One of the things that’s happened to me after spending all these years in the archives is that anything that looks even a little bit out of the ordinary jumps out at me like a bright flashing light. Sometimes this can leave me quite confused. I came across this picture a while ago and I was momentarily gobsmacked:

East Hall with curved road nd

Wh–? What’s this? Where on earth was Mr. Schlueter standing when he took it? It took an hour for me to realize that he was roughly where the Cohen House parking lot is today. I’ve never seen a picture taken from that angle before. In retrospect, I think it was those bushes right in the tightest part of the curve that threw me off.

Bonus: A bit off topic, here. The television post the other day got me thinking about what is the oldest television I’ve ever personally seen. I think it must be this, which I came across in the attic of the Administration Building at Creighton. (This is one of the best attics I’ve ever seen, by the way. It’s like the wonderful land of Oz up there. We have nothing like it at Rice.) As I look at it, though, I wonder if it’s not a television at all but rather a monitor. Anyone have any thoughts? The name on the set is Conrac.

TVs Creighton attic

I don’t see any volume control on there.

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7 Responses to Befuddled

  1. Leoguy says:

    The photographer captured a bucolic setting on the early campus. More so than the typical photographs of the era that emphasize the structured order of the campus plan. I find the photograph delightful!
    On the other hand, those appear to be monitors, rather than commercial televisions.

  2. C Kelly says:

    I didn’t know Frank Schlueter took photos of Rice Institute, but I should have assumed it. I run across lots of his photos as I research the history of Sugar Land. Houston’s early photographers are an interesting topic (to me).

  3. grungy1973 says:

    Conrac still exists, and still sells CRT monitors.

  4. Marty Merritt (Hanszen '84/85) says:

    Yes, those are monitors. You can tell because they have video display controls (horizontal hold, contrast, etc.) instead of channel tuners or receivers. Conrac history here:

  5. mjthannisch says:

    Our TV from 1955 had horizontal hold, contrast and about four others that I remember too. But you are right, no channel selectors or volume.

    • Sure, all TV’s used to have that, either on the back or behind a little cover. Did your old TV have it right out in front like that? That’s really a sign of a monitor.

      • mjthannisch says:

        Yes our 1955 (same age as me) TV had them all right in front next to the channel selector on top (it was a portable TV on wheels BTW.. I don’t think it was until the 60s that they started hiding all of that stuff. Our first (1968) colour TV had some of those on the back (vertical school, horizontal hold, brightness) and colour related controls on the front (tint, contrast etc). Can’t remember if the controls on the front were hidden or not. By the 70s all of the stuff was hidden except for channel selector and volume.

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