The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
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The College of Literature, Science and the Arts I

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THE appointment in 1841 of the Reverend George P. Williams as Professor of Mathematics and that of the Reverend Joseph Whiting as Professor of Languages signalized the opening of the University in Ann Arbor and the birth of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which multiplied almost a thousandfold in students and more than a hundredfold in faculty within a hundred years. The curriculum offered by these two professors to the seven* students who first enrolled was limited to the Greek and Latin classics and to the more elementary branches of mathematics. Ten years after the first classes were conducted in Mason Hall, the number of students had grown to almost one hundred, and an additional building, now the South Wing of University Hall, had been erected to provide them with living quarters. The faculty had increased, likewise, during this first decade, until four more chairs had been filled — zoology, moral and intellectual philosophy, chemistry, and logic, rhetoric, and history. These additions to the teaching staff resulted in considerable expansion in the college curriculum and permitted the students to become acquainted with some of the newer, scientific disciplines.

The second decade of the University's existence gave evidence of the vigorous, directing hand of President Henry P. Tappan in all departments (see Part I: Tappan Administration). For no department of the University was this energetic direction more beneficial than for the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, as it was officially named until the year 1915. Tappan helped to bring about the introduction of a scientific course which paralleled the instruction in the classics. This "course," including work in physics, astronomy, chemistry, and civil engineering, led to the degree of bachelor of science. The inclusion of this science curriculum in the Literary Department was a departure from the precedent of Yale and Harvard, where scientific schools separate from the faculty of the humanities had been established.

President Tappan also inaugurated a greater amount of student freedom in the selection of courses than had been possible before that time. The introduction of the course leading to the bachelor of science degree provided an alternative to the customary classical curriculum. His belief that students should be permitted to pursue their individual interests led to a second alternative, an optional course which permitted a student to spend his entire time in the department of his special interest and receive at the end, not a diploma, but a certificate of proficiency. This optional course was clearly the precursor of our present permission to register as "not a candidate for a degree." The expansion of the curriculum provided a further range of choice. The student was allowed in addition to choose some of his courses during the senior year; this was the beginning of the system of free electives prevalent at the turn of the century.

Page  426During President Tappan's term of office the number of students and faculty members increased rapidly. Old departments were divided, and new ones were established. The classical languages were divided into Greek and Latin; the work in philosophy was strengthened; and the number of courses in French and German, which had been begun before 1850, was tripled. The new men called to the faculty were, in general, younger scholars who were chosen wholly on their academic qualifications. It was Tappan's belief that "there is no safe guide in the appointment of professors save in the qualifications of the candidate."

After the dismissal of President Tappan, the Reverend Erastus O. Haven of Boston, a former member of the staff, was invited to accept the presidency of the University. During his six years of office the curriculum was expanded and the admission requirements were altered (see Part I: Haven Administration). A new Latin and scientific course, which substituted modern languages for Greek as cultural and disciplinary subjects, was begun and soon became popular. This course led to the degree of bachelor of philosophy, which was conferred for the first time on six students in 1870. The requirement for the optional course was defined more strictly as the passing of the examinations for admission to the freshman class. Edward Olney, who was appointed Professor of Mathematics during President Haven's administration, succeeded in having the admission requirements in mathematics increased to include a knowledge of quadratic equations.

The dismissal of President Tappan necessitated some changes in the faculty. The new appointments which were made resulted in a separation of the chairs of English and history. Moses Coit Tyler, who came as Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in 1867, emphasized the study of English literature more than had any of his predecessors. Charles Kendall Adams was promoted to the chair of history in the same year.

After the resignation of President Haven, Professor Henry S. Frieze was appointed Acting President and was in office for a period of two years (see Part I: Frieze Administration). During his administration women were admitted as students for the first time. The question of coeduction had been debated for many years, and in January, 1870, the Regents adopted a resolution stating that "no rule exists … for the exclusion of any person from the university who possesses the requisite literary and moral qualifications." By June, 1871, according to the Catalogue, some fourteen women had entered the Literary Department, including those in special courses.

Professor Frieze was responsible for the development of a functional relationship between the high schools of the state and the University. The University undertook to inspect the work of secondary schools and to admit graduates without the customary examination from the schools that were approved. Professor Frieze hoped that by this method the secondary schools could be so improved that they could take over the function of the German Gymnasia, and that the University could be relieved of instruction in elementary courses. The Catalogue of 1870-71 included the original statement of this plan of accrediting, as follows (p. 49):

Whenever the Faculty shall be satisfied that the preparatory course in any school is conducted by a sufficient number of competent instructors, and has been brought up fully to the … requirements, the diploma of such school, certifying that the holder has completed the preparatory course and sustained the examination in the same, shall entitle the candidate to be admitted to the University without further examination.

Page  427Acting President Frieze declined an invitation to become the next president of the University and recommended a former student of his from Brown University, James Burrill Angell, who was at that time the president of the University of Vermont. After a long period of negotiation, Dr. Angell was inaugurated in June, 1871, and began a long and distinguished career as President of the University of Michigan and as a diplomat (see Part I: Angell Administration). His first task was to fuse the separate colleges into a real university, and it was his lifelong aim to give practical expression to the theory of state education outlined by President Tappan on his coming to Ann Arbor.

The importation of the German seminar method of instruction by Charles Kendall Adams in 1871-72 signalized, as it were, the notable advances in educational policy which were to be introduced during the presidency of James B. Angell. The students enrolled in the classical and scientific courses were at first permitted to elect, according to their choice, one-third of the work of the senior year, but the degree of prescription of the course of study was gradually reduced, until in 1878-79 more than half of the courses might be elected freely. Special students who were not candidates for degrees might elect courses according to their choice throughout the entire period of study. These special students needed only to satisfy the professors of their qualifications in order to be admitted to any courses which aroused their interest.

Many other changes were introduced during this and the next year. The time necessary to complete the degree requirements was less fixed than it had been, so that the more able students might shorten the time required for the educational process or include more subjects in their course of study. The removal of the former temporal restrictions resulted in a shift of emphasis to the number of courses which would be required for graduation. The development of the credit system came as a logical corollary of this emphasis upon the number of courses completed. The requirements for graduation were now stated as twenty-four courses for the degree of bachelor of arts and twenty-six for the degrees of bachelor of philosophy and bachelor of letters (which was introduced in 1878), each course consisting of five exercises a week or a combination of classes which would equal five exercises each week. This gradual transition exemplifies the development of the requirement of 120 hours for the bachelor's degree.

The curriculums of the Literary Department, meanwhile, were expanding rapidly. Unorganized instruction for teachers in the secondary schools had been given since President Tappan's time, but the establishment of a chair in the science and the art of teaching in 1879 was an innovation (see Part I: Angell Administration). Ten years later this department was authorized to grant certificates which qualified the possessor to teach in any high school of the state. A School of Political Science was also founded in 1881, with C. K. Adams as Dean, in which students could enroll only upon completing two years of work in the Literary Department or the equivalent of that preparation. The school did not prove popular, however, and there was no reference to it in the Calendar after 1890. It is of interest to note that the first course in forestry was included in this program. Courses in speech and oratory were introduced in 1884; and Thomas Trueblood became Professor of Elocution and Oratory and, in 1892, head of the first department of speech in the United States.

Graduate courses at the University were for many years included in the catalogue of the Literary Department. The Page  428first conception of advanced work was introduced by President Tappan under the title of the "university course." This early beginning received little encouragement, however, and it was not until after the far-reaching changes of 1878-79 that real graduate work was possible. The removal of the former course restrictions and the introduction of the credit system permitted considerable expansion in the number of advanced courses, and this greater differentiation of each subject-matter field attracted more and more applicants for advanced degrees until, in 1912, the Graduate School was given a separate organic existence.

Soon after the inauguration of the credit system in 1878, a complementary program of study was planned. In 1882 the "university system" was organized, to permit unrestricted study and specialization in three fields of inquiry. The individual programs of study were approved by a special committee of the faculty. The removal of the customary restrictions for students enrolled under the "university system," however, did not initiate any alteration in the amount or quality of the work required for the degree. In fact, students applying for a degree under the "university system" were required to pass final comprehensive examinations in order to satisfy the faculty as to the adequacy of their academic work. But this alternative to the credit system did not prove popular and, although the legislation was never revoked, the program soon lost its vitality (see Part III: University System).

One further innovation which was inaugurated during President Angell's administration was a combination course in letters and medicine which permitted a student to complete the requirements for both degrees in six years. The student thus received double credit for his first year of medicine. This program encouraged prospective doctors to continue their literary education longer than they would otherwise have done. Preliminary work in the Literary College was also stressed for those who intended to enroll in the College of Dental Surgery and in the College of Pharmacy.

During the greater portion of his administration, President Angell had charge of admissions and performed the administrative duties which have since been delegated to other executives.

The office of dean apparently evolved from the presidency of the literary faculty, which had existed before the time of President Tappan. This office, however, since it was elective within each faculty, was not recognized in the earliest catalogues. The deanship of the medical faculty was first mentioned there in 1869, when held by Abram Sager, and that of the law faculty two years later, when held by Thomas M. Cooley. In the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, it was not until 1875 that the annual catalogue, then called the Calendar, gave the title of Dean of the Faculty to Professor Henry S. Frieze. This position he held until his death in 1889, except for his two years of service as Acting President (1880-82), when Professors C. K. Adams and Edward Olney each served as Dean for one year. When Martin L. D'Ooge, Professor of Greek Language and Literature, was chosen by the faculty and officially appointed by the executive committee of the Regents, in 1890, the title was changed to dean of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Reappointed annually, he was, in effect, an assistant to the president in administrative matters pertaining to the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The functions of the office were limited, in the main, to the admission of students from high school and also of those applying for admission with advanced standing (see Part II: Office of the Registrar). Richard Hudson, Professor Page  429of History, was appointed by the Regents in 1897, without nomination by the faculty, to succeed Dean D'Ooge. The responsibilities with which Dean Hudson was charged became more manifold as the University grew and the administrative problems increased in difficulty. These new and complex problems became so numerous toward the end of President Angell's term of office that the President gave up any active participation in the affairs of the Literary Department except as presiding officer at faculty meetings. When John O. Reed, Professor of Physics, was appointed Dean in June, 1907, the administration of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts rested almost completely, therefore, on his shoulders.

Before 1912, admission to the College was based on preparation limited to the traditional academic subjects. No credit toward admission was granted for the newer subjects, such as manual training and home economics, which had found their way into the curriculums of the high school. In 1912 the requirements for admission were changed so that some freedom was granted to the high-school student in the subjects which he pursued as preparation for college work, but a minimum of twelve units had to be selected from the list of academic subjects. This allowed the student to pursue one-fifth of his high-school work in non-academic fields. The twelve required units consisted of three units of English, two units of a foreign language, ancient or modern, one unit of algebra, one unit of geometry, one unit of science, and four other academic units. A more radical departure from the traditional admission procedure was the arrangement whereby graduates of high schools which were members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools would be admitted without reference to the specific subjects that were presented. This second plan of admission fell eventually into disuse and was finally eliminated altogether (see Part II: Office of the Registrar).

The reorganization of the requirements for admission was followed by alterations in the graduation requirements. Bachelor of science degrees in biology and chemistry were discontinued after 1899, until the degree in chemistry was revived in 1914. The degrees of bachelor of philosophy, bachelor of science, and bachelor of letters were awarded until 1901 to students who had pursued successfully the specialized and fixed courses of study required. In that year the four curriculums, as well as all degrees except the bachelor of arts, were abolished (the degree in science was restored in 1909), and from 1901 to 1912 the only specific graduation requirement was freshman rhetoric. The increase in the number of courses during that period made two dangers very apparent. Without guidance the student was liable to err on the side of extreme specialization or on that of a wasteful diffusion of his energy over more fields of knowledge than he could intellectually embrace. To help the student avoid these dangers, the faculty required in 1912 that a student complete twelve hours of work in each of the following groups by the end of the sophomore year:

  • Group I. — Ancient languages and literatures, modern languages and literature, rhetoric (other than Courses 1 and 2).
  • Group II. — Mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, zoology, botany, psychology.
  • Group III. — History, political economy and sociology, political science, philosophy, education.
To prohibit excessive specialization, the elections were limited to forty hours in any department and eighty hours in a group. As a complement to these changes the requirements for graduation were Page  430stated as 120 hours with a satisfactory average grade.

The faculty felt that a more discriminating system of grading than "passed," "conditioned," and "not passed" would improve the standards of scholarship. The system adopted in 1912 included five grades: A — excellent, which was valued at three times as many honor points as hours of credit; B — good, valued at twice as many honor points as hours of credit; C — satisfactory, the same number of honor points as hours of credit; D — the lowest passing grade, no honor points; E — failure, deduction of hours of credit and honor points.

The combined curriculum of letters and medicine, which was introduced during the administration of President Angell, was followed by a similar course for prospective lawyers during the deanship of John O. Reed (1907-14). The principle of such combinations was extended during the term of Dean John R. Effinger (Acting Dean, 1912-15; Dean, 1915-33) to students preparing for the professions of dentistry and nursing.

President Hutchins' administration (1909-20) was characterized by an increasing complexity of the organization of the University, resulting from the physical growth of the individual colleges and schools (see Part I: Hutchins Administration). Shortly after the retirement of President Hutchins, the expansion of courses and opportunities in the field of education convinced the Regents of the University that the establishment of a separate school for training in education would be desirable. The establishment of the School of Education (1921) created difficulties for students who wished to receive a teacher's certificate and a bachelor's degree after four years of college work. The faculty of the School of Education contended that students should be enrolled in that School in order to become eligible for the certificate required for secondary-school positions. It was finally agreed, however, that students in the Literary College who had completed the technical courses for such a certificate would also be recommended for the certificate by the faculty of the School of Education.

The separate administration of the affairs of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which had begun so simply with an assistant to President Angell, had expanded to such an extent that in June, 1921, during the deanship of John R. Effinger it was necessary to appoint Associate Professor Wilber R. Humphreys as Assistant Dean. Dean Humphreys was placed in charge of disciplinary action for deficiencies in class attendance and scholarship as well as of the advisory work among first-year students. These duties were increased during 1922-23 to include action on student requests to add or drop courses and disciplinary measures resulting from student dishonesty in classwork.

Several changes were made in the requirements for admission to the College during President Burton's term of office, 1920-25 (see Part I: Burton Administration). The increased number of courses offered in high schools induced the faculty to decide that five of the fifteen units required for admission should be advanced studies regularly scheduled for the third and fourth year of the high-school curriculum. At the same time it was decided that the average grade which would justify recommendation for admission to the University should be distinctly higher than that required for graduation from high school. In March, 1925, the plan which permitted students to enter on recommendation of the high school without reference to specific subjects pursued was abolished. In the decade following the adoption of this resolution in 1912, only a few students had been admitted under its provisions. In Page  4311925, the admission of freshmen was placed in the hands of the registrar of the University, subject, of course, to the regulations of the faculty of the College.

In the last years of President Burton's administration, new opportunities were made available for superior students. At the May meeting of the faculty in 1924, the Department of English and the Department of History presented plans of honors courses which would permit students of unusual capacity and ability to carry on independent work during the last year or two. During 1924-25 the interest of the faculty in honors courses was stimulated by the report of the dean on the conference on honors courses which was held at the University of Iowa. A reading course in economics for seniors was also proposed, to permit a small group to correlate their study and reading in economics and its allied fields. During the next year, a similar reading course in sociology was authorized for selected students.

The privilege of condensing the work for the bachelor of arts degree by means of a combined course of study was extended (1924) to students preparing for postgraduate study in the School of Business Administration.

The proliferation of departments of the College continued throughout the administrations of President Burton and of President Little (see Part I: Little Administration). In 1923-24 the Department of Geology was divided into the separate units of geology and geography. During the next year a new department of instruction, the Department of Library Science, which had been authorized by the Regents, was included in the scope of the College by unanimous vote of the faculty. Students entering this curriculum were required to have ninety hours of college work with an average of 1.33 honor points per credit hour and a reading knowledge of two foreign languages.

From the foregoing description of the development of the instructional facilities of the University it should be evident that most of the separate professional schools and colleges began as chairs of instruction within the Literary Department, and that, as their subject matter became more complex and as they became of greater importance to the development of the commonwealth, they finally were established as independent units of the University. Classes in pharmaceutical chemistry were added to the curriculum of the Department of Chemistry in 1868. The demand for this instruction in the training of prospective pharmacists increased rapidly until the School of Pharmacy was established as a separate unit of the University in 1876 under Albert B. Prescott, the Dean. The School improved the quality of its instruction in this very essential professional field until it was recognized as one of the foremost in the country.

Postgraduate education at the University has, since its inception, been intimately associated with instruction in the undergraduate college. This relationship between the two types of instruction is one which must be expected to continue, inasmuch as the same professor will give courses in elementary physics and in research and electronics. There was very little graduate study carried on at the University prior to 1878, except in the Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy. In 1892 graduate instruction was placed under the control of an administrative council, chosen from the faculty of liberal arts. Training for advanced degrees was thus included as a part of the instructional program of this department until 1912, when the Graduate School was established, and Professor Karl E. Guthe, who had been Professor of Physics, was appointed the first Dean. This separate existence of the Graduate School recognized the increase in graduate work Page  432by students enrolled in other schools and colleges of the University.

Courses for the training of engineers had been part of the instructional program of the University from the beginning. The chair of civil engineering and drawing was authorized in the constitutional articles providing for the establishment of the University. Instruction in these subjects was not given immediately, however, and it was not until 1853 that Alexander Winchell was appointed Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering. The greatest expansion of the curriculum for prospective engineers came somewhat later. In 1872 Charles Ezra Greene was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering, and, with the help of two other staff members, began the diversification of opportunities for technical training within the department. Although mechanical and electrical engineering courses were soon added, it was not until 1895 that the Regents established the separate Department (later College) of Engineering with Professor Charles E. Greene as Dean.

After the abandonment of the first courses in forestry in 1885, when the School of Political Science began to decline, students interested in forestry elected nonspecialized courses in botany until 1902. A forestry course was then given in the Department of Botany, and a year later the Department of Forestry was established, with Filibert Roth as Professor. These courses were continued in conjunction with certain work in the Department of Botany, until the interest in conservation of timber resources of the state and country required the establishment of a separate unit of the University. In the fall of 1927, the Regents established the School of Forestry and Conservation and appointed Samuel T. Dana as its first Dean.

Courses in business administration had been conducted in the Department of Economics for some time. These courses were organized as a special curriculum in the department, and the student, upon their completion, was granted a special certificate in business administration. It became more and more evident, however, that the aims of pure economics and of applied economics were very different, so that the special curriculum became essentially a school of business administration in the fall of 1924. Edmund E. Day became the first Dean.

Many routine changes were made in the organization of the departments of the College during the next three or four years. In 1927-28 the faculty agreed that the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Speech should co-ordinate their several activities in order that a unified freshman course, which included both composition and literature, might be developed to replace the former course in rhetoric. Instruction in anthropology was offered for the first time in the second semester of 1923-24, by Colonel Thomas C. Hodson, of London, England. The Department of Anthropology was established in 1928, when an introductory course was offered jointly by Dr. Carl E. Guthe, Director of the Museum of Anthropology, and Mr. Julian H. Steward, Instructor. During 1928-29 the scholarship requirement for the combined course of letters and library science was increased to one and one-half honor points per credit hour. In addition to this factor of selection, the students enrolling in this course were required to present the degree of bachelor of arts or that of bachelor of science. Another combined course was approved by the faculty in addition to those already in existence, providing preprofessional training for students who planned to transfer to the School of Forestry and Conservation. On the death of Professor Robert M. Wenley (1929), the courses in philosophy and psychology were separated, and the staff Page  433was divided into two separate departments. The courses in composition which were particularly appropriate to training in journalism were separated from the other courses in the Department of Rhetoric, in order to establish the Department of Journalism. In 1929-30 the Department of Rhetoric and the Department of English were combined, and in that same year the Department of Economics and Sociology was divided.

Certain revisions of the organization of the College and of the curriculum had been considered by the faculty in 1925-26 upon the recommendation of President C. C. Little. These discussions continued for several years and culminated in 1930-31 in the establishment of a program of concentrated study during the last two years of college — one of the most significant alterations in the educational program of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts since its establishment. The faculty was primarily concerned with the proposal to divide the four-year course into an upper and lower division or a junior college and a senior college. In May, 1931, the faculty committee recommended the adoption of a plan of concentration for the junior and senior years, and recommended further that the inauguration of this plan be postponed until the reorganization of the work of the first two years had been completed. The discussion continued at intervals during the next two or three years, and eventually it was decided that the first two years toward the bachelor's degree should consist of a general program of liberal arts courses and that a somewhat more specific degree program in a field of concentrated study should occupy the next two years. The caliber of the students who would be admitted to a degree or concentration program was assured by the regulation that a student must have completed sixty hours of college work prior to admission and must have attained at least an average of C in all of that work. Similarly, during the last two years the student must have completed sixty hours of course work with an average grade of C in order to qualify for a degree. The department chosen by the student as his field of concentrated study was permitted to specify the courses which should be pursued during one-half of the final sixty hours of college work. It was also possible, at first, for a student to concentrate in a group, in which case sixty hours, or the entire last two years, might be specified. These programs, in addition to the English composition and group requirements, became the requirements for graduation.

In order to achieve the desires of the curriculum committee it was necessary to appoint a large number of the faculty as advisers to students concentrating in particular departments. Underclassmen who were not yet eligible for the work of the last two years were advised by a group of special, paid counselors who served throughout the year, under the general authority of the Office of the Dean. The advisers during the last two years were of necessity chosen by the department in which the student wished to study. This entire plan, including as it did a fundamental alteration in the undergraduate instruction of the Literary College, affected students entering the College in September of 1931 and all subsequent classes.

On June 7, 1933, Dean John R. Effinger, after twenty-one years of conscientious leadership, died very suddenly of a heart attack. The necessity of selecting a new head of the College provided an opportunity for reorganizing administrative and departmental functions. A temporary executive committee was appointed from a panel chosen from the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, to perform the duties and exercise the authority of a dean Page  434until the appointment of a successor to Dean Effinger. The membership of this temporary committee was as follows: Professors D. H. Parker, M. Gomberg, L. C. Karpinski, J. R. Hayden, and E. H. Kraus, chairman.

The terms of a permanent organization of the administration of the College, adopted by the Regents in September, 1933, may be summarized as follows: The executive functions of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were placed under the control of the dean assisted by an executive committee of six members appointed by the president from a panel selected by the faculty. The executive committee was charged with the duties of investigating and formulating educational and instructional policies for consideration by the faculty, and of acting for the College in matters of budget, promotion, and appointment. Edward H. Kraus, Professor of Mineralogy and formerly Dean of the Summer Session and of the College of Pharmacy, was appointed Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in August, 1933, with the first executive committee to be appointed under the terms of this new organization — Professors J. W. Bradshaw, J. S. Reeves, A. E. R. Boak, D. H. Parker, W. H. Hobbs, and I. L. Sharfman.

The requirements for admission to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts adopted by the faculty and the Regents in 1912 continued essentially unaltered until 1933-34. In view of the experimentation which was being carried on at various institutions throughout the country, it was thought advisable at this time to appoint a committee to study the question of college admissions and to present a report to the executive committee and to the faculty. The most significant feature of the plan presented by the committee was that the student seeking admission be permitted to present work in groups; that is, that the fields of study in related subdivisions be grouped together so that physics might be counted in the same group with mathematics, and economics in the same group with history. There are in all five groups — English, foreign language, mathematics, science, and social studies. Of the fifteen units required for admission, ten must be presented from these five groups in the following manner: two subject-matter sequences of three years' work each, and two such sequences of two years' work each, foreign language being the only group in which more than one sequence is allowed. This plan, which permitted somewhat greater flexibility in the matter of choice of subjects by high-school students, was approved by the faculty on November 26, 1934, and was ratified by the Regents in December, 1934.

During 1934-35 the executive committee presented to the faculty recommendations for the administrative reorganization of the departments of the College. During the course of the year each department considered the question of its administrative organization. The various plans of departmental organization may be placed in three groups:

  • 1. Those continuing the informal arrangement under which they had been operating.
  • 2. Those adopting a partly elective and partly appointive executive committee.
  • 3. Those in which the whole staff, or those of higher rank, form a deliberative committee.

For some years the scholastic standard for admission to the various combined curriculums had remained 1.5 honor points per hour of credit, but there was a growing opinion that the minimum scholastic level for admission should be somewhat advanced. This feeling received strong corroboration when it was reported that the scholastic average of the graduating class of 1934 was 1.64 honor points Page  435per credit hour earned in residence. A committee was asked, therefore, to consider the problem, and in a report to the executive committee, two major changes were recommended: (1) that the scholastic average of the students who wished to enroll in these curriculums must be 1.75 honor points per credit hour, and (2) that such students be urged to spend two years in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts of the University before transferring to a program of professional training. This report, which was discussed by the executive committee in conjunction with the deans of the professional schools with which such curricular arrangements were operative, was adopted by the faculty in April, 1935, and was later approved by the Regents of the University. The plan became effective for students entering upon these curriculums in the fall of 1938.

The degree programs committee, appointed by the executive committee in December of 1934, presented during the academic year 1935-36 a plan for reorganization and adjustment of the degree programs of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The changes in policy which the committee believed to be advisable were steps in the direction of (a) improvement in the advisory system, the weaknesses of which were apparent to both students and faculty, (b) cultivation of those fields of endeavor which should enter into the training of every student regardless of his major interests, (c) elimination of concentration so diffuse as to belie its name, and (d) an increase in the student's co-ordination and organization of his knowledge as an antidote to the unrelatedness of separate courses.

Of the five resolutions which were proposed by the committee for consideration by the faculty, the following four were approved by vote of the faculty, with some slight alterations. The form in which they were adopted was as follows:

  • A. Resolved,
    • 1. That the Executive Committee of the College be requested to select, with the concurrence of the departments from which they may be drawn, a unified and enlarged group of academic counselors for the freshman and sophomore years, such counselors to be of academic rank and to be paid, or compensated by reduced teaching load, as early as budget conditions permit; and
    • 2. That, for further study of the functions of the concentration plan and particularly of the advisory system, the Dean, with the advice of the Executive Committee, be requested either (a) to continue the present committee, or (b) to appoint a separate committee, or (c) to create a standing committee, such committee to report to the faculty with recommendations.
  • B. Resolved,
    • 1. That no student shall be admitted to concentration before satisfying the requirements in English composition;
    • 2. That defective use of English by students be reported by members of the faculty to a faculty representative designated by the Department of English Language and Literature, and that the present regulations on page 39 of the 1935-1936 Announcement be accordingly amended; and
    • 3. That the Dean be requested to send at an appropriate time in each semester a notice to all members of the college faculty in charge of courses, calling attention to the provisions relating to defective use of English.
  • C. Resolved,
    • 1. That concentration in Groups I, II, and III be abolished;
    • 2. That "Science and Mathematics" be constituted a field of concentration, in which 60 hours would be controlled by the committee administering it; and
    • 3. That pending further action, Social Studies be recognized as a field of concentration open to students preparing for the Teacher's Certificate, the program in this Page  436field to be administered by the committee on the Teacher's Certificate.
  • D. Resolved,
    • 1. That any department or committee in charge of a field of concentration be authorized, at its discretion, to require of any or all students concentrating in that department, or in that field, a comprehensive examination as a prerequisite to graduation, and, further, that it be authorized to grant credit not to exceed six hours on the basis of this examination, such examination to be elected by the student as part of the work of the semester or year in which it is taken.
    • 2. These alterations in the regulations governing the program of concentrated study go into effect immediately unless otherwise stated in the report of the committee.

The need of freshman and sophomore students for advice upon academic matters has become more pressing each year since the introduction of the program of concentrated study during the last two years of the college course. The number of academic counselors who have been chosen to advise these students concerning their academic problems has been increased, until in 1939-40 ten members of the staff were engaged in this very important adjunct to classroom instruction. Two counselors have been assigned the problems of sophomore students who have made poor scholastic records. These students are warned against the danger of attempting to fulfill the exactions of the customary number of hours of academic work and of simultaneous outside employment. The problems of the adjustment of entering freshmen to the conditions of college life are assigned to the other six counselors. It is impossible, however, for six members of the staff, in the small amount of time at their disposal, to solve the problems of twelve hundred freshman students. At the present time it is necessary for the counselors to both freshmen and sophomores to concentrate their efforts upon the scholastic difficulties of the students. It is hoped that the number of these advisers may be increased in the near future in order that some of the emotional and personality factors contributing to academic failure may be eliminated. The advice and counsel of these members of the College staff is greatly appreciated by the students as well as by their parents.

At a meeting of the faculty in December, 1936, the method of computing the numerical equivalents for the various letter grades was altered in accordance with the following resolution:

Be it Resolved: 1. That the hours of E grade received by students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts be included in the calculation of the point-hour ratio.

2. That the point equivalents for the several letter grades for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts be as follows:

A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, E = 0.

These resolutions concerning the marking system will become effective for freshmen entering the College in the fall of 1937 and for all subsequent classes. Students admitted with advanced standing who expect to graduate in 1941 and thereafter will consequently be graded on this system. To prevent confusion, however, the marking system on a student's record shall not be altered during his residence at the University.

At the first meeting of the faculty in 1937, a resolution was carried which would make it possible to excuse students from the second semester of English composition if their first semester grades had been either B or A and their other grades C or above. The approval of this resolution indicates an emphasis upon achievement in written English rather than the mere completion of a certain number of course hours.

