Tumblers, undated

My first reaction when I saw these was “Hey, cool, a tumbling squad!” Tumblers, like pole vaulters, are usually good for a striking photograph or two.

Here they are:

tumblers c1920s 1 045

And here they are, well, tumbling, I guess:

tumblers c1920s 2 046

tumblers c1920s 3 047

My second thought was “Is there any way to date these?” We can start with the building in the background, which is clearly the original field house. This means it could be no earlier than 1921. But in the top picture you get a really good look at the shrubbery near the window. I’m sure you all remember that we’ve seen shrubbery like that before–in this inexplicable photograph that may (or may not) show a seated Knute Rockne:

Glass unknown guys at fieldhouse c1929

This picture was taken at the east end of the building and the tumblers were at the west end but the size of the shrubs is just about the same. I know this one was taken in 1929 so I’m going to call the tumblers circa that same year.

Anybody want to argue with me?

Bonus: Came across this yesterday in George R. Brown, where they’re getting ready for a remodel. It’s small enough that I think it might have been meant to be portable.




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7 Responses to Tumblers, undated

  1. loki_the_bubba says:

    ‘Lugable’ was the preferred term then.

  2. almadenmike says:

    Quite a few Thresher articles in 1924-29 mention the Rice Tumbling Team and its coach, Franklin D. Ashcroft, who might be the older-looking fellow in the middle of the top photo.

  3. Mike Stavinoha says:

    That was my very first personally-owned computer. It was called “portable”, but was not easy to haul around The tiny screen was monocolor with green characters. I remember that I paid extra to have an * meg hard drive installed on mine, more memory than anyone would need in a lifetime.,,,,,Right!!!

  4. Mike Stavinoha says:

    That was supposed to be “8 meg hard drive”

  5. R White says:

    Saw a similar computer in a photo on the second page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this morning:

  6. Of course it’s portable. See how the keyboard fits nicely up by the screen? One of our faculty used to have the Brother brand counterpart to this but I think it was actually called a “word processor.” A computer that one person could actually move from one building to another by themselves was still a relatively new concept. And the idea of a “portable desktop machine” hung around a long time. It wasn’t until the white G5 iMacs came out that the toaster Mac/iMac lost its carrying handle. I remember buying a 15 MB hard drive for our Radioshack TRS-80 quasi-Unix terminal system back in about 1988 for around $3000. That system actually made the move to Alice Pratt Brown Hall, but was replaced with something more modern by 1993 or so.

  7. Karen says:

    It’s definitely the 1929 tumbling team. I looked at the online Campanile, and they had the top two pictures. The two tumblers in the second picture are Patout and Brown. They said the team was very popular during football and basketball games. They also played a weeklong engagement at the Palace, according to the yearbook.

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