Norman Hurd Ricker and the Physics Building, with a Surprise Appearance by an Old Friend

As a dedicated physics student, Norman Ricker followed the construction of the Physics Building with real interest. He took quite a few photos of it, some from angles that I don’t often see. Here for example is a pretty straight shot from the east side, which I can’t think I’ve ever seen before:

He also managed to get a picture of the shining new teaching lab inside:

And this . . . . well, I don’t know quite what to make of it, but I think it was taken by the arcade that connects the main part of the building to the amphitheater. I recognize two of the students but I don’t know what they’re doing or what the structure might be for:

And speaking of the amphitheater, here’s a brief newspaper story from December, 1914 about its official opening. It was a grand event, befitting the appearance of a new academic building at the seat of higher learning in Houston. Note especially the performance of both classical and popular tunes by the newly formed Rice Band. It’s director was none other than my long-time crush, W.T. Betts.

Bonus: Those trees that look like sticks in the top picture are being trimmed this summer.

Extra Bonus: 


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5 Responses to Norman Hurd Ricker and the Physics Building, with a Surprise Appearance by an Old Friend

  1. James Medford says:

    World War One is raging in Europe, and they’re debating freight rates in the Physics Amphitheater. I hope someone provided coffee.

    • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

      I suspect this was a major topic at the time. This is around the time that the ICC was really getting started in regulating the freight rates and it was of major interest to the western farmers and was a major part of the populist movement. Remember that we are early the war and I suspect there was still a feeling that it was yet another of the periodic Eurpoean wars on the US. The freight topic however had been the topic of major polical fights in the midwest

  2. Melissa Kean says:

    You made me laugh. I was so excited about the band that the debate topic didn’t even register. Sadly, there was no Thresher yet so there’s not much chance of finding a blow-by-blow.

    • Deborah Gronke Bennett says:

      I am wondering what the rest of the article said about the activities of the literary societies in the coming year!

      • Melissa Kean says:

        I have no idea. The article was pasted in a scrapbook and I’m not even sure which of several newspapers it came from. There wasn’t any Thresher yet either. Some things are just destined to remain mysterious, I guess.

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