I don’t know whether a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes two are. Here are two examples of Rice Institute letterhead, both from 1909. They seem to me to have emerged from two entirely different mental worlds.
This first letterhead was adopted by the trustees not long after the Institute was chartered and Captain Baker was still using it in 1909:
The second is what Dr. Lovett was using at the same time:
Bonus: One of my favorite spots.
The second letterhead looks very much like the ones used in the late 1950’s, except that “Literature” had changed to “Letters”. Back in the day, when the Rice football team hosted in the Cotton Bowl every four years, many of us thought that “Letters, Science and Art”\ should read “Letters, Science, Art and Athletics”.
I see neither letterhead uses the Oxford comma, but I suppose that’s because the punctuation matches that of the Charter, which omits the comma after Science. Is there evidence in Lovett’s correspondence whether he used it?
Great question! I’ll check.
Think the first letterhead is retro-cool! Bring it back.
I give up, where is one of your favorite spots? Don’t worry, I don’t get to the campus very often.
It’s the same place that I have in the blog’s header–the little porch on the east side of the old Physics Building.
The charter and these letterheads say “literature, science and art”.
Yet many places use “letters, science and art”.
Do you have info on when and why that happened?
Is one of them more official than the other?
I’ve been leading the Spellout Cheer with “L-E-T-T-E-R-S, S-C-I-E-N-C-E A-N-D A-R-T (period)” for a long time, and switching to “~L-I-T-E-R-A-T-U-R-E~” would be non-trivial.
…and there’s the carving that reads…
THE RICE INSTITUTE OF LIBERAL AND TECHNICAL LEARNING FOUNDED BY WILLIAM MARSH RICE AND DEDICATED BY HIM TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF LETTERS SCIENCE AND ART