The Maryland law to register professional engineers became
effective June 1, 1939. Professor Alexander Graham Christie,
then the head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at
the Johns Hopkins University, became the first Chairman
of the State of Maryland Board of Registration for Professional
Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Nine hundred and fifty-five licenses were issued in 1940,
and four hundred and eighty-four in 1941. Activity fell
off immediately because of the war years, with only twenty-nine,
twenty-five, and thirty-five being issued during 1940, 1943,
and 1944. Then, during the next three years, 1945 through
1947, fifty-seven, eighty, and ninety-three licenses were
issued. In total, during the first ten years, a few more
than 1,900 licenses were issued.
Forty years later, in early 1990, the State Board for Professional
Engineers proposed the creation of The Christie Society,
an honorary organization to be established by the Department
of Licensing and Regulation to recognize Maryland's professional
engineers who have maintained their licenses for a period
of fifty years. The Society was named in recognition of
Professor Christie, the holder of License Certificate No. 1.
The Christie Society's induction ceremony and banquet are
held at The Engineer's Club at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion
in Mount Vernon, where Professor Christie's original license
certificate can be seen. That same evening, newly licensed
Professional Engineers are welcomed into the ranks of the profession.