so many employees, and would again bring into question
the need for such an organization.
The 1960s were hard years financially for AIB, with the end of a $500,000 ten-year
grant (at $50,000 per year) for basic research from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation. An
effort was made to form a capital fund for the support of fundamental scientific research,
but by January, 1963, fewer than 120 firms had pledged only about $1 million, less than
half of the amount needed. Although basic foods research had been one of the original
purposes behind the founding of the Institute, many within the industry failed to grasp
the importance of the concept: A similar Capital Fund for Research had not grown
substantially by 1969, when Russell J. Hug, Chairman of the AIB Board of Directors,
reported that: "So far the campaign to establish this (2.2 million) fund is less than
half subscribed." Apparently Mr. Hug's concern reached at least as far as Charles W.
Call, the President of Ward Foods and Mr. Hug's employer, who responded with a check in
the amount of $100,000.
The Biscuit Bakers Institute, which had rented space from the AIB since 1962 and
maintained a contract for analytical lab work ceased its much smaller contribution in
1965. More serious, however, were the funding difficulties of the Bakers of America
Program, which had been the chief financial support of the Consumer Service Department.
Contributions to the ABA for this department's operation had suffered a 75% decline in
contributions over the past decade. The decrease in income for the Institute was
significant, falling from more than $226,486 in 1963 to $71,573.60 in 1964, and to zero in
The loss of income from the Bakers of America program essentially reduced the budget of
the Consumer Service Department to a level approximating 1952, and resulted in the
elimination of most of the Consumer Service field staff of approximately fifteen persons,
it being possible to fund only two field staff positions for 1963 from AIB funds, another
two from remaining Bakers of America funds, and one other from contributions. Operations
of the department were greatly reduced, with mailings limited to distribution at cost of
materials developed prior to 1964.
Financial problems did not initially improve under the presidency of Dr. Bill Bradley,
with the first six months of 1964 showing a "slow but steady trend towards membership
reductions and cancellations--with very little compensating increase in new
memberships," a situation intensified by substantial decreases in contributions from
some major Allied members and cancellations by other long-time members in 1965. An
industry-wide campaign to raise funds for the bakery program at Kansas State "had
brought the Capital Fund for Basic Research campaign to a grinding halt." Further
competition for funding was presented by the development of the Wheat and Wheat Foods
Council. In an effort to counter the effects of these developments, to extend the contacts
of the Institute more widely within the baking and allied trades, and to reduce the burden
of Institute-related duties on individual members, the decision to expand the board of
directors from 19 to 29 members was taken in April of 1966. In order to partially offset
the increased expenses of operation of the school, the tuition for the Science of Baking
course was increased for the first time since 1946, from $450 to $500.
Financial difficulties continued throughout the latter years of the 1960s. By 1968, for
example, pledges to the Capital Fund for basic research had risen to only $800,000, far
short of the projected $2.2 million. Food publicity activities of the Consumer Education
Department were effectively discontinued, and the department, much reduced in funding and
personnel, was renamed the Nutrition Education Department. By 1969, the situation had
become serious enough that Russell Hug, Chairman of the AIB Board of Directors, expressed
deep concern that due to rising costs and the necessity of staff cuts in the face of
static Institute income, there was a danger that AIB's crucial role as technical spokesman
for the baking industry was endangered, and that "activities and effective programs
to the Industry will be curtailed." Since the pilot-experimental bakery operated by
the Institute was deemed "too costly to operate to justify its continuance," the
entire operation was sold to the Sarah Lee Corporation. Due to these measures and to
stringent cost-controls and divestment of poorly-producing stocks in the Institute
portfolio, it was still possible to end the year within budget projections, for the
eighteenth straight year.
Continuing inflation in every sector of the economy did not bypass the Institute, which
suffered increased losses of members and of membership dues from both baker members and
allied companies. AIB's President, Dr. Bill Bradley, noted that "...many companies
are cutting back, and others withdrawing support of the Institute through economy moves
while other support is being lost in mergers, etc., of member companies," while the
support of many existing members was "only in a token amount." As a result, AIB
entered 1971 anticipating an operating deficit for the second year in a row, a situation
that was to continue for the next several years.
In an effort to deal with the problems resulting from declining funds and the reduction
of Institute services, AIB contracted in 1972 for the services of Marts and Lundy, a
fund-raising consulting company based in New York, attempting to "come up with a
viable fund-raising program for the Institute." An important facet of the study was a
series of face-to-face confidential interviews with 25 key persons in the baking and
allied trades industries.
