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!