What is This Thing? Part III

Yes, we’re back at this again. This is how it works in the archives–one bit of information drips out after another. The only unusual thing here, actually, is how quickly the pieces are falling together. Here’s what we found in the Autry materials today:

img_5481 It’s a ladies compact on a chain, with the initials AKA engraved on it. Unlike the tubes this is fully functional:


It even still smells nice, which isn’t probably something you can say about very many things that are a hundred years old. This leans me even more towards the conclusion that the little tubes were for lipstick.

I realize that AKA isn’t the standard monogram for Allie Kinsloe Autry but I am certain that she was the owner. Mrs. Autry was an incredibly generous supporter of the Institute in its early days and provided the funding for Autry House in 1921 in memory of her late husband, James Lockhart Autry, who had been general counsel for the Texas Company. But perhaps somewhat incongruously when I think of Mrs. Autry it’s usually in the context of Rice athletics. She was an indefatigable supporter of Rice sports teams and was even known to take injured players into her house while they recovered. She was famous for the blankets she gave to the teams:


She was so well known among the student body that they dedicated the 1934 Campanile to her:


Mrs. Autry died in 1935 and when Rice was raising funds for the new gym her family made another generous donation and named the basketball court in her honor.



Extra Bonus: I’m often asked what’s my favorite place on campus but I really don’t have one. I can tell you without hesitation, though, the scariest spot at Rice. It’s the arcade in front of Fondren when it’s damp outside. It’s slick as ice. Be careful!



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6 Responses to What is This Thing? Part III

  1. The bricks in front of Fondren were super slick in the late 1970’s, so it has always been a problem. The marble is pretty slippery, too.

    • Sigsby Rusk says:

      They were slick in 1949 when my class of ’53 got to use the library when it opened

    • Francis E. "Gene" Pratt says:

      Those bricks and marble did NOT seem so slick to the males of my Class of 1956.
      But, then we were trying to influence those little coeddie things that we noticed running around.

  2. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    My late wife Karen (Brown, ’69) had a miniature compact like this that she used only at formal occasions when she had to carry a small purse. When I saw the first picture, my first impression was that it was a cigarette lighter. I used to have one that looked like this and folded out from the rim. One of the few smart things I’ve done in my life is quitting smoking back in 1978.

  3. marmer01 says:

    Yes. Very slippery, those Fondren bricks.

  4. Pingback: Edward W. “Mike” Kelley, Jr., 1932-2016 | Rice History Corner

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