The conclusion of a century of life in Ann Arbor in June, 1937, brought to partial fulfillment the continuous growth and progress of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. At the present Page  437time, with a student body of approximately five thousand and a faculty numbering more than three hundred, the College has attained a position of eminence and honor among the institutions of higher education in the country. The contribution by the faculty to the sum of human knowledge continues each year through the publication of significant articles and books. While the College has not been always the first in the country to adopt new procedures, it has been often among the first to approve new departures which have become a permanent part of undergraduate instruction. The program of concentrated study during the last two years of college is being integrated gradually into the academic life of the institution. The gratifying results of the reorganization of the College so that its administration is carried on by the dean and an executive committee, and the more democratic conduct of the affairs of the departments of the College, indicate a dynamic future and a continuing contribution to higher education.


Announcement, Department [College, 1915 — ] of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Univ. Mich., 1878-1940.
By-Laws of the Department of Science, Literature and the Arts …, 1855. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1855.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1843-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
Effinger, John R. MS, "Report from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts for the Year 1914-15." 2 pp. In Harry B. Hutchins Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
Effinger, John R. MS, "University of Michigan. College of Literature, Science and the Arts, 1909-10 to 1919-20." 26 pp. In Harry B. Hutchins Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
General Rules and Regulations, and By-Laws of the University of Michigan … Detroit: Univ. Mich., 1859.
Laws, Ordinances, By-Laws and Regulations …, University of Michigan. Detroit, 1861.
MS, "Minutes of the Faculty of the Department [College, 1915 — ] of Literature, Science, and the Arts," Univ. Mich., 1908-40.
Organization and Aims of the University of Michigan as Reflected in Its By-Laws …, 1922. Comp. by Lucius L. Hubbard. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923. Pp. i-xix, 1-94.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940. (P.R.)
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
MS, "Records of the Faculty … [Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts]," Univ. Mich., 1846-1908. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Page  438


IN June of 1881, the Regents authorized a School of Political Science — a two-year course for upperclassmen and graduates. This school was suggested by Thomas McIntyre Cooley and was begun in September, 1881, under the deanship of Charles Kendall Adams, who had recently returned from Germany. The student was permitted to study in related fields with much greater freedom than had been previously possible.

The relationship of this school with the rest of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts was considered by the faculty from December, 1881, until May, 1882, when the faculty agreed upon a compromise plan for a small number of students in the Literary Department. This plan, which was known as the "university system," did not require a student to complete a fixed number of courses, but permitted him, under the direction of a faculty committee, to take a large amount of work in a limited range of studies, and required him to write a searching examination at the end of four years. If his examination were satisfactory, he would be granted the degree of bachelor of arts. If the student were able to write a brilliant examination and to present a meritorious thesis, he might be granted the degree of master of arts. Women were included in this plan during its first year of operation.

The student who elected this university system ordinarily selected three related lines of study and arranged his courses subject to the approval of a committee of professors. This work consisted entirely of the election of regular courses within a small range of the academic subjects and represented a degree of specialization which was otherwise impossible. The instructions to a student frequently indicated three groups of courses. The first group was to be completed as if he were working under the credit system, with all the regular course requirements and the final examinations. The courses in the second group were to be attended and as much benefit derived from them as possible without formal election. In the courses of the third group the student was to browse as time permitted.

It is evident from an examination of the historical records that the adoption of this plan was preceded by a detailed consideration of how to carry on true university work without additional preparatory work during the first two years. It would seem, therefore, that the introduction of this system was intended to provide the line of division between preparatory and university work which has so long been a distinguishing characteristic of German education.

During the two-year period 1883-85 the university system expanded very considerably, until there were in all nine fields in which students might specialize under this program. The names of these fields, with the chairmen of the various committees, are as follows:

  • Greek and ancient languages — Martin L. D'Ooge
  • German — Edward L. Walter
  • English literature — Isaac N. Demmon
  • History and political economy — Charles K. Adams
  • Philosophy and the fine arts — William H. Payne and George S. Morris
  • Chemistry and related fields — William H. Pettee
  • Geology — Alexander Winchell
  • Mathematics — Wooster W. Beman
  • Astronomy — Mark W. Harrington

Contrary to the implication of the speech of President Frank Aydelotte of Page  439Swarthmore College in the spring of 1936, the university system was not an early attempt at honors work in the sense in which this has been adopted at Swarthmore and other colleges throughout the country. The program was, it is true, only for the abler students, but it provided for no independent work or reading. A full course program was sometimes outlined for two years in advance. There was, in fact, almost no one on the staff at that time who knew the meaning of reading for honors as it has been practiced at Oxford and Cambridge universities for centuries.

During the years when the university system was under consideration, the faculty was also discussing the qualifications for the various doctor's degrees which should be granted by the University. Inasmuch as there was at that time no graduate school, the university system and the work for advanced degrees became inextricably bound together, and the Registrar's Office records indicate that as early as 1883 there were graduate as well as undergraduate students enrolled under the university system. By 1885 or 1886, the number of graduate students who were enrolled in the university system was equal to that of the undergraduates, and within a year had exceeded the number of undergraduate students. The records for 1887-88 were labeled:

  • 1 — Graduation on the University System
  • 2 — Higher degrees on the University System
Subsequent to 1888, the number of undergraduate students enrolled in the university system comprised a very small proportion of the total. During 1889-90, the records were labeled: "University System and Advanced Degrees; The Last of the Group Arrangement, Decentralization."

This statement of fact, appearing without any explanation on the records of the Registrar's Office for that year, would be difficult to understand, were it not for the action of the faculty taken on June 2, 1890. This action named the professor of the department in which the major study fell as chairman of the committee for advanced degrees, the committee to be composed of professors and assistant professors who instructed the candidate. At least three members were required for committees on advanced degrees.

This method of constituting the committees for advanced degrees eliminated the need for the university system in graduate work. The numbers of students who enrolled and graduated in three representative years of this decade were as follows:

Enrolled Graduated
1883-84 18 11
1887-88 16 13
1890-91 3 3
Shortly after the end of this decade, the university system ceased to exist as a vital part of the work of the Literary Department, although the possibility of study on this program was not revoked until after 1900, and occasionally students graduated under its provisions until that date.

A list of students who studied under this plan contains the names of many who later attained prominence. Among these are Ernest Sutherland Bates, Claude Van Tyne, Fred N. Scott, E. R. Sunderland, and Aldred S. Warthin. It is very evident from letters of alumni that this program provided "two years of the richest experience in intimate contact with … great men that a young man could possibly realize."

Page  440

Announcement, Department [College, 1915 — ] of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Univ. Mich., 1881-1900.
Aydelotte, Frank. "The University System at Michigan."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 42 (1936):228-33.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1881-1900.
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1881-1900.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1881-1900.
MS, "Records of the Faculty … [Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts]," Univ. Mich., 1846-1908. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.


DURING the early 1920's, the desirability of offering instruction in anthropology, the need for which had been recognized for a number of years, was made more apparent by the increased interest in the anthropological collections of the University (see Part VIII: Museum of Anthropology). This led, in 1923, to the offer of a nonresident lectureship in anthropology to Colonel Thomas Callan Hodson, of London, England. As a result of his acceptance, regular courses in the subject were given in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for the first time during the second semester of the school year 1923-24. Colonel Hodson, who had enjoyed special opportunities for research in comparative religions while serving as a member of the Indian Civil Service for many years, offered three courses. The enrollment in these indicated the interest in the subject and the advisability of making permanent arrangements for instruction in anthropology.

In the years which followed, attempts were made, without success, to find a professor of anthropology and to organize a regular department. It was finally decided to begin modestly by appointing an instructor in the subject and to develop the work gradually, with the active cooperation of the officials of the recently established Museum of Anthropology. Late in the spring of 1928, a Department of Anthropology was created in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Dean Effinger was authorized to appoint an advisory committee to supervise its activities. The work of this committee led to the appointment, on October 1, 1928, of Julian H. Steward (Cornell '25, Ph.D. California '29), then a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of California, as Part-time Lecturer in Anthropology and Part-time Curator in the Museum of Anthropology. Mr. Steward and Carl Eugen Guthe ('14, Ph.D. Harvard '17), Director of the Museum of Anthropology, jointly offered an introductory course in the subject during the school year 1928-29. Although the course was organized too late to be included in the Announcement for that year, it had an enrollment of seventy-three students.

Having received his doctorate in June, 1929, Steward resigned his position in the Museum of Anthropology in September, 1929, to devote his full time to an instructorship in the College. During the school year 1929-30, a full-year introductory course was given by Steward and Guthe, who held a lectureship in Page  441the department. In addition, Dr. Steward taught three one-semester advanced courses, and conducted a seminar in primitive culture each semester. An individual research course enabled qualified students to take advantage of the library and museum facilities.

In the spring of 1930 Steward resigned to accept a position at the University of Utah and was succeeded by Leslie A. White (Columbia '23, Ph.D. Chicago '27), formerly of the University of Buffalo, who was appointed to an assistant professorship of anthropology in June, 1930. The courses offered in the next school year were essentially the same as those offered the previous year.

During the ensuing years, the department has grown steadily. All of the courses in anthropology were open only to upperclassmen and graduate students until 1936-37, when the full-year introductory course was opened to sophomores. That same year a survey course was established to meet the needs of upperclassmen and graduate students concentrating in other fields. In the fall of 1930, an assistantship was established in the department, and in June, 1932, White was advanced to the rank of associate professor. In November, 1935, Mischa Titiev (Harvard '23, Ph.D. ibid. '35) was appointed as an instructor in the department. Dr. Guthe has continued to teach one or two courses as a part-time lecturer. During this period White gradually assumed full responsibilities as the acting chairman of the department.

In the school year 1930-31, the department offered eighteen semester hours of courses, including the full-year introductory course open only to upperclassmen, and a course in research and special work each semester. In 1937-38, thirty-seven semester hours were offered, including the full-year introductory course now open to sophomores, and two courses each semester in research and special work, one in the department and the other in the Museum of Anthropology. The enrollment increased from 250 in 1930-31 to 553 in 1936-37. Regular summer session courses in anthropology were offered for the first time in the summer of 1937. Extension courses in anthropology have been given for a number of years in Detroit, Saginaw, and Pontiac.

The department is still young, but it is well established, due in no small measure to the cordial welcome it has received from the faculties of its sister departments. As yet, it is not possible to offer a full complement of courses in all the fields of anthropology. The interests and energy of the present small staff lead to an emphasis upon theoretical anthropology of the American Indian. As opportunity offers, it is planned to add courses in ethnography, comparative linguistics, archaeology, technology, and, possibly, physical anthropology. The present offerings allow students to obtain a master's degree in the subject.


Announcement, Department [College, 1915 — ] of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Univ. Mich., 1920-40.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1920-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1920-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1920-40.
Page  442


THE Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan has a long and honorable record. A professorship of astronomy, "didaxia of astronomia," was among the thirteen "didaxiim" proposed in the Act of 1817 establishing "the catholepistemiad, or university, of Michigania." A professorship of natural philosophy, a subject under which astronomy has an important place, was provided for in Ann Arbor in 1837. In the first published announcement of the University in 1843-44, George Palmer Williams, one of the two members of the original faculty, appeared as Professor of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics.

Winfield Smith ('46, A.M. '49) reported that in the beginning no science was taught "except Mathematics by Professor Williams," but in the first Catalogue, under the general heading "Mathematical and Scientific Studies," Davison Olmsted's Astronomy, an American text first published in 1839, was listed with the work required of juniors. In the Catalogue of 1844-45 astronomy was first listed as a separate subject; it was given in the third term of the junior year. Members of the class of 1849, a half-century after graduation, boasted that they were "the boys who calculated eclipses of the moon from the desk of Williams, the Paternal." His biographer, the Honorable James V. Campbell, said that Williams excelled as a teacher of astronomy and in spite of meager appliances excited much enthusiasm in that pursuit. As early as 1849 the Board of Regents made an official plea for astronomical instruments.

When the University's teaching program was completely revamped in 1852-53 at the opening of the Tappan administration, astronomical studies were given particular emphasis (see Part I: Tappan Administration). A scientific curriculum leading to the bachelor of science degree was introduced parallel with the classical course, and advanced undergraduate and graduate studies were attempted. The new scheme would, it was announced, "require the erection of an Observatory, a large increase of our library and our philosophical apparatus, and additional Professors." Astronomy was listed in the scientific course and also among the graduate subjects, but there was a blank beneath the title "Professor of Astronomy and Civil Engineering," and it was explained that both subjects were temporarily included, so far as was practicable, in the study of mathematics.

Immediately after Tappan's inauguration a special fund for the Astronomical Observatory was begun. It grew with surprising rapidity, and the Observatory became the outward and visible indication that the new instructional program was under way. In the course of the year the architect was authorized to draw up the plans, and the President arranged for the construction of astronomical instruments in New York and Berlin. (A separate account of the acquisition of physical properties for astronomical instruction and research at the University, including lands, buildings, and equipment, is given in Part III: Astronomical Observatories at Ann Arbor.)

President Tappan offered the position of professor of astronomy and director of the Observatory first to Professor W. A. Norton of Yale College and then to Dr. B. A. Gould of Boston, but both declined. In the course of these negotiations Professor Haven called the President's attention to Professor Alexander Winchell, of the University of Alabama, Page  443and vouched for his ability to manage the astronomical program as well as to teach the natural and physical sciences and engineering. Winchell was engaged to come in January, 1854, as Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering, however, and the search for an astronomer continued.

The President was in correspondence at the time with Dr. Franz F. E. Brünnow of Berlin, who, with Professor J. F. Encke, was supervising the construction of astronomical instruments for the University. Brünnow expressed his enthusiastic admiration of the meridian circle and said he would envy the astronomer who would have the good fortune to use it. Tappan conceived the idea of bringing him to Michigan. He consulted American astronomers, and they bore unanimous testimony to Brünnow's eminent qualifications. Gould, however, advised against the appointment because he doubted the wisdom of engaging foreign professors to teach in American universities. Tappan ruled otherwise. He claimed that "the republic of letters overleaps national boundaries," and that if the growth of a finer native scholarship could be fostered by the importation of an eminent foreigner "even a peculiar national interest" would be served. Moreover, because the Observatory ranked high in the perfection of its instruments, its management would require a master hand.

Franz Friedrich Ernst Brünnow (Ph.D. Berlin '43) was thirty-three at the time he was offered the position of Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory at Ann Arbor in 1854. He was a native of Berlin, and the son of a privy councilor of state. In the University of Berlin he was the favorite pupil of Encke and one of the notable group — including Galle, Bremiker, and D'Arrest — that had gathered about that great astronomer. He was present when Neptune was first recognized, and his notification of its discovery was one of the first to reach England. After serving as assistant to Encke in the Royal Observatory of Berlin he was in 1847 appointed Director of Bilk Observatory, near Düsseldorf, and in 1851 he returned to the Royal Observatory, succeeding Galle as First Assistant to the Director. In the meantime (1848) he published his Mémoire sur la comète de Vico, which brought him the gold medal of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands. He had contributed papers on the orbits of minor planets and comets to the Astronomische Nachrichten, and was the first astronomer to calculate the tables of the asteroids. Humboldt was greatly interested in his career; he urged Brünnow to accept the Michigan offer and looked forward to the contributions he would make in the New World.

The young man's acceptance, according to rumor perhaps apocryphal, was stimulated by a desire to escape personal pursuit. Encke had three daughters, who were fine girls and excellent hausfrauen, but they unfortunately lacked personal beauty. Encke's attachment for Brünnow extended to a desire to have him for a son-in-law. The wilds of the New World offered Brünnow a means of escape; but he later became the son-in-law of President Tappan.

Brünnow reached Ann Arbor in July, 1854. That fall, as the Catalogue of 1854-55 announced, the Observatory building was completed, the transit mounted, and the astronomer had begun his observations. A higher, or "university," course in astronomy was added to the curriculum, and the Observatory instruments were available to students prepared to use them.

But though Brünnow's arrival had been much heralded, his introduction to Ann Arbor was not free from embarrassment. Attacks on President Tappan's Page  444"Prussianism" became more pointed. The Detroit Free Press commented that the Regents had brought an assistant from the "Royal Observatory of Prussia" to take charge of the "Royal Observatory at Ann Arbor" (Perry, p. 206). Students complained that they could not understand Brünnow's lectures. Apparently undisturbed, he quietly proceeded with his work.

When the Walker meridian circle arrived from Berlin in September, 1854, he tested it for systematic errors, and, according to one reviewer, his published table of corrections for this instrument, computed for every fifth degree in position, is perhaps not to be surpassed for thoroughness by anything similar in the whole range of astronomical literature. The sidereal clock and other instruments were installed, but serious difficulties were encountered in the construction and installation of the large telescope from New York — first a long delay, then the temporary use of a loaned instrument, the rejection of the telescope when delivered, revision of the contract, and finally, in March, 1856, a new campaign for funds.

Brünnow soon attacked the problem of "raising up native astronomers," in accordance with President Tappan's expectations. Although an American astronomer needed systematic training in which higher courses in theory should be correlated with practice in the use of instruments under expert guidance, such training was not provided by the only other observatories in the United States that had comparable equipment — Washington, Cincinnati, and Harvard.

At the University of Michigan the basic undergraduate course in astronomy was given early in the junior year. As a senior the student might enroll upon a two-year program of advanced study, which was only briefly referred to in the Catalogue during Brünnow's first two years at Michigan, but was announced in some detail for the year 1856-57:

  • 1. An introductory course, with general regard to the History of Astronomy.
  • 2. Spherical Astronomy and theory of the instruments.
  • 3. Calculation of orbits of the celestial bodies.
  • 4. Numerical calculus; theory of intergrolutions; evolution of differentials and integrals from a series of numerical values; method of the least squares.
  • 5. Physical Astronomy; calculation of special and general perturbations of the heavenly bodies.

(The fact that "intergrolutions" for "interpolations" could appear in print, in the description of Course 4, is an interesting side light on the newness and strangeness of the subjects treated, and perhaps also on the unfamiliar script of Brünnow.)

His Lehrbuch der sphärischen Astronomie had won wide acceptance and had been translated into French, Russian, Italian, and Spanish, and his Tables of Flora was published in Berlin in 1855. His professional ability, already established in Europe, was soon recognized in America and helped bring the University of Michigan a reputation for scientific achievement.

As early as March, 1857, Cleveland Abbe wrote to "every astronomer in the country," inquiring about courses of study in astronomy and practice with astronomical instruments, and was told to study in Ann Arbor if he could not go to one of the famous European universities. According to Robert S. Woodward it was Brünnow who introduced in America before 1860 the methods of "the illustrious Gauss and the incomparable Bessel," the German astronomers who laid the foundation of modern spherical and observational astronomy. From Brünnow are descended directly some of the most distinguished American astronomers.

Page  445His influence upon American scholarship has been compared by Professor Castle of Harvard to that of Agassiz. J. McKeen Cattell has also noted the parallel:

… At nearly the same time Agassiz came from abroad to Harvard and Brünnow to Michigan. We all know the list of distinguished naturalists trained under Agassiz … From Michigan have come, as is not so well known, one-fourth of our distinguished astronomers.

(Quoted in Mich. Alum., 22 [1915]: 6.)
The University has always honored and maintained the tradition, established in Brünnow's administration, that training future astronomers is one of the principal functions of the professor of astronomy and director of the Observatory.

But although gifted students were attracted and the lectures were of high quality, the enrollment was not large. In one course Brünnow lectured to a single student. When he was asked, "Why do you devote so much time to so small a class?" he replied, "That class consists of Watson." Later events showed that his high estimate of this particular student was fully justified. Professor Andrew D. White years afterward remarked, "The best audience any professor ever had in this University was the audience of Dr. Brünnow when he was lecturing to his single pupil, Watson" (Adams, p. 13).

James Craig Watson ('57, Ph.D. Leipzig '70, LL.D. Columbia '77) was born in Ontario in 1838. When he enrolled in the University as a freshman in 1853 his home address was Scio, in the township west of Ann Arbor. He obtained the bachelor's degree at the age of nineteen. During his undergraduate days he mastered Laplace's Mécanique céleste, translated Prechtl's Praktische Dioptrik, and made a four-inch achromatic telescope. Prechtl's work contained instructions for grinding, polishing, and mounting such an instrument, but it appears from Watson's student notebook that he had also appealed directly to Henry Fitz of New York, maker of the large telescope for the University, and had received a letter from Fitz containing instructions for the process. Watson's notebook gives evidence of thorough training in mechanics, optics, and astronomy at the University.

Brünnow was the teacher not only of Watson, but also of Cleveland Abbe (College of the City of New York '57, Ph.D. ibid. '95, LL.D. Michigan '88), founder of the United States Signal Service, of Orlando B. Wheeler (A.B. and B.S. '62, C.E. hon. '79), and of Asaph Hall, Sr., who discovered the two satellites of Mars and whose son was in charge of the Department of Astronomy from 1892 to 1905.

In addition to his scientific achievements, Brünnow's quiet simplicity, fine spirit, and musical accomplishments won many friends on the faculty and caused those "who knew him best to love him most." Nevertheless, his administration was full of difficulties. The antagonism aroused against "Prussianism" in the University continued in the form of merciless but largely anonymous criticism of the President and Brünnow. The Observatory drained money from the fund faster than it could be obtained from subscribers, and as early as 1856 the Observatory debt was a source of serious annoyance. The young astronomer's interests were even more closely allied with those of the President by his marriage in 1857 to Rebecca Lloyd Tappan, the President's daughter; his trip to Europe, for which he obtained a leave of absence from March to October of that year, is referred to in Alexander Winchell's journal as his "wedding tour." While in Berlin Brünnow may have confided to his old friend Humboldt his difficulties as to the Observatory, for in a letter dated May 4, 1857, to the New York Evening Post, Humboldt wrote:

The supreme direction of an institute Page  446worthy of the States which move at the head of the civilization of the New World cannot be entrusted to more worthy hands. Attached heart and soul, like myself, to the prosperity, the grandeur, to the intellectual progress of your noble country, Mr. Brünnow will justify the sympathies solicited through your support…

(Winchell, MS "Scrapbook," I: 2.)
Not until November, 1857, just after his return, was the large telescope by Fitz finally received and accepted as satisfactory; it was ready for use in December.

In 1858 he began the Astronomical Notices, published at Ann Arbor, as a medium for the regular publication of observations and scientific investigations carried on at the Observatory, and also to furnish practical astronomers ephemerides of newly discovered comets and asteroids. In this as well as in the observational work he was ably assisted by his favorite pupil, Watson, who was assistant observer during the two years after his graduation in 1857. In 1859 Watson and DeVolson Wood, then Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, received the first master's degrees that the University granted on examination.

Brünnow's Tables of Victoria, a very complete work on the motion of this asteroid, involving a large amount of computation, was published in 1858. For this work the Regents placed $200 at the disposal of President Tappan. Appropriations were also made toward the expenses of the Astronomical Notices. The first article of Volume 1 of that publication was Brünnow's "The General Perturbations and Elliptical Elements of Vesta," another valuable contribution on the motion of the asteroids. This was followed by a paper on the "Oppositions of Vesta." Watson contributed observations on comets and asteroids. Articles and observations were contributed from various observatories in this country, including Hamilton College, Dudley, Harvard, Naval, and L. M. Rutherford's, also from several in Europe, including Bilk, Upsala, Hamburg, and Madrid. "On a Magnetic Break-circuit" describes a contribution by Brünnow to practical astronomy. In his words, "I hit upon the idea of using the attractive force of a small magnet connected with the pendulum." The small break-circuit mechanism "was executed with great nicety" by R. F. Bond of Boston; it could be applied to the pendulum of any clock without making alterations of the clock necessary or disturbing its uniform rate. A mention of the new mechanism was followed by an article by Bond on his isodynamic escapement.

The disturbing criticisms continued — that the Observatory was too extravagant a project for a state university, that the department reached only a few students, and that they could not understand Brünnow's English. He felt, however, that the success of the Observatory was assured, especially as it was to collaborate with two of the best American observatories in a great task, a large catalogue of stars, but he resigned in 1859 and went to Dudley Observatory, Albany, as Associate Director. His resignation was accepted apparently in good faith by the Regents, resolutions of commendation were passed, and the impression was given that he had left for the sake of a higher salary (see also Part I: Tappan Administration). He retained the directorship of the Observatory at Ann Arbor without salary, and offered to advise Watson, who was left in charge. At the same time, the Regents changed Watson's title to Professor of Astronomy and Instructor in Mathematics, against the advice of President Tappan, who considered the professorship premature.

New troubles arose, chiefly as to the relative merits of published astronomical observations by Watson and Brünnow and as to Watson's conduct of the Observatory. Watson's contributions were Page  447characterized as routine observations which any assistant might make, whereas those of Brünnow, though fewer in number, were said to be more important and to have involved a larger amount of labor in computation. Watson replied that whereas Brünnow had eight published contributions between July, 1854, and September, 1858, he had twenty-one (one report gives twenty-eight), and that although some of them were of minor importance others were more valuable: he had reported the discovery of a comet and the independent though not earliest discovery of a new asteroid, Aglaia, and his paper, "The Orbit of Donati's Comet," in 1858, was accepted as authoritative.

Watson replied to the charges that no observations had been made in 1859-60, that he had failed to respond to telegraphic signals in longitude determination, and that students and others were not permitted to visit the Observatory. He pointed out that Brünnow had taught only a few courses and had had an assistant observer for routine work, whereas he, Watson, had none in 1859-60 and was carrying a heavy teaching load in mathematics and astronomy. He claimed that he had had to entertain visitors and that in spite of these handicaps observations had been carried on and computations had been made.

The Regents were kindly disposed toward Watson; at his request they appropriated funds for improving the building, and their resolution to restrict visitors to the Observatory to one night a month, although it was tabled, is also indicative of their sympathetic attitude.

Friends of the Observatory, however, especially the Detroit contributors, urged the Board of Regents to endeavor to induce Brünnow to return. The result was his reappointment at a higher salary ($1,500) to begin October 1, 1860. Watson was appointed Professor of Physics and Instructor in Mathematics at a salary of $1,000, which he declined at first but finally accepted. Brünnow's return to Ann Arbor was mentioned in the Astronomical Notices, fourteen numbers of which had been published at Albany. Publication at Ann Arbor was resumed in October, 1860, and was continued through the issuance of the twenty-ninth and last number on March 18, 1862.

In the summer of 1860 Brünnow visited Peters at Hamilton College Observatory and with him observed a partial solar eclipse, recording the time of beginning and end.

In addition to the work on star positions in co-operation with Mitchell, Brünnow undertook to observe all double stars south of the equator visible at Ann Arbor, and to furnish regular observations on eight assigned asteroids, also observational data on all newly discovered asteroids and comets.

Arrangements were made to carry out meridian-circle observations in connection with Hamilton College for the determination of the longitude of the Detroit Observatory. The value derived by Brünnow in 1861 was 5h34m54s.87 W. The adopted value for Harvard, with which Hamilton had been connected, was revised later, and the longitude of the Walker meridian circle at Ann Arbor is now fixed at 5h34m55s.27 W. Brünnow's value for the latitude was +42° 16'48."0, in close agreement with the present adopted value +42°16'48."7.

An article on flexure by Brünnow appeared in 1861. Star observations, however, constituted his chief work during the remainder of his period of service in Ann Arbor. At the end of President Tappan's administration in 1863, Brünnow left for Germany, taking his star observations with him.

In the meantime Watson, as Professor of Physics and Instructor in Mathematics, had continued to contribute publications Page  448in astronomy, but not of an observational nature. In 1860 his Popular Treatise on Comets appeared. He disproved that "dry fogs" were caused by comets and branded Whiston's attempt to account for the Biblical flood by their influence "the effect of a mind devoted to speculations." He included discussion of a resisting medium, the nebular hypothesis, and the stability of the solar system, and concluded with general remarks on infinity and Omnipotence.

He became interested through Gould in the reduction of the Washington Zones, and devoted much time to this work.

His article, "On the Correction of the Elements of the Orbit of a Comet," published in the American Journal of Science and Arts in 1863, later became the subject of attack.

While teaching at Michigan Brünnow had felt the need of an English text on spherical astronomy and had made arrangements to translate his own Lehrbuch der sphärischen Astronomie, but only after his return to Germany was he able to complete his translation, which was published in 1864. In the following year he became Astronomer Royal of Scotland and Andrews Professor of Astronomy at the University of Dublin. His son, Rudolph Ernst Brünnow, later became professor of oriental languages at Heidelberg University.

The administration of Watson as Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory began auspiciously in the fall of 1863. The resolution appointing him in August of that year lists, in his support, the leading astronomers in the United States, including Professor Elias Loomis of Yale College, Professor Benjamin Peirce of Harvard College, Dr. B. A. Gould of the United States Coast Survey, Professor William Chauvenet of Washington University, St. Louis, Joseph Winlock, the superintendent of the Nautical Almanac office, and Commander J. M. Gillis, of the United States Naval Observatory, Washington (R.P., 1837-64, p. 1062).

The Tappan party, however, was yet to be heard from. Watson was accused of plagiarism; the charge was made that his article "On the Corrections of the Elements of the Orbit of a Comet" in Silliman's Journal was taken from Brünnow's notes. Cleveland Abbe contributed a paper somewhat similar but less detailed, entitled, "On the Improvement of the Elements of a Comet's Orbit: Brünnow's Method," and credited it to notes made in 1858 from Brünnow's lectures. Watson's contributions, however, continued to appear in the Journal.

