Behold, one of the rarest views of campus, the back of the Chemistry Building:
Note please that the Chemistry Lane from a couple weeks ago is still there, but heavily cut back.
And guess what?
There’s a second one:
Here are the issues:
1.) What year is it? Are both the same year? It has to be at least 1953 because the Bonner Lab is there.
2.) I freely admit that I know nothing about the young men and their uniforms. Nothing. Any help at all is greatly appreciated.
U.S. Army Class A uniform (phased out in 1956) ROTC Corps of Engineers insignia and guidon.
Based on the cars in the background, both photos are early to mid fifties. One of our car gurus can probably zero in on the year. The first photo was taken in the fall or spring; the second in winter.
In the first photo, the cadet in the dark tie on the left holds the rank of cadet first lieutenant (probably a platoon leader); the cadet in the dark tie front and center holds the rank of cadet captain (probably the cadet company commander.) The cadet on the far right is the company first sergeant.
In the second photo, the company cadet officers are in front wearing the visor caps. I can’t see their epaulets clearly enough to determine their ranks, but the Corps of Engineers insignia is plainly visible on their jacket lapels. Also, the two cadet officers on the right are either seniors or fifth year engineers (four service stripes on their sleeves), while the cadet officer on the left is probably a junior.
To me, it looks like they are drilling where Hamman Hall will be built. A previous post had a construction picture attributed to 1957, which would firm up the bracket to 1953 (Bonner) – 1956 (uniform phase out, no Hamman). The only other clue I see would be the car in the parking lot at the left edge of photo. Maybe Marty can work his magic…
(comments about the second picture)
Photo one contains members of the Rice Institute Class of 1956 — often cited as the best, or worst — of all Rice Institute Classes.
Heading Column 2 at the far right is John Ludwig (1956). (He was also a stellar outfielder on the Rice baseball team that John Wolda carried on his broad shoulders for years.)
The Standard Bearer (? the proper name) looks much like Richard Stevens (1956).
Standing 2 places behind Ludwig is a 1956 classmate whose name may have been Jacque Collins.
Photo 2 contains a rosy cheeked soldier to the extreme right who may have been an architect of that same renowned Class of “56.
I’ll vote for Fall 1954. In the first picture, first row, third from right is Dick Audrain Arch., fourth Bill Johnson and fifth Earnie Paxton Civil Engineers. All from Class of 1957-58 I was not in ROTC my freshman year.
I need a little time with these pictures and some references but I agree with Bill Johnson about 1954 for several reasons. The Class A pic is quite revealing because it shows the transition between “pinks and greens” (contrasting tunic and pants) and the new Army Green Uniform, with matching tunic and pants. That happened in 1954. My guess is the younger guys have the new uniform and the older guys have the old one. There were a couple of years where “wearing out” the old uniforms was allowed; you didn’t have to have the new one immediately. The car Farrell mentions is a 1952-ish Buick. In the khaki picture, the cars are all pre-1954. There are also some transitional details with the khaki uniforms; a DOD standardization policy had them going from russet leather and light-colored ties to black leather and black ties sometime around that period but I can’t find exactly when without more time than I have to research it right now.
Fall ’54 is the earliest date for the Army Green and dark accessories transition. This could also be Spring, ’55.
And on closer inspection, it’s the older, higher ranking guys with the newer uniforms. Makes sense, if they were just about to be commissioned into the Army or Army Reserve.