1879 – 1962
Appointed the first President of the Asphalt Institute in 1919, (then known as The Asphalt Association), Joseph R. Draney was instrumental in organizing a fledgling association that was destined to become the asphalt industry’s worldwide spokesman. Mr. Draney continued as the Institute’s President until 1925. He also served six years as a Director of the American Road Builders’ Association and its Vice President in 1930.
His interest in asphalt began early. At the age of seventeen, he joined the Barber Asphalt Company in Washington, D.C. His work there was interrupted by the Spanish American War, during which he took part in the Cuban campaign at Santiago.
After the war he returned to Barber. Some years later, he became Sales Manager for the U.S. Asphalt and Refining Company of New York, the first company to import Mexican crude petroleum for the manufacturing of asphalt. He was also at one time associated with the Natural Rock Asphalt Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky.
Drawing on his extensive experience and a wealth of source material he had collected throughout the years, Mr. Draney in 1939 authored a publication that thoroughly covered the field of asphalt technology at that time. Entitled “Asphalt—Origin, History, Development – Its Relation to Petroleum”, it became a standard work and is still considered an important early treatise on the subject.