“ten thousand shares of stock in the Reed Roller Bit Company,” 1936

In 1936 Will Rice gave the Institute the first really large gift since the death of William Marsh Rice. I’ve known that so long I can’t remember learning it. What I forgot until a couple weeks ago when I was last in the Woodson was the form that gift took. Here’s the letter of appreciation from his fellow board members, written , I assume, by Lovett:

I don’t know much about Reed Roller Bits other than that they had some big litigation with Hughes Tool in the 1920s. I just discovered, though, that the Woodson holds a history of the company, which I will consult the next time I can go in.


Bonus: You know you want one.

Extra Bonus: One thing I do know a lot about is paper clips. For a long time at Rice straight pins were used to hold papers together. In 1936, though, someone bought a whole bunch of those spiral clips like the one you can see above. It’s a Nifty Clip, patented in 1936, and we used them for almost three years before the supply ran out.

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3 Responses to “ten thousand shares of stock in the Reed Roller Bit Company,” 1936

  1. I did a bit of google searching and found this transcript from the History Detectives which mentions the Reed Roller Bit Company. It involves Hughes Tool Company and Howard Hughes Sr.

  2. Galloway Hudson. Wiess '60 says:

    Yes, I think only Dr. Lovett could have found that many word (all richly deserved, of course) to write a simple letter of appreciation.

  3. Carolyn Brewer says:

    What an elegant letter of thanks. It is so obviously from a time long gone, but remarkable to be able to read it. Reed Roller Bit used to be an often heard name!! Good post…….thanks.

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