I’m stepping away from the Math Department for a moment (but only for a moment–I’ll be back there next week) because I came across something unusual in the Business Manager’s Papers, not typically the most entertaining collection. You just generally don’t see a lot of emotion in there but these two letters are pretty hot, some might even say a tad overwrought. There’s at least one clear lesson, though: don’t piss off the baking industry.
The first one, addressed to the trustees, came from the Better Business Bureau:
And next, from Weingarten’s to Dr. Lovett:
There was nothing to do after reading these but to go look for the ad itself, a surprisingly easy task if you have access to the Houston newspaper databases:
A.J. “Pappy” Hartsook was really a chemical engineer, working in what Rice then called Industrial Chemistry. He came to Rice from MIT in 1921, became head of the Chemical Engineering department in 1927 and held that job until 1956 so apparently he got a stern talking to and was sent back to work.
Here he is at the time of his retirement in 1970:
And here’s his lab, where he performed his illicit bread tests: