First Day, 1929

You have to register first. Freshmen filled out enrollment cards, which astonishingly still exist and which I look at regularly. They don’t contain a whole lot of information but often there will be a clue that points me in a fruitful direction.

If you look closely you’ll see that there’s  quite a bit going on in this picture. I don’t really understand the system they’re using, but I love it that you’re supposed to be there but most definitely not in line. Instead, everyone gets to mill around aimlessly. Seems like a much better way to meet people and in fact most everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

Glass registration 1929


Predictably, there were also kids hanging out in the parking lot and I wonder whether the top photograph might have been taken by someone standing on top of a vehicle:

Girls on cars 1930


Note: I’ll be in Portland for the rest of the week, which means that I’ll have to rummage through my laptop for pictures to post. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I do–there’s some odd stuff in there.


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20 Responses to First Day, 1929

  1. C Kelly says:

    This is just two months (or so) before their world went sour. Just a gratuitous comment.

  2. Looks like a lot of people (professors, probably) had bought the then-newish Ford Model A. Love the wingtip shoes on the girl on the right.

  3. Barney L. McCoy says:

    The young lady in the foreground with the big white collar is the spitting image of my aunt Suzie Buford, but she was in the Class of 1935. I do not know what year she started.
    Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67

  4. joni says:

    Umm…would a car have been allowed at that spot in the archway? Seems more like a door or window on a higher level. (Sorry, know some of Rice buildings, but not an alumnus)

  5. Mike Ross says:

    In the right side of the top photo, what appears to be a sheet-like banner/covering shows markings of “Fri Oct” , “?” and “Hofheinz Handled”. The odd latter phrase matches the end of an ad on page 4 of the Oct 11, 1929, Thresher ( for a “Yo Yo Dance”.

    I wonder if this relates to the late Judge Roy Mark Hofheinz, who was a Rice freshman in 1929.

  6. Wow, just think of all that lies ahead for those fresh young faces. A lot has happened since then.

  7. Keith Cooper says:

    I am struck by the fact that the hedges on the left are neatly trimmed, but the set in the center appear to be in their natural state. I haven’t noticed that in other photos of the quad.

  8. mjthannisch says:

    not very many hats.

  9. Karl Benson says:

    The sign above the door seems to explain the lack of a queue. These are Rice students, after all. They don’t line up well in any case.

  10. C Kelly says:

    I think the idea about no lines was to keep as many people as possible within hearing distance. They were calling people in by name, so there was no reason to maintain rigid order, and unless they wanted a clerk to wander the crowd paging the next registrant, they probably announced names from the office door.

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