There was another bone of contention in that the site of the Observatory was inaccessible and that its foundation was unsteady. Citizens of Ann Arbor advocated the removal of the Observatory to the campus. It was said that Brünnow before his resignation had favored this change of site, and Watson was represented as favorable, because he thought a better foundation might be had and that the proposed location would be more convenient and the instruments more useful. In 1865 the citizens of Ann Arbor subscribed $10,000 for the project and the city proposed to pay the Regents $10,000 for the building and the site. Tappan wrote from Berlin October 27, 1865, to Professor Edward P. Evans, of the Department of Modern Languages:

… Your account of Watson's maneuvering is very amusing. And they really thought to blast my reputation by moving the Observatory! Every body knows … that I am responsible for everything respecting the Observatory excepting its location upon a hill. That was decided while I was absent in Europe, & I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

(Perry, p. 352.)

President Haven presented reasons for retaining the site, and the Regents were Page  449in favor of keeping the five acres of land. Watson joined these forces and made an appeal in behalf of the Observatory, including among its needs about $3,000 for changes in the building, an endowment of at least $10,000 for one or more assistants, and a publication fund, at least $10,000, for astronomical and meteorological contributions. Haven, in his report for 1866, called attention to the resources and the number of assistants of other observatories whose contributions to science during the preceding few years he intimated were not as great as those of the Detroit Observatory, and concluded:

Let the liberal friends of science in Detroit complete the work which they have so happily begun; let the building be enlarged and let the Observatory have an independent endowment of about $30,000, the interest of which will support the Director and pay for the printing of valuable observations and calculations and other papers, and the whole will be a perpetual and noble monument of the far-seeing liberality of its founders.

(P.R., 1866, p. 3.)
Watson proposed to present the subscription list in person to "as many of the solid men of Detroit as possible." The Detroit editors took up the question. One, not entirely convinced, expressed a representative attitude:

… But, before the building is enlarged our citizens are interested in procuring its removal to a more suitable, central and getatable location. It has been for years conceded that a mistake was made in locating the Observatory.

(Winchell, MS, "Scrapbook," II: 24.)

The President of the University and the Director of the Observatory won the argument. The citizens of Ann Arbor were also convinced upon the cancellation of their subscriptions. The Observatory building was enlarged, both cities having responded to the new appeal with $3,000 each, with the understanding that $500 from Ann Arbor would be used for roads (see Part I: Haven Administration).

The courses in astronomy offered in Watson's time were similar to those given by Brünnow. In 1868-69 Descriptive Astronomy was included in the junior year of the classical, the scientific, the Latin and scientific, and the civil engineering programs of study. The special two-year program in higher astronomy was retained. In 1868-69 the description of two of the courses was somewhat changed; these appeared as "Numerical Calculus; Theory of Interpolation; Method of Least Squares" and "Physical Astronomy; Calculation of Special and General Perturbations of Planets; and Perturbations of Comets." A revision of the special program in higher astronomy was announced for 1875-76. Only the general topics which would "give direction to the lectures" were listed. They were:

Formation of the Fundamental Equations of Motion. Integration of the Equations for Undisturbed Motion, and Determination of the Elements of the Orbit. Theory of Interpolation. Calculation of Ephemerides.

Calculation of the Orbits of the Celestial Bodies from Three or more Observations. Correction of the Elements. Combination of Observations by Method of Least Squares. Special and General Perturbations. Determination of Time, Latitude, and Longitude.

Theory of the Instruments.

(Cal., 1875-76, p. 75.)

A course especially for students of engineering, Spherical and Practical Astronomy, was introduced in 1878-79. In the same year physics and mathematics were made prerequisites, and the order in which courses in astronomy might be elected was designated. Watson's general lectures in Astronomy 2 had to be preceded not only by Physics 1 but also by some elementary work in astronomy, "as Lockyer's, Loomis's, or White's."

Page  450Watson's discovery of asteroids was one of his outstanding achievements. Soon after his appointment as Director he began the preparation of ecliptic star charts to use in this work. Although the charts were not entirely completed they served their chief purpose by providing fields for search and comparison stars for the measurement of motion in the discovery of twenty-two asteroids. Watson found more than one-fifth of the total number discovered between 1863 and 1877 (Eurynome to Clytemnestra). Juewa was discovered at Peking, China, during the transit-of-Venus expedition. For the discovery of six in 1868, an unprecedented feat, and three previously, he was awarded the Lalande prize by the French Academy in 1870.

Watson's "bagging asteroids" became a well-known local phrase. An Eastern paper, the Providence Journal, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1871 contained an article with the following comment:

… Discovering asteroids is getting to be an every-day affair. One of the professors in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just received a gold medal from some European society for discovering nine of them … They are not of much account and gold medals might be more worthily bestowed.

(Chronicle, 2 [1871]: 57.)
This was termed "sour grapes" by his admirers.

He left a fund with the National Acaddemy of Science to provide for computing and publishing tables of his asteroids. The distinguished theoretical astronomer Simon Newcomb was on the first board of trustees of the Watson fund. The unruly asteroids provided a merry chase. Several proved so wayward that they eluded pursuit for many years.

In 1869 Watson accepted the supervision of work committed to him by Professor Benjamin Peirce of Harvard, Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, on the improvement of lunar tables for use in calculations for the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. Existing moon tables at that time needed correction, especially for practical navigation. Meridian observations and star occultations provided more exact data to check improved theory. In his report to the president in 1872 Watson stated that the work on lunar theory had progressed well. Messrs. Kintner, Edgerton, Burton, Ritter, Baker, and Chute, all Michigan alumni, were engaged in computation under Watson's direction at the expense of the United States Coast Survey. During five years' work on the motion of the moon, the theories of Hansen and Peirce were compared with observations. The result was quite satisfactory, but was not published and is lost.

Watson had charge of the transit-of-Venus expedition to Peking, China, in 1874, which was his most important scientific commission. Two years before the event he was appointed astronomer-in-chief of the expedition by the United States Government and was granted a leave of absence for 1873-74. Several parties were sent out under the commission created by Congress. The scientific data obtained by the party to Peking is included in the volume on the Observations of the Transit of Venus, December 8-9, 1874. All four contacts were observed, although the times were somewhat uncertain because of thin clouds, unsteadiness of the image, the "black drop," and the atmosphere of Venus. Mrs. James C. Watson called time and acted as recorder for her husband.

In 1875 Watson interrupted his return trip from the expedition to China to cooperate with Egyptian engineers in establishing a fundamental geodetic survey. For this service he accepted no monetary honorarium, but was decorated as Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of the Medjidieh of Turkey and Egypt.

Page  451He was one of the judges of instruments of precision at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, and prepared a comprehensive report on the horological instruments, which was published in book form in 1880. He was present when Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his newly invented telephone. The illustrious company present on this occasion included Sir William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) of England, the Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil, and Professor Joseph Henry of Princeton. One report states: "Most of the routine transmitting was done by Professor Watson of Ann Arbor, whose voice appeared to transmit most readily."

In 1877 an appropriation of $1,500 was made for instruments to observe the transit of Mercury May 8, 1878. Watson appealed in person and secured from the Regents a sum not to exceed $200 for a building to enable him to locate at the Observatory one of the United States Government stations for the approaching transit. Part of the expense was paid by Congress, and Watson's observations were reported to Washington. Instruments loaned by the government were returned, and an additional appropriation was secured to fit up the building and supplement the equipment for the students' observatory, which was being used more and more.

Watson went on an eclipse expedition to Iowa in 1869, on another to Sicily in 1870, and on one to Wyoming in 1878. For the eclipse in 1869 Congress appropriated $5,000 for Professor J. H. C. Coffin, superintendent of the American Nautical Almanac, who established his station at Burlington, Iowa. Watson, stationed at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, made the preliminary computations and directed the program, personally observing the prominences, their form and distribution, and also the form and extent of the corona.

On the way to the Sicily eclipse he was entertained at the Greenwich Observatory by the astronomer royal, Professor Airy, and after the event received the degree of doctor of philosophy at Leipzig and was made a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Italy. Upon his return to Michigan his speeches on his travels in Europe were enthusiastically received.

The year 1878 centered Watson's attention on the problem of "Vulcan," a hypothetical planet within Mercury's orbit, postulated by Leverrier to account for the discrepancy between the observed and computed advance in the longitude of the perihelion of Mercury. The "discovery" of Vulcan had been announced by Lescarbault, but later confirmation was lacking. Watson had obtained from Leverrier data with regard to Vulcan, including the computed times of its transit of the sun, and had made observations in search of the planet. For the solar eclipse July 29, 1878, Watson made a long trip to Separation, Wyoming, in the Rocky Mountains, to look for Vulcan. On that occasion he thought he observed one, or perhaps two, intramercurial planets. His observations were reported to Washington and also to the Astronomische Nachrichten. At the University this supposed discovery was accepted as "the most brilliant of the many achievements" of Watson. He had not only found Vulcan but also another planet. But the astronomical world was skeptical. Watson evidently was confident of the existence of Vulcan, for his later efforts were largely centered on this problem.

No one has yet given an adequate explanation of Watson's supposed discovery of two intramercurial planets. He was a careful and experienced observer, yet all subsequent searches have failed to corroborate his observations, and the consensus of present-day opinion is that Page  452no such bodies are in existence; at least of the brightness noted by Watson. Extensive photographic observations made during modern eclipses, mainly by Lick Observatory, have never disclosed any small planet within the orbit of Mercury, though objects far fainter than those noted by Watson should invariably have been discovered. The only possible explanation seems to be that the objects he thought were intramercurial planets were in reality stars.

Watson was freely criticized by students and public for not giving them the opportunity to visit the Observatory and to look through the large telescope. A few students expected to specialize in astronomy, but many wished to look through the famous instrument.

At the beginning of his administration Watson evidently desired to meet this demand. In the fall of 1863 it was announced that the Observatory would be open to visitors every Friday night. This practice, however, was short-lived.

The class of 1869 claimed that there was a "want of enthusiasm apparent" when they were studying astronomy, and assigned it in part to the imperfect illustration which the subject received. "Not more than one-half of those engaged in the study ever entered the Observatory," they said.

In 1874 the following complaint was chronicled:

… During the present week the Juniors have been granted the privilege of making this long-wished-for visit to the Observatory. A passing glance at pale Luna and girdled Jupiter was allowed each man as his row slided [sidled?] along the seat, and then his only sight of the big telescope during his four years' course was over.

(Chronicle, 5 [1874]: 199.)

Watson's absence while serving as a judge at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 was the occasion of a thrust by the Ann Arbor Courier at the "Accommodating (?) Director of our Observatory":

… If our "star-gazer" has too much to do [to admit visitors], which is possible, if he be not only director of the observatory, but director of the planetary system and Centennial as well, might he not at least on Centennial years have some assistance …

(Ann Arbor Courier, May 26, 1876.)
The students who declared themselves the sufferers at that time were of the class of 1877; they had seen the Observatory "only afar off." An appeal by the students helped the situation within the University, but so great was the complaint on the behalf of the taxpayers that a committee of the state legislature took up the question. This committee, however, justified his refusal to admit miscellaneous visitors.

As juniors the class of 1879 showed more interest in the subject. They were "sworn admirers of Professor Watson and his mode of teaching" and looked on astronomy "as the most pleasant work of the year."

Student elections in his courses were undoubtedly influenced by the wide acceptance of his Theoretical Astronomy, upon which his reputation as a writer was chiefly based. This authoritative work was completed in 1867 and published in 1868; in 1869-70 twelve seniors were enrolled in the advanced work, using it as a textbook. Two editions had been published in the United States and one in England since its first appearance, and it was used as a text at Oxford, Leipzig, Upsala, Breslau, and Utrecht. It is a complete compilation and digest of the theory and method of orbital determination. In his preface Watson traced the historical development of the subject from the time of Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation and gave credit to the chief contributors to date, including Brünnow, Page  453but, with very few exceptions, specific credit was not given throughout the text. Watson covered the whole field very thoroughly and drew pertinent material from every available source, but his great power of assimilation made it all his own. His ability to adapt theory to method and arrange complicated problems in convenient form for solution remains unexcelled.

Watson advocated and practiced the lecture method and in this way contributed to the adoption of the elective system in the University.

His teaching methods were "somewhat peculiar," and the student response varied accordingly. William H. H. Beadle ('61, '67l, LL.D. '02) has reported:

… He taught individuals better than classes. He was selective in method, and gave chief attention to those who showed aptness and efficiency. The more one loved the subject the closer Watson was to him. Due to his great celerity in the use of mathematics and enthusiasm for astronomy only comparatively few kept up with his lead.

(Mich. Alum., 9 [1902]: 10-11.)
He was a computer of such remarkable skill and rapidity that he is reported to have computed the elliptic elements of an orbit at a single sitting, and on one occasion in a trial of skill he defeated a professional calculator of the lecture platform.

President Angell placed a high estimate on Watson's achievements. Regarding his pedagogic methods the President said:

In teaching he had none of the methods of the drill master. But his lecture or his talk was so stimulating that one could not but learn and love to learn by listening. Sometimes while discussing an intricate problem he would suddenly have an entirely new demonstration flash upon his mind as by inspiration and then and there he would write it out upon the blackboard.

(Angell, p. 232.)
Other estimates agree with this. One class expressed a preference to hear him rather than use a text. Perhaps there was another reason: he was not exacting in recitations or examinations. He is said to have passed on final examination an entire class, including one member who had died shortly after enrollment. His lectures before the whole student body attracted special attention. Sophomores enjoyed giving the freshmen extravagant expectations regarding the personal appearance of "Tubby," whose rotund form, ruddy face, and full voice contributed to his popularity. Frequently there was a large attendance at his public lectures, as after his return from Peking — he had to repeat one travelogue to meet popular demand — but when one of his scientific lectures ran to extreme length, the suggestion was made that some would rather have gone twice.

Hinsdale comments that astronomy was one of the two fields in which the University's advanced work previous to 1878 really deserved the name of graduate study. It was the "old astronomy," a study chiefly of the positions and motions of the heavenly bodies, that was taught, although spectrum analysis had been placed on a scientific basis in 1859 and later completely revolutionized the study of astronomy by the introduction of astrophysics. As early as 1870, however, special attention was called to the need of a spectroscope, but many years were to pass before this urgent need was supplied.

Despite the Observatory's international reputation Watson was frequently hampered in his efforts to obtain instruments, assistants, and computers. In 1876 President Angell reported to the Regents:

It is much to be regretted that an Observatory at which so much work is done, giving a wide reputation to the University and making most valuable contributions to science, is not provided with an adequate Page  454fund for the payment of assistants and computers, and for the publication of full reports of the labor accomplished.

(P.R., 1876, p. 8.)
Watson's request for assistants and funds for publication in the fall of 1878 met with some success; John Martin Schaeberle ('76e) was made an assistant at $500 and another man was appointed for mechanical work and janitor service.

Watson was greatly interested in the offer of the directorship of Washburn Observatory, newly established at the University of Wisconsin; there he would have the use of a new 15 1/2-inch Clarke refractor and a prospective solar observatory in his search for Vulcan. A committee of the Board of Regents reported in 1878:

… Professor Watson has done and is doing a large amount of work in the field of original research and computation, not coming strictly within the scope of his work of instruction, and which he has hitherto performed voluntarily and without consideration.

(R.P., 1876-81, p. 317.)
In an effort to retain his services the Regents unanimously passed a resolution to support and develop the Observatory and increased his salary from $2,200 to $2,700. A local paper complained that this was $500 more than any other professor in the University received, and ridiculed the "artful cry" that "the University must not lose Watson," which had been raised when it was rumored, after his trip to Wisconsin, that he had been offered $3,200 and $2,000 for an assistant.

Nevertheless, Watson left. He apparently made a tentative arrangement in October, 1878, and resigned February 7, 1879. On March 25 his successor, Mark Walrod Harrington ('68, A.M. '71, LL.D. '94), was appointed, his service to begin October 1. Watson died in November, 1880, less than two years after his departure; his illness was brought on by exposure while he was superintending construction of the astronomer's residence in Madison. The funeral and memorial services for him were held in Ann Arbor.

Harrington had been connected with the University in one capacity or another from 1868, the date of his graduation, until 1876. He was Assistant Curator of the Museum and also taught a number of subjects, including mathematics, geology, zoology, and botany. In 1870-71 his instructorships included French, but he was released from this duty.

In the summer of 1871 he went to Alaska as astronomical assistant on an expedition of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, and on his return in December, 1872, presented the University with about two hundred and fifty botanical specimens, nearly one hundred geological specimens, and a few ethnological specimens. He taught in the Department of Geology until 1874 and in the Department of Zoology and Botany until 1876-77, when he was absent on leave to attend the University of Leipzig. The next year he resigned and went to China as Professor of Astronomy in the Cadet School of the Foreign Office at Peking, but returned to America in 1878 because of ill health. In 1878-79 he taught at the University of Louisiana.

The measurement of requirements for the bachelor's degree by actual count of class and laboratory hours (the "credit system") went into effect in 1878-79, the year before Harrington came. Early in his administration the time devoted to Astronomy 2, General Astronomy, was extended from one to three meetings a week, and a new course in meteorology, Astronomy 5, was added.

Under Harrington more astronomical instruments for the use of students were obtained, as well as meteorological equipment, and the practice of issuing regular Page  455meteorological reports was begun. Tridaily records of the barograph, thermograph, and anemograph were reported to the State Board of Health at Lansing.

Schaeberle, Assistant in the Observatory, continued the observations (chiefly with the Walker meridian circle) which he had begun under Watson. Positions of 155 stars he had earlier observed were published at the Washburn Observatory at the beginning of Watson's administration there. Appended to Harrington's report was a letter from Schaeberle, who summarized the results he had obtained at the University between October 1, 1879, and January 1, 1881, as follows (Harrington, p. 20):

Observations with the Walker Meridian Circle
Stars for clock and instrumental corrections 561
249 stars for latitude work 548
Struve's double stars 397
Planets 23
Total 1,529
With the equatorial telescope, observations were made on twenty-eight nights, chiefly on comets and comparison stars, some of which, not in catalogues, had to be observed with the meridian circle. Two comets were discovered at Ann Arbor during this fifteen-month period. One had been previously seen, but one which Schaeberle found in April, 1880, was new. He added another in 1881. The astronomical results which he and Harrington obtained appeared in various scientific publications.

Harrington had a short leave of absence in the fall of 1881 in order to do astronomical work on the Pacific coast. Further changes were made in the announcement of courses, and Schaeberle was given teaching duties as well as observational work.

In 1882 the Observatory participated in the work on the great comet of that year. This comet attracted wide attention, not only because of the remarkable luminosity which made it visible by day, but also because opinion as to its identity was divided. Some held that it was identical with the great comet of 1843 and Comet 1880 I and that the periods had been shortened by passage through the solar corona at a distance of only 300,000 miles from the surface, and predicted still further decrease and final fall into the sun. After perihelion the nucleus divided into four parts and even fainter components were seen. The view was then accepted that these three comets were different but followed nearly the same track when close to the sun. Other comets have since been added to this famous group.

The greater part of Harrington's published contributions was in the new field of meteorology rather than in astronomy. His work in establishing the American Meteorological Journal in 1884 and in serving as its editor until 1892 stimulated great interest and inspired investigations by others.

In 1883 "The Tools of an Astronomer," an article by him, appeared in the Sidereal Messenger. His thesis is well stated: "Our proposition is: that in the progress of astronomy the instrumental art has led the science and has also led advances in the sciences nearest allied." But, although he emphasized the progress which the application of the astronomical telescope, as well as of older instruments, had brought about, he only briefly described the application of the spectroscope and said nothing of its great possibilities.

Another of the publications by Harrington is an undated treatise of twenty-five pages, The Law of Averages, in which he describes the curve of frequency and gives an application of some of its properties. He omits the theory of the subject, and refers the reader to Merriman's Page  456Method of Least Squares for additional rules to apply. Mathematical Theories of Planetary Motions, the translation of a German work by Dr. Otto Dziobek of Berlin-Charlottenburg, was begun in Ann Arbor by Harrington in collaboration with William Joseph Hussey, but was not published until 1892, when both had left the department.

In March, 1885, Harrington obtained a leave of absence for 1885-86 because of illness; in April classes were placed under Schaeberle, and he was made Acting Assistant Professor of Astronomy at a salary of $1,600.

Schaeberle continued his observational work until 1888, when he resigned and went to Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, California. William Wallace Campbell ('86e, Sc.D. '05, LL.D. Wisconsin '02), later president of the University of California, was then appointed Instructor in Astronomy, and held the position until he also went to Lick Observatory in 1891. Campbell, who had received his practical training as an astronomer under Schaeberle, carried on the observational work, chiefly on comets and their orbital determination, and in 1888 published his Elements of Practical Astronomy.

In June, 1891, Harrington was granted another leave of absence for the first semester of the coming year and William Joseph Hussey ('89e, Sc.D. Brown '12), who for two years had been Instructor in Mathematics, was made Instructor in Astronomy at the same salary he had previously received, $900, and was placed in charge of the Observatory and of the Department of Astronomy. Harrington then went to Washington to reorganize the meteorological work of the government, and on July 1, 1891, became first Chief of the Weather Bureau.

The government work on the weather had formerly been under the Signal Service, where army discipline had been maintained. He was not a disciplinarian, and in the role of first civilian chief, with methods acquired in educational work, did not succeed as an executive. After four years he was removed from his position. Then he served for two years as president of the University of Washington. In September, 1898, he re-entered the Weather Bureau as director at San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was recalled six months later and stationed at New York, but retired in June, 1899, because of failing mental and physical health. Soon after retirement he wandered from home and no word came from him excepting a weird message or two and an occasional news item regarding a strange learned character working at menial labor in out-of-the-way places. He even wandered as far as China, the scene of earlier professorial service. In June, 1907, an applicant for shelter appeared at a police station in Newark, New Jersey, unable to identify himself or give an account of his wanderings. In the sanitarium where he was placed he acquired a reputation for great learning, which spread outside and was the means of his discovery by his wife and son in 1908. His condition showed some improvement, but he did not recover sufficiently to remain at home. He died October 9, 1926.

In the autumn of 1891, after Harrington's departure from Ann Arbor, Hussey's title was changed to Instructor in Astronomy and Acting Director of the Observatory. During the year some of the announced courses were not given; meteorology was dropped and has never been offered since that time in the Department of Astronomy. Hussey resigned in 1892 in order to go to Leland Stanford Junior University, and Asaph Hall, Jr. (Harvard '82, Ph.D. Yale '89), was appointed Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory.

Hall, unlike the second and third directors of the Observatory, was not Michigan-trained. He was the son of the Page  457famous Asaph Hall, astronomer, who had studied for a short time at Ann Arbor under Brünnow (see p. 445). Hall, Jr., came to the University from the United States Naval Observatory, where he had been assistant astronomer since 1882, with the exception of four years spent at Yale University.

The announced courses of instruction were continued with very slight change; they included General Astronomy, Spherical and Practical Astronomy, Theoretical Astronomy, and an extended practical course, Astronomy 9, to which only students who received special permission were admitted.

The new Director, whose father had urged him to do meridian-circle work when he came to Michigan, took an immediate interest in the condition of the instruments. Watson had not made regular use of the meridian circle. It was now put into good condition and re-examined for division errors to test Brünnow's results. Brünnow's elaborate series of observations of the Bradley stars made with this instrument had been taken to Europe. Hall resumed work on the Bradley stars, including some for latitude determination and latitude variation.

The need for regular publication of astronomical investigations conducted at the University was one which Hall recognized soon after he came to Ann Arbor. In the way of records very little could be found. Brünnow's Astronomical Notices, begun in 1858, had been discontinued in March, 1862. Articles on the subsequent observation of comets and asteroids made here with the twelve-inch telescope by Brünnow, Watson, Schaeberle, Campbell, and Hussey were hard to find, since they were scattered through various astronomical and other scientific publications. Although Hall wished to establish a series of publications and succeeded in producing part of a volume, articles from the Observatory during his administration continued to appear in outside periodicals, chiefly the Astronomical Journal. Most of these writings were by Sidney Dean Townley (Wisconsin '90, Sc.D. Michigan '97).

A paper which Hall presented at the eighth annual meeting of the Michigan Academy in March, 1902, was published in 1904 by that organization, together with a reprint of pages 37-88 labeled "Transactions of the Detroit Observatory, University of Michigan, Part I. Determination of the Aberration Constant from Zenith Distances of Polaris Measured with the Walker Meridian Circle." It contained a historical introduction regarding the Observatory and a brief section on the latitude and longitude, giving the values previously adopted. Then followed a general description of the Walker meridian circle and specific details regarding its various parts, including a redetermination of the errors of the divisions of the circles. An extensive series of observations on Polaris from April, 1898, to February, 1901, was recorded, and the data were combined by the method of least squares. This involved a large amount of computing, for which a grant was received from the Bache fund of the National Academy of Sciences. The value of the aberration constant obtained was 20."683; this was rather large compared with the value 20."47, which was adopted by the Paris conference of 1896 and is still in use (1942).

The determination of the latitude of the Walker meridian circle was inherent in Hall's method of finding the aberration constant. He obtained +42°16' 48."78; from Hall's meridian-circle observations Harriet Bigelow (Smith '93, Ph.D. Michigan '04) has obtained a value of +42°16'48."76; the present adopted value is +42°16'48."70.

Hall's work on the aberration constant was the last he published at the Detroit Page  458Observatory. In 1905 he resigned to return to the United States Naval Observatory, where for the third time he held the position of assistant astronomer. He remained in the naval service until five years after the normal date of retirement; when he left the Naval Observatory in 1929 he held a professorship of astronomy with the rank of commander in the United States Navy. Full of enthusiasm and apparently in good health, he then began work as guest and volunteer observer at the Flower Observatory of the University of Pennsylvania, but in a few months was taken ill and died at League Island Naval Hospital in January, 1930.

William Joseph Hussey was called back to Ann Arbor in 1905 as Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory. In the first three years of his thirteen-year absence he had risen to a full professorship in Leland Stanford Junior University. He had later served as astronomer at Lick Observatory for nine and one-half years, and there had engaged in productive research on comets, asteroids, and other objects, especially double stars. By 1905 he had discovered 1,338 pairs. For the work on binaries in which Hussey and Robert G. Aitken had collaborated at Lick Observatory the Académie des Sciences in 1906 conferred the Lalande prize upon them both. In 1903, under the Carnegie Institution, Hussey had investigated sites in southern California, Arizona, and Australia suitable for the sixty-inch reflector, which was installed at Mount Wilson in accordance with his recommendation. Mount Wilson later became the site also of the famous 100-inch reflector.

In 1905 Hussey went to Egypt in charge of the Lick Observatory expedition to observe the total solar eclipse on August 30, and returned to Ann Arbor in October to begin his new duties.

Here he inaugurated a new era of progress. The reconstruction of Observatory instruments and the making of new parts were added to the work done at Ann Arbor when the Observatory Shop was established in 1906, and E. J. Madden, a skilled machinist from Pasadena, California, was brought here as instrumentmaker. E. P. Pegg and Henry J. Colliau were also appointed to the shop staff, and these three gave valuable service in renovating the old twelve-inch refractor.

In June, 1906, an addition to the Observatory building was authorized, and the Regents made their first appropriation toward enabling the department to do the spectrographic research that has brought new astronomical fame to the University. In January of the next year Hussey asked for more mechanics, the purchase of additional grounds, and the establishment of a United States Weather Bureau station. Through President Angell's endeavors the Weather Bureau station, which is still active, was established. The Regents authorized the appointment of three mechanics and interested themselves in the request for lands. Work on the designs for the large new telescope proceeded at the Observatory under Hussey's direction.

Until the fall of 1907 the new Director was alone in his teaching duties in the department. In 1906-7 he offered seven courses of instruction: the Method of Least Squares and General Astronomy, the Solar System, were the two courses offered in the first semester only; General Astronomy, the Stellar System, was taught only in the second semester; and there were four courses given each semester — Spherical and Practical Astronomy, Theoretical Astronomy, Advanced Practical Astronomy, and Advanced Theoretical Astronomy.

Hussey's plans for the department included not only the continuation of instruction in theoretical and practical astronomy begun by Brünnow, for which the University had long been noted, but Page  459the addition of courses in modern astronomy, including astrophysics. A correspondence begun in March, 1907, resulted in the appointment of Ralph Hamilton Curtiss (California '01, Ph.D. ibid. '05) as Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, to begin in October, 1907. While holding a fellowship at Lick Observatory, Curtiss had been associated with Hussey and Aitken. Since 1905, in the position of astronomer at Allegheny Observatory, he had assisted in designing the spectrograph at that institution. In 1907-8 additional courses were introduced, including History of Astronomy, Variable Stars, and Astrophysics; these were all assigned to Curtiss, who also gave the Theory of Errors and Elementary Practical Astronomy. The following year Spectroscopic Binaries was added.

In 1908 the Students' Observatory was moved to allow space for the addition in which the new telescope was to be placed. In the same year Robert P. Lamont made his initial gift of $1,000 toward the University's large refracting telescope for a double-star survey in the Southern Hemisphere. The Lamont-Hussey Observatory at Bloemfontein, South Africa, "the fruition of one man's generosity and another's vision," is described in a separate article (see Part III: Lamont-Hussey Observatory).

The single-prism spectrograph to be used with the new reflector arrived in January, 1909. In August, when the Observatory addition was complete except for the dome and the new seismological equipment had been installed, the Observatory began to keep a continuous seismological record. In 1910 the new forty-foot dome was put in place, in January, 1911, the large mirror was ready, and on January 31 the first spectrogram with the new instrument was obtained.

