We recently (and quite unexpectedly) received a pretty good sized batch of correspondence that had belonged to Dr. Floyd Lear of the History Department. I haven’t had a chance to look at most of it, but one of my colleagues in the Woodson pointed out these two short notes. Both were sent to Lear by H.A. Wilson, Rice’s first head of Physics, proposing lecture topics for meetings that Wilson had already agreed to address. Both are quite interesting, as Wilson searches for topics that a general audience might enjoy. This first one, for a talk to the Houston Philosophical Society in December, 1943 proposes the arresting topic of “Bomb Dropping:”
The second, sent only two months later, suggests that the recent release of a movie about Marie Curie might provide fodder for a talk to Phi Beta Kappa about radium:
I made good use of my time over Christmas break and watched the movie he must be talking about. I don’t know if the science makes any sense but I thought it was pretty good. Greer Garson–I’m a big fan.
Bonus: I just had a thought–Wilson’s notes seem to have been sent through some early version of campus mail. Like everything else, this must have a history too. I just wonder how much of it might be recoverable . . .