Music, medicine, escape: Austria, Italy, America. As a very young man, Sigmund Weissmann, before he was 18, had seen the prosperous stability and direction of his youth disintegrate, had, through fortunate foresight and mature determination escaped potential disaster, and had found himself, essentially alone, in New York City. That was April 1939. Within 5 years, his early studies completed and military service over, his future had been established with crystallography, and even more particularly, that aspect of it which was related to the “pathology” of metals. He was to establish one of the first laboratories devoted to research of lattice defects and to lay the groundwork for what is now known as Materials Science. Contemporaneous with the operation of this laboratory and as an outgrowth of his own basic connection with the famous “Brooklyn Poly,” Weissmann included, among his manifold teaching, research, and consulting activities, the acceptance of a position as an editor of the Powder Diffraction File, the PDF. The PDF was then just large enough, just important enough and had just that suggestion of an important reach into the future to necessitate an equally important attention from a group of persons schooled and skilled in the most recent techniques of X-ray powder diffraction. Weissmann (metals), Ben Post (organics), of the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and J. V. Smith (minerals) (University of Chicago) were the first thus crystographically trained persons to oversee the PDF.