In June, 1911, Hussey sailed for Argentina. This came about as the result of an offer of the directorship of La Plata Observatory cabled to him in March, 1910, by President Gonzalez of the National University of La Plata. By the arrangement made meanwhile, Hussey was to accept the South American directorship and still retain his position at the University of Michigan, dividing his time between the two institutions, and Ralph Hamilton Curtiss became Assistant Director of the Observatory at Ann Arbor and was to have full charge during the Director's absence. This arrangement continued for about five years.

The staff for instruction and research was permanently enlarged during Hussey's directorship, and several changes took place. Will Carl Rufus (Albion '02, Ph.D. Michigan '15) came into the department as Instructor, and Richard Alfred Rossiter (Wesleyan '14, Ph.D. Michigan '23), who in 1919 was engaged as a telescope assistant, became Assistant Astronomer the next year, and in 1922 joined the teaching staff, is now Associate Professor and in charge of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in Africa.

Courses of instruction were added from time to time as the department developed and needs were met. A course in navigation was introduced in 1917-18, chiefly for the benefit of men in the United States Naval Reserve units. Preparation for the ensign's examination for deck officers was provided. One hundred and twenty students enrolled in this course under Curtiss in the second semester of 1917-18, and more than half of them later enlisted in the Naval Reserve or Naval Auxiliary Reserve Force. After the World War, elections in the navigation course decreased, but the course has been continued. The number of students electing courses in astronomy greatly increased during this administration, and reached a total of 650 in 1922-23. In 1924-25 it was stated in an article in the Michigan Alumnus that the department had fifteen times as many students as it Page  460had had when Hussey's administration began.

The low-dispersion* spectrographic program instituted by Curtiss was devoted chiefly to the spectra of early-type stars with broad lines (Class B with emission lines) and has been followed consistently to the present time, although stars of other types have been included. The purpose of the program was early stated: "An effort to establish some classification which shall connect the spectra (of Class Be stars) more closely with a rational theory of stellar evolution."

The Publications of the Observatory of the University of Michigan, a series begun in 1912, served as a means of recording and publishing the researches of staff and graduate students. Volume 1, Part 1, contained a general account of the Observatory and its equipment, including the new telescope just installed at Ann Arbor, by Hussey, a description of the single-prism spectrograph, by Curtiss, and an article on the registration of earthquakes at the Observatory, August 16, 1909 — January 1, 1912, by Walter Mann Mitchell (Pennsylvania '02, Ph.D. Princeton '05), Assistant Professor of Astronomy.

Part 2 of Volume 1 did not appear until 1915. It gave evidence of intensive work on the observational program, which involved not only Class Be stars, but also the early Potsdam velocity stars not known to be binaries, zone stars (35° to 40° north declination) to sixth visual magnitude, long-period variables, stars of Class R (some to photographic magnitude about 10.5), and selected spectroscopic binaries. Observations of the moon, of stars of Class N, Class O, and other classes, and of new stars, comets, and planets were also recorded, and in the same number were lists of doublestar observations made by Hussey at La Plata Observatory, a record of observations of comets and asteroids by Hussey and others both in Ann Arbor and at La Plata, and the Observatory's earthquake records for 1912 and 1913.

Higher courses offered by the department and the facilities for research in astrophysics attracted many graduate students. Eleven persons completed their work for the doctor of philosophy degree in astronomy between 1915 and 1926, including Rufus, Rossiter, and Hazel Marie Losh. There were six master of arts degrees and five master of science degrees conferred for work in astronomy during the Hussey administration.

Volume 2 of the Publications of the Observatory was issued in 1916. In addition to six articles by Curtiss, mostly in continuation of his valuable work on Class Be stars, it contained papers by P. W. Merrill and B. H. Dawson and the doctoral dissertations of Laurence Hadley, Rufus, and Clifford C. C. Crump.

Hussey withheld publications of the Observatory until a sufficient number of articles was ready to constitute a volume. Volume 3 was published in 1923. The studies by Curtiss again constituted an important part, and there were contributions by C. C. Kiess, F. Henroteau, L. L. Mellor, and Rufus, who had all been on the staff sometime in the period since Volume 2 had appeared. The photographic reproduction of typical stellar spectra by Rufus has been used in many astronomical publications and textbooks in astronomy throughout America and Europe.

A plan to increase the interest in astronomy in the high schools of Michigan and Ontario, fostered especially by William C. Weber of Detroit with Hussey's co-operation, was undertaken in 1922. A program of illustrated lectures was instituted. The outcome was rather disappointing Page  461to Mr. Weber. A more ambitious part of his program was the construction of the largest telescope that could possibly be made: an aperture of twenty-five feet was proposed! The project was discussed with President Burton, but nothing ever came of it.

The necessity of arranging for a new Students' Observatory became apparent in the fall of 1922. The laboratory needs of the department were taken into consideration when the plans for Angell Hall were discussed in 1923, but the new Students' Observatory did not materialize during Hussey's administration. This project is described in the article on the Observatory and equipment, which also contains an account of the efforts made during these years to prevent nuisances, to acquire new lands, and to remove the Observatory to a site outside the city of Ann Arbor.

In 1924-25 Hussey gave an extension course in astronomy at Detroit. About fifty enrolled the first semester. Curtiss and Rufus later carried on these classes, which with a few interruptions have been continued.

The total solar eclipse of January 24, 1925, was the occasion of two expedition parties. Hussey, in co-operation with Judge Henry S. Hulbert, Ralph H. Upson, and Francis C. McMath of Detroit, made plans to observe the eclipse from a balloon. A trip was made to Geneva, New York, where President Murray Bartlett and Professor William P. Durfee of Hobart College had assisted in making arrangements. But although $4,000 had been expended in preparation, a high wind and too limited an open space for filling and taking off prevented the flight of the balloon, and clouds prevented the men from making observations and taking photographs. Clouds also prevailed at Bad Axe, Michigan, where Rufus had gone with another party.

A life-long dream of Hussey's — the erection of a large telescope in the Southern Hemisphere for a double-star survey — was on the eve of realization in the autumn of 1926. Late in September he was taken ill with pleurisy, and feared that postponement of his trip to Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, would be necessary. With his usual fortitude, however, he left Ann Arbor on October 7 with Mrs. Hussey, Dr. Rossiter, and Dr. Rossiter's family. On October 28, at dinner with friends in London, he suddenly collapsed and died instantly.

Hussey was the first of the directors of the Observatory to die in office. His predecessors, Brünnow, Watson, Harrington, and Hall, had each left Michigan to complete their careers elsewhere.

When the news of Hussey's death reached Ann Arbor, Ralph Hamilton Curtiss was appointed Acting Director of the Observatory. On March 25, 1927, he was made Director, a position for which his heavy teaching responsibilities in the department and his long experience as Assistant Director had well qualified him. He had been actively in charge of all phases of the work during Hussey's many absences in the Southern Hemisphere. His sabbatical leave in the second semester of 1925-26 had been spent chiefly at Mount Wilson, Lick, and Yerkes observatories.

Many difficulties confronted Curtiss in the fall of 1926. In any event the South African trip would temporarily have claimed the time of two important staff members, and Rufus had been given a leave of absence for the full academic year to join the faculty of the University World Cruise. New members were appointed to the staff: Herbert Frederick Schiefer as Instructor in Astronomy, H. F. Balmer as Instructor for one year only, and Morris K. Jessup, a graduate student, as an assistant in astronomy. These three were assigned teaching duties as well as observational work, and several Page  462graduate students assisted in the observing program. Upon Hussey's death, the responsibility of directing the Lamont expedition to South Africa at a distance was added to the new duties of Curtiss as Director. His part in the successful outcome of the enterprise is recorded elsewhere (see Part III: Lamont-Hussey Observatory).

In 1926-27 the Angell Hall Observatory was made ready for the students. The observational and laboratory requirements in descriptive courses were thereupon increased, which may have had something to do with a decrease in enrollment. In the fall of 1927 visitors' nights at the Angell Hall Observatory were begun; they have proved to be very popular. A complete record has not been kept, but 1,194 visitors in all were received at the main Observatory and at Angell Hall Observatory together in 1928-29. At the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in South Africa 2,606 visitors were recorded during its first year.

Early in 1927 spectrograms of some of the brighter stars on the observing program were obtained with the new two-prism spectrograph, used on the 37½-inch telescope, and tables for the reduction of plates were prepared. Because of the comparatively small light-gathering power of the reflecting telescope and the difficulty of changing from the one-prism to the two-prism spectrograph, the latter has not been put into frequent use.

In September, 1927, the staff was increased by the appointment of Dean Benjamin McLaughlin ('23, Ph.D. '27) Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Allan Douglas Maxwell (California '23, Ph.D. ibid. '27), Instructor in Astronomy, and Hazel Marie Losh (Ohio Wesleyan '20, Ph.D. Michigan '24), Research Assistant in Astrophysics. These appointees, together with Rufus, have remained on the staff. Schiefer resigned in September, 1928. In June, 1929, the Regents conferred the title Honorary Curator of Astronomical Observation, University of Michigan Observatory, on each of the three founders of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory — Judge Henry S. Hulbert, Francis C. McMath, and Robert R. McMath, all of Detroit. This Observatory, given to the University in January, 1932, is situated at Lake Angelus, near Pontiac, Michigan (see Part III: McMath-Hulbert Observatory). In 1929 the department was so fortunate as to obtain the services of Edward Arthur Milne, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in Oxford University, who gave lectures on astronomy during the summer session.

The student laboratory work continued to be enriched by the installation of new facilities in the Angell Hall Observatory; otherwise there was little change in courses of instruction during the Curtiss administration. Student enrollment in 1928-29 reached a total of 534.

Graduate instruction continued to receive special attention; in the years 1927 to 1929, inclusive, six doctor's degrees and six master's degrees were conferred in the field of astronomy. Among the studies for the doctor's degree were two in spectrophotometry made possible by the loan of a Moll self-registering spectrophotometer by the Department of Physics; these were "A Spectrophotometric and Spectroscopic Study of Phi Persei," by Schiefer, and "A Microphotometric Study of the Spectrum of Beta Lyrae," by Mrs. Laura E. H. McLaughlin.

The project for the purchase of a more favorable Observatory site and larger and more up-to-date instruments again came to the foreground in 1928-29 and received the definite approval of the Board of Regents. Also, some steps were taken toward its realization.

Publications of the six doctoral theses was delayed awaiting the next volume of Page  463the Publications of the Observatory. This work was postponed by Curtiss on account of other duties, including the preparation of an article, "The Classification and Description of Stellar Spectra," for the Handbuch der Astrophysik. The publication of articles by members of the staff was also withheld in accordance with the plan to publish by complete volumes rather than by separate numbers.

In the midst of these Observatory and departmental problems and of many personal research projects in different stages of progress Curtiss was stricken with serious illness and passed away on Christmas day, 1929. Rufus was appointed Acting Director of the Observatory and Acting Chairman of the Department of Astronomy, and was placed in charge of the South African expedition.

All of the announced courses of instruction were continued during the year 1929-30. The total enrollment reached 535 that year; three master's degrees were granted in astronomy, and Walter J. Williams, Instructor in Astronomy for the period 1928-30, received the degree of doctor of philosophy. Williams' thesis, begun under Curtiss, was "A Spectrographic Study of P Cygni."

In September, 1930, Heber Doust Curtis ('92, Ph.D. Virginia '02, Sc.D. hon. Pittsburgh '20), Director of the Allegheny Observatory, was appointed Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory. He arrived in October. Curtis, whose work had been principally in spectroscopy and nebular photography, had had charge of the D. O. Mills expedition of the Lick Observatory at Santiago, Chile, from 1906 to 1910.

Curtis,* Rufus, McLaughlin, Maxwell, and Miss Losh, who with Robert M. Petrie made up the staff in 1930-31, have all remained to 1942. Petrie, after having served as Instructor since 1930, resigned in 1935 to go to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at Vancouver. His place was filled by Robley Cook Williams (Cornell '31, Ph.D. ibid. '35), who in addition to his teaching duties has given expert service to the University in the supervision of the aluminizing of the large mirror for the 37½-inch reflector. Curtis has improved the slow-motion guiding of this reflector. The Observatory project has progressed further under his administration, although the years of financial depression temporarily brought plans to a halt. New equipment has been installed in the Angell Hall Observatory, and the disk for the new 97½-inch mirror, which when completed will rank third in size in the world, has been cast and stored.

The number of students enrolled in courses in astronomy increased from 653 in 1930-31 to a maximum of about nine hundred in 1933-34, and then decreased to 710 in 1936-37. In the years 1931 to 1937, inclusive, eight master's degrees were conferred and seven candidates completed the doctorate, including one who received the degree of doctor of science.

McLaughlin has been in charge of the spectrographic program. He has also supervised the research work of candidates for the doctorate in astrophysics.

Curtis conducted a party to Fryeburg, Maine, to observe the total solar eclipse of August 31, 1932. Clouds interfered at times during partial eclipse, and light clouds were present at the time of totality, which lasted about ninety seconds. Excellent large-scale photographs of the corona with a forty-foot camera were obtained, however, and also motion pictures by the McMath-Hulbert staff with seventy-four-inch-, forty-inch-, and fourteen-inch-focus cameras. Flash spectra were made by Curtis with a grating spectrograph for the infrared and by McLaughlin with a two-prism instrument. The large interferometer for special work Page  464on the green coronal line, 5303A, was operated by William Frederick Meggers of the Bureau of Standards. This consisted of etalon plates four and eight-tenths inches in diameter with a Ross lens of three and five-tenths inches aperture and seventy-two inches focal length. Comparison rings were provided by neon plus mercury, neon, and helium tubes. Interference was recorded for the bright prominence and is suspected on the coronal ring. Curtis was of the opinion that the light clouds prevented a stronger record. He made plans for another attempt to obtain the exact wave-length of the green coronal line at the total eclipse of June 8, 1937, but illness prevented him from joining the eclipse expedition of that year.

At the beginning of his administration an accumulation of unpublished papers was on hand, including articles by members of the staff and theses by graduate students in astronomy. The system was changed to permit the publication of monographs. Volume 4 appeared in 1931-32. Volume 5 (1934) consisted of fifteen papers, Volume 6 (1937) contained twelve, and Volume 7 (1939) contained nine papers. The increased amount of published material by members of the staff and graduate students indicates that the change in method of publication was opportune and well advised.


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The earliest indication of a specific desire for astronomical equipment at the University of Michigan is to be found in the Regents' report to the superintendent of public instruction in 1849. The Regents expressed regret for the lack of "philosophical apparatus," and particularly of a "Telescope or Sextant or Orrery, or transit instrument," and hopefully remarked, "A law exists authorizing the Board to purchase apparatus." No steps were taken toward the realization of this hope until the beginning of the Tappan administration in 1852.

In his inaugural address President Tappan outlined plans for developing a true university, in the highest sense of the term, and appealed for assistance. Soon after the address Henry N. Walker of Detroit volunteered and inquired what he could do. The President proposed a campaign in Detroit to secure funds for an observatory. The initial meeting to promote the project was held at the Michigan Exchange, Detroit, December 29, 1852. There President Tappan made an appeal, and $7,000 was subscribed. General Lewis Cass, Henry P. Baldwin, later Governor of Michigan, Senator Zachariah Chandler, and Henry N. Walker were among the twenty-eight prominent Page  466citizens who responded on this occasion. The name "Detroit Observatory" was proposed to stimulate the response and was used until 1931.

The President continued to take an active part in soliciting and collecting subscriptions. One day Mr. A. C. McGraw saw him walking the streets of Detroit in pursuit of funds, hailed him, and contributed the price of a pair of shoes. The Catalogue for 1852-53 announced that $10,000 had been subscribed for the Observatory.

The generous response to the appeal for subscriptions made it possible to expand the original plan, which called for a large telescope only.

President Tappan left for Europe in 1853, chiefly to visit observatories and to secure equipment. Walker accompanied him to New York, where a contract was made with Henry Fitz for a refracting telescope with an objective lens at least twelve inches in diameter and a focal length of 200 inches, to be equipped with eyepieces to give magnifying powers up to 1,200. The cost was to be $6,150 and the date of completion June 1, 1854. This was the first large telescope to be constructed entirely within the United States, and was the third largest refractor in the world. The Harvard College Observatory at Cambridge and the National Observatory at Pulkowa, Russia, each had a giant refractor fifteen inches in diameter. Cleveland Abbe, founder of the United States Signal Service, who studied at the Observatory soon after it was opened, has claimed that "national pride and financial economy" largely determined the selection of Fitz as constructor.

During the President's absence in the spring of 1853 Walker* engaged George Bird of New York to furnish plans for the Observatory building and to superintend construction at a cost of $300. Traveling expenses were added later. Walker also requested the Regents to appoint someone to direct the location of the Observatory on the University grounds.

President Tappan wished to secure in Europe a meridian circle and a sidereal clock equal in excellence to the telescope. For this purpose he had $4,000, which Walker had advanced.

He visited Sir George Airy at the Greenwich Observatory and saw the eight-inch circle constructed by Ransome and May of Ipswich and Simms of London, but considered it too expensive. At Rome Father Secchi of the Observatory of the Roman College gave him a letter to Oertel, instrument-maker of the renowned Optical Institute of Munich.

In Berlin Tappan met Professor Encke, Director of the Royal Observatory, who recommended the instrument-makers Pistor and Martins of Berlin. From that firm on July 15, 1853, the President ordered a meridian circle for 4,000 thalers (about $3,200), with the understanding that Encke and his young assistant, Franz F. E. Brünnow, particularly Brünnow, would supervise its construction and approve it before shipment. It was to be completed by May 1, 1854, and payment was to be made upon its arrival and acceptance in Ann Arbor.

For one month Brünnow thoroughly tested the sidereal clock purchased for the University from M. Tiede of Berlin, and pronounced it an excellent piece of workmanship.

When he was told of the twelve-inch telescope ordered of Fitz, Brünnow responded: "You will have one of the first observatories in the world." President Tappan proudly replied: "Indeed, I contemplate nothing less, and I cannot but be sanguine of the results we shall arrive at under the transparent and serene skies Page  467of Michigan, when we shall have provided an Astronomer worthy of the Observatory we are thus furnishing" (P.R., 1853, p. 6).

This conversation, with its oversanguine reference to Michigan skies, illustrates President Tappan's just personal pride in the project, which he frequently referred to as "our noble Observatory." In his well-known "Historic Statement" just at the close of his administration he wrote: "I cannot speak of the Observatory without emotion. No one will deny that it was a creation of my own."

In Ann Arbor, the committee on the Observatory site met with difficulty. Evidently its members, the Honorable Elon Farnsworth, the Honorable Henry N. Walker, and Professor Silas H. Douglass, did not unanimously approve "the center of the University grounds."

A special meeting of the Board of Regents in July, 1853, was called to decide the question, but a quorum was lacking. The members present visited the proposed country hilltop, then outside the limits of Ann Arbor, discussed the proposition, and adjourned without formal action. However, an agreement was evidently reached. At the November meeting purchase of the balance of the site was authorized, including four acres from the land of a Mr. Benham at $100 per acre. The earliest Catalogue to describe the Detroit Observatory contained the statement: "It is situated half a mile from the University grounds on a hill 150 feet above the Huron river, from which is presented one of the most charming views of the country."

Another difficulty was encountered. The enlargement of the original plan incurred unforeseen expenses. After the return of President Tappan two collimators (small telescopes to adjust the meridian circle) were added to the order of Pistor and Martins at a cost of $375. Other auxiliary instruments were needed.

Another subscription campaign in Detroit in May, 1854, resulted in twenty-three gifts, totaling only $1,150, but President Tappan, backed by Walker and other friends, pushed the project, and in July, 1854, when the new Director arrived, the building was nearly finished. It was soon ready for the arrival of the instruments. The attractive setting, as it then appeared, has been preserved in the famous oil painting made by J. F. Cropsey in 1855, from which an engraving was prepared for the Catalogue of 1855-56. The original painting is now in the University's possession, a gift from the Honorable Andrew D. White.

The superintendent of grounds and buildings was authorized to purchase lumber and enclose the site with a plain substantial fence. A committee applied to the city council to secure the construction of roads to the Observatory. In 1856 the mayor again brought up the question of roads, and the need was soon met in country fashion by a new turnpike.

The Observatory building was soon ready to occupy. (The history of the development and activities of the Observatory staff, except for the construction of new instruments, is omitted from this article. See Part III: Department of Astronomy.) The central part is thirty-three feet square, and there are two wings, each nineteen by twenty-nine feet. The central part is surmounted by a revolving dome twenty-one feet in diameter and contains the pier for the large refractor. The pier extends fifteen feet below the surface and is constructed of solid masonry, twenty-two feet in diameter at the base and six feet at the top, where it is capped by a large circular limestone quarried at Sandusky, Ohio. This carries a vertical limestone monolith, which supports the iron pier cap. The center of motion of the instrument is about thirty-three feet above ground Page  468level. The east wing was designed for the meridian circle and the other for a library and an office for the director. The Walker meridian circle, so called in honor of Henry N. Walker for his interest in the Observatory project and his gift of $4,000 for the instrument and accessories, arrived in September, 1854. It bears the name of the makers, Pistor and Martins, Berlin, and the date, 1854. It has an objective 6.3 inches in diameter and a focal length of 96.8 inches. Its graduated circles, 37 ½ inches in diameter, ruled to ten minutes on one side and two minutes on the other, are read by microscopes to tenths of seconds of arc. One circle was slightly bent in shipment. The collimating telescopes have apertures of two inches and focal lengths of about twenty-four inches. They are mounted on piers, one north and the other south of the meridian circle, on a level with its axis.

The Tiede clock, No. 125, was mounted near the meridian circle and rated to sidereal time. At first star transits were observed by the eye-and-ear method. Soon additional equipment was installed, including a chronograph, originally placed in the west wing, two chronometers, standard barometers, and thermometers to give data for atmospheric-refraction corrections and a four-inch portable comet seeker by Henry Fitz.

The large telescope was not completed on time, so Fitz, the contractor, loaned one in April, 1855. The new one arrived in December, but was rejected, owing, it is said, to the use of cast iron for parts of the instrument and its mounting. A new contract was made at $6,750, an increase in price of $600, and the use of brass and bell metal was specified. The project now faced a debt of about $8,000 and another campaign in Detroit was launched in March, 1856, which raised about $3,500.

The new telescope arrived in Ann Arbor in November, 1857. In December it was ready for use. By this time the building and equipment had cost about $22,000. Citizens of Detroit contributed about $15,000, and for many years the name "Detroit Observatory" was used in recognition of their generosity. President Tappan frequently referred to it as an observatory of the first rank and said that he knew of no other instance of one of its class erected at so little cost. The main expense was due to the instruments and as little as possible was spent on the building. In spite of the President's zeal in soliciting and collecting subscriptions and his carefulness in expenditures an annoying debt was incurred, part of which was carried on personal account, which remained open and unpaid for several years, adding to the friction between him and members of the Board of Regents. At one time (October, 1856) the treasurer of the University, John M. Chase, made a loan of $4,900 to President Tappan on the Observatory account, holding the President's personal notes and a chattel mortgage on the equatorial telescope as security. An auditing committee requested by the President made a satisfactory report in 1859. Not until December, 1863, however, after the close of the period of Tappan and Brünnow, were the Regents able to record: "The old Observatory debt has been paid."

Brünnow, while at Dudley Observatory during the year 1859-60, retained the directorship of the Observatory in Ann Arbor, but James Craig Watson, Professor of Astronomy and Instructor in Mathematics, was in charge. Watson secured appropriations from the Regents for constructing a room and furnishing the west wing of the Observatory in 1860.

In the autumn of 1863, under the presidency of Erastus O. Haven, Watson became Director of the Observatory.

Early in the administration of President Page  469Haven there was agitation to move the Observatory to the campus (p. 448). In the course of the discussion attention was drawn more and more toward what would be the requirements of operating the Observatory efficiently on its established location. In the end, $500 was appropriated for roads by Ann Arbor citizens, and an addition was made to the Observatory building. The enlargement, completed in 1868, included a residence for the director on the west side of the original building. It was further repaired and enlarged in 1905-6.

The records show that new instruments were requested from time to time, but were not furnished. In 1870 the Regents were asked to provide the Observatory with a spectroscope. Among the requests not granted this is perhaps the most significant, for the instrument has been of fundamental importance in the later development of astronomy.

A small, separate building was constructed on the occasion of the transit of Mercury, May 8, 1878, when the Observatory was made temporarily a United States Government station. This building, which was located about one hundred feet southeast of the main Observatory, was later remodeled and equipped for the use of students. It contained a six-inch equatorial refractor and a three-inch transit, with zenith telescope attachment.

In 1878 H. A. Wetzel gave a 2 ½-foot hemispherical cast of the moon, representing its elevations and depressions, which was of "great usefulness in the teaching of astronomy."

A new director, Mark Walrod Harrington, took charge on October 1, 1879. In response to his request soon after arrival, $850 was appropriated for meteorological instruments. He secured a Hough's barograph, a Hough's thermograph, and an anemograph of St. Gibbon's pattern for wind velocity and direction. From the United States Signal Service he obtained a standard thermometer, a psychrometer, a terrestrial-radiation thermometer, and a solar-radiation thermometer.

In the spring of 1880 Harrington appealed for more astronomical instruments to be used in instruction. He reported that some loaned by the Navy Department had been recalled and that the large instruments (the twelve-inch refracting telescope and the Walker meridian circle) were not available for student use. A total of $3,050 was appropriated — $1,800 for a six-inch equatorial telescope, $1,000 for a three-inch transit, and $250 for a chronometer. Reports previous to Harrington's administration indicate that a six-inch telescope and a three-inch transit with zenith telescope attachment were in use in the Students' Observatory. Apparently these were among the instruments "recalled" by the Navy Department, and new ones were obtained.

Near the end of this administration, upon Harrington's request for a good astronomical globe, Bailey's cosmosphere was demonstrated before the Regents by a Mr. Morley, but the question was referred to a committee, and we find no record of purchase of the globe.

Harrington left at the end of June, 1891, and for one year the Observatory was managed by William Joseph Hussey, Instructor in Astronomy and Acting Director of the Observatory. No changes of importance were made in the physical equipment during that year. Hussey then left the University for some years, and Asaph Hall, Jr., became Director.

Upon his arrival at Ann Arbor in 1892 Hall first gave attention to the condition of the instruments, which had been surpassed in size and efficiency by those installed at other institutions and which were in need of being cleaned and read-justed. He reported that the instruments Page  470were in bad condition. It was necessary to take the objectives apart and clean them. The Tiede clock had an irregular rate. As far as he could find out the driving clock of the twelve-inch telescope had never been of any use, and Watson had not made regular use of the Walker meridian circle. Hall had the object glass of the meridian circle taken to Clarke and had a spring put into the cell to act against the glass. He obtained a new micrometer from Repsold, a chronograph from Saegmüller, and a clock from Howard. With these improvements and accessories the instrument was remounted; it was then subjected to a very complete investigation.

The condition of the Observatory and of the Department of Astronomy was subjected to serious criticism in 1903. The Fitz objectives for large telescopes were surpassed in quality and size by Clarke. The twelve-inch telescope, once the pride of Michigan and third largest refractor in the world, was small compared with many newer ones, notably the forty-inch telescope at Yerkes and the thirty-six-inch telescope at Lick. The Meridian circle was antiquated. Instruments for work in astrophysics were lacking, and the Observatory was rapidly being surrounded by buildings. An enthusiastic alumnus, after calling attention to its brilliant past, concluded with the appeal, "Michigan and her alumni should not allow her observatory to fossilize" (Abbe, p. 421).

The only important purchases made about this time were a sextant instrument at $150 in 1902 and in 1904 a surveyor's transit, for which $375 was appropriated.

When Hussey returned as Director of the Observatory in October, 1905, he found the Observatory building and equipment in need of repairs and improvements. Instruments for research in modern astronomy were lacking. The Observatory library and residence were reconstructed and enlarged during the winter of 1905-6. The Regents appropriated $5,000 for this work, and, in addition, the heating and lighting were provided from the general fund.

In 1906 the Observatory Shop was established, furnished with tools for the repair of old instruments and the construction of new, and provided with a staff headed by a skilled machinist.

The reconstruction of the instruments, including the twelve-inch refractor, was begun. Changes to this historical telescope included a new steel tube to replace the old pine one, a new 3 ½-inch finder in place of the 2 ½-inch finder, the addition of a coarse circle in right ascension, the addition of a coarse circle in declination, a new worm and worm wheel, a new driving clock, a new slow motion and clamp in right ascension, a new slow motion and clamp in declination, a new counter-weight arm and weights, and a new right-ascension circle. This work, including the construction of the new parts, was done at the Observatory Shop. A new micrometer for the reconstructed twelve-inch refractor was obtained in 1907 from Warner and Swasey Company. Alterations to the micrometer, including better illumination of the wires and a quick motion in position angle, were made by Colliau of the shop staff.

A new telescope with accessories for spectrographic work was one of the chief requirements. In June, 1906, the Board of Regents made an initial appropriation of $15,000 toward the construction of a new reflecting telescope and an addition to the Observatory in which it could be housed. Much of the work was done in the Observatory Shop. In August the optical parts for the reflector were ordered from the John Brashear Company, Pittsburgh. A clear aperture of at least thirty-six inches was specified. The glass was cast at Saint-Gobain, France, and after being ground and polished at Pittsburgh Page  471reached Ann Arbor in December, 1907. The diameter of the reflecting surface is 37 inches. With the eleven-inch hyperbolic secondary the equivalent focal length is sixty feet.

