NEW YORK - Edwin Louis Bass, who is credited with being the first to build a business importing industrial woodworking machinery from Europe, passed away on May 26. He was 93.

Edwin Bass, Woodworking Machinery Icon, DiesBass is the former president of Rudolf Bass Inc., a family business started by his father in 1918. He later founded Holz Machinery, which specialized in importing woodworking equipment from Europe, including panel processing equipment used in the production of 32mm System case goods.

In 1976, Bass joined with six other U.S.-based importers of woodworking machinery to form the Woodworking Machinery Importers Association, now known as the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association. He served as president of the WMIA and helped organize the World Woodworking Expo (WWE)in Atlanta. The show competed with the International Woodworking Fair in 1980 and 1982.Then organizers of IWF and the WMIA came to terms. The WMIA became one of the show's owners and IWF moved to Atlanta.

In a 1992 interview with Wood & Wood Products, Bass recalled the challenge of selling imported woodworking equipment to U.S. woodworkers. "You really needed one of two things to succeed in the importation business back then. You either had to have a machine equal to an American-made machine but at a lower prices of at least 20 to 30 percent or you had to specialize in machines that were not being made in the United States, like edgebanders."

Bass received his undergraduate degree from the New York University Commerce Business School and was a member of Temple Emanu-El on NYC, and Edgewood Country Club of Riverdale, NJ.

He is survived by his wife Sylvia, seven children, 10 grandchildren and four great grand children.

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 31, at Temple Emanu-El.


Richard T. Byrnes, WMIA Founder, Passes Away, posted 12-27-11

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