On October 23rd, 1852 a notice was sent to practitioners of civil engineering in and near New York City requesting their participation in developing an association that would serve the professionals who design and construct America's built environment. Twelve men responded to this invitation, meeting on November 5 in the office of Alfred W. Craven, chief engineer of the Croton Aqueduct Department. These men became the founders of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects, later renamed the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
On 28 April 1852 the first municipal electric fire alarm system using call boxes with automatic signaling to indicate the location of a fire was placed into operation in Boston. Invented by William Channing and Moses Farmer, this system was highly successful in reducing property loss and deaths due to fire and was subsequently adopted throughout the United States and in Canada.