Friday Follies: Wiess Crack

The 1960’s were the Golden Age of college newsletters at Rice. (Maybe it was advances in reproduction technology that made it available to students on a widespread basis?) In any event, here’s a nice cover from the fall of 1968:

wiess crack 2-29-68 1

What I particularly enjoy about this is that if you pronounce it as “Wise Crack” you would be (for a refreshing change) actually pronouncing the name correctly.

Bonus: What the heck, one more.

wiess crack 2-29-68 2

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Administration Building with Dog, 1910

It’s a nasty, wet and cold day today and it looks like it was also pretty soggy the day this picture was taken in 1910:

Morehead Papers construction with dog 1910

This image was in the Morehead box I was talking about yesterday and what interests me about it is the dog, walking along with the man on the left. (Once you see a dog, apparently you start seeing them everywhere.) Is it the same dog or a different one? Impossible to say but I like to think it was a different one, perhaps a wary rival for the workmen’s lunch scraps.



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Plot Plan, Staub and Rather

The Woodson has an enormous collection of images that came from architecture professor Bud Morehead. Some of them were used in his little book called A Walking Tour of Rice University but there are many, many more besides those. Many.


They are almost entirely views of the buildings, some from a bit of a distance but mostly  close ups of architectural details. However, there is also a more interesting and altogether odder box, which contains strange slides that seem to have come to Morehead by way of William Ward Watkin. They look more like teaching materials than anything else. I was looking at some of those slides today and when I enlarged this one I realized that I had never seen this before.

I’m sorry it’s so fuzzy but it’s all I have and you can get a reasonably good look if you click on it a couple of times. (I do suspect that a good search might turn up the original.) It’s all undated but clearly immediately post-WWII. There’s some interesting stuff there but what just jumps out is what’s going on over by the Mech Lab. Is that supposed to be one building? And what could have been the sense of that siting? Might it be this??

Morehead Papers Post WWII Plan

Nice parking lot next to the library, though. And that space is still available.

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Interlibrary Loan, 1917

This afternoon I sifted through boxes of early library records with great pleasure. This particular set of exchanges, which revolve around eight books on the Victorian writer George Meredith (who would have thought there would be so many?) that Rice had borrowed from the Library of Congress.

First Miss Alice Dean needed to get them back from the faculty member who had them. In this case it is Frederic Thomas Blanchard, who taught in Rice’s English Department for several years beginning in 1913:

New library returns 1

She then sent them back to Washington with a nice note:

New library returns 2

And received a polite acknowledgement of their receipt in return:

New library returns 3

 The stately pace and graciousness of this entire correspondence–even the simple acknowledgment from the Superintendent of the Reading Room–filled me with longing. It probably won’t surprise you to know that interlibrary loan was extraordinarily important in the Institute’s early years, when our own collection was in its infancy.

In case anyone is curious, the markings on these papers that read “19-28″ relate to an internal library filing system.

Bonus: Frederic Thomas Blanchard left Rice for the University of California, where he taught English at their “Southern Branch,” later known as UCLA. I don’t know much about him except that he seems to have specialized in composition and creative writing. I did, though, come across this moving little piece about the English Reading Room at UCLA and his part in creating what Mrs. Grace Hunt nurtured into a real treasure.

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The William Rice Marsh, circa 1911

We’ve had three glorious days in a row here but I just heard that it’s supposed to get cold and rainy later this week . . . again. Very disheartening but nothing new. Here’s what looks to be a spontaneous adaptation from sometime probably in 1911.

Admin Building w ad hoc sidewalk c1911

The mosquitos must have been brutal.



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Friday Follies: Slime in the Hotel Hallway!

Heaven help the good people of Houston when the Class of 1959 arrives:

Slime in hotel 1950s

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I was recently looking through an envelope of photos that came from the biology building and I noticed these two undated images because I had just been poking around over where I think they were taken.

New greenhouse 2 nd

And a close-up, just for fun:

New greenhouse 1 nd

And here are the current facilities, which must have replaced this little building:



So here are the questions, aside from the lack of any date: Are these in fact meant for the same purposes as the earlier building? Are they in fact in the same place? What’s troubling me is that in the first photo I can’t account for the light colored structure that you can see peeking out from behind the tree just above the parked car. What could that be?

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