Among the needs which Hussey presented to the Regents in January, 1907, were additional shelves for Observatory books, seismological instruments, and drainage of the Observatory. President Angell and the Regents favored these inprovements.

In order to make room for the addition to the main Observatory the old Students' Observatory was moved in 1908 to a location about three hundred feet west of the main building. In the Students' Observatory three rooms were provided, an entrance, an equatorial room, and a transit room. The six-inch telescope was provided with a new driving clock, a new worm and worm wheel, and an electrically driven slow motion in hour angle. A camera was provided for use with the six-inch telescope, having a lens of 4 9/16 inches' diameter and 19 ½ inches' focal length. In the same year, 1908, a new comet seeker, which was larger and more convenient than the old one, was constructed at the Observatory Shop. It has a lens of 4 ½ inches and an altazimuth mounting. Parts of the old Fitz comet seeker, including tube and lens, were used in the short focus finder for the 37 ½-inch reflecting telescope.

The addition to the Observatory building at Ann Arbor, begun in 1908, was completed the following year. The main floor contained offices for the Director and his secretary, a vault, clockroom, and classroom. On the second floor were additional offices and a photographic room. The basement provided, in addition to utility space, rooms for new seismological equipment, which was installed in August, 1909. These instruments include two Strassburg tromometers of the Bosch-Omori type for north-south and east-west components respectively; also a Wiechert, inverted-pendulum, astatic seismograph, which records both components, and a Wiechert vertical seismograph, which has not proved successful. Continuous records of the two horizontal components have been kept since August, 1909, except during brief periods when the instruments were being cleaned and readjusted.

Work on the 37 ½-inch reflector continued in the Observatory Shop, and additional annual appropriations were made by the Regents to cover the expenses of the telescope and accessories, which totaled about $24,000. The single-prism spectrograph by Brashear, Pittsburgh, used with the new reflector, arrived on January 18, 1909. This instrument followed in general the type of the Mills spectrograph of the Lick Observatory, with some changes which had been introduced in the Mellon spectrograph of the Allegheny Observatory, and further modifications proposed by Ralph H. Curtiss. The forty-foot dome for the new telescope, constructed by the Russell Wheel and Foundry Company of Detroit, was completed and erected in 1910.

In January, 1911, the large mirror was placed in the cell, and all accessories were ready.

In 1922-23 the 37 ½-inch reflector was overhauled, and the driving was improved. A new two-prism spectrograph designed by Curtiss was constructed in the Observatory Shop in 1923-24. This instrument was intended for use with a new and larger reflecting telescope, which was part of the plan under consideration for a new site, new buildings, and equipment. The optical parts were by J. B. McDowell. The dispersion is about twice that of the single-prism spectrograph. A Hartman spectrocomparator was purchased the same year.

Attempts to prevent nuisances near the Observatory have been frequent. In Page  472April, 1908, grading was begun on the west end of the Observatory lot for a women's athletic field. Appeal to President Angell stopped the work and that encroachment. In 1910 Robert P. Lamont purchased twenty-six acres of land east of the Observatory for its protection in that direction.

The encroachment of University buildings began to receive serious consideration in 1912. On April 24 Hussey prepared a statement for presentation to the Regents regarding the question of putting the power plant of the University in the "cat-hole" location. The proposed site for the power plant was considered so valuable for that purpose that it seemed advisable to look for a new site for the Observatory and its research instruments. "Huddy Hill," just east of the city, was considered. Sufficient land could have been obtained at an estimated cost of from $50,000 to $70,000.

The proposed new Hospital site just north of the Observatory raised the question again in the spring of 1915, and Huddy Hill received further consideration, but no action was taken.

In 1919 the question of the effectiveness of the Observatory on its present site was before the Regents and was referred to the buildings and grounds and Hospital committees, and Hussey recommended to the Regents that the Observatory and equipment be moved to Huddy Hill. This site, however, was not well protected from future encroachments, and action was again delayed when the question was referred to a special committee consisting of the committees on buildings and grounds, the Medical School, and the Observatory. A communication regarding the same question, including the purchase of new equipment, was before the Regents in December of that year; but in 1920 the Board declined further consideration of the question of additional equipment.

The issue regarding site became prominent again in 1922, when the western part of the Observatory grounds was proposed as a site for Couzens Hall, a new dormitory for nurses. Hussey made this record:

Conference with President Burton, Regents Clements and Hubbard, Dean Effinger, Shirley W. Smith, and Professor Shepard concerning Observatory plans, etc., at President Burton's office. At this time President Burton stated that it was not the plan to use any part of the Observatory grounds for other purposes. Two days later the Regents voted to place the proposed Nurses Home on the west end of the Observatory Grounds.

He added, perhaps to modify the effect of the preceding item, "At the same meeting the Regents voted $18,000 for a new Observatory Shop."

In the President's Report for 1922-23 special attention was called to the urgent need of moving the Observatory because of the power plant, the University Hospital, and the projected nurses' home. A high hill about three miles west of the city on Liberty Street was then considered. It seemed advisable that the removal of the Observatory and the increase of equipment, including a new and larger telescope, should be incorporated as a part of the building program advocated by President Burton. The land of the Observatory site, including the twenty-six acres east of the building, if released for other uses, would provide a large amount toward a new site, new buildings, and improved equipment. Again the project was postponed, but the need remained. An article in the Michigan Alumnus (31 [1925]: 533) mentioned, in addition to other nuisances, "an earthquake every time a train passes."

Hussey continued the search for a more suitable site. On June 19, 1925, Regent Beal, Secretary Smith, Dr. Ruthven, Mr. Paul Buckley, Professor Leigh Young, and Professor Hussey visited the Page  473hills near Portage Lake adjacent to the University's forest preserve in that vicinity. All seemed well pleased, and action to secure a part of "Peach Mountain" for the new Observatory site was begun. An appropriation of $1,525 was authorized in September to secure the site, but real-estate complications delayed the purchase. Tentative plans were being developed for the construction of a large reflecting telescope (seventy-five inches), the refiguring of the 37 ½-inch reflector to adapt it for photographic rather than visual work, and the return of the twenty-seven-inch Lamont refractor from South Africa (see Part III: Lamont-Hussey Observatory) for double-star work in the North after completion of the southern survey. This program, it was thought, would again bring the institution and its equipment to a prominent position in the astronomical world.

Another project begun but not completed during Professor Hussey's administration was the Angell Hall Observatory and astronomical laboratory for student use. The need of more adequate facilities for this purpose had long been felt, as the number of students electing astronomy had increased rapidly since 1905. The Students' Observatory, previously described, was discontinued in the fall of 1923, when it had to be removed from the site of Couzens Hall. To meet this need the entire fifth floor of Angell Hall was originally designed for the use of the Department of Astronomy, although parts of that floor have temporarily been relinquished for other purposes.

Two twenty-four-foot domes were included in the plans, and later constructed by J. W. Fecker. A ten-inch refracting telescope was ordered from Warner and Swasey to occupy one part, and a reflecting telescope for the other was left to be provided in the future. The two domes by Fecker were erected, and the ten-inch refractor was installed in the first year of the directorship of Ralph Hamilton Curtiss, 1926-27.

The two-prism spectrograph constructed during Hussey's administration was first used on the large telescope at the main Observatory for about two months early in 1927, but since then has not been put into frequent use.

In 1927-28 a three-inch transit was added to the Angell Hall equipment, and a fifteen-inch pyrex mirror was ordered from J. W. Fecker. Work on the mounting for the reflector was carried on in the Observatory Shop. The mirror arrived on January 24, 1929, and the fifteen-inch reflector was added to the Angell Hall equipment and was ready for student use in 1929-30.

Some progress was made during the administration of Curtiss toward the acquisition of a new site and new instruments for research. The ridge north of Dexter, Michigan, known as Peach Mountain, is cut into two parts by the Huron River. On the west is the site tentatively selected by Hussey; on the east is a slightly lower spur that extends south of Base Lake, on which available space could be obtained.

In November, 1928, Curtiss requested the Regents to secure an option on land in Dexter Township covering this site and extending to the shore of Base Lake. Favorable action was taken, and a part of the land recommended was afterward purchased. The new Observatory project was placed first on the Regents' list of the University's most urgent needs which was presented to the state legislature in 1929. Attention was called to the success of the Observatory under Brünnow, Watson, Hall, and Hussey, and to the impossibility of carrying on scientific work meeting modern improved standards on the old site and with instruments surpassed in size and efficiency at other institutions. The removal of the Observatory, Page  474it was also pointed out, would turn over to the Regents thirty acres of land owned chiefly by Lamont, the value of which would be greater than the amount proposed for the new Observatory and telescope. The request was approved, but the financial depression prevented an appropriation for the project.

In the meantime drawings were in progress for a seventy-five-inch reflecting telescope, based upon the plans of the seventy-two-inch reflector of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at Victoria. Inquiry was also made as to the possibility of securing a disk of the fused silica quartz used in the experimental work on the 200-inch reflector for the Carnegie Institution; this program was being developed by steps, in the course of which disks sixty inches and 100 inches in diameter had been used.

The purchase of a Howard sidereal clock and of a Hale spectrohelioscope for the Angell Hall Observatory was authorized in 1929-30. A Moll microphotometer from Kipp and Zonen was added to the instruments for research at the Observatory, and a Brown and Sharpe No. 13 universal grinder was obtained for the Observatory Shop.

About two hundred acres south of Base Lake, fifteen miles northwest of Ann Arbor, was secured that year for the new Observatory site. A survey was made and a preliminary layout was proposed for the location of the main buildings. Correspondence was continued regarding means of obtaining the material for a large mirror.

The administration of Heber Doust Curtis as Director began in September, 1930. During the ensuing year the Hale spectrohelioscope, previously ordered, was added to the Angell Hall equipment, and the fifteen-inch reflector for student use was completed, although it was not installed until a year later, when the Howard clock rated to sidereal time was also ready.

The old name "Detroit Observatory," used in honor of the Detroit contributors from the time when the Observatory was founded, had long given rise to confusion as to its location. Investigation disclosed the fact that this name had never been officially adopted; therefore, in November, 1931, it was dropped by regental action and the name "Observatory (or Observatories) of the University of Michigan" was formally accepted. The collective name now includes the old Observatory in Ann Arbor, the Angell Hall Observatory for students, the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in South Africa, and the McMath-Hulbert Observatory at Lake Angelus, Michigan, a notable gift received from the founders in January, 1932 (see Part III: McMath-Hulbert Observatory).

Improvement in the slow-motion guiding of the 37 ½-inch reflector was made by H. D. Curtis. In the spring of 1934 a motor-driven silvering carriage was constructed and necessary alterations were made to permit the removal of the mirror and its cell from the telescope for silvering the mirror and preparatory to the work of aluminizing. A steel bell-jar of forty-two inches' inside diameter was ordered, to be equipped with necessary pumps and auxiliary apparatus. Williams, who joined the staff of the Department of Astronomy in 1935, was a specialist in the process and supervised the work of aluminizing the mirror in March, 1936. An increase in efficiency in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum was realized as expected.

The present reflector is now far excelled by the larger instruments of many American observatories, and it is probable that no observatory of like rank in America is so unfavorably located for scientific work as is that of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Page  475The future plans for the Observatory definitely involve its removal to the Base Lake site and the installation there of a new and powerful reflector in addition to the 37 ½-inch reflector now in use. When the work in the Southern Hemisphere is completed the excellent twenty-seven-inch Lamont refractor also may be brought there from South Africa. Only the equipment necessary for instruction will be left in Ann Arbor.

The Base Lake site will eventually comprise over two hundred acres. It is some fourteen miles northwest of the city, well away from any village or community. This makes it especially favorable for scientific work, since astronomy is now at least 95 per cent photographic, and artificial light is the principal enemy of modern astronomical research. When the Observatory was built in 1855 the science was 100 per cent visual, but the growth of Ann Arbor, with its brilliantly lighted streets, has completely cut out many lines of photographic research. Scientific work at Ann Arbor is further hampered not only by the proximity of the railroad and of the large Hospital and other medical units, but also by smoke from the power plant less than one thousand feet to the southwest, for the prevailing winds of this locality come from that quarter.

Curtis accepted the directorship in 1930 with the understanding that the new Observatory project would be steadily pushed to completion. Although the depression necessitated delay, and although some special gift or legislative appropriation must be secured before the building can be constructed and the new telescope completed, at least a beginning has been made.

Curtis drew the plans for the new telescope, and a rough disk for its mirror has been provided through the generosity of the late Tracy W. McGregor, of Detroit. Under this gift a pyrex disk measuring 85 ½ inches in diameter was cast by the Corning Glass Works, but some fault developed in the long annealing process. A second and larger disk was later most successfully cast. The new disk, now stored near the Observatory, is 98.5 inches in diameter in its unfinished state and 18 inches thick. It weighs about 5 ½ tons. With the exception of the disk for the 200-inch reflector to be built in California it is the heaviest disk of pyrex yet cast. The finished mirror will exceed 96 inches in diameter, which is surpassed by the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson. Even after the completion of the 200-inch disk, the Michigan reflector will rank third in size in the world.

Eventually a plant adequate for astronomical research will be provided, and the work done by the Observatory of the University of Michigan will be commensurate with that which has given it such high rank in the past.


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Curtis, Heber D., "Mammoth Disk Cast for University."Mich. Alum., 40 (1934): 341-42, 353.
Curtis, Heber D."Eighty Years of Astronomy at the University of Michigan."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 41 (1934): 244-49.
Curtis, Heber D."James Craig Watson, 1838-1880."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 44 (1938): 306-13.
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[News notes.]Mich. Alum., 5 (1898): 121; 13 (1907): 303-4; 15 (1908): 45-46; 16 (1910): 213; 17 (1910): 146; 35 (1929): 516; 36 (1929): 52, 235; 40 (1934): 505.
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Winchell, Alexander. MS, "University of Michigan Scrapbook," Vols. I and II. In Alexander Winchell Papers. Mich. Hist. Coll., Univ. Mich.


THE lifelong friendship of Robert Patterson Lamont ('91e, A.M. hon. '12) and William Joseph Hussey ('89e, Sc.D. Brown '12) and the latter's special interest in double stars, are well known not only at Michigan but throughout the astronomical world. Hussey taught in the Department of Astronomy in 1891-92, and returned in 1905 for a long term of service as Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory. He has related that in November, 1902, Lamont visited the Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton, California, and that they had their first conversation concerning the desirability of sending a large telescope to the Southern Hemisphere for the measurement of double stars and for the extension of the doublestar survey to the south celestial pole. At that time Hussey and Aitken were conducting a joint program to cover the sky available at Lick (to -22° declination). By 1905 Hussey had discovered 1,338 pairs, but left his part of the work unfinished in order to return to the University of Michigan. This joint work won for both astronomers the Lalande prize of the French Academy, conferred in 1906.

Administrative duties and the construction of the 37 ½-inch reflecting telescope for astrophysical work demanded the major part of Hussey's time and attention until 1911. His dream of a southern station, however, was constantly kept in mind. On April 3, 1908, he and James H. Marks ('08e) went to Chicago to test the polar and declination axes for the large reflector at the Elmer Engineering Works. In the evening Hussey and Lamont attended a world-championship wrestling match. The next day at lunch Hussey spoke of his desire to proceed Page  477with the preparation of plans for a twenty-four-inch refracting telescope for the Southern Hemisphere, and Lamont promised $1,000 with which to begin. The check arrived on June 14. At this time also began the delays and disappointments that extended over nearly a quarter of a century, during which Hussey's vision never faded and Lamont's loyalty never faltered.

Other problems intervened. One of the first involved the protection of the Observatory site at Ann Arbor, which necessitated the purchase of adjacent property on the east. On October 2, 1908, Hussey wrote to Lamont explaining the situation, and said he needed $5,000 in cash to meet the emergency. So urgent did he think the need that he took the letter to the midnight train. Before the reply came, a bank loan of $6,000 was arranged, paid in due time by Lamont. In December he also agreed to buy a large lathe and a shaper for the Observatory Shop and to start the construction of the twenty-four-inch refractor.

Professor Hussey spent a day at the Naval Observatory with Mr. Marks in April, 1909, inspecting the twenty-six-inch refractor and the blueprints of it, and in that one day collected practically all the data that were needed for the design of the twenty-four-inch refractor. On February 20, 1910, during a visit to Ann Arbor, Lamont authorized placing the order for the glass for the refractor, and on March 7, under Hussey's direction, plans and drawings for the mounting were begun by Samuel Pierpont Langley ('08e), nephew of the celebrated astronomer of the same name.

A few days later occurred an interruption which Hussey evidently thought might be turned to good account. A cablegram was received March 12, 1910, from President Gonzalez of the National University of La Plata, offering him the directorship of the La Plata Observatory. Acting President Hutchins was consulted regarding the offer, and, according to Hussey's diary, advised him "not to take it," or, at any rate, "to be in no hurry about accepting it." Soon afterward, in Chicago, Lamont suggested that Hussey go and look it over, and offered to pay the expenses of his trip to South America.

Upon Hussey's return from Chicago, the gifts from Mr. Lamont were announced to the Regents — the twenty-six acres of land just east of the Observatory, the large lathe and shaper for the shop, and the glass for the twenty-four-inch objective. Hussey explained to them the La Plata offer, and arrangements were made for a leave of absence to permit him to go to investigate it and to report on the possibility of arranging plans by which the two observatories might co-operate.

On January 24, 1911, the 37 ½-inch reflector was ready for trial, but the night was not clear. On January 27 telegrams were exchanged with the La Plata representative in New York. The first spectrogram with the reflector, one of Capella, was made on January 31, 1911, and on February 5 at the Hotel Astor in New York a conference was held at which President Hutchins, Director Hussey, Lamont, and Ernest Nelson of the La Plata Observatory discussed plans of co-operation between the two observatories. It was proposed that Hussey hold the directorship of both and divide his time between the two. On February 23 the Regents approved his La Plata appointment, and on June 20 he boarded the "Voltaire" for South America.

Then followed several years during which he divided his time between the two institutions. During the year 1913-14 conversations were in progress with President Gonzalez to provide a larger telescope, "the largest in the world," at La Plata for spectroscopic work. "That Page  478here [at Ann Arbor]," wrote Hussey, "and the Lamont refractor at Cordoba on the hill would make a fine combination." That combination, however, was not to be. The National University of La Plata met with financial reverses. In 1915 even the publications of its observatory were held up: the treasury was empty. On September 13 Hussey was summoned back to Ann Arbor by a cablegram from President Hutchins informing him of the serious illness of Mrs. Hussey, who died before he reached home. His directorship at La Plata ended in 1916.

In the meantime, work on the Lamont refractor was not forgotten. In 1911 a contract for a twenty-four-inch objective was given to Alvin Clarke and Sons. At about the same time glass was ordered from Parra-Mantois and Company of Paris, but it was not obtained. Two years later a duplicate order was placed with the German firm Schott and Genoessen. But up to the time of Hussey's last return from South America the glass had not been received. Mr. Lundin, the expert optician selected to make the lens, had died in 1915. The World War then intervened. During this period there was improvement in the production of optical glass in the United States, and at the end of the war the glass was ordered anew from an American firm. Three more years passed without success. In August, 1922, in response to an inquiry, Hussey learned that at Jena was a pair of unsold disks twenty-eight inches in diameter suitable for a twenty-seven-inch objective. The American firm kindly consented to cancel the order. Lamont authorized the purchase of the Jena disks, which were received by McDowell and Company at Pittsburgh in April, 1923. Because of the tragic death of J. B. McDowell, chief optician, there was another delay, but the work was completed by Hageman and the objective reached Ann Arbor on January 27, 1925.

Early work on the mounting had been done in the Observatory Shop by Henry J. Colliau and was halted in 1913 awaiting final information regarding the diameter and focal length of the objective. The larger lens necessitated a new tube, which was constructed at the Observatory Shop, and adapted to the mounting, which needed only minor changes. During the summer of 1925 the twenty-seven-inch Lamont telescope was fully assembled and temporarily mounted just south of the dome of the 37 ½-inch telescope for final testing. The preliminary optical tests had been carried out at Pittsburgh, and the final test at Ann Arbor on star images, including selected double stars, proved entirely satisfactory. Tests made by Heber D. Curtis on the lens in the optician's works at Pittsburgh showed that it might well be termed "perfect" as to figure, and this has been borne out by the subsequent performance of the telescope in South Africa. A large proportion of Rossiter's pairs are of separation only 0."25 to 0."20, and experts have pronounced the discovery and measurement of many of these pairs as "an extraordinarily severe test for any observer with any telescope even under the best observing conditions."

The southern site for the Lamont refractor had been carefully selected after thorough investigation by Hussey, whose long experience had made him an expert along this line. In 1903 he had studied "seeing" conditions in southern California, Arizona, and Australia for the Carnegie Institution, and it was largely because of his recommendation that Mount Wilson, California, was approved as the site for that institution's 60-inch reflector and likewise, later, of its 100-inch reflector. During his South American experience, conditions at La Plata were adequately known by his discovery of 312 double stars, and he had given fairly favorable consideration to a site near Page  479Cordoba, Argentina. South Africa remained as a possible location, and in October, 1923, he left Ann Arbor, taking a ten-inch telescope with lens by McDowell, the mounting of the old six-inch telescope of the Students' Observatory at Ann Arbor, and a new tube. With this instrument he tested sites near Bloemfontein and Johannesburg and studied information received from reliable sources regarding other sites. He stated:

Dr. Innes, Director of the Union Observatory, recommended Johannesburg, or some place in its vicinity. The late Sir David Gill, for many years Director of the Royal Observatory at Cape Town, Colonel Morris, long associated with the South African Geodetic Survey, Dr. Halm, Acting Astronomer at Cape Town, and Senator A. W. Roberts of Lovedale, all recommended Bloemfontein, the capital of the Orange Free State.

(Hussey, MS, "Lamont-Hussey Observatory.")

Tests with the ten-inch telescope during December and January, 1923-24, confirmed these recommendations, and Naval Hill was finally selected. The site is within the city limits of Bloemfontein about two miles north and three hundred feet above the business section.*

In August, 1926, the Lamont refractor was shipped for Bloemfontein, and on October 9 Hussey, accompanied by Mrs. Hussey and Richard A. Rossiter with his family, sailed from New York. In London on October 28, 1926, while Professor Hussey was at dinner with friends, occurred his unexpected death, the most severe blow received by the southern project of the University of Michigan and a tragic ending of a lifelong dream just to be realized. S. W. Burnham, another famous American double-star observer, paid a fitting tribute when he said that Hussey's record in all fields of double-star work was brilliant and that it would not be forgotten as time went on.

Ralph Hamilton Curtiss, who came to the Observatory in 1907 and was in charge during Hussey's many absences, succeeded him, first as Acting Director, and then, in March, 1927, as Director of the Observatory. Also, immediately upon the death of Hussey, he was placed in charge of the Lamont expedition to South Africa. It was decided that the work should proceed under Rossiter, who continued from London and arrived at Bloemfontein November 28, 1926. A fifty-six-foot dome by Fecker of Pittsburgh and some accessories were shipped the following October.

Plans for the Lamont-Hussey Observatory Building were made by W. S. Lunn, engineer, of Bloemfontein, and the construction was let to a local firm there, W. H. Birtand Sons. Another Bloemfontein company, Gillespie and Son, erected the dome. Many favors were extended by the municipality, including a practically free site, road construction, water and power at cost, and a residence for Rossiter at one dollar rent per year.

The Lamont-Hussey Observatory building consists of the circular telescope room, fifty-six feet in diameter, and a north and a south wing. The central part is covered by the large dome of the twenty-seven-inch refractor. The south wing contains the library, three offices, a restroom, a storeroom, and a darkroom. The north wing provides quarters for the caretaker and for garage and storage purposes. The steel dome weighed fifty-eight tons when it was crated for shipment. It is rotated by a five-horsepower motor with a control at the switchboard and another within reach of the observer at the telescope. An observing chair twenty-seven feet high and of light steel construction, also built by Fecker, was provided to take the place of the elevating floor originally planned. Page  480The twenty-seven-inch objective of the Lamont refractor has a focal length of 40 feet and 7 ½ inches from the rear surface of the crown-glass component. The combination of crown and flint disks is corrected for visual light. The bronze cell designed by Colliau permits relative rotation of the disks for possible improvement of definition, which has not yet been deemed necessary. A few changes from the Warner and Swasey design for the mounting were made, including a differential slow motion in the drive, and a small increase in the thickness of the steel sheets of the tube to decrease the amount of flexure. The micrometer was patterned after the Warner and Swasey micrometer of the University's twelve-inch refractor at Ann Arbor, with improvements suggested by Hussey and made in the Observatory Shop. The adopted value of one turn of the screw is 10."540. Ten eyepieces giving magnifying powers from 240 to 1,760 are provided.

Morris K. Jessup and Henry F. Donner sailed from New York October 1, 1927, to assist Rossiter with the doublestar program. The Lamont-Hussey Observatory was dedicated on April 28, 1928, with guests present officially representing the Orange Free State, the city of Bloemfontein, and the Boyden Station of Harvard University. The staff formally began its work, carrying out in detail the plans originally formulated by Hussey. The following account of the program, its progress, present status, and future plans, was submitted by Rossiter, June 30, 1937, who remains as Michigan's only representative to carry to completion the comprehensive plans of Hussey's dream and Lamont's benefaction.

Former double-star programs customarily carried the systematic examination of stars through 9.0 or 9.1 catalogue magnitude. The searches at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory have been extended to include 9.5 catalogue magnitude. The majority of the charts from which the searches have been made were plotted to that magnitude at Ann Arbor under the direction of the late William J. Hussey. The part of the southern sky not covered by these charts is represented by charts used by Hussey at the Lick Observatory of the University of California or at the Argentine National Observatory at La Plata. Additional stars have been plotted at Bloemfontein on these old charts, and in many cases wholly new charts have been prepared. The search files of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory now contain 1,875 charts of the southern sky from -10° declination to the south pole in bands of declination four degrees wide. Each chart from -10° through -65° is 12m of right ascension wide by 4° of declination long. South of -65° the charts are of 24m or 36m of right ascension wide. The chart method has always been used at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory in searches, researches, and in remeasures. An observer using the chart method needs no assistant in the dome while he is working. The original searches and researches, and remeasures in the same or adjacent bands, are carried out very expeditiously and conveniently by a single observer by this method. The Lamont twenty-seven-inch refractor has no installed fine circles and thus far has not seriously needed them. Only a widely scattered group of double stars to be remeasured would make fine circles more convenient than the chart method.

Since all known southern double stars are indicated on these 1,875 charts, the total file represents a location catalogue of southern pairs. Of the more than 15,000 double stars thus entered on these charts 5,650 were found at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory during the period May, 1928 — May, 1937. In addition to Page  481this chart catalogue there are two card catalogues of Lamont-Hussey Observatory double stars, one in order of right ascension for all the 5,650 pairs and the other in order of right ascension in each four-degree band. All measures are entered on both sets of cards. Since both searching and measuring is carried out by four-degree bands, the second card catalogue is most convenient for first record and for entry into the first card catalogue. The first card catalogue is most convenient for publication and for general entry or comparison with published lists or measures.

Three observers have been responsible for finding the 5,650 Lamont-Hussey Observatory pairs. Morris K. Jessup, working during the period May, 1928 — July, 1930, is credited with 854 new double stars; Henry F. Donner, May, 1928 — May, 1933, with 1,057; and Richard A. Rossiter, May, 1928 — May, 1937, with 3,739. Each observer has been held responsible for securing sufficient measures of his own double stars to form, and furnish for double-star observers, a first epoch with which later measures might be compared. Only when some orbital motion is shown by a later epoch of measures does a double star become of especial interest to double-star observers. By January, 1930, 2,550 Lamont-Hussey Observatory double stars had been thus measured for a first epoch. To May, 1937, and particularly during 1935 and 1936, an additional 2,600 pairs have had first epochal measures. The remaining 500 double stars have had measures on only one night or need more measures to give a good first epoch.

Approximately 80 per cent of the southern sky has been searched at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory during the period May, 1928 — May, 1937. By means of part-time searches during the following three years the remaining 20 per cent should be finished. Plans for the five years ending in June, 1942, call for completion of the first epochal measures of all Lamont-Hussey Observatory pairs and as many second epochal measures as possible, an estimated 80 per cent of the total final list.

Of the 5,650 new double stars, 44 per cent are not fainter than 9.1 catalogue magnitude. The discoveries of the past two years still maintain approximately that percentage of standard search doubles. The number of faint close companions is greater than that in most lists of standard new double stars, and represents pairs only observable under reasonably good conditions of transparency and steadiness.

The magnitude-separation formula, adopted as a basis for determining which apparent double stars are to be retained in the files as Lamont-Hussey Observatory pairs, is as follows: log ρ" = 2.5 - 0.2m, where ρ" is the separation in seconds of arc and m is the combined visual magnitude of the two components of the double star. This formula allows a separation of 8."0 for an 8.0 visual magnitude pair; 5."0 for a 9.0; and 3."2 for a 10.0. Of the 5,650 Lamont-Hussey Observatory pairs, 94 per cent fall within the limits of separation set by this formula, and the remaining 6 per cent are borderline cases which have been retained if their separations are not greater than one-third wider than called for; 22 per cent of the 5,650 pairs are not wider than 0."5, 15 per cent are wider than 3."0, and the remaining 63 per cent thus have separations in the range from 0."5 to 3."0.

