I’ve recently had cause to be thinking about the R1 computer and its uses, which led to me idly wondering what was the earliest Rice computer picture I’d ever seen. I think it’s this one, showing President Houston (in the sharp double-breasted suit) at an IBM demonstration in February of 1950:
The gentleman to the right of Houston looks familiar but I can’t place him. Anyone?
I’ve had this image for a long time, several years at least, but I couldn’t find anything to say about it because the only thing I knew was that it was taken in 1950. Not long ago, however, the Houston Chronicle finally began digitizing their archives and I can get access to them through Fondren Library’s database collection. That’s where I found this, which allows us to see what the occasion was:
I think the machine they were looking at must have been this one.
One of the most interesting things I’ve come across in a good long while is a small pamphlet issued by the Rice YMCA in the fall of 1925. I discovered it tucked away in the information files of all places, correctly filed in a folder called “YMCA.” There’s a lot packed into this document, many rich details of daily life as it was lived on this small campus in the middle of the 1920s. I’ve learned a great deal from it although it does feels a bit strange to be the unanticipated future user.
One interesting side note: the archivist who saved it (probably Miss Dean, as that looks like her handwriting) labeled it as copy 3. I can only wonder where the other two have gotten to.
It is fascinating from the first page, which is where I will begin:
Bonus: We’ve been getting some great stuff in to the Woodson this summer. If you’ve got something you’d like to donate just let me know.
Some of the letters from Rice alumni serving in World War II relate stories of meeting up with other former Rice students in strange circumstances and locations. This one, from Whitlock Zander ’43, describes a pretty big reunion. Although the writers often aren’t able to say where they are (and one even asked that the ARA not publish the fact that he was in the service at all) this bunch seems to have all been stationed in San Francisco:
I’m out of town this week and don’t have access to all the letters from here but I will post more of them when I’m back on campus next week.
Looking in a place I’d never looked before I found something that took my breath away.
During World War II the Association of Rice Alumni tried hard to stay in touch with alums who were serving in the military, keeping tabs on their whereabouts to the extent possible and supplying them with current Rice publications, as well as maintaining records of Rice war service. The responses of our sailors and soldiers found their way into a large file folder, which I stumbled across last week. Here’s one of the questionnaires:
And here’s a remarkable response from Captain T. H. Jackson ’40, who found time to complain about the “damn Aggies” even as he heard the planes coming:
Here’s Captain Jackson as a Rice senior:
I’ll have another one tomorrow.
Bonus: There’s a tremendous amount of pipe being put in this summer.
Undergraduate transportation humor from the pen of Jack Glenn (whose papers I will visit later this summer in Wyoming):
The one about the girl getting on the street car made me laugh.
I looked at this picture several times before I saw the calculator. This was a meeting of the Rice Fund Council in May, 1973 so there are only a couple of things it could possibly be:
I think it’s a HP-35 but I’m not certain. Unfortunately I don’t recognize the gentleman who’s holding it.
Norman is at the head of the table with Malcolm Lovett, Sr. at the right, then I think Jim Teague. I’d be willing to be that the fellow with the long sideburns and glasses to the right of the guy with the calculator is Harry Chavanne. Otherwise, I’m lost.
I was looking for something in an old Thresher yesterday and after I found it I browsed for a while, ending up quite taken with this story about how people got to school in 1923:
There are a couple of surprises in there–I never suspected McCants of being a bicyclist–but the most interesting one, even more than the risqué “cloister courses,” is the bit about the student-owned airplanes. I brought back to me the memory of this picture that was featured on the 1920 Rice Owl Calendar:
Was this on campus? It’s not impossible, although it may have been elsewhere in the immediate area. Charles Lindbergh in his 1927 autobiography, We, describes a fuel stop in the early ’20s at Rice Field but again, I’ve never been able to get satisfied that I know where this was. Any thoughts?
Bonus: Unless I’m remembering wrong, the Media Center has been painted to match the Moody.