The Class of 1919 Gazes Confidently into the Future

I am quite taken with this image. I’ve never seen another one like it, which is always interesting, and it has the added pleasure of beautiful ironwork:

Class of 1919 turnbull and lane at right 050

I wasn’t immediately sure where it was taken, largely because of the ironwork, which is surely long gone. (Note that it’s similar to the decorative metal on the quad side windows of Lovett Hall.)

At first I thought it was the back of Physics but realized that it wasn’t ornate enough. A quick walk over and it was clear that it was the west side of the building, which now has duller metal work:


What the class of 1919 would have been looking at that day was the small frame building that Professor H.A. Wilson used for his nuclear work:

Physics with frame building nd

They’d likely be a bit bewildered if they could see what’s there today:


Bonus: That’s Sarah Lane at the far left in the bottom row and Pender Turnbull right next to her!

Extra Bonus: For those of you who are, like me, tormented by loose ends I can now tell you that this was written by H.A. Wilson.

Thy blazoned walls nd but c1916 GCE in Huxleys papers 045

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13 Responses to The Class of 1919 Gazes Confidently into the Future

  1. Buddy Chuoke '75 says:

    Extremely high percentage of women to men in the graduation class pic. Always thought men outnumbered women from the opening. Could this have been a result of the war years?

  2. joni says:

    Am I missing something? It seems that the picture with the small frame building doesn’t show the same white scrollwork as in the graduation picture…

    • Melissa Kean says:

      It’s hard to get a good look at it in the second picture but I think it’s there. If it isn’t, I’m pretty sure that picture was taken earlier and it could have been added afterwards.

  3. effegee says:

    Ah… so Wilson’s shed must have been the source of the radioactivity that had to be cleaned up when the parking lot in that area was removed during preparations for the 1990 Summit. Perhaps the sculpture serves as a reminder?

  4. effegee says:

    Any names of those in the Class of 1919 photo?

  5. Leoguy says:

    I’m puzzled by the unexplained change in the width of the landing and the iron railing at this end of the Physics Building. Unfortunately, in the 1919 photo the graduates obscure the structure, making it impossible to compare the two versions of the landing/railing. Do you have any clear photos of the 1919 landing/railing, Melissa?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      You’ve got to be kidding me.

      Oh hell, I’ll see what I can find.

      • Richard Schafer says:

        The landing looks to me as if the modern version is two slabs of concrete, one narrower than the other. The older pictures suggest that the upper, narrower, slab may be a later addition, perhaps to avoid a step up into the doorway.

        • almadenmike says:

          This looks to be correct. Zooming into the old photo taken from a distance (the 3rd photo in this post), I can see six white steps (as well as the first step, which is gray and can be seen better in the new photo to be like a granite base for the entire stairway structure. In the newer photos (2nd & 4th), there is one more step — a total of eight — although the top two no longer look as white as top step/platform in the older photo.

  6. Doug Williams says:

    I wonder when this picture was taken? I’ve never seen a large graduation picture where nobody is smiling. They look like they could be modeling for the ‘Junior’ carving in the sallyport, and at most commencements the new graduates can’t wipe the smiles off their faces. Their tassels are still on the right. Maybe the picture was taken several days before graduation or even before final exams.

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