The Woodson has quite a nice collection of glass plate negatives, which is the source for many of the iconic images of the early campus and the opening ceremonies that have been on display during the centennial year. But there are also a good number of things in there that are rarely seen. I’ve meant to look through them carefully for a long time but only sat down to start this afternoon. I was almost immediately rewarded with these photos of the first real classrooms at the Institute. I think they were taken right around the time classes began.
In the beginning, as I’m sure you recall, there were only two buildings on campus that housed academic functions. The Mech Lab was crammed full of all the labs and drafting rooms–the pressure would only be relieved when the Physics Building was completed–and the Administration Building was home to most of the classrooms. I didn’t have time today to figure out precisely where they were located, but I’m fairly certain that we have what I need to do that. I’m also fairly certain that some of those chairs are still in the basement.
As is so often the case, these pictures reminded me of something else. This is one of my favorite photos from the scrapbook of Carl Knapp, ’16:
It’s labeled “Between Classes, 1913.”