Chemistry Building Construction, circa 1925

I was surprised by this image the other day, which jumped out at me in a file I’ve looked at many times before. I can’t say why I’d never noticed it before but I hadn’t. The folder naturally enough says “Mech Lab” on it but that’s not at all what’s interesting here:

First off, it’s obviously pretty old. How old, though? You can see the original chemistry annex at left and what looks like construction materials in front of that, with fencing protecting the smaller trees.  My first thought was, well, that must be for the new chemistry building, which would put this at about 1925 or 26. Here’s a nice shot of that construction from the other side of campus. If you click to zoom in and look just right of the new building going up you can even see the same wooden fencing around the little trees:

Back again at the first picture. My next thought was – – – hey! is that a railroad tanker car in there?!? You have to zoom in and sort of peer between the construction stuff and the left edge of the chemistry annex to see it but that’s clearly a rail car. As I’m sure you all remember, the power plant received regular deliveries of oil by train until the trustees decided in May of 1926 to switch to natural gas, so this makes sense too.

It’s always nice when it adds up. I’m content with 1925 -26. The only possible complication I can see is that there are cars parked in front of the Mech Lab in the first photo. I’m hoping none of them are later than that.

Bonus: Play ball!

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Chemistry Building Construction, circa 1925

  1. BETSY WITTENMYER says:

    Hi, Melissa, you are probably already knowledgeable about that photographer, Frank Schlueter, but a collection of his photographs are online with the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Digital Archives, Houston Public Library: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/schlueter

    More photos of Rice are on this page – from 1920 and 1927 (graduation day):http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/collection/schlueter/searchterm/rice/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/descri/ad/asc

    Love your posts!Betsy Wittenmyer   Betsy G. Wittenmyer LeBoeuf & Wittenmyer, P.C.Legal Assistant 11757 Katy Freeway, Suite 1300 Houston, Texas   77079 Telephone: (713) 463-5422 Facsimile: (713) 463-5423

    From: Rice History Corner To: wittenmy@flash.net Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 7:07 PM Subject: [New post] Chemistry Building Construction, circa 1925 #yiv1719964300 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1719964300 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1719964300 a.yiv1719964300primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1719964300 a.yiv1719964300primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1719964300 a.yiv1719964300primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1719964300 a.yiv1719964300primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1719964300 WordPress.com | Melissa Kean posted: “I was surprised by this image the other day, which jumped out at me in a file I’ve looked at many times before. I can’t say why I’d never noticed it before but I hadn’t. The folder naturally enough says “Mech Lab” on it but that’s not at all what’s intere” | |

  2. Galloway Hudson '60 says:

    Interesting that the average delivered price of fuel oil, a refined product, was $1.91 per barrel in 1924/25. I looked up historical prices at the wellhead, and they were only $1.20/bbl at the start of 1946, and $3.00/bbl throughout most of the 1960s. Apparently very little change in the price of oil over at least four decades (1925-1965). I started my working career at Shell Oil Co. in 1961, and I well remember wondering (along with some of my engineering classmates) if we were going to work in a dying industry. Not to worry, as it turned out.

  3. marmer01 says:

    I don’t see any cars in either picture that look later than 1925. Lots of Model T Fords. Rest well.

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