In the majority of cases the combined visual magnitudes of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory double stars have been determined by Rossiter with an iris diaphragm attached to the four-inch finder of the Lamont twenty-seven-inch refractor. The apertures used for the various magnitudes have been standardized by Page  482means of the Harvard photometric stars found in the Henry Draper Catalogue. For stars with components separated more than 3."5 the magnitude of the primary component seems to be given by the iris diaphragm; for components closer than 2."0 or 1."8 the magnitude is that of the combined light of the two components. For separations ranging from 2."0 to 3."5 an adjusted value between the combined light and the light of the primary seems best to represent the magnitude of the components as seen in the twenty-seven-inch refractor. Difference of magnitude between the two components must of course be estimated only in the large telescope.

No complete measures of any Lamont-Hussey Observatory pairs have yet been published by the University of Michigan or by the Lamont-Hussey Observatory. Single-line announcements for each double star, including an approximate measure, have been published in the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society for 5,250 pairs, 2,232 in 1933 and 3,018 in 1936, in sections of Volume 65. Four hundred more are soon to be announced in similar manner. At the completion of the search and measuring program the University of Michigan will publish the whole list of Lamont-Hussey Observatory double stars, together with their first and second epochal measures, in a "Hussey Memorial Volume" in commemoration of one of the great double-star astronomers of the world, the late William Joseph Hussey, whose name is coupled with that of the Honorable Robert Patterson Lamont, the original donor of the Observatory and its great telescope.

The financial support of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory for the five years ending in June, 1933, came chiefly from the donor. Every assistance to the expedition was given by the government of the Union of South Africa and that of the Orange Free State, as well as by the municipality of Bloemfontein. It has been estimated that such assistance, in the form of a residence for Rossiter and low, fixed charges for electricity and other services, amounted to fully 10 per cent of the yearly expenses, and these have been cheerfully given from the beginning of the expedition until April, 1937, when an even more liberal measure of support was provided. From 1933 until April, 1937, the University of Michigan assumed the financial responsibility.

For the five-year period April, 1937 — March, 1942, the municipality of Bloemfontein furnished the total financial support for carrying on the Lamont-Hussey Observatory from a fund 80 per cent of which was furnished by the government of the Union of South Africa and 20 per cent by the municipality. By agreement the University of Michigan retained full ownership of the Observatory, of its equipment, of its observing program, and of the results secured, and has the financial responsibility of publishing the "Hussey Memorial Volume" at the completion of the observing program. Suitable acknowledgment is to be made in the final published volume for the financial support given by the municipality of Bloemfontein and the government of the Union of South Africa. The agreement thus allowed the Lamont-Hussey Observatory to carry on its program according to the plan pursued during the period May, 1928 — March, 1937, an agreement remarkable in its liberality of view and freedom from restrictions.

Page  483

Curtis, Heber D."Professor Hussey's Dream Comes True. The Lamont-Hussey Observatory…"Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 604-6.
Curtiss, Ralph H. MSS. Univ. Mich.
MS, "Hussey Memorial Volume." Univ. Mich.
Hussey, William J. MS, "Diary," 1906-25. Univ. Mich.
Hussey, William J. MS, "The Lamont-Hussey Observatory." Univ. Mich.
MS, "Minutes of the University Senate," May 16, 1927. Univ. Mich.
[News notes.]Mich. Alum., 13 (1907): 303; 17 (1911): 292, 296-98; 18 (1912): 260-62; 29 (1922): 136; 30 (1924): 453-56; 33 (1926): 40, 128; 34 (1928): 276-79, 312, 507.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1926-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1876-1940.


THE McMath-Hulbert Observatory of the University of Michigan commenced operations on July 1, 1930. Before that date lay the history of the idea and its evolution from even smaller equipment than that available at the time.

It is probable that Mr. Willard Pope ('88e) of Detroit, vice-president of the Canadian Bridge Company of Walkerville, Ontario, interested the president of the company and his business associate, Mr. Francis C. McMath (C.E. Washington University '87, Hon.Alum. Michigan '31, D.Eng. hon. Wayne '37), in astronomy during the early 1920's. McMath's interest led to the acquisition of a series of small telescopes, the first of which was a three-inch altazimuth obtained in 1922. Since the mounting of these telescopes proved unsuitable, in 1926, after some urging on the part of his son, Robert R. McMath ('13e, A.M. hon. '33, D.Sc. hon. Wayne '38), president of Motors Metal Manufacturing Company of Detroit, F. C. McMath purchased a four-inch Bausch and Lomb refractor equatorially mounted and driven by a spring clock. Experience showed that this instrument could not be used satisfactorily out in the open, and, consequently, in 1927 R. R. McMath designed and built a suitable dome to house it. The spring clock was found reasonably satisfactory for short periods, but its rate was not sufficiently constant to keep the setting circle in proper position for the longer observations. It occurred to F. C. McMath that a telechron motor could be used for the clock drive instead of springs, and R. R. McMath undertook to design and build a sidereal clock with such a motor. This was installed early in 1928; it performed perfectly, and all clock troubles were at an end.

That summer R. R. McMath conceived the idea that the moon should prove an interesting subject for celestial motion pictures. He took such a picture, holding his own sixteen-millimeter motion-picture camera by hand against the eyepiece at an approximation of the telescope focus. After development, a fairly clear image of the moon appeared, and the picture showed that the idea had promise.

These motion pictures came into the hands of the late Director Ralph H. Curtiss of the University of Michigan Observatory through Henry J. Colliau of the Observatory staff. As a result of the vision and energy of Professor Curtiss, Messrs. F. C. and R. R. McMath agreed to undertake the design of an instrument especially adapted for the production of celestial motion pictures. It is Page  484a matter of great regret that Curtiss did not live to see the plan come to fruition.

In 1929 Judge Henry S. Hulbert (LL.M. hon. '14, LL.D. Wayne '36), long interested in astronomy, joined the enterprise. At that time he was the senior Judge of Probate of Wayne County, Michigan, and has since (1935) become vice-president of the National Bank of Detroit in charge of the trust department.

The Regents of the University of Michigan, in June, 1929, appointed Messrs. R. R. McMath, F. C. McMath, and Judge Hulbert honorary curators of astronomical observation, at the request of Dr. R. H. Curtiss. This was done in order to make possible close relations between the new observatory at Lake Angelus and the University of Michigan Observatory. Later, the titles of these curators were changed (see p. 487).

The observatory, which commenced operations on July 1, 1930, comprised a 10 ½-inch equatorial, mounted on a very heavy Bruce-type mounting with all of the auxiliaries thought necessary at that time. This observatory was described by the three founders in the University of Michigan Observatory Publications (Vol. 4, No. 4, 1931). Shortly thereafter, Heber Doust Curtis accepted the directorship of the University of Michigan observatories (see Part III: Department of Astronomy and Astronomical Observatories at Ann Arbor), and this proved to be one of the most fortunate events in the history of the enterprise. His unbounded enthusiasm and faith in the undertaking have been a continued inspiration to the founders. Dr. Curtis suggested that the name of the new observatory at Lake Angelus be the McMath-Hulbert Observatory, and in 1931 the three founders deeded it to the University of Michigan, for it had become apparent that the work should be carried on under University auspices.

The years 1931-33 were spent in perfecting the necessary mechanical equipment with which to take successful celestial motion pictures of the planets and of the shadow changes on the moon. The purely educational value of the pictures had previously been regarded as of paramount importance, but their scientific value was becoming more and more evident as time went on. Accordingly, in 1931 it was decided to try similar photographic work with the sun as a subject. Keivin Burns of the Allegheny Observatory was consulted as to the optics involved, and F. C. McMath furnished the funds with which to acquire the optical parts of the new instrument, which was christened by Dr. Curtis the "spectroheliokinematograph."

This instrument was attached to the eye end of the 10 1/2-inch reflector in June, 1932, after having been constructed by Messrs. Colliau and Smock in the University Observatory Shop from detailed drawings made by Curtis. Robert M. Petrie of the University staff spent the summer at Lake Angelus assisting in an effort to make the spectroheliokinematograph function. Spectroheliograms of solar prominences were secured that summer, but the first striking complete record was made of the ejection of a large eruptive-type prominence from a rather small sunspot on June 19, 1934, by Messrs. R. R. McMath and Petrie.

In the meantime, R. R. McMath had been building and discarding telescope drives and controls in an effort to secure one which would be nearly perfect. A very successful drive which utilized the method of frequency changing had been evolved by the summer of 1933. It became evident, however, that if extensive solar work were to be carried on, still further improvements were needed. The Detroit Edison Company joined with the observatory late in the summer of 1933 in an endeavor to evolve a satisfactory Page  485drive for the telescope which should be independent of the power system's line-voltage fluctuation and frequency variations. On December 1, 1933, the final drive was installed at Lake Angelus. Its fundamental element was a synchronous motor the speed of which could be varied by means of frequency variations in the current, effected with a thermionic tube control. Worm gearing only connected the motor to the telescope. This drive proved itself to be everything that could be desired and has been adopted for other telescopes at other observatories.

Between 1930 and 1934 Director Curtis had shown the pictures taken at the McMath-Hulbert Observatory before many audiences, both scientific and popular, and through the University of Chicago Press the pictures secured a wide distribution all over the earth. The work was closely watched by the scientific world, and professional astronomers were generous in their praise.* This early success was recognized by the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania, which awarded the three founders the John Price Wetherill medal in May, 1933, "for their design and construction of novel apparatus for the making of motion pictures of astronomical subjects."

The reception of the solar motion pictures led R. R. McMath to suggest a solar tower telescope. With the help of President Ruthven, $20,000 was secured from the Rackham Fund as an initial grant. R. R. McMath and his brother, Neil Cook McMath (C.E. Cornell '14), then made an extended tour of inspection to other observatories, and in particular to Mount Wilson Observatory. All possible aid was given by the scientists at these observatories. It developed, however, that it would be most desirable to build an instrument which would take world rank as to size and light grasp. Soon after the McMaths' return from their trip, the founders of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory and H. D. Curtis held a conference and decided to proceed with plans for such an instrument. It soon became obvious that the cost of the instrument would greatly overrun the initial grant. A very substantial grant was then obtained from the McGregor Fund of Detroit, and in addition a number of individuals made generous contributions.

The resources available for design and construction proved to be particularly fortunate. R. R. McMath was president of the company in whose shops the 10 ½-inch instrument, with its complicated accessories and other equipment, had been built. Neil C. McMath was vice-president of the Whitehead and Kales Company of Detroit, one of the larger steel fabricators of this section of the country. Edison Pettit, of the Mount Wilson Observatory, put his accumulated experience in solar physics and solar observation unreservedly at the disposal of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory. Every effort was made to avoid mistakes which had been made in the past.

Ground for the new tower telescope was broken on July 16, 1935, and the instrument was completed, except for temporary optical parts, on June 30, 1936. A description was published in the University of Michigan Observatory Publications (Vol. 7, No. 1, 1937). Fortunately, the founders had purchased enough optical pyrex from the Corning Glass Company late in 1934. This alone permitted the work to be undertaken as soon as it was. Nevertheless, certain parts of the optical equipment were not Page  486ready at the end of June, 1936. Director W. S. Adams, of the Mount Wilson Observatory, thereupon loaned the McMath-Hulbert Observatory sufficient optical equipment with which to begin its program. Even as late as May, 1937, the observatory had not yet received its own six-inch diffraction grating and was still using one loaned by the Mount Wilson Observatory.

Edison Pettit accepted an appointment as a research associate of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory in June, 1936. He spent July and August supervising the observational program at Lake Angelus. Although it had been hoped that the results would be unusual, no one had even imagined such results as were actually secured. Certain phenomena which the astronomer had only strongly supposed to exist he could now, for the first time in astronomical history, see as often as desired and examine minutely. The results of measurements of the first summer's negatives are described by R. R. McMath and Edison Pettit in the Astrophysical Journal (Vol. 85, No. 4, 1937).

The light-pressure theory which has been advanced, particularly in England, in explanation of the solar prominences, appears to have been disproved by the observations of 1936. The films indicate that a source of chromospheric material exists high above the solar surface, and suggest strongly that there is a solar atmosphere, notwithstanding that all eclipse evidence seems to deny its existence.

In the winter of 1936-37 some alterations to the instrumentation and some important additions were made. The changes and additions were the result of one year's use of the instrument and were, in the main, evolutionary in character.

Dr. Edison Pettit continued as research associate and spent June, July, and August, 1937, at the observatory assisting with the observational program. The results of the summer's observing, together with more observations by McMath and H. E. Sawyer in the autumn, were described in Mount Wilson Contributions, No. 597. The tower performed with perfect satisfaction during its second summer, so that only minor changes in the instrumentation were made during the winter of 1937-38, the principal one being the design and construction of an auxiliary photoelectric guiding apparatus.

Dr. Pettit was again at Lake Angelus observing with the tower telescope during the summer of 1938. Measures of the records of the previous summers had made it evident that motions perpendicular to the line of sight, deducible from the customary spectroheliograms obtained with the tower telescope and the spectroheliokinematograph, could tell only a part of the story of motions on the sun. Accordingly, Sawyer and George Malesky spent the summer evolving a technique for measuring the motions of prominence material along the line of sight, using the 10 1/2-inch equatorial and its spectroheliokinematograph.

It was found that the velocities at all points of an area under observation could be determined by giving a suitable motion to the slits of an orthodox spectroheliograph. The necessary motions were obtainable only in an instrument of special construction, and Mr. Julius F. Stone of Columbus, Ohio, made a grant of $10,000 to the observatory for the design and construction of the new radial velocity spectroheliograph.

The Stone radial velocity spectroheliograph was built in the winter of 1938-39, and its installation in the tower telescope just to the north and above the main spectroheliograph was completed by November, 1939. A complete optical system, using the existing driving and Page  487controlling mechanisms, was added to the fifty-foot tower for directing and focusing sunlight on the Stone spectroheliograph.

At the close of the summer of 1938 Dr. Pettit felt that he had accomplished his work at the observatory, and he accordingly did not participate in the observing in the summer of 1939. During the 1939 observing season the first strictly simultaneous records of the motions of solar prominences in light from two different elements, calcium and hydrogen, were obtained; and also in this observing season the first pictures of the actual beginnings of two prominences were made.

For some time past, Judge Hulbert, Director R. R. McMath, and his father, Francis C. McMath, had discussed plans for the general enlargement of the observatory. Inasmuch as the tower telescope had become a proved success, the field for the spectroheliokinematograph, mounted as it was on the 10 1/2-inch equatorial, was very limited. Upon the death of F. C. McMath on February 13, 1938, it was decided that the 10 1/2-inch should be replaced with a memorial twenty-four-inch equatorial telescope. The work on the design and manufacture of the Francis C. McMath twenty-four-inch reflecting telescope was started early in 1939, and the instrument was practically completed by June 30, 1940. It has been described in the Publications of the University of Michigan Observatory (Vol. 8, No. 6).

Throughout the regime of Heber D. Curtis the curators, who at his request were newly designated honorary curators of the astronomical observatories of the University of Michigan, have served as an advisory board. Neil C. McMath took his father's place as a curator in March, 1938. Before the end of the year R. R. McMath accepted the directorship of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory, and Willard Pope soon afterward replaced him as an honorary curator.

The simultaneous recording of prominence motions in three dimensions and in the light of different elements showed the great desirability of adding still another simultaneous record, that of the energy changes in prominences and other solar features. Preliminary designs by Director McMath for a new instrument indicated that at least a seventy-foot tower telescope would be needed, and tentative plans for a new telescope and an office building to house the staff, provide a library, darkrooms, laboratory facilities, and, probably most important of all, a suitably equipped instrument shop, were drawn up. In September, 1939, the McGregor Fund made a grant to the University of Michigan of $100,000 and Mr. and Mrs. R. R. McMath deeded the necessary land to carry out these plans. The new building was dedicated on May 25, 1940, together with the tower telescope structure (without instrumentation). Work was immediately started on the new McGregor instrument, and the new tower telescope was in service by the end of 1941.

The completion of the McGregor Tower perfects the Lake Angelus equipment to the point where concurrent observations of space motion and of the energy in solar activity can be made with ease and precision. Experience gained in making the simultaneous records in hydrogen and calcium light and the simultaneous radial velocity records indicates that such concurrent observation has many times the value of an isolated record.

Although the new concurrent observations will supersede, in many ways, the original "one-variable" observations, several important results have emerged from the early motion pictures of solar prominences. For the first time, astronomers have been able to see the Page  488motions of prominences projected on the disk of the sun, and these pictures, as well as the pictures of prominences projected on the sky, show conclusively that 95 per cent of the material in prominences is moving downward to the sun.

The beginnings of simultaneous observations have enabled us to demonstrate pictorially, and by measurement, that the gases which compose a solar prominence are perfectly mixed and in some instances to derive the geometrical relations of the prominences to definite points on the surface of the sun. Based on these first results of the method of concurrent observations, new instruments have been evolved, a staff of astronomers has been organized to do cooperative research, and a novel program for continued investigation and observation of the sun has been developed.

The phenomenal growth of the observatory to an "institution responsible for one of the greatest developments of the decade — the continuous record of the motions of the solar atmosphere" has required the close and enthusiastic cooperation of many individuals.

H. E. Sawyer and O. C. Mohler, assistant astronomers, together with J. T. Brodie, assistant, comprise the present scientific staff. Messrs. Sawyer and Brodie have been at Lake Angelus since late in 1933. Dr. Mohler, after a close association with the observatory which began in 1933, joined the staff permanently in 1940. C. W. Guenther, instrument maker, and two machinists, under the supervision of engineer George Malesky, are engaged in completing the instruments for the McGregor Tower at Lake Angelus.

The three founders of the observatory — R. R. McMath, Judge H. S. Hulbert, and F. C. McMath — have been completely responsible for the organization of the observatory. Judge Hulbert has been an invaluable aid to the observatory whenever his many duties would permit his participation in its activities; and until his death Mr. F. C. McMath contributed from his long engineering experience freely and generously in the design of buildings and new instruments. His advice and counsel in all matters pertaining to the observatory have been greatly missed during the last three years. From the earliest beginnings of the observatory, Dr. R. R. McMath has been directly responsible for the design and construction of all of the instruments and buildings and has, in addition, initiated and supervised the research of the observatory.


Curtis, Heber D."Observatory Is Gift to University."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 347-48.
Curtis, Heber D."The New Solar Tower of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 42 (1936): 128-32.
McMath, Francis C., , Henry S. Hulbert, , and Robert R. McMath. "Preliminary Results on the Application of the Motion Picture Camera to Celestial Photography."Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 70 (1931), No. 4: 371-79.
McMath, Robert R."The McMath-Hulbert Telechron Driving Clock."Pop. Astron., 38 (1930): 460-66.
McMath, Robert R."The Surface of the Nearest Star."Sci. Mo., 47 (1938): 411-20.
McMath, Robert R."Recent Studies in Solar Phenomena."Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 79 (1938), No. 4: 475-98.
McMath, Robert R., , and Edison Pettit. "Prominences of the Active and Sunspot Types Compared."Astrophys. Journ., 85 (1937): 279-303.
Page  489McMath, Robert R., and Edison Pettit. "Prominence Studies."Astrophys. Journ., (Mount Wilson Contrib., No. 597), 88 (1938): 244-77.
McMath, Robert R., and Edison Pettit. "Some New Prominence Phenomena."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 49 (1937): 240-64.
McMath, Robert R., and Edison Pettit. "Motions in the Loops of Prominences of the Sunspot Type, Class IIIb."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 50 (1938): 56-57.
McMath, Robert R., and Edison Pettit. "A Quasi-Eruptive Prominence Observed in Hydrogen."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., pp. 240-42.
McMath, Robert R., and Edison Pettit. "The Doppler Effect in an Eruptive Prominence."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 51 (1939): 154-57.
McMath, Robert R., , Edison Pettit, , Harold E. Sawyer, , and John T. Brodie. "An Eruptive Prominence of Record Height and Velocity."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 49 (1937): 305-8.
McMath, Robert R., , and Harold E. Sawyer. "Location of Velocity Changes in a Class IIIb Prominence."Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 51 (1939): 165-68.
The Michigan Daily, May 16, 24, and 25, 1940.
[News notes.] Mich. Alum., 40 (1933): 92-93; 40 (1934): 486.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1926-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1929-40.
Publications of the Observatory of the University of Michigan, Vols. 4-8 (1931-40).


THE Regents' report to the superintendent of public instruction in 1849 incorporated a statement by the Board of Visitors regarding the lack of "philosophical apparatus." The importance placed on meteorology is evident from the following excerpt:

… Not an instrument, even, for Meteorological purposes, is to be found in their [the Regents'] inventory, notwithstanding the subject is becoming every year one of increasing interest to the scholar and poetical [practical?] man, and awakens the attention of our national and other Legislatures.

(R.S.P.I., 1849, p. 45.)

Lectures on meteorology and climate were announced in the Catalogue for 1852-53 under the heading, Chemistry, as follows: "During the Third Term a special course will be given to the Agricultural Class — also Lectures upon the subjects of Meteorology and Climate." An unfilled professorship of theoretical and practical agriculture was also listed. In 1853-54, under Agricultural Course, the following course was announced: "Lectures on Chemistry, Chemistry applied to the Arts, Meteorology and Climate." These were evidently given by the Reverend Charles Fox (A.B. and A.M. Oxford), Lecturer on Theoretical and Practical Agriculture, who was appointed Professor for 1854-55. His death, which was recorded in the Catalogue of 1854-55, occurred in July, 1854, and caused a suspension of the lectures which was then considered only temporary. The prospect of finding an immediate successor was apparently given up in 1861-62, when the unfilled professorship was canceled from the faculty list, but, to judge from the statement in the Catalogue, the hope of providing a complete agricultural course survived until 1863.

The interest in meteorology did not fail, however, because of its association with the ill-fated agricultural course. Meteorological instruments were included in the purchases made with the Regents' approval in 1854 by Alexander Winchell, Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering. His account for instruments in June of that year totaled $500. An additional sum of $500 was appropriated, which he exceeded by $135.75. The following action was recorded in October: Page  490

A memorial was received from Professor Winchell stating that the University is now in possession of a complete suite of Meteorological Instruments and recommending that some provision be made for the keeping of a regular record of Meteorological Observations at the University. Whereupon, it was ordered that Professor Winchell procure a bound blank book ruled according to the forms issued by the Smithsonian Institution and keep therein a record of regular Meteorological Observations at the University.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 575.)

In accordance with this action, records were made by Winchell from 1854 to 1857 and were sent to the Smithsonian Institution for publication. In 1852 Dr. H. R. Schetterly made meteorological records at Ann Arbor; also, from 1852 to 1856, Lum Woodruff made such records three and one-half miles east of Ann Arbor. According to Winchell, the records by these observers were published by the Smithsonian Institution. The Winchell Papers in the University archives contain a large amount of meteorological data from other stations in Michigan, some for dates as early as 1823, as well as records from distant parts of the United States, both east and west. These records include temperature, rainfall, barometric pressure, wind, clouds, and humidity. Meteorological tables for several stations in Michigan give means by months during several years for the chief meteorological elements.

In Regent Hubbard's compilation of bylaws (Bylaws, 1922, p. 67) is contained the statement: "The Director of the Observatory shall have charge of the Observatory and of the astronomical and meteorological instruments and apparatus."

Mark Walrod Harrington, third Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory, 1879-91, gave much attention to meteorology, including the teaching of the subject, the securing of instruments, and the keeping of records (see Part III: Department of Astronomy). In the University Calendar for 1879-80 a two-hour course designated as General Meteorology was announced. Later the course was called Modern Meteorology and an elementary course in physics was made a prerequisite. Eight students enrolled in meteorology for the first semester of 1880-81. Some conception of the importance assigned to meteorology is conveyed by the heading, "Astronomy and Meteorology," in the University Calendar of 1885-86, above the description of courses in the Department of Astronomy.

In response to Harrington's request soon after his arrival, $850 was appropriated for meteorological instruments. He secured a Hough's barograph, a Hough's thermograph and an anemograph of St. Gibbon's pattern for wind velocity and direction. From the United States Signal Service he obtained a standard thermometer, a psychrometer, a terrestrial-radiation thermometer, and a solar-radiation thermometer. Tridaily records of the barograph, thermograph, and anemograph were reported to the State Board of Health at Lansing. Harrington stated in his report to the Regents for the period October 1, 1879 — January 1, 1881, that continuous records of the three most important meteorological elements had never before been made at Ann Arbor, and, excepting a record of the velocity of the wind, never before in Michigan, so far as he knew. The report was composed of detailed observations, grouped under the three headings indicated in the following summary:

1. The climate of Ann Arbor (temperature, relative humidity, barometer, clouds, ozone, precipitation, and direction and velocity of wind). The rainfall for 1880 reached forty-four inches, which was unusually large, as the yearly average for Ann Arbor was about thirty-six Page  491inches. In the special table, "Gales at Ann Arbor during 1880," the wind direction, duration, and maximum velocity were correlated with the change of temperature, with barometric pressure, and also with the relative humidity, cloudiness, and kind of clouds. The relationship between the conditions at Ann Arbor and the weather of the United States in general was shown in an interesting column, in which was noted especially the association with low-pressure areas in different parts of the country.

2. The diurnal fluctuation of the meteorological elements. It was found that the wind velocity fluctuates very much as the temperature does, that, on the average, the wind is lightest at about sunrise, increases rapidly in velocity till noon or soon after, and then falls rapidly until sunset, and after that slowly through the night until it reaches its minimum at about sunrise.

3. The character of local storms. Thunderstorms, hailstorms, and squalls of brief duration were here described, and correlated with the chief meteorological elements. In a special analysis of a sudden thunderstorm the following conclusion was reached:

… The squall accompanied a small high pressure center, the upper part of which — represented by the cloud — was a little in advance of the lower. This column of heavier air was accompanied by heavy rain and vivid electric discharges, which extended out from it but a short distance. From the base of the column the air was pouring out radially in all directions.

(Harrington, p. 19.)

Meteorological records that Harrington began in January, 1880, and continued until the end of his administration, were copied by William J. Hussey in a volume now kept at the Observatory. Harrington added to the equipment two small seismoscopes which indicated only the time of occurrence of seismic disturbances. In 1884 he established the American Meteorological Journal. He made many contributions to this journal, and served as its editor until 1892.

Harrington was granted a leave of absence from the University in June, 1891, for the first semester of the following year. He went to Washington, D.C., to reorganize the meteorological work of the Federal Government, and on July 1, 1891, became first Chief of the Weather Bureau. The course Modern Meteorology was bracketed (to be omitted) in the Calendar for 1891-92 because of his absence, and since that time has not been offered in the Department of Astronomy.

In 1909-10 Elementary Meteorology, a two-hour course developed by Irving Day Scott (Oberlin '00, Ph.D. Michigan '12), Instructor in Physiographical Geology, was first taught in the Department of Geology.* It was an elementary treatment of the dynamics of the atmosphere, including properties and movements of the atmosphere, weather and its variations, and some account of weather prediction, and was designed for prospective teachers of physical geography in the high schools. Physiography 3 was a prerequisite. In 1920-21 one of the two elementary geology courses was "strongly advised" for students entering Physiography 3, and a year later three preliminary courses were required, making a sequence of four prerequisite to Elementary Meteorology. By 1923-24, however, this long sequence of prerequisites ceased to appear in the Catalogue.

The beginning, growth, and separation of courses in geography by the side of courses in geology from 1914 to 1923 had little or no effect on Elementary Meteorology except a change in course numbering. In the high school, however, physical geography has been displaced Page  492to a large extent by other subjects, and consequently, although the course in meteorology continues to be offered at the present in the Department of Geology, the demand for it has undergone a slight decline. The subject has recently been taken over by Ralph Leroy Belknap ('23e, Sc.D. '29), Assistant Professor of Geology, who has worked two seasons in Greenland on upper-air circulation (see Part III: Department of Geology).

During the directorship of Asaph Hall, Jr., 1892-1905, meteorological records were continued, and were sent to the Michigan State Board of Health. In 1905 this board discontinued its meteorological work. William Joseph Hussey, Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory from 1905 to 1926, adopted the system of meteorological observations of the United States Weather Bureau, and in 1907, upon his recommendation to the Regents, President Angell took up the question and secured the establishment of a United States Weather Bureau station at the Observatory. Some of the old meteorological instruments needed repair — for example, a heavy wind had carried off the anemometer balls and had broken the shaft. New instruments were also purchased to complete the equipment necessary to make records in accordance with the government requirements. The work of the station has continued to the present time.

Necessary changes have been made in the time and method of recording the observations. To 1905 they were made at 7:00 A.M., 2:00 P.M., and 9:00 P.M., in accordance with the method adopted by the Michigan State Board of Health. The Weather Bureau observations, made twice a day, at 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M., include barometric pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, direction and velocity of the wind, precipitation, and cloudiness. Records are also kept of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures and of such extraordinary phenomena as severe thunder and lightning, dense fogs, heavy frosts, ice storms, dust storms, auroras, and seismic disturbances.

Regarding meteorological equipment, Hussey stated in 1912:

Continuous instrumental records are also obtained of the velocity of the wind, as recorded by the anemometer; of the air temperature by a Richard thermograph; of the relative humidity by a Richard hygrograph and of the atmospheric pressure by a Richard aneroid barograph.

At the present time, as the hygrograph is not in use, the relative humidity is determined twice a day with the use of a wet- and dry-bulb sling psychrometer. The other instrumental records have been continued to the present time.

