During the Centennial Exhibition in 1876, engineers from all over the world gathered in Philadelphia to view the latest scientific and mechanical advances. That gathering sparked other meetings, and the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia was formally organized in 1877. Professor Lewis M. Haupt was named the club's first president.

Haupt was born in 1844 in Gettysburg. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard and graduated from West Point in 1867. Haupt was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers and was a topographical engineer for Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. He also taught math and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded an honorary degree from the school.

Notable club members included inventor Thomas A. Edison, former President Herbert Hoover, and former RCA chairman David Sarnoff. The Engineers' Club, now at 215 S. 16th St., continues to strive to advance the engineering field and offer opportunities for professional development and networking.