Ernest B. Hueter, who had become chairman of the AIB board of directors in 1973, stated
that he "sensed a feeling of total disinterest and dissatisfaction for the
Institute" at that time, and determined that major changes would have to be made if
the organization were to continue to exist. He noted that:
"I realized that we were missing tremendous opportunities (...) It was evident
that if we were going to do something with A.I.B., rather than let it continue on its
downward course, somebody had to take hold of it, find out what was wrong with it, and
come up with a solution to turn it around and make it more contemporary, make it better
serve those who supported it and make a more viable entity of it."
Although the board initially began to examine all aspects of Institute functions, it
soon became apparent that the time necessary for such a project was more than could be
borne by the individual members, and it was recommended by C.J. Patterson that a
professional company be hired to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Institute. Since
both Hueter and Patterson were located in Kansas City and were familiar with the high
degree of professionalism and excellent reputation of the Midwest Research Institute
(MRI), this organization was chosen to conduct the nonpartisan audit.
Following the resignation of Dr. Bill Bradley as president of the AIB, Mrs.
Ellen Semrow was unanimously elected by the AIB Board to succeed him on May 15, 1973,
taking charge of the organization at a low point in its fiscal and developmental health.
Mrs. Semrow had worked for AIB in developing the test kitchen and its programs in the
Consumer Service Department, and had gained valuable management experience through leaving
the Institute for six years to work as assistant director of the Hotpoint Institute and
director of home economics for the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers. She
returned to AIB as Director of the Nutrition Education Department in 1951, and was thus
familiar with the problems the Institute had experienced over the past two decades. As the
editorial staff of Baking Industry magazine noted in a tongue-in-cheek introduction to a
June, 1973 interview with Mrs. Semrow:
"The powers that be at the American Institute of Baking were not striking a blow
for Women's Lib when they selected Ellen Semrow as the new president. They were seeking
the best "man" available."
Even though AIB's financial picture improved somewhat during the three years of Mrs.
Semrow's administration, turning "a six-year deficit into a three-year surplus,"
there were still areas of very real concern, especially the continuing decline in support
from AIB Allied Industry members. In January of 1975, for example, only 63% of the
membership contributions had been received by the Institute, compared with 81% in January
of 1974. This decline continued throughout Mrs. Semrow's tenure, as noted by her statement
that "The only negative note (at midyear 1976) in what has been a successful six
months is the loss of allied members, both in numbers and in dollar support."
In fact, the Institute's poor visibility and lack of identity both within and without
the industry was slowly strangling it, with income from both baker and allied groups at
the same level in 1974 as it had been 17 years previously...a sad state of affairs for an
institution largely dependent on voluntary contributions from members for its continued
existence. The baking industry was taking advantage of AIB's production of trained
personnel, but was making little real effort to fund the training facilities.
Part of the problem was perhaps due to the lack of adequate communication with the
industry on the part of AIB itself...not surprising when one considers that AIB's public
relations department budget, which was $23,000 in 1963, had remained at that same figure
until 1974! The problem was compounded by the fact that AIB lacked an actual sales force,
and had to depend largely on the goodwill of editors of industry trade magazines and on
word-of-mouth for sales of its products.
In the face of so much adversity, it was inevitable that the situation was viewed with
a degree of dark humor. President Semrow noted that:
"Your president sometimes has the feeling that she is studying and directing
program activities, coping with income and expenditure problems from behind a growing pile
of mortar, bricks, and pillars, standing all the while on a floor through which water is
bubbling. (...) Repair problems arising with the 23-year aging of the building and
equipment are with us. Deferred replacements for office equipment in order to conserve
funds can no longer be put off. All this is topped off with growing inflation."
In spite of these obstacles, efforts by staff and administration contributed to a
degree of cautious optimism. Among others, Chairman Hueter's attitude had become much more
positive, especially in comparison to his remarks of just a year earlier. He noted that
there was a feeling that "first and foremost, the AIB is experiencing a rebirth.