The regular meteorological observations are sent each month to the Lansing station of the United States Weather Bureau. From April 1 to September 30 each year the daily observations are telegraphed each morning to the Chicago station for the use of the Corn and Wheat Section. During the winter season a weekly report of the average depth of snow is sent to Lansing. Each morning a weather report is telephoned for publication in the Ann Arbor Daily News. The Observatory is thus continuing to contribute valuable public services through the use of its meteorological equipment.

The meteorological work at the Observatory is now conducted on the basis of a volunteer station. Because of the nearness of two primary Government Weather Bureau stations the relative value of the local work is not as great as it was in the time of Harrington.

Page  493

American Journal of Meteorology, 1884-92.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1879-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1856-57, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Harrington, Mark W.Report of the Director of the Detroit Observatory … for the Period Beginning October 1, 1879, and Ending January 1, 1881. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1881. (Observatory Report, 1879-81.)
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hussey, William J. MS, "Diary," 1906-25. Univ. Mich.
"Mark Walrod Harrington …"Mich. Alum., 34 (1928): 343.
New York Times, Jan. 8, 1909.
Organization and Aims of the University of Michigan as Reflected in Its By-Laws …, 1922. Comp. by Lucius L. Hubbard. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923. (Bylaws, 1922).
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1880-1909.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1879-1940. (R.P.)
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Michigan, 1849-1940. (R.S.P.I.)
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)


The period from 1837 to 1855. — The first appointment to the faculty of the University of Michigan was that of Asa Gray (M.D. College of Physicians and Surgeons [N.Y.] '31, A.M. Harvard '44, LL.D. Michigan '87) in 1838 as Professor of Botany and Zoology. Because of insufficient funds and delay in building, however, students were not admitted until 1841. In the meantime Asa Gray obtained permission to visit Europe. He was paid two years' salary and was commissioned to purchase books for the Library to the extent of $5,000. Only one botanical publication was included in this initial accession. It apparently was understood that Gray would supply books for the study of botany from his own library. Upon his return from Europe in 1839, he continued his studies in the East. In 1840, he agreed to a continuation of his appointment without salary, and in 1842, when it appeared that there was no immediate prospect of participation in the instruction, he resigned to accept an appointment at Harvard.*

In 1842, Abram Sager (Rensselaer '31, M.D. Castleton Medical College '35, A.M. hon. Michigan '52) was appointed Professor of Botany and Zoology without salary until his teaching should begin. He had been associated with Douglass Houghton, who, as state geologist in 1837-38, conducted the first geological survey, which covered the two southern-most rows of counties. The botanical phases of the survey were handled by John Wright with the assistance of George H. Bull. Sager was responsible for the work on the fauna. Both Sager and Houghton had strong botanical interests. Houghton had been associated with Schoolcraft in his explorations in the upper Mississippi Valley and had published reports of his findings concerning the plants. Houghton and Sager made collections of plants which finally came into the University's possession.

The act of the state legislature authorizing the geological survey provided that the resulting collections should be deposited with the University. The Regents were apparently very much interested in the development of collections in the field of natural history. They authorized Page  494the use of one of the projected professors' houses for them until the main building should be completed (R.P., 1837-64, p. 70; see Part VIII: University Herbarium for the history of the collections).

Doubtless these collections played a part in the selection of Douglass Houghton as Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in 1839. And in turn, Houghton probably recommended that his co-worker in the geological survey, Abram Sager, be the second Professor of Botany and Zoology. Sager, apparently, was expected to assist Houghton with the collections without pay. Sager at the time was a physician at Jackson.

It is difficult to determine when instruction was first given in botany. On April 17, 1845, the Regents requested Sager to give an elementary course in botany and zoology during the first two months of the next term and provided that "he be paid pro rata for the time engaged." In the Regents' Proceedings of August 5, 1846, it was stated that the resolution again authorizing Sager's employment during the spring term had not been carried into effect because he was unwilling to leave his professional business at Jackson, the compensation for the short period being inadequate. Biology courses before 1849 were evidently not as shown in the Catalogue, where botany was first listed for 1844 (winter term) and, after a two-year omission, reappeared as a half-term summer course. Actually, Dr. Sager taught an elementary course in botany and zoology through about one-half of the summer of 1845 and throughout the summer terms of 1847 and 1848. In the Catalogue of 1848-49 botany was listed as sharing the third term of the freshman year with zoology and was thus continued until 1852-53, when it was moved to the third term of the senior year under the title of Animal and Vegetable Physiology. The following description of the course was given in the Catalogue of 1852-53 (p. 35):

The instruction in this department [Zoology and Botany] will be communicated in a course of lectures during the third term of the fourth year, upon the general and comparative organization of plants, which forms the basis of their systematic arrangement or classification; and vegetable physiology, comprising the sources and mode of nutrition of plants, and their various modes of development and dissemination; also an outline of their geographical distribution and economical history.

A parallel course [in subject matter] on the general and comparative physiology of animals, their classification, habits and relation to human interests, will be given during the term.

Schleiden's Principles of Botany, Balfour's Manual of Botany, Gray's Botanical Text-Book, and Jussieu's Elements of Botany were given as books of reference for botany.

This course occupied a third of the time of senior students from April 1 to June 29. The first half of the term was apparently devoted to botany, and the second to zoology. Five lectures were given a week. It was required in both the classical and scientific courses. The fourth-year class in 1852-53 consisted of ten students, and in 1854-55, the last year Sager taught the course, sixteen.

In 1852-53 a course in agriculture was proposed in which instruction in botany was planned. In the 1853-54 Catalogue it was stated that instruction "will combine the principles and practise of farming; so as to impart a knowledge of everything connected with the subject except manual labor." Apparently some lectures concerning various phases of agriculture were given by Professor Charles Fox until his death in 1854. The plan for the development of instruction in agriculture was terminated by an act of the legislature in 1855 providing for the establishment Page  495of an agricultural college "within ten miles of the state capitol."

In 1847, Sager with others successfully petitioned for the establishment of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, and in 1848 he was appointed Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine in addition to his professorship of botany and zoology. In 1855 he resigned the latter to devote his full time to his professorship in the Medical Department. Sager's early interest in botany did not grow at the University, his most important contribution, outside of his teaching part of a course in the subject, being the gift of his herbarium in 1866.

The period from 1855 to 1877. — In 1855, Alexander Winchell (Wesleyan '47, LL.D. ibid. '67) became Professor of Botany, Zoology, and Geology. His scientific reputation was developed mostly in geology. The extent of his training in botany is not entirely clear. He had graduated from Amenia Seminary, Dutchess County, New York, where Erastus O. Haven taught natural science. From this association had arisen a friendship which was an important factor in bringing about Winchell's invitation later to join the faculty of the University. Winchell graduated from Wesleyan University, Middle-town, Connecticut, in 1847. There is no evidence that he studied botany at that institution. The next year he taught natural science at Pennington Male Seminary in New Jersey. According to his two unpublished autobiographical sketches in the Michigan Historical Collections, he taught botany. He stated that he "entered with irrepressible zeal and delight upon the study of the flora of the vicinity by the aid of that admirable work, Darlington's Flora Cestrica" and from it he gained "an impulse which has never been lost, so much may be accomplished from an adequate and genial book." In 1849, he taught at Amenia Seminary, where botany became his favorite pursuit, almost to the exclusion of other fields of natural science. Here he collected and studied 706 species of plants upon which he based his only strictly botanical paper, "Catalogue of Plants … in the Vicinity of Amenia Seminary." From 1850 to 1853 he conducted two girls' schools in Alabama. He spent considerable time in studies in various fields of natural history. While head of the Mesopotamia Female Seminary at Eutaw, Alabama, he collected 435 species of plants (Winchell, MS, "Notebook"). The specimens apparently were sent to the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1854 Winchell came to the University of Michigan as Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering. He at once sought to find a place for himself in the fields of natural history. In so doing he apparently antagonized Silas H. Douglass, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology. He also went directly to the Regents over the head of President Tappan, which doubtless did not lessen the antagonism that had developed between two incompatible temperaments and which unfortunately developed into a bitter feud. However, he achieved his purpose and was appointed Professor of Botany, Zoology, and Geology.

Professor Winchell introduced the laboratory method at the University in instruction in botany. Apparently this was optional at first. In the 1855-56 Catalogue the following statement occurs (p. 37):

Besides the instructions of the lecture room, the professor will afford facilities to those who desire them, for the more careful and minute examination and study of objects, the determination of species and the identification of formations. Short excursions will also be undertaken in term time, and longer ones in vacation for the purpose of bringing students into actual and direct communication with Nature.

Page  496A laboratory was established, as shown by the statement in the 1856-57 Catalogue that "such as desire it are permitted to engage in investigations under the eye of the Professor, in the Laboratory attached to this department."

According to the 1856-57 Catalogue, two courses in botany were offered. One was an elementary course, which followed an elementary course in zoology in the second semester of the junior year; the other was a course called Vegetable Anatomy and Physiology and the Principles of Classification, which was given as an elective course in the senior year. This class met three days each week. A similar course in zoology was given on alternate days, and it is stated that "at the option of the student either of the above courses may be omitted and a daily exercise made of the other." In 1864-65 the elementary course in botany was moved to the freshman year, in which it was taught for one-third of the semester.

The first mention of graduate study in botany was made in 1858-59. According to the Catalogue of that year (p. 43), advanced instruction was offered both semesters "in some of the departments of Zoology and Botany … to candidates for the Master's Degrees, and others possessing the requisite elementary information," and "this will include practical instruction in the use of the microscope and in the methods of anatomical research and a discussion of general principles of classification… Students of these higher courses will be permitted to work with the Professor in the laboratory connected with the department and will receive such assistance as may be found necessary." Here is the first emphasis upon microscopy, which later became a major field of study. The advanced work in botany was apparently elective, since it was not listed among the required courses for the master's degree.

In 1873, Professor Winchell resigned to become Chancellor of Syracuse University. This terminated his official connection with the teaching of botany at the University of Michigan, since on his return in 1879 he was appointed Professor of Geology and Paleontology. Although his main interests were in other fields, he did much to advance botanical instruction at the University. He developed two courses in which students were encouraged to study plants as well as books and, especially in the advanced course, to obtain botanical information through their own observations. He took an active interest in the development of the Museum and its collections. He reported that the botanical collections numbered 36,385 specimens upon his resignation in 1873. He strongly supported the theory of evolution. He was a leading member of the Methodist Church and did much to reconcile science and religion.

It is difficult to determine the number of students who specialized in botany with Professor Winchell. It must be remembered that only a few continued for the master's degree at that time. Three students of this period became prominent in the botanical field. The first of these was William J. Beal ('59, A.M. '62, Ph.D. hon. '80), who was for many years Professor of Botany at Michigan Agricultural College (Michigan State College) and one of the leading botanists of the country. The other two were Mark W. Harrington ('68, A.M. '71, LL.D. '94) and Volney M. Spalding ('73, Ph.D. Leipzig '94), both prominent later in the development of the botanical department at Michigan. That Winchell also interested other students in botany is shown by the contribution of valuable collections of plants by a number of alumni, notably Josiah T. Scovell, who was a student here between 1867 and 1869, Albert E. Foote ('67m), and Joseph C. Jones ('72, A.M. '75).

Page  497Eugene W. Hilgard (Ph.D. Heidelberg '53) succeeded Winchell as Professor of Geology, Zoology, and Botany. He had been Professor of Chemistry at the University of Mississippi and the state geologist. In 1874 his title was changed to Professor of Mineralogy, Geology, Zoology, and Botany. Mark Harrington apparently taught botany.

Harrington, while a senior student (1868), had assisted Winchell in the Museum without compensation. Upon graduation he was appointed Assistant Curator in the Museum. It was his duty to collect and identify specimens, catalogue collections, and prepare material for exchange. In 1870 he was appointed Instructor in Mathematics in addition to his position in the Museum. In 1871, he was given leave of absence to serve as astronomical aide for the United States Coast Survey in Alaska. He did not overlook his botanical opportunities, but made a collection of plants which was sent to the Smithsonian Institution. A set of these was received later by the University. During his absence in 1872, he was appointed Instructor in Geology, Zoology, and Botany. He returned to Ann Arbor in December, 1872, about three months before Winchell's resignation. In 1873 he became Assistant Professor of Geology, Zoology, and Botany and in 1874, by Professor Hilgard's request, was placed in charge of the work in zoology and botany. Hilgard resigned in February, 1875, to become Professor of Agricultural Chemistry at the University of California. Harrington continued to give the courses in zoology and botany. In 1876 he was granted leave of absence to study in Europe. While abroad, he resigned (1877) to become a professor of astronomy and mathematics in China. This terminated his official connection with the teaching of botany at the University. When Harrington returned, in 1879, he was appointed Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory.

Although Harrington was in charge of botany for only a few years, he contributed much to the development of the subject. The establishment of the School of Pharmacy brought increased demands, and he developed a course in pharmaceutical botany in which emphasis was placed upon the identification of drugs of vegetable origin and the detection of adulterants. In 1874 he offered for the first time a course dealing exclusively with cryptogamic plants.

The botanical collections were considerably increased through Harrington's efforts; in his report to the president in 1875, however, he complained that the great increase in his teaching load had prevented him from properly caring for them. Among the accessions were the plants collected by J. B. Steere on his trip to South America, the East Indies, and the Philippines. Harrington studied the ferns, finishing his investigation at Kew in England. His paper giving the results of this study, "Tropical Ferns Collected by Professor Steere in the years 1870-75," apparently was the first botanical research paper to be published by a member of the faculty.

The period from 1877 to 1904. — In 1876, Volney M. Spalding was appointed Instructor in Zoology and Botany, to assume Harrington's duties while he was on leave in Europe. After Harrington's resignation in 1877, Joseph B. Steere ('68, '70l, Ph.D. hon. '75), who had been Assistant Professor of Paleontology, became Assistant Professor of Zoology and Paleontology. Spalding continued as Instructor in Zoology and Botany. Whether he continued to teach courses in zoology is not certain. His title was changed to Instructor in Biology and Botany in 1878, and it is probable that Steere gave the courses in zoology and paleontology and that Spalding taught the course in biology Page  498and the courses in botany. At any rate, the work in botany was definitely separated from that in zoology in 1879, when Steere became Professor of Zoology and Curator of the Museum, and Spalding was made Assistant Professor of Botany. Spalding became Professor of Botany in 1886.

Instruction in botany for a time followed the pattern established by Harrington. In 1877, Louisa Maria Reed ('76, M.S. '77) was appointed as an assistant in microscopical botany. In 1878 she married Charles H. Stowell, Instructor in the Physiological Laboratory, later Professor of Histology and Microscopy. Until her resignation in 1889 the courses in botany were given by Volney M. Spalding and Mrs. Stowell. For a year or two she assisted Professor Spalding. She then taught the courses in structural botany, histology, pharmaceutical botany, and microscopy. Her title did not do justice to her responsibilities and attainments. She taught half of the courses in botany, and her scientific accomplishments were recognized by election as fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society of London — the first woman to be so honored. She certainly deserves recognition as the first woman instructor of the University.

Professor Spalding gave a general course in botany entitled Elements of Biology (Plant Life), which was described as "a study of typical species of plants with reference to structure, physiology and development." It has been continued to the present (for some years with a similar course in zoology as General Biology 1 and 2).

During the first part of this period, Spalding also devoted considerable attention to the study of cryptogamic botany with special emphasis upon fungi. This naturally led into the subject of fungi as plant parasites. Plant pathology was then in its infancy. Several students of this period, notably Erwin F. Smith ('86, Sc.D. '89) and Lewis R. Jones ('89, Ph.D. '04), became leaders in this field.

In 1881 Spalding taught a new course, Forestry, offered in the Department of Botany and also in the School of Political Science. This apparently was the first formal instruction in forestry to be given in the United States (Dana, p. 253). The course was discontinued at the end of four years. Spalding, however, maintained a very active interest in the subject and had an important part in establishing the Department of Forestry in 1903. As has been pointed out by Dean Dana, it is a striking evidence of the breadth and vision of Professor Spalding that he should have foreseen the necessity of meeting future problems in forestry at a time when forestry resources were regarded as "inexhaustible."

In 1901, Charles Albert Davis (Bowdoin '86, Ph.D. Michigan '05) was appointed Instructor in Forestry. He had been Professor of Natural Science at Alma College. He registered for graduate study in botany at the University and received the doctorate in 1905. Davis was much interested in the forestry of the state and published a number of articles. He was Curator of the Herbarium from 1905 to 1908 and then became the peat expert of the United States Bureau of Mines.

After the resignation of Mrs. Stowell, Frederick Charles Newcombe ('90, Ph.D. Leipzig '93) became Instructor in Botany (1890). He was made Acting Assistant Professor and had charge of the department during Spalding's absence at Leipzig, where he, like Newcombe, received the doctorate under Pfeffer, in 1894. Newcombe became Assistant Professor in 1895 and was appointed Professor of Botany in 1905. He was principally interested in plant physiology, and consequently this subject received greater emphasis, resulting in the offering of three courses and opportunities for investigation by advanced students. Page  499Pharmaceutical botany was continued by Julius O. Schlotterbeck, who was appointed Instructor in Pharmacognosy and Botany in 1893 and continued to teach the course until his death in 1917, when he was Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Professor of Pharmacognosy and Botany.

During the latter part of this period Professor Spalding's interests turned more to the field of plant ecology, resulting in the offering of several courses in this subject. In 1899, he initiated a course entitled Teachers' Conference and Field Club, planned to give training in collecting and preparation of material and in the development of courses in high-school botany. This is still continued as the teachers' course in botany.

Apparently Professor Newcombe started the botanical journal club in 1894. Under Botany 11, Current Literature of Botany, in the 1895-96 Calendar it is stated that this course "constitutes a journal club, meeting once a week, in which important current papers on botany are reviewed and discussed by instructors and advanced students. All students are admitted to the meetings, but only advanced students may elect the course." This was the first course of the kind on the campus. It has continued to be an important factor in the training of advanced students in the Department of Botany.

The increase in the number of students and the multiplication of courses necessitated additions to the botanical staff. Among the six instructors who served for some time in the period 1892-1906 were the following: James Barkley Pollock (Wisconsin '93, Sc.D. Michigan '97), 1897-1932; Julia W. Snow (Cornell '88, Ph.D. Zurich '93), 1898-1900; and George P. Burns (Ohio Wesleyan '98, Ph.D. Munich '00), 1902-12.

Before 1891, the Department of Botany occupied two rooms of about one thousand square feet each in Mason Hall (Newcombe, p. 478). The one on the fourth floor was used as a laboratory, and the other, on the second, contained the collection of plants. The needs of the department so increased that these quarters were very inadequate, and in 1891 the department moved to the South Wing of University Hall, where it occupied all four rooms of the fourth floor. In addition, the ends of the corridors were partitioned off for offices and storerooms. Later, three additional rooms on the ground floor were added. The facilities for studying living plants were limited, since plants could be grown only in the windows. This situation was remedied in 1903 to some extent, by the renting of a small space in Cousins and Hall's greenhouse on South University Avenue.

A number of the students of this period became prominent in botany or closely allied subjects — twenty-six were listed by Newcombe in 1903 (Mich. Alum., 9: 445). Among the students who obtained the early part of their botanical training at the University of Michigan were George B. Sudworth ('85), Dendrologist, United States Department of Agriculture; Filibert Roth ('90), Professor of Forestry, University of Michigan; Burton E. Livingston ('98, Ph.D. Chicago '01), Professor of Plant Physiology, Johns Hopkins University; Howard S. Reed ('03, Ph.D. Missouri '07), Professor of Plant Physiology, University of California Citrus Experiment Station. According to available records, twenty students specializing in botany took master's degrees during this period. Among these were Charles O. Townsend ('88, Ph.D. Leipzig '97), Pathologist, United States Department of Agriculture; and John H. Schaffner (Baker '93, M.S. Michigan '94), Professor of Botany, Ohio State University.

The doctoral dissertation of Abram Sager Hall ('76, Ph.D. '78) was concerned Page  500with a study of a group of the Ascomycetes. This was the first doctorate in botany and the third degree of doctor of philosophy to be granted by examination from the University, the two previous ones having been given in 1876. Abram Sager Hall retired from the position of Professor of Natural Science, Washington College, Maryland, in 1927 and now lives at Saline, Michigan. Seven other students received doctorates in botany during this period. These and their later positions are as follows: Douglas Houghton Campbell (Ph.M. '82, Ph.D. '86), Professor of Botany, Leland Stanford Junior University; Erwin F. Smith, Pathologist, United States Department of Agriculture; James B. Pollock, Professor of Botany, University of Michigan; Joseph W. T. Duvel (Ohio State '97, Sc.D. Michigan '02), Crop Technologist, United States Department of Agriculture; Raymond H. Pond (Kansas Agricultural College '98, Ph.D. Michigan '02), Professor of Plant Physiology and Pathology, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College; Lewis R. Jones ('89, Ph.D. '04), Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin; and Edgar N. Transeau (Franklin and Marshall '97, Ph.D. Michigan '04), Professor of Botany, Ohio State University. Two factors aided in the development of graduate instruction: graduate students were employed to assist in the teaching, these numbering three in 1904-5; and in 1898, Dexter M. Ferry gave $500 for a botanical fellowship.

There was a marked increase in the amount of botanical research and publication during this period. During the earlier years Mrs. Stowell published a number of papers concerning plant morphology, with emphasis upon microscopical structures. She was coauthor, with her husband, Charles H. Stowell, of a book entitled Microscopical Diagnosis (1882). She was also one of the editors of the journal, The Microscope. The master's thesis of Douglas Houghton Campbell in 1882 was on the microscopical structure of vegetable textile fibers.

As already mentioned, Volney M. Spalding published a number of papers concerning various aspects of forestry. He made a study of forestry conditions in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and made recommendations in regard to a forestry program. In 1899 his study of white pine was published by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The cryptogams received considerable attention. L. N. Johnson, during the few years he was an instructor, made an excellent start on a study of the cryptogamic flora of Michigan. He published several papers on desmids. He added many collections of fungi to the herbarium and sent specimens to Ellis and Peck, who described a number of species from them. His early death in 1897 brought to an end a very promising botanical career. A number of the graduate students studied problems in plant pathology. Erwin F. Smith, whose dissertation for the doctor of philosophy degree was "Experiments with Fertilizers for the Prevention and Cure of Peach Yellows," became a plant pathologist of world renown. His studies of the bacterial diseases of plants are classic. Lewis R. Jones, whose dissertation for the doctor of philosophy degree was "Cytolytic Enzyme Produced by Bacillus carotovorus and Certain Other Soft-rot Bacteria," became not only a leading investigator but also an outstanding teacher in the field of plant pathology. Many of the plant pathologists of today were his students.

Miss Julia Snow, during the few years when she was an instructor, took part in a biological survey of Lake Erie, which was under the direction of Professor Reighard of the Department of Zoology. She studied and reported on the plankton algae and published several other Page  501papers concerning algae. Adrian J. Pieters ('94, Ph.D. '15) studied the flowering plants. There was a very active interest during the latter part of this period in aquatic biology.

Douglas Houghton Campbell's doctoral dissertation in 1889 was entitled, "Development of the Ostrich Fern (Onoclea Struthiopteris)." Professor Campbell is noted for his studies in the comparative morphology of plants.

As a result of the specialization of Frederick C. Newcombe and Volney M. Spalding under Pfeffer at Leipzig, investigation in plant physiology was stimulated at the University of Michigan. Professor Newcombe published twenty-three papers during this period based on his physiological studies, mostly concerning the sensitive reactions of plants. The doctoral dissertation of J. B. Pollock in 1895 was entitled, "Mechanism of Root Curvature."

During the last part of his career at the University Professor Spalding published a number of papers concerning plant ecology. After his resignation in 1904 he continued ecological studies at the Desert Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution in Arizona, until ill health forced him to retire to a sanatorium, where he died in 1918. George P. Burns also published a number of papers on this aspect of botany.

In 1892 Volney M. Spalding, William H. Howell, Jacob E. Reighard, and Joseph B. Steere circularized the biologists of the state concerning the desirability of a state society of naturalists. In June, 1894, Newcombe headed a committee that called a meeting in Ann Arbor in the Department of Botany, and at this meeting W. J. Beal of Michigan Agricultural College was elected president and F. C. Newcombe, secretary. The Michigan Academy of Science was organized and its first meeting was held at Lansing in December, 1894. Bryant Walker was elected president; Newcombe was elected vice-president for the section on botany.

The period from 1905 to 1923. — In May, 1905, a little less than a year after Spalding's resignation, Newcombe was promoted to a full professorship of botany and was appointed Director of the Botanical Laboratory. He directed the activities of the Department of Botany until his retirement in 1923. The staff grew from five faculty members and three assistants in 1904-5 to ten faculty members and six assistants in 1922-23. James B. Pollock, who had come to the University as Instructor in 1897, attained an associate professorship in 1914. George P. Burns, who was Instructor, became Assistant Professor in 1906 and Junior Professor in 1910. He resigned in 1912 to become Professor of Botany at the University of Vermont. Calvin H. Kauffman (Harvard '96, Ph.D. Michigan '07), previously Instructor in Botany, was successively promoted and was appointed to a full professorship in 1923. As already mentioned, Julius O. Schlotterbeck ('91, '87p, Ph.D. Bern '96) continued to give instruction in pharmacognosy and in botany.

In 1908 Henri T. A. de L. Hus (California '97, Ph.D. Washington Univ. [St. Louis] '08) was appointed Instructor in Botany. He became Assistant Professor in 1912, and his services terminated in 1917. Henry A. Gleason (Illinois '01, Ph.D. Columbia '06) was appointed Assistant Professor in 1910. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1916 and resigned in 1919 to go to the New York Botanical Garden. In 1913 Walter W. Tupper (Harvard '10, Sc.D. ibid. '18) was appointed Instructor in Botany. He became Assistant Professor in 1920. John H. Ehlers ('99, Ph.D. '14) became an Instructor in 1915 and Assistant Professor in 1920.

In 1915, Harley H. Bartlett (Harvard '08) was appointed Acting Assistant Professor Page  502during the absence of Dr. Hus on leave. He became Assistant Professor in 1916 and was appointed to a full professorship in 1921. Bradley M. Davis (Stanford '92, Harvard '93, Ph.D. ibid. '95) was appointed Professor in 1919; thus, for the first time, there were two full professorships in the Department of Botany. Carl D. La Rue ('14, Ph.D. '21) and Felix G. Gustafson (Wisconsin '15, Ph.D. Harvard '21) became instructors in botany in 1920.

In 1905 the Department of Botany still occupied the fourth floor and a part of the first floor in the South Wing. These quarters had long been inadequate. In 1913 a fire occurred that destroyed part of the fourth floor and caused damage to the remainder. Insurance made it possible to replace most of the losses except the collections destroyed in the herbarium. A number of years' agitation for better facilities finally resulted in an appropriation for the Natural Science Building, which was occupied in 1915. The Department of Botany was assigned its present quarters on four floors in the southeastern section. It was provided several laboratories for simultaneous sections of elementary botany, and special laboratories for anatomy, cytology, cryptogamic botany, and physiology, the last with a greenhouse attached. The phanerogamic herbarium occupied a double room on the third floor, and the cryptogamic herbarium similar quarters on the fourth. Each staff member had an office and a laboratory for his researches, and each graduate student had a room to himself.

In 1906 the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum were established through the gift of a large tract of land lying between Geddes Avenue and the Huron (see Part III: Botanical Gardens). George P. Burns was appointed Director. Previously a small garden had been maintained in the southeastern corner of the campus for class use and other purposes (News-Letter, 8: 57). Henry A. Gleason became Director in 1915, and Harley H. Bartlett in 1919.

During this period there was increased interest in the development of the herbarium. In 1912 C. H. Kauffman was made Curator of the Cryptogamic Herbarium and H. A. Gleason Curator of the Phanerogamic Herbarium. J. H. Ehlers became Curator of the latter in 1916. In 1921, C. H. Kauffman was placed in charge of the herbarium as director.

For the most part, the fields of instruction developed during the previous period were maintained and expanded. Additional courses were developed: Forest Pathology, Forest Botany, Agrostology, Microbiology, Genetics, Cytology, and Paleobotany. The increase in the staff also resulted in a corresponding increase in the number of courses offering advanced instruction and investigation in specialized fields. A series of five numbers entitled "Field Studies in Botany" was published in 1906 as a guide for teachers.

Financial support for advanced students was increased through the gift of funds for fellowships. The Dexter M. Ferry fellowship was continued until 1909. In 1903, Joseph B. Whittier of Saginaw gave $4,000, the income to be used for the Angeline Bradford Whittier fellowship, in honor of his mother. In 1910 the University received a bequest from Emma J. Cole, of Grand Rapids, which finally amounted to $21,000. It was specified that the income should be used for graduate fellowships in botany. Miss Cole was an enthusiastic student of the botany of the Grand Rapids area and a teacher in the Grand Rapids High School, and she had a deep interest in the welfare of students. Funds were also received from the United States Rubber Company to support the work of three students in genetical and biochemical studies of Page  503rubber-producing plants. Sixty-six students specializing in botany obtained master's degrees, and thirty-one received degrees of doctor of science or doctor of philosophy.

