The very first sf convention was held Oct 22, 1936 in Philadelphia.
According to Sam Moskowitz, "It was suggested by John B. Michel that the club [the NYB-ISA] plan a social outing of some sort; this was agreed to, great controversy ensued as to the destination. Philadelphia was decided upon, chiefly because Wollheim had hit upon the novel idea of meeting with out-of-town fans and thereby calling the affair a science fiction convention."
Retrospectively (though it was common usage by 1939) it was given the name First Eastern or First Eastern Science Fiction Convention. (By a year later, at the Third Eastern Science Fiction Convention again in Philadelphia it was being referred to as the "[previous] Philly convention". See:
On October 22, 1936, the NYB-ISA (including Wollheim, Michel, Will Sykora, Hahn, David Kyle, Goudket, and Fred Pohl) visited the Philadelphia Branch (including Milt Rothman, Bob Madle, and Ossie Train) for a tour of town and then a get-together at Rothman's house for an afternoon. It was "marked with horseplay and camaraderie". Milt Rothman was elected convention chairman and Fred Pohl secretary. The only other official business was to plan the Second Eastern Convention for New York in February 1938.
See Phoxphyre for reminiscences of those who were there.
See also Early Conventions.
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