The history of ICTA, from its conception at the First International Conference on Thermal Analysis in Aberdeen, Scotland,
in 1965 through the subsequent eight Conferences to the 10th ICTA Congress in Hatfield, England, in 1992, is outlined. Brief
biographies of Past-Presidents are appended.
The notion of fire/light/heat/energy is recognized as an integrating element in the pathway of ordering matter and society,
and its historical aspects are thoroughly reviewed. Fire is argued to be a philosophical archetype and its role in the early
concept of four elements is discussed. The Indian, Arabic and Greek historical bases are mentioned. Alchemy is briefly reviewed
as a source of the wider adoption of fire. The era of renaissance and the new age are also included. The message of fire/heat
is nowadays focused on the progress of civilization, with the assumption of engines as information transducers based on the
conscious exploitation of fire. The role of chaos is emphasized. Overall, a condensed but consistent view is given of the
various concepts that emerged during the historical progress of the understanding of heat (noting 61 references).