Research Apparatus, Part II

Right from the start I’ve been very lucky in my readers. Many of you are quirky, obsessive and dogged in your pursuit of whatever it is that catches your interest. You’re also willing to share it all here. There have thus been quite a few excellent comment threads on this blog so far but I think the best one ever followed last Wednesday’s post about the 1921 research apparatus. If you haven’t looked at this, go take a peek. Thanks especially to loyal readers Philip Walters and effegee I think we have a pretty good handle on not only where the photos were taken but also what the experiment was looking at.

All the excitement roused me to go dig up some more evidence. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far. As some of you may remember, I love the physics building above all others on campus and thus I had scanned  the early plans some time ago. All I had to do was figure out where I had saved the files, which I did this morning. I think they confirm the thinking in the comments. So without further ado, here’s the first floor:

Physics plan first floor

And the second:

Physics plan second floor

There’s a tremendous amount of information in these drawings, including the exact location of every gas and electric outlet in the building. One note: the labs on the west side of the building became biology labs rather than chemistry. I’m not totally sure why, but chemistry stayed in it’s annex next to the Mech Lab right up until the Chemistry Building was completed.

Bonus: Elegant.

Physics plan longitudinal


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Research Apparatus, Part II

  1. I am struck by the space labeled “Apparatus Museum” between the main building and the Amphitheater. In all my time at Rice, I never remember going in that space, and I wonder what was there in the 1970’s, and what is there now.

    Thank you Melissa for this blog; it is a great place for us to share our bits of the collective experience that is Rice.

    • In that lovely longitudinal section, one can see that the focus of the ceiling vault of the Main Stair Hall is a point on the floor in the center of the space, giving interesting acoustical properties when one taps the floor there with a hard sole shoe or snaps fingers at that spot. :^)

    • Owlcop says:

      That area is now a lounge.

Leave a Reply