Friday Follies: Grandstand Quarterbacks

You know who you are.


From Bud Morehead’s slide collection, stadium construction, 1950.

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Early Images from Bud Morehead’s Slides

About a year ago I realized that the slide carousels in the Bud Morehead Collection contained images that appear neither in his book, A Walking Tour of Rice University, nor in the large collection of photographs that he left to the Woodson. Here are two very early examples.

The first is unlike any other photo I’ve seen of the construction of the Mech Lab and Power Plant. Of the dozens of images William Ward Watkin took of this building going up none captures it from this angle and the presence of text is also completely unfamiliar to me. I have no idea who took this or why:


Note, by the way, the the Institute was scheduled to open in almost exactly four months. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

The second image, a more affecting one, was taken in 1916. Morehead’s slide is labeled: “Physics Building masonry crew.”


Honestly, though, except for the guy on the left they look more like the masonry bosses than like crew. These guys look like crew:

Physics construction unknown source 2


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Powder Puff, 1972

It really feels like fall out here in central Texas. We drank the last rosé of summer on Sunday and the first whiskey sour of autumn last night. Today we spent the morning putting in the winter garden. Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower take the place of zucchini, tomatoes and peppers.

After Paul Pfeiffer ’38 passed away his family sent us an enormous box of slides. An avid photographer, he’d taken pictures at hundreds of campus events. This image from the fall of 1972 struck me as quintessentially autumn at Rice:


I am also intrigued by the low wall in the background, which must be the remains of the old stadium.



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Surveying, 1913

These pictures from Karl Knapp’s scrapbook are both labeled “Surveying Class, 1913.” It’s hard to be completely sure because the earliest General Announcements aren’t  clear about course offerings, but I believe this was the first time this class was taught. It would be mainstay of the engineering curriculum for decades. Aren’t they handsome in their suits, ties, and hats?



Bonus: Deep in the heart of Texas.



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Rice Athletic Association

I’m on vacation and hence a bit sluggish but I do have something I’ve been thinking about recently. I noticed a long time ago that there was once (and for quite some time) an entity called the “Rice Athletic Association.” It seems to have been the banner under which our internal athletic operations were organized and run but even now I’m not sure exactly how it all worked. (This is almost certainly an answerable question given the rich collection of athletic department records we have but I’ve never had the time to run it down.)

You can see evidence of this Rice AA in all kinds of photos. Here’s just one, a 1950 shot of Jess Neely in a sweatshirt:


One of those sweatshirt actually turned up a while ago, in George Miner’s collection:


But the thing that really caught my attention was this image of the 1955 Mile Relay team (with Coach Emmett Brunson) I found while I was looking at track stuff a couple of weeks ago:


Zoom in. Look at their socks.

I still don’t have time for this but when I get back next week I’ll try to make time.

Bonus: I took a U of H architecture student on a tour of Lovett Hall last week. It was great.


Extra Bonus: It was also the first time I ever saw anyone get out of this elevator! That’s Mr. Ray Jones, from IT support. (If you want to know how much the elevator cost when it was installed in 1937, go here.)


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Friday Follies: Before There Were Drones . . .

we had gliders.


I don’t know if they’re working or playing, although in a perfect world it would be both at once.

Bonus: This came from my friend John Wolda. I think it’s a sign. Not sure of what.


I’m finally taking a week off for summer vacation next week so don’t come looking for me until the 3rd because I won’t be there.

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A Novel Approach to Shirts and Skins

I’m still home sick, very fuzzy headed. Luckily I keep a stash of things to pull out on these occasions, things I don’t know anything about but which are interesting on their own. These two pictures came out of a “Miscellaneous” file in the R Association collection, hidden between some 8×12 public relations head shots of football players. They’re small and all scratched up and yet they’re still compelling:



Same guys? I don’t know.

Why no shoes? I don’t know.

Are they even playing football? I don’t know.

They look great, though.

Bonus: Big Rock Candy Mountain!


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