Mixed Nuts: A Dr. Baker Update, a Link to Wiess Memorabilia and a Bobby Soxer on the Phone

An especially well-informed reader (Dr. Baker himself) sends in some clarifications of yesterday’s post:

I know those pictures were not taken before 1987 because I didn’t have that book bag before the summer of 1986 and the topic of the lecture was magnetism (Physics 102 in the spring).  Two of the pictures have been reversed, as you can tell from the reversed clock.  The diagram that I am drawing on the board (with my RIGHT hand) is a representation of the cathode ray tube which is on the lecture desk in the picture in which I am holding the arrows. Your recollection is pretty good, but just to be accurate:

He worked in the Bonner Lab on LOW-energy NUCLEAR scattering and also on gravitational physics at NASA. He was ACTING master of Wiess [and master of Hanszen]….

I’m rather abashed at the thought that I reversed two of the images, but in my defense I was pretty excited about the whole thing and may have gotten a bit carried away. In any event, between the book bag and the can of Diet Coke, we seem to have some solid information about narrowing down a date.

Next, another reader, inspired by my post suggesting that Wiess resembled a low budget motel, emailed me a link to his charming site of some’70s era Wiess College memorabilia. If Wiess memorabilia sounds like fun to you, this will be just your sort of thing: http://www.lancasterteam.com/wiess/index.html

And finally, speaking of charming, here’s a lovely young woman on the phone. I’m a bit mystified by the device–is she a switchboard operator? That would explain the magazine, I guess. This must be in Jones, but it’s undated.

Bobby socks and telephone system c60s

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17 Responses to Mixed Nuts: A Dr. Baker Update, a Link to Wiess Memorabilia and a Bobby Soxer on the Phone

  1. marmer01 says:

    That does look like a PBX system. Could she be working in the college office or in a departmental office? Lots of students work in departmental offices. Take a good look at her. She’s REALLY pretty.

  2. Dagobert Brito says:

    When a boy called on a girl at Jones, the young lady at the desk would call and see if the girl was receiving guests. In those days girls had to sign out and boys were not allowed to visit girl’s rooms. In 1959 several boys went up to the second floor after the Slime Parade. They were “campused” (not allowed to leave the campus) until Christmas break/

  3. Dagobert Brito says:

    My wife, Patricia (Brown ’67) says that she stopped wearing socks like that when she was a freshman in 1963, so the photo may be before 1963.

  4. Keith Cooper says:

    An equivalent system was in Brown and operable in the mid 1970s.

    When Sid Rich was built, as an all-male college at the start of the 1970s, it had a simple buzzer system. A panel of buttons in the college office allowed the secretary to “buzz” any room – informing the student that their presence was requested downstairs.

    Within a couple of years, the buzzerswere useless, disabled individually during pranks or in response to pranks.

  5. Kathy says:

    Keith is right about the system at Brown. I worked the desk occasionally. It was kind of like an intercom system. You could call a room to tell someone they had a guest, or that they were late for dinner!

    • Sam says:

      This is really informative for curious young alumni like myself. I lived in Brown over the summer of 2011 (where they move all Rice students staying on campus over the summer) and we poked at the intercom systems wondering what they were and what they were used for. Thanks for passing this on to another generation!

    • Charles says:

      When I was at Rice in the late 80s I was told about the intercom system at Jones, long unworking. But I was also told that at some point in the fairly recent past (so mid-late 80s) some enterprising Jones student managed to resurrect it as as quasi-in-college radio system, so some one could sit at the desk and play music into everyone’s rooms. I have no backup for the story though.

  6. I wonder when the strict efforts to keep opposite sexes out of each other’s living areas went away. Probably about the time the first colleges went coed, followed slightly later by the more tightly access-controlled Jones and Brown. There was, of course, no real way to control old Wiess or Lovett at all. By 1980 it was open to all, and I was surprised by how many of my high school cronies who went to private sectarian universities were subject to gender visitation restrictions that Rice had abandoned years previously.

    Then, of course, after a pair of attacks in women’s restrooms in 1989, the colleges locked up again, as I understand it.

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

      For Hanszen it was the early 70s. When I was a freshman there were still college rules on visitors of the opposite sex could visit and for how long (and the requirement of an open door). Like serving, violations could result in being brought up before the college judiciary. However, there was no enforcement and (as I recall) we started to see women at breakfest on a semi regular basis. The rules did not exist when Hanszen went coed. The primary driver for the old section was the fact that each floor had a communal bathroom for the section. The new section had the individual suite bathrooms so it was more likely for overnight visits there.

      I do know that at least my freshman year Brown & Jones were still tighly controlled with curfew, check-in and check-out and no men allowed above the first floor. This also started to wane but I am not sure how quickly it happened

      • When I was in the Hanszen old section 1980-84, there were three bathrooms per floor, one at each end and one in the middle. Generally, they alternated men and women, with groups of rooms of the appropriate gender near each bathroom. The women’s bathrooms, theoretically, were kept locked and required a room key to open although the women generally propped them open. It wasn’t until those bathroom attacks of the late 80s that I mentioned earlier that the colleges got real serious about keeping people out of the residential areas. I bring all this up because I wonder if they added more bathrooms in the old section when Hanszen went coed? They may have; the fixtures seemed fairly mid-70s-ish.

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

        During the first year they did not. Women were located in section three of old Hanszen (nearest to Will Rice & Baker) and one or two new section stairwells. At that time each floor in each old section had one bathroom and each pair of rooms in the new section shared a bathroom. They renovated over the summer of 75 and reconfigured it as you remember. It got interesting because the decision was made that the women would get the old tower that year and it was not well received. (I have mentioned this previously) Because the old section was being renovated, some very rude and obscene grafitti was left throughout the old section.

  7. Dagobert Brito says:

    I think the efforts to keep opposites sexes out of each other’s dorm rooms went away about the time the colleges went coed. The joke at the time Wiess went coed (early 1980s) was that nobody moved as the girls were already living there.

  8. Grungy says:

    At first glance, I thought this was Bonnie Hellums.
    Dial phone, note written in cursive, ashtray. It’s not just the socks that have changed…

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