There is a vibrant and healthy attitude of growth and service...a fresh, new and vital
involvement of not only staff, but equally important, the Board of Trustees, and the
membership itself." Hueter's change seems to illustrate that he felt that at long
last, some carefully planned steps were being taken to insure the future of the Institute,
the most significant of which proved to be the strategic audit to be conducted by Midwest
The recommendations of the MRI study group had the effect of a bombshell upon the
baking community. MRI's recommendations were first reviewed by AIB's Long Range Planning
Committee, chaired by Mr. C.J. Patterson of Kansas City. At the January, 1975, meeting of
the AIB Board of Trustees the committee recommended that the trustees "initiate an
immediate follow-on research project to examine the feasibility of moving AIB to
Manhattan, Kansas, and establishing a loose affiliation with Kansas State
University." Although the Board accepted the recommendation in principle, it also
voted to proceed with a study by board members and the AIB president to look at relocation
options other than Kansas State University.
At the March 3, 1975 meeting of the Board, President Ellen H. Semrow reported on six
other university towns as possible alternatives to Kansas State University and Manhattan.
These other locations included Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Michigan State
University in Lansing, North Dakota State University in Fargo, the University of Nebraska
at Lincoln, the University of Minnesota at St. Paul, and Lewis University in Lockport,
Illinois, the last named primarily to allow AIB to remain in the Chicago area.
On April 2, 1975, Jeff Maillie of MRI presented data on the seven possible location
choices, evaluated in the MRI report according to fifteen possible criteria. In the course
of her interviews with Mr. Maillie, President Semrow had given the highest scores to (1)
Michigan State University, followed by (2) Lewis University, (3) the University of
Minnesota, (4) Colorado State University, (5) the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, (6)
Kansas State University, and (7) North Dakota State University. The appraisal by MRI staff
was strikingly different, ranking the university affiliations as (1) Kansas State
University, (2) University of Nebraska at Lincoln, (3) Michigan State University, (4)
University of Minnesota, (5) North Dakota State University, (6) Colorado State University,
and (7) Lewis University. There was clearly a vast difference in the two appraisals.
Kansas State University and Manhattan, Kansas were clearly the winners in this
evaluation. It was obvious that all groups polled, plus the AIB president, showed that the
clear choice for the "Nation's Leading Institution in Baking" was either AIB or
Kansas State, with none of the other institutions being even close. The decision to be
made was clear, and:
"After considerable discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the
recommendation of the Long Range Planning Committee that the feasibility study from this
point out be limited to consideration of moving AIB to Manhattan, Kansas and engaging in
an association with Kansas State University versus maintaining the AIB in Chicago on its
present premises with or without an association with Lewis University."206
Following receipt of the MRI Feasibility Study by the Trustees, however, it became
apparent that the Lewis College affiliation was no longer a matter for consideration. At
the August 12, 1975 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Chairman of the Long Range
Planning Committee, C.J. Patterson, reported that his committee accepted the conclusions
and recommendations of that report, and Chairman Hueter stated that he was considering the
appointment of a steering committee to oversee the move, noting that "... the many
changes which have taken place have made it imperative to determine now what is best for
the Institute's survival and, further, to provide for its future growth and
In an historic and fateful move, the Trustees voted 20 to 2 to adopt a resolution
approving the Feasibility Report of MRI and to approve and authorize the relocation of the
AIB from Chicago to Manhattan, Kansas, contingent upon approval of a plan to finance the
move. The Trustees also approved, by a vote of 21 to 1, a resolution calling for purchase
bids on the existing AIB property at 400 East Ontario Street. A vote by the AIB Membership
at the Annual Meeting on October 14, 1975, served to ratify the decision of the Board,
since 174 members voted in favor of the move, with only two abstaining. A new era, fraught
with both perils and possibilities, was about to open for the Institute.
"From the Ground Up" 1975-1976
The projected change in location also entailed a change in administration,
and as a result there was considerable uncertainty among the Chicago staff regarding their
situation. A search for the new AIB president, under the direction of Morton Sosland of
Kansas City, was begun in early 1976, with the assistance of the Lawrence Leiter Agency of
Kansas City. The final choice of the Selection Committee was Dr. William J. Hoover, who
was hired effective October 1, 1976 with the interim title of Chief Executive Officer,
upon unanimous decision of the Board of Trustees.
In an effort to accommodate management needs during the transition period, the
projected retirement date for President Semrow was extended for one year, from Aug. 31,
1976 to Aug. 31, 1977, after more than 25 years of service to the Institute. Mrs. Semrow
was to conduct administrative operations in Chicago during the "winding down" of
AIB operations at that location, and carried out these duties with a high degree of
professionalism, in spite of her bitter personal opposition to the relocation of the
Institute. She was, as noted by her successor, Dr. Bill Hoover, a "good scout"
throughout this very difficult transitional period.
