I’ve been working quite a bit in the 1930s recently and I’m learning a lot. In some respects these weren’t good times at the Institute. We had some pretty serious financial issues and began to lose good faculty, most notably the great mathematician Griffith Evans, who left for Berkeley. (There’s a building named after him there.) In the time honored tradition of universities everywhere, however, the students had little idea that anything was amiss and were just having a ball. It makes for some interesting contrasts.
I ran across these things in a scrapbook that was kept by a young woman student during the mid-30s and I was simply enchanted. The mere existence of the “midget auto” was enough to make me smile all by itself. The idea of a “mess hall battle” to celebrate a football victory over Arkansas (Rice won 7-6) is just the cherry on top. Here’s her ticket to the game:
And finally, just as a reminder, it’s not “Rice Fight. Never Die.”
The “midget auto” is an American Austin. You can see more pictures and information here: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/04/22/sia-flashback-1933-american-austin/
They built British-designed Austin cars under license, in the hopes that they could create a market for smaller, cheaper cars during the Great Depression. This is the business plan that Volkswagen used to great success after WWII, and Honda during the Viet Nam period. However, it was less successful during the Depression because more substantial used cars were relatively cheap and fuel economy wasn’t the priority that it later became. After the Austin company gave up, some American businessmen reorganized the company under the name American Bantam, and the elegant little cars had a cult following in the late ’30s. American Bantam is best remembered as having built the successful prototype for what became the Jeep, although the Army felt that Bantam didn’t have the production capacity for their needs and gave the Bantam design to Willys and Ford.
American Austin (and later Bantam) cars were really, really small by modern standards.
I really appreciate this info on Austin cars. William T. Eldridge, Sr., general manager of Imperial Sugar in the early 1930s, took a flier on Austin cars. As you can imagine, it didn’t work out. (I live in Sugar Land and take an avid interest in our local history.)
“Rice Fight Never Dies.” Thanks for setting everyone straight who has incorrectly used the word “Die” for the last 15- 20 years. Bugged the hell out of me.
It drives me nuts!
The lock-out after a game win continued well into the 1950’s by which time it came after a victory over Texas A&M. There are lots of wonderful stories about those lock-outs. I am very glad to see Buddy Chuoke’s comment. The use of the word “Die” always bothered me but I never took time to figure out why. Thanks, Buddy.
I heard on the news today that the body of Richard III has been found.
In a grave under a parking lot.
He is probably still trying to locate a horse.
Will the Plantagenet family be receiving a posthumous parking bill for £22.7m?
How about the kid sitting with ease on the gate’s spikes!
Looks like the guy sitting on the spikes must have some kind of seat to sit on. Either that or his lap is abnormally thick.
Look at the 1933 Rice football schedule-closing games in order were Arkansas,Texas A&M,TCU,and finally Baylor-all the seasons for 60+ more years ended in this order.