Friday Morning Follies: “Deliver to north entrance of Physics Building”

I found this in Julian Huxley’s papers. I think it’s a joke.

Huxley One Alligator

I mean, he might plausibly have needed an alligator but I can’t see why Berings would stock them.

Huxley was both a writer and a collector of amusing doggerel, by the way, and there’s a great deal of it squirreled away in these papers. The best bit is an obscene attempt to finish Aldous Huxley’s famously unfinished limerick: “There was a young man of East Anglia, whose loins were a tangle of ganglia.” I’m not going to reproduce it here but if you stop me on campus, I might be persuaded to tell you the rest.

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10 Responses to Friday Morning Follies: “Deliver to north entrance of Physics Building”

  1. Karl Benson says:

    Alligator was a model of stove manufactured by the Independent Stove Co. of Owosso, MI. See, among others.

  2. Richard Schafer says:

    Although Karl probably has the right answer, another possibility might be a reference to an “alligator shear” (See, but that seems less likely to be something that Berings would sell. (

  3. I suspect that it was for departmental or office use. It might have been because it was easier to purchase it here and ship it to England, although I would imagine that shipping something that big would have been pretty expensive, especially with, to paraphrase Karl, what was going down (literally) in the Atlantic at the time. Are there other Huxley papers that show obviously personal items? And, don’t forget that the sales ticket says “Rice Institute,” not “Julian Huxley.” Concerning the May date, I don’t know how the University dealt with fiscal years at that time but the use of end-of-term funds for needs that made themselves known during the term is a time-honored tradition for us in academia.

  4. Jim Peden (Hanszen '63) says:

    See second limerick on the left. Do not read the second on the right.

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