In addition to Mrs. Semrow, many of the AIB staff and administration remained against
such a radical change, and showed a good deal of opposition to making the move from a
major city to the relatively rural environment of a small midwestern university town.
Adjustments to pay scales and fringe benefits between those levels paid in Chicago and
those to be paid in Manhattan also were a cause of concern. The situation was tempered by
the fact that AIB had, for a number of years, maintained a number of support staff on the
AIB payroll beyond the normal retirement age. Those individuals were simply unable to
further extend their active employment.
However, the loss of experienced technical and administrative personnel was quite
another matter. Mr. Temple Mayhall, Director of Education, retired in August of 1976, to
be replaced in August of 1977 by Dr. Darrell Brensing. In the interim, the post was filled
by Mr. Evert Kindstrand, who was Assistant Director of Education. Mr. Dennis Southwood,
Director of Publicity, also resigned in August of 1976, to be temporarily replaced by Fran
Fowler. Mr. Frank Hepburn, who had served AIB for 28 years, resigned his position as
Director of Research on February 28, 1977, to be replaced by Dr. James Vetter. March of
1977 saw the resignations of both Ken Nyberg, Director of Sanitation, and Richard
Makowski, Assistant Director of that department, the post of Director being filled in
August, 1977 by Frank Raffaele. Mr. Frank Sebok, Business Manager, resigned on May 15,
1977, to be replaced by Paul Klover on July 11. Ruth Emerson, who had served as Librarian
since the 1940s, also announced her intention to resign. Although some attrition had been
expected, the mass exodus of experienced staff was somewhat surprising, with nearly the
whole of the senior management staff being replaced. Dr. William Hoover, new President of
AIB, noted that:
"The decision of moving the Institute to Manhattan was taken with the knowledge
that a turnover in personnel would occur, but perhaps not to the degree that has been
experienced. In retrospect, however, it appears that about 20 percent of the Chicago based
employees will make the move and this is just about the national average for such company
A number of middle-management and technical personnel, however, did elect to make the
move to Manhattan, and thus provided a degree of continuity that would have otherwise been
impossible to maintain. Dr. Hoover also noted that "...it is a tribute to the staff
that the programs have continued without serious or even noticeable interruption during
Jerome Mithen managed the activities of the Sanitation Departmentt after the resignation
of the director and assistant director, and chose to continue his employment with
AIB. Jerry gained a reputation as a highly effective and organized manager
with a "no nonsense" outlook. He helped to build AIB's food safety and
worker safety audit programs into models for the food industries, and guided the
development of programs and services provided by AIB's European Office.
Tom Lehmann also elected to continue work in Manhattan, and is currently in
high demand as a "troubleshooter" and bakery foods production consultant. In
recent years, his consulting duties have frequently taken him to Central Europe, the
Middle East, South and Central America, and several parts of Asia. Tom has also been the
guiding force behind AIB's important product-specific courses with unique
"hands-on" labs, such as those for the wholesale and retail-scale production of
bagels, tortillas, and gourmet-style pizza.
Ruth Emerson reversed her original decision, and chose instead to come to Manhattan to
continue her valuable work in the Library. Emerson remained with AIB until 1983, becoming
in the process the "senior" employee of the Institute with more than 37 years of
continuous service to her credit. She provided a continuity of organization and focus that
was badly needed during the period of rapid technological growth in the baking industry
that followed the Second World War. In the process, she became well-known for her
capacious memory and encyclopedic knowledge of baking, and was recognized as a major
resource in her own right when the Louis Livingston Library was renamed in her honor at
the meeting of the AIB Board of Trustees at Atlantic City in 1984. In
Dr. Gur Ranhotra, has published widely in food science journals on his
research in the role of cereal foods and bakery products in human nutrition. His most
recent work has focused on the potential importance of folic acid supplementation of
cereal food products for women as means to reduce neural tube defects in children, the
role of resistant starch and of oat gums in the reduction of serum cholesterol in humans,
and the vitamin and mineral content of variety bread products on the North American
market. Dr. Ranhotra also served as the editor of the AIB Technical Bulletin until his
retirement on July 31, 2000.
Bob Rodriguez taught in AIB's cake and sweet goods production courses for many years,
but due to his abilities as a Spanish speaker he moved into the position of Director of
AIB's Latin American courses and consulting activities until he retired on June 30, 1998.
