The Birth of the Beanie

One of my favorite things about the early years of the Institute is their home-made quality. With no traditions or even examples close at hand the students merrily made up campus life as they went along.  Most of their organizations and events, from the band to the clubs to the newspaper, started in this unsystematic way. A whole social world grew up and then was lost and replaced with the advent of the college system in 1957. Pieces of the old ways survived that transition, though, and it’s always fun to see them crop up.

I was therefore delighted to come across this clipping from the Semi-centennial in 1962, in which the Reverend Oscar F. Green, ’16, sort of off-handedly describes the nearly accidental origins of the freshman beanies, which lasted roughly until 1970:

New Oscar Green semicentennial origin of beanies Post 10 10 62

Just for fun here’s young Mr. Green in the first volume of the Campanile:

New Oscar Green 1916 campanile

Bonus: The leaves are finally falling in earnest, a sure sign that it’s mid-winter.


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4 Responses to The Birth of the Beanie

  1. Bill Peebles, '70 says:

    How many of us still have that beanie. I have no idea what happened to mine.

  2. Wow, we were married at All Saints’ Episcopal, Palo Alto, and both of our children were baptized there. Rev. Oscar Green was a huge influence in the history of the parish. I did know he went to Rice, but it is fun to see him show up here.

    Rev. Green was famously opinionated. He didn’t allow candles on the altar because those were “high church”.

    I helped compile All Saints’ centennial history in 1992. We interviewed a number of long-time parishioners. Not sure if I can find an original copy, but some of the history is in this 2004 parish profile.

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