Karel Kulp become known internationally as a researcher and editor in the
field of applied cereal chemistry. He has edited or contributed to many of the major works
in this area of scholarship over the past twenty years. Recent works include his book Cookie
Chemistry and Technology, as well as Batters and Breadings in Food Processing
and Frozen and Refrigerated Doughs and Batters from the American Association of
Cereal Chemists, and the major technical work Handbook of Cereal Science and
Technology, published by Marcel Dekker. He is currently working on an English
translation and revision of the primary work on sourdough bread technology, the Handbuch
Sauerteig: Biologie, Biochemie, Technologie, published in German by BBV
Wirtschaftsinformationen GmbH in Hamburg, Germany.
The "Renaissance" of AIB: 1976-1994
It is fortunate that it was possible, in spite of the great changes between the
"old" and the "new" AIB, to maintain the degree of continuity that
existed. In spite of the initial opposition of the AIB Alumni Association to the move of
the Institute to Manhattan, it was also possible to preserve a vital, but intangible,
spirit of group identity that might be compared to that existing among members of a very
selective "fraternity," and largely transcending differences in national
origins, ethnic derivations, and racial identity.
In effect, AIB was able to continue serving as one of very few continuing links between
the established network that has always been a feature of wholesale bread, cake, and
biscuit baking in the U.S. and English-speaking Canada, the newer, more recently emerging
industry segments based on ethnic foods such as tortillas or pizza, and the increasingly
industrialized baking companies of the Pacific Rim countries, Latin America, the Middle
East, and Southern Africa.
The Rebuilding Crew
Rather than being heavily dependent on contributions of membership fees from AIB
members and allied members, the Institute today is almost totally self-supported from
programs and products. Contributions from member companies now amount to only 3% to 6% of
the total, a much different situation than in the years before the move from Chicago.
Under the guidance of Bill Pursley, Vice-President for Food Safety, and of
Jerry Mithen, Vice-President of Field Services, the AIB Sanitation Education program has
achieved a most remarkable rate of growth. The Food Safety Audit Program, which began
shortly after WWII, has always been in great demand by food industry producers,
distributors, and warehouses. AIB's Food Safety and Hygiene audit services are recognized
worldwide as the "standard" against which other food safety programs are to be
judged. In any given year it now contributes approximately 45% to 48% of total Institute
Jerry Mithen was a driving force behind the development of the International Food Audit
Program service, and in 1995 was chosen to oversee the restructuring of the Occupational
Safety Audits Program under the same type of organizational structure that has been so
successful for Food Safety. At the present time there are over sixty field auditors in the
Food Safety, Food Hygiene, and Occupational Safety categories, stationed at selected
locations in the the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. These inspectors serve clients
in the Americas, the Pacific Rim, and Western Europe, and operations into parts of Africa
and Central and Eastern Europe are in the planning stages.
AIB's Education Department, directed by Vice President Darrell Brensing,
Ph.D., contributes approximately 15% to 20% of the total Institute income, primarily
through nearly 100 regularly-scheduled seminars offered annually both in Manhattan,
Kansas, and at various U.S. regional and international sites. Under his guidance, AIB has
achieved accreditation through the North Central Association (NCA), and has greatly
expanded the scope of training opportunities offered to the food industry worldwide.
Current projects in development include various distance-learning initiatives, such as
Internet-deliverable multimedia courses on baking and food technology, CD-ROM based course
materials, and video-taped distance learning for bakery personnel. Dr. Brensing retired on
June 30, 1997.
The Research Department, headed by Vice President James Vetter, Ph.D.,
provides between 14% and 18% of AIB's income annually, and has expanded its role into
product development and production consulting / troubleshooting for a wide variety of
grain foods. This department also provides consultation on food labeling legislation,
publishes a variety of books and reference materials on baking and food legislation,
produces customized food product labeling information from a unique nutritional properties
database that was developed in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, and
conducts in-depth nutrition and sensory research on grain food products of many types. Dr.
Vetter retired on June 30, 1997.
The AIB Business Department, under the leadership of Mr. Paul Klover,
manages income that increased from less than $1.5 million in 1975 to more than $9.7
million in 1995. This reflects more than 90 regularly scheduled seminars, plus 86
contracted seminars for baking and food companies in 1995 alone. More than 5,400 students
received training in various aspects of baking, food safety, and employee safety
throughout the year, in addition to 1,859 correspondence course students, and nearly 2,400
orders for AIB products. The ability to smoothly handle the "paperwork" for all
of these transactions reflects well on the dedicated personnel of this department