This was a period of productive research by members of the staff and by advanced students. Newcombe continued his studies of sensitive reactions of plants. During the early part of this period a majority of the graduate students conducted researches in various phases of physiology. Kauffman's doctoral study concerning physiological factors influencing reproduction in Saprolegnia initiated a series of investigations concerning reproduction of fungi by graduate students under his direction. Kauffman published a series of papers concerning the cryptogamic flora of Michigan and started his studies of the fungi of the western United States. His monograph of the Agaricaceae of Michigan is a major contribution to the knowledge of the fungi of eastern North America. Burns and Gleason published a series of ecological studies specially concerning the Ann Arbor and Douglas Lake areas. There was a decided increase in studies in the field of genetics by Bartlett and his students. Gleason engaged in a monographic study of the Vernonieae. The demands of the automobile industry for increased rubber resulted in investigations for the United States Rubber Company by Bartlett and La Rue concerning the culture of the rubber plant in the East Indies.

The period from 1923-1940. — Following the retirement of Newcombe in 1923, Harley Harris Bartlett became Chairman of the Department of Botany. The staff also included Professors Davis and Kauffman, Associate Professor Pollock, Assistant Professors Tupper and Ehlers, and four instructors. Kauffman was retired on account of ill health in 1930, and he died in 1931. Pollock was promoted to a full professorship in 1925. He reached the retirement age in 1932, and his death was in 1934. Tupper resigned in 1936 on account of ill health and died in 1939. Ehlers became Associate Professor in 1933 and reached the retirement age in 1939. Carl D. La Rue and Felix G. Gustafson became associate professors in 1934.

Lewis E. Wehmeyer ('21f, Ph.D. '25) was appointed Instructor in Botany in 1928. He became Associate Professor in 1937. Chester A. Arnold (Cornell '24, Ph.D. ibid. '29), appointed Instructor in Botany in 1928, was promoted to an assistant professorship in 1935. He has also held the position of Curator of Fossil Plants in the Museum of Paleontology since 1931. In 1930, Edwin B. Mains ('13, Ph.D. '16) was added to the staff as Professor of Botany. He was also appointed Director of the University Herbarium. William Randolph Taylor (Pennsylvania '16, Ph.D. ibid. '20) was appointed Professor of Botany in 1930 and Curator of Algae in the University Herbarium. Kenneth L. Jones (Syracuse '28, Ph.D. Michigan '33) became Instructor in 1930 and Assistant Professor in 1937. William C. Steere ('29, Ph.D. '32) became Instructor in 1931 and Assistant Professor in 1936. Also in 1936 Frederick K. Sparrow ('25, Ph.D. '29) came to the department as Assistant Professor and Elzada U. Clover (Nebraska State Teachers College '30, Ph.D. Michigan '35) was appointed Instructor in Botany and Assistant Curator in the Botanical Gardens.

Work in the fields of instruction which had been developed during the previous periods was continued and expanded. The rapid growth of the department has made the present quarters in the Natural Science Building again inadequate. In 1928, when the new Museums Building was completed, the Herbarium was moved to the fourth floor of the research wing.

In 1928, the University received a bequest Page  504of more than $50,500 from the estate of Frederick C. Newcombe, the income to be used for fellowships in plant physiology to be known as the F. C. and Susan Eastman Newcombe fellowships. This fund has provided financial aid for fifteen advanced students throughout their graduate study. Four students were supported by the Ferry fellowship, and to date seventeen have had financial aid from the Whittier and thirty from the Cole fellowships. During this period 159 students specializing in botany received master's degrees, and fifty-nine the degree of doctor of science or of doctor of philosophy. As far as it has been possible to determine, 245 master's degrees, in all, have been given in botany, and ninety-eight doctor's degrees.

The researches of members of the staff and of advanced students have shown a steady increase. With the development of better transportation facilities, botanical exploration has been greatly broadened geographically. Bartlett has continued his studies in Eastern Asia and in 1935 was Exchange Professor at the University of the Philippines. Pollock was exchange professor at the University of Hawaii from 1922 to 1924. In 1927 Carl D. La Rue took part in the Ford expedition to the Amazon. Bartlett, Steere, and Mains, with members of the staffs of the Museums, have taken part in a biological survey of the Mayan area of Central America in co-operation with the Carnegie Institution of Washington. W. C. Steere was exchange professor at the University of Puerto Rico in 1939-40 and made an intensive study of the bryophyte flora while there. Bartlett and several graduate students have spent several seasons in northern Mexico. Taylor has taken part in several Hancock marine expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, to the Pacific coasts of Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico, and to the southern Caribbean Sea.

Emphasis on investigations of the botany of Michigan has been continued. Studies have also been made throughout the United States, specially in the West, by Professors Kauffman, Wehmeyer, Baxter, Dr. Clover, and graduate students. Wehmeyer has given considerable attention to the fungi of Nova Scotia, and Baxter has spent a number of summers in exploration in Alaska.

The taxonomy of flowering plants has occupied the attention of a number of the staff and students, Bartlett specializing upon the Palmae and Clover on the Cactaceae. Arnold has published a series of papers on fossil plants.

Cryptogamic botany has continued to be a major field of interest. Kauffman monographed a number of genera of the Agaricaceae, and Wehmeyer the genus Diaporthe. Baxter has specialized on Poria, Mains on the Uredinales and Cordyceps, and Sparrow on the Chytridiales. Jones has been engaged in investigations in the genus Actinomyces. Steere has published a series of papers on the bryophytes of North America, including several genera for Grout's Moss Flora. Pollock made a study of the coralline algae and coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. Taylor has written a number of papers on the marine algae of North and South America and has prepared a manual of the group for the northeastern coast of North America. Investigations in plant pathology have been conducted by Mains on physiologic specialization in fungi and the inheritance of disease resistance and by Baxter on the action of wood-rotting fungi.

Davis and Bartlett have studied the genetics of Oenothera, and Davis has investigated the cytological mechanism. In plant physiology, Gustafson has carried out a series of studies concerning the factors influencing the development of fruits, and La Rue has investigated the regeneration of plant tissues. In 1923, a Page  505botanical seminar was initiated under the direction of Professor Davis for the purpose of reviewing the researches of members of the staff and graduate students.


Bartlett, Harley H."James Barkley Pollock."Mich. Alum., 41 (1934): 27-28.
Bartlett, Harley H."Asa Gray's Nonresident Professorship."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 47 (1941): 215-16.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1846-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
Dana, Samuel T."Evolution of Forestry at the University."Mich. Alum., 40 (1934): 253-55.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Harrington, Mark W.A Memorial Address on the Life and Services of Alexander Winchell. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1891.
Harrington, Mark W."The Tropical Ferns Collected by Professor Steere in the Years 1870-75."'Journ. Linnean Soc. London, bot. ser., 16 (1878): 25-37.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Kauffman, Calvin H."The Agaricaceae of Michigan."Publ. Mich. Geol. and Biol. Surv., Publ. 26, biol. ser., 5 (1918): 1-924, i-x, I-CLXXII. 2 vols.
Mains, Edwin B."Calvin Henry Kauffman."Phytopathology, 4 (1932): 271-75; Mycologia, 24 (1932): 265-67.
Newcombe, Frederick C."A Quarter Century of Botany at Michigan."Mich. Alum., 21 (1915): 477-80.
[News notes.]Mich. Alum., 6 (1900): 176; 9 (1903): 445; 38 (1932): 389.
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THE law of August 26, 1817, which actually created the University, provided that the governing board should have power to establish various "useful literary and scientific institutions," among which "botanic gardens" were named. During the twenty years of its existence in Detroit it cannot be supposed that the nascent University could do more than hold such an idea in memory.

The birthday of the University in Ann Arbor was June 5, 1837, when the Board of Regents held its first meeting there. The first professor to be appointed was the brilliant young botanist Asa Gray, who was soon to become the leader of botany in America, and to maintain his leadership for half a century.

His chief service to the University during the short period that he held the professorship of botany in absentia was to visit Europe to purchase books for the Library, and it is almost certain that it was he who designated the eastern half of the original forty-acre campus as the "Botanic Garden." He visited Ann Arbor in August, 1838, and made the original plan for the development of the campus. The early map which is referred to by local historians as long in the custody of the University Museum has disappeared, but the proposed botanical garden was mentioned in the Proceedings of the Board of Regents for December 20, 1841, only three years after Gray's visit to Ann Arbor, and a printed map dated 1854 actually shows the "Botanic Garden," but whether it was then in re or in spe nobody now knows.

If the Gardens were ever begun the evidence had disappeared by 1868, when Alexander Winchell pleaded with the Regents to get the Gardens under way (R.P., 1864-70, p. 301). Assistant Professor Mark Harrington did likewise in his report for 1873-74, and enough interest was aroused so that "a wealthy friend of the University" was at the point of establishing a botanical garden and conservatory by gift of "the fine brick residence and grounds of the well-known Smith property on Washtenaw Avenue across from the campus." This project was not carried out, and it remained for Professor Volney M. Spalding and Dr. Julius O. Schlotterbeck to start the Gardens on the campus itself. The first planting was done in 1897, with plants and seeds donated by the Michigan Agricultural College, through Professors C. F. Wheeler and W. J. Beal, and by the United States Department of Agriculture, through Mr. George H. Hicks.

Since 1897, although there have been two changes of location, the Botanical Gardens have had a continuous existence. Maintained in the early years on the campus as an adjunct of the Department of Botany and of the School of Pharmacy, the Gardens had no designated administrative official, depended largely upon voluntary labor of faculty and students, and led a precarious but scientifically productive life. It is recorded that the Regents "supplied an expert gardener and sufficient funds to increase materially the number of plants." The gardener seems to have been temporarily assigned by the superintendent of grounds. There was no greenhouse, but the Department of Botany rented space in the commercial greenhouses of Cousins and Hall on South University Avenue and was thus enabled to accumulate by gift and purchase a few interesting tropical or tender Page  507species which were to become the nucleus of the future greenhouse collections.

During the later years of the campus Gardens, additional land was rented elsewhere, because much material of single species was necessary for the phytochemical studies conducted by Professor Schlotterbeck and his pharmacy students. Inspection of William J. Hale's bibliography of the Chemical Laboratory for the years 1897 to 1906 will indicate the extent to which the Botanical Gardens contributed to research in that decade.

Maintenance of the Gardens on the crowded campus was so difficult that in 1899 energetic efforts to obtain a new site were begun, mainly through the initiative of Professors Volney M. Spalding and Frederick C. Newcombe, whose project was supported by Professor Jacob E. Reighard. Success was in sight in 1902, when it seemed that the properties included in Felch Park and the adjoining "cat-hole," on which are now located the various University buildings extending from the present Kellogg Foundation to the Storehouse, could be had for the Gardens. Just why the plan failed is obscure.

In 1906, however, on Newcombe's recommendation, Dr. and Mrs. Walter H. Nichols offered a tract of about twenty-seven acres between Geddes Avenue and the Huron River for the Botanical Gardens. The staff of the Department of Botany then included George P. Burns, the pioneer enthusiast in city planning through whose efforts Ann Arbor first became conscious of its need for a park system. He convinced the city authorities that they should permit the use of a tract of about twenty-five acres adjoining the Nichols property. Burns likewise secured a gift of thirty acres from the Detroit Edison Company. Thus, a tract of about eighty acres became available for the Botanical Gardens. This second site passed under the direct supervision of the Department of Landscape Design in July, 1916, although nominally it was controlled by the Botanical Gardens until the year 1919. In 1923 it became the present Nichols Arboretum. We are concerned here only with the period from 1906 to 1916, during which it was actually supervised by a director chosen from the Department of Botany and was known as the "Botanical Gardens and Arboretum."

The development of the Huron River tract was planned by Mr. O. C. Simonds of Chicago, a member of the class of 1878. He carried out his work to the great satisfaction of everyone concerned. President Angell said, in his report of September, 1908:

The establishment of a botanical garden makes possible an extension of the work in other departments both in the line of teaching and that of research. Demonstration material will be grown for the use of the students in botany, forestry, and pharmacy. Opportunity is offered for investigation of many problems in plant physiology, plant breeding, plant disease, and ecology which could not hitherto have been attempted.

The first Director of the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum was George P. Burns, who served under definite appointment from February, 1907, until February, 1910. He went to the headship of the Department of Botany at the University of Vermont and was succeeded by Charles Herbert Otis, who served as Curator from 1910 to 1912 and as Acting Director in 1912-13. Otis left to accept a position at Cornell University and was followed by Adrian J. Pieters, of whose official appointment there seems to be no record, but who served as Acting Director from 1913 to 1915, when he left the University for the United States Department of Agriculture.

Henry Allan Gleason, the second regularly appointed Director, served from Page  5081915 to 1919. Before his appointment took place there had been more or less open dissatisfaction with the site of the Gardens, largely because of the very uneven topography of the tract. It had very little flat land, suitable for experimental work, but a predominance of bluffs broken by ravines, admirable for permanent collections of woody species and for demonstrations of landscape planting. It was felt, on the one hand, that the botanists were not giving proper attention to the sort of development that the tract was best suited for, and were therefore not serving the needs of the Departments of Landscape Design and of Forestry. On the other hand, the botanists were not finding the site adapted to systematic gardens or experimental cultures.

The dissatisfaction reached a climax in April, 1913, when the administration of the Gardens was vested in a board consisting of the president of the University, the dean of the School of Pharmacy, the heads of the Departments of Botany, Forestry, and Landscape Design, Assistant Professor Henri T. A. de L. Hus, of the Department of Botany, the superintendent of grounds, and the secretary of the University. Some were appointed by name rather than by position, but the intention was to have all membership except that of Hus ex officio. He had been the one person productive in published experimental research conducted at the Huron River site, and his special interest was recognized by giving him membership in the committee, which, until a year later, did not even include Pieters, who was in fact directing the Gardens.

This "committee of management of the Botanical Gardens" was to have custody over the Huron River site (the present Nichols Arboretum) and also of a new site where the botanists would have plenty of flat land for extensive greenhouses, formal plantings, and experiment plots.

Pieters did much scouting for the proposed new supplementary site, and in January, 1914, the Regents appointed a committee consisting of Regent Junius E. Beal and Secretary Shirley W. Smith to purchase whatever land seemed needed. As a result the University came into possession of the first twenty acres of the present Botanical Gardens, situated near Packard Road beyond the city limits in the direction of Ypsilanti.

Only the Department of Botany had been actively concerned in the development of the Huron River site from 1906 to 1914, but harking back to the time when the College of Pharmacy had made the chief use of the campus garden, and in recognition of the Department of Forestry's unfavorable report on the Department of Botany's stewardship of the Nichols site, it was decided by President Hutchins to give each presumably interested department a voice in the control of the reorganized Gardens and Arboretum. It was to have two branches, with the Department of Botany and the College of Pharmacy predominantly interested in one and the Departments of Landscape Design and of Forestry in the other. The director of the Gardens was to be a member of the staff of the Department of Botany, as required by the deeds of gift of the Huron River site, but he was to delegate actual control of the latter to the head of the Department of Landscape Design. It was in accordance with this scheme, formulated in 1914, that Professor Aubrey Tealdi took charge in 1916 of what was later to become, after modification of the deeds of gift, the Nichols Arboretum. Gleason went to the New York Botanical Garden in January, 1919, and the present Director, Harley H. Bartlett, was appointed his successor.

The interdepartmental committee did not function well, and after Bartlett had Page  509held the directorship for a year, President Hutchins was content to change the organization by the simple expedient of calling no meetings of the committee. The change was later officially recognized by the Regents. The Botanical Gardens became an autonomous department of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and was ordered to operate in whatever manner would best serve the purely botanical interests of the University. It was understood that the Department of Botany, as such, was to have no control over the policies or budget of the Gardens, but that whenever the directorship of the Gardens became vacant, it should be filled by the appointment of an active member of the faculty of the Department of Botany. The plan so informally put into effect has operated smoothly.

The reason for the change was well known at the time. Because of the wartime demand for drugs, Professor Henry Kraemer of the College of Pharmacy had been co-operating with various commercial manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the growing of drug plants. The crops were successfully produced and sold, and the enterprise bade fair to absorb a lion's share of the facilities of the Gardens with no commensurate gain to science. The commercial side of the project (not handled officially through the director of the Gardens) was rapidly outrunning the educational and scientific. With Professor Kraemer (in 1919 appointed Dean of the College of Pharmacy) dominating the committee, there seemed no painless way to control the situation. He wanted to grow drugs and still more drugs, but as a purely commercial and demonstrational enterprise. President Hutchins made a wry face and decreed that there should be no committee!

In 1924 the School of Forestry moved its nurseries from lots on State Street near Ferry Field, which had been outgrown, to the Botanical Gardens. Here they have remained ever since. The expansion was made by the purchase of slightly more than two acres of additional land adjoining the Gardens at the southeast. At this time the western end of the Gardens and the adjoining property on the west and southwest were of little utility because they were frequently flooded by an open drain. In order to encourage land reclamation by the construction of a deep concrete conduit and also to provide for further expansion of the Gardens, three other parcels of land, aggregating nearly thirty acres, were purchased in 1924 and 1928. The Ford Motor Company gave an unused right of way along the western boundary (about half an acre) in 1925. The present area is 51.72 acres, and as a result of the improvement of the drainage it is all available for planting.

No effort has been spared which might make the Gardens of service to the University and the community as a whole. An annual chrysanthemum show has been held since 1912. This is the most important horticultural and popular activity of the Gardens.

The predominant activity of the Gardens, however, has, from the very first, been research, and there has been a steady increase in the volume of work carried on. In the fields of genetics and experimental taxonomy there has been long-continued research on the evening primroses (genus Oenothera), which became well known to experimentalists at the beginning of the century through the mutation theory of Professor Hugo de Vreis of Amsterdam. His extraordinarily important studies attracted the attention of other workers to the same genus, among them Professor Bradley M. Davis and the present Director of the Gardens. Previous to 1919, Davis had carried on his Oenothera work at the Harvard Botanical Garden, at the Woods Hole Page  510Marine Biological Laboratory, and at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bartlett's Oenothera experiments, begun at Washington in 1909 and continued after 1915 at Michigan, were the first research for which provision was made at the Packard Road site. This work for some years occupied not only much of his own time but also that of the Assistant Director. Other members of the present botanical staff have utilized the research facilities of the Gardens for themselves and their students. Especially indefatigable has been Professor Felix G. Gustafson, who has carried out such interesting work as the induction of seedless fruit formation (parthenocarpy) by the action of hormones. Professor Edwin B. Mains and his students have been actively engaged in the study of physiological races of the fungi which cause plant disease and have been breeding useful and ornamental plants for disease resistance at the Gardens since 1930.

Members of the Michigan faculty whose doctoral dissertations were based upon work done at the Gardens include William Campbell Steere, who worked on forms of Petunia and other Solanaceae with supernumerary chromosomes, and Kenneth L. Jones, who investigated the heredity of sex forms of ragweed.

Special collections have been built up for continuing research in several groups. The collection of wild roses was especially notable during the years in which the researches of Dr. Eileen Erlanson were in progress. The most extensive outdoor planting now is that of Prunus (plums and cherries). The best greenhouse collections are those of Cactaceae, studied by Dr. Elzada Clover, and various succulents of other groups, now being used for cytological investigations. The first large accession of greenhouse plants came from the Missouri Botanical Garden, through the friendly interest of Dr. William Trelease, the director.

The administration of the University once planned, by a gradual process of accretion, to transform the Botanical Gardens into a general biological institute. This idea was originally suggested by the fact that the genetical investigations of Ernest Gustav Anderson (National Research fellow from 1923 to 1926; Assistant Professor, 1926-27; and Lloyd fellow, 1927-28) were concerned with both maize and Drosophila — the fruit fly, chief laboratory organism for studies in genetics. It led to the authorization of investigations at the Gardens in the inheritance of melanism in snakes by Frank N. Blanchard, of the Department of Zoology, and his wife, the Assistant Director. This work has continued to the present time and has had many interesting by-products. The Gardens lacked the necessary facilities, however, for taking care of President Little's experimental mice when he moved to Ann Arbor from Maine, and so the animal work more naturally developed elsewhere (see Part VIII: Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology).

During recent years the investigations at the Botanical Gardens have taken an increasingly systematic and phytogeographic trend. The Director's participation in scientific expeditions to Mexico in 1930 and the Mayan region of Guatemala and British Honduras in 1931 resulted in the accumulation of living collections of plants which had not been adequately studied at the Gardens. Mexico, Guatemala, and the Southwest have subsequently yielded considerable numbers of unidentified succulents and other plants especially suitable for greenhouse culture. The first student expedition to Mexico representing the Gardens was that of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Lundell, Mr. Alfred F. Whiting, and others in 1934. It was financed in part by the gradual accumulation of small gifts from the membership of the Botanical Gardens Page  511Association, an organization authorized by the Regents in 1925. Subsequently, expeditions to Mexico and the Southwest have been made every year. From the standpoint of publicity the most notable of these has been the trip of Dr. Elzada U. Clover and Miss Mary Lois Jotter, to the canyon of the Colorado. They are to the present time the only women who have ever attempted and survived the trip by boat through the canyon. Lundell was still connected with the Gardens at the time of the Michigan-Carnegie expedition to Guatemala in 1933 and of his first Michigan excursion to Mexico (1934), after which he was transferred to the Herbarium and the Botanical Gardens' participation in the biological survey of the Mayan area ceased. More recently the Gardens have participated in Mexican exploration through collaboration with Dr. Forrest Shreve, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Dr. Ivan M. Johnston, of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, in a study of the Sonoran Desert.

Only four head gardeners have been so designated by official appointment. The first was Martin Bilon (1916-21), who had become greatly devoted to Bartlett's Oenothera research in the United States Department of Agriculture; he came soon after the transfer of that work to Ann Arbor. He only returned to Washington at the latest date that permitted him to regain his civil service status. He was highly skilled in the handling of experimental cultures and in propagation. As gardener assigned to assist the famous rose-breeder, Dr. Walter van Fleet, he had saved, by means of grafting, fine horticultural rose varieties that had originated as interspecific hybrids whose embryos proved incapable of producing a primary root. He devised the method of grafting them, as minute objects in the cotyledonary stage, on unhybridized stock seedlings.

The second was Adriaan P. Wezel (1921-30), trained in Holland, an expert grower of chrysanthemums whose plants took prizes with unfailing regularity. He is known in Holland as a writer on American horticulture for Dutch periodicals. He left Michigan for a corresponding position at Smith College. From 1930 until 1935 Jacob J. Van Akkeren was the acting head gardener. He was succeeded by the present incumbent, Walter Kleinschmidt, who was trained at our Botanical Gardens and has reached his present position by conspicuous success in the complicated routine of growing plants for research and instruction.


Bartlett, Harley H. MS, "The Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, 1897-1937." Univ. Mich.
Bartlett, Harley H."A University Expedition in Mexico. The Michigan Botanical Expedition for 1934."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 41 (1935): 357-58.
Flook, Lyman R., , and Henry A. Gleason. "The University's Botanical Garden."Mich. Alum., 23 (1917): 460-63. Contains perspective sketch and ground plan of the greenhouses, as originally proposed and approved.
Gager, C. Stuart. "Botanic Gardens of the World: Materials for a History."Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record, 27 (1938): 151-406.
Gray, Asa. Letters of Asa Gray. Ed. by Jane Loring Gray. London: Macmillan and Co., 1893.
[Hale, William J.]"Bibliography."In Edward D. Campbell, History of the Chemical Laboratory of the University, 1856-1916. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1916.
Newcombe, Frederick C."The New Botanic Garden."Mich. Alum., 13 (1906): 99-102.
Newcombe, Frederick C."A Quarter Century of Botany at Michigan."Mich. Alum., 21 (1915): 477-80.
[News notes.]Mich. Alum., 5 (1899): 290;Page  512 19 (1912): 108; 20 (1913): 64; 20 (1914): 302.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940 (especially 1899-1940). (R.P.)
[Robbins, Frank E.]"An Earlier Campus Plan."Mich. Alum., 29 (1923): 793-95.
Robbins, Frank E."Asa Gray's Visit to Ann Arbor."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 483-84.
[Schlotterbeck, Julius O.]"The Botanical Garden at the University."Phi Chi Communicator [Ann Arbor], 11 (June, 1899): 1-2.
[Schlotterbeck, Julius O.]"A University Arboretum."Univ. Newsetter, No. 25 (1899), suppl.
[Schlotterbeck, Julius O.]"Will Grow Its Own Plants."Univ. Newsetter, No. 36 (1899).
Spaulding, Volney M., , and Frederick C. Newcombe. "Needs of the University. III. A Botanical Garden."Univ. Newsletter, No. 51 (1900).
Tealdi, Aubrey. "The University Arboretum: a Beautiful Setting for the Study of Plant Life."Mich. Alum., 28 (1922): 713-17.
U. of M. Daily, Apr. 24, 1900.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.


Development and Growth of the Chemical Laboratory

EXPERIMENTAL sciences were given a place in the curriculums of University studies with the nomination of Douglass Houghton to a combined professorship of chemistry, geology, and mineralogy in 1839, but actual teaching of chemistry was deferred until 1844, when Silas H. Douglass* became an assistant to the Professor of Chemistry. At this time instruction in chemistry comprised lectures and quizzes only. Laboratory work was initiated shortly after Henry P. Tappan became President of the University in 1852. Mainly, it consisted of chemical analyses and their applications to toxicology and to other subjects, chiefly medical. Hence it was fitting that quarters for the work should be in the old Medical Building, known at that time as the "Laboratory Building." The plans for this structure had been drawn by Silas Douglass, who also superintended its erection. The immediate success of the practical course and of Douglass' persistent effort to procure a separate building for chemistry led to the inclusion of a request for a chemical laboratory building in the President's Report to the Regents in December, 1855.

The following spring, funds were appropriated for the erection of "a convenient building for the experiments and instruction in analytical chemistry," and Douglass was again made superintendent of construction. Thus was erected in 1856 the first chemical laboratory building of a state university, at a total cost of about six thousand dollars for building and equipment. It was a one-story structure containing three rooms and was equipped with twenty-six laboratory tables. Probably the original chemistry building, then called the Chemical Laboratory of the University of Michigan, was the first structure on the North American continent that was designed, erected, and equipped solely for instruction in chemistry. Other older American chemical laboratories, such as the quarters used by Professor Benjamin Silliman at Yale University, the laboratory of Dr. Robert Hare in Philadelphia, and the laboratories for instruction of students in chemistry and in physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, were not designed and erected for the purpose, Page  513but were adapted from structures already existing.

With the erection of this building the University inaugurated a policy of housing under one roof all chemical activities; academic as well as professional students had practical chemistry in the one laboratory. The natural growth of the University, and particularly the development of professional training in dentistry, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy, together with enhanced interest in chemistry for teacher training and as a profession distinct from engineering, have necessitated additions to the original structure from time to time. Altogether, seven additions were made — in 1861, 1866, 1868, 1874, 1880, 1888, and 1901. The third addition was coincident with the establishment of curriculums in pharmacy; the fourth barely preceded the establishment of the School of Pharmacy in 1876.

The number of laboratory tables had increased from the original twenty-six to 190 in 1874, and to 362 in 1901, exclusive of a limited number for special research and for staff use. It had not been possible to adhere to a definite structural plan in adding units to the building; hence, as a whole, the laboratory was unhandy. Moreover, it was not fireproof. Numerous locker fires in the course of years resulted ultimately in a ruling by the Regents prohibiting instruction in blowpipe analysis, this apparently having been mainly responsible for the difficulty. So far as can be ascertained at present, the prohibition is still in effect, although the work of the laboratory has been conducted in a fireproof building since 1909. Lack of adequate ventilation in the old building was apparent, especially in late afternoon hours, when dense and acrid fumes dimmed the analytical laboratories, and, incidentally, permitted only a short span of life to the woodwork of fume-closets. Still another serious deficiency was the almost complete lack of sanitary facilities.

The writer vividly recalls his first experiences in the University as lecturer on general chemistry to engineering students in 1902. Although included in engineering curriculums, the work was conducted in the Chemical Laboratory, which could not provide laboratory facilities for these students. The largest lecture room accommodated about 120 listeners, and the class numbered 279. To give all of its members the advantages of experimental lecture demonstrations, it was necessary to offer the single weekly lecture three times. This could be done only when the lecture room was not otherwise in use and when the students did not have other classes. In the several quiz sections that met twice weekly, some members would not have witnessed the demonstrations of the week, some would have seen them before either quiz, and others would have seen them only between quizzes. The arrangement certainly was disconcerting to the instructor, and it was not conducive to efficiency of teaching. Fortunately, amphitheater space became available in the old Medical Building when the new one was completed in 1903, and later the amphitheater in the old Dental Building was taken over for lectures to the larger classes in elementary chemistry. But these rooms had been built for other purposes and were unprovided with facilities adequate for setting up lecture demonstrations in chemistry.

Continued growth in numbers of students and an urge for expansion along various lines of chemical engineering, chemistry, and pharmacy showed that it was imperative to erect a new chemical laboratory building if the University were to maintain its leading position among institutions of higher learning. Prior to his death in 1905 Professor Albert B. Prescott had worked on tentative Page  514plans for a new building. His successor as Director of the Chemical Laboratory, Professor Edward D. Campbell, and a selected group of the staff also were busied with preliminary problems of spacing and equipment for the three units that would occupy a new building. In the fall of 1907 architects were employed to draw up plans and specifications for a building that should meet the needs of the University for a number of years. The Regents approved plans for a four-story building, 270 feet in length and 150 feet wide, with provision for about 950 laboratory tables and a liberal allowance of rooms for special research and staff accommodation. But when the plans were submitted to the contractors for bids in the following spring, the estimates were so high that it became necessary to reduce the size of the structure. Accordingly, new plans were approved for a four-story building 230 feet long and 130 feet wide, and contracts for its erection were authorized on September 24, 1908. The structure retained essential features of design and arrangement shown by the first plan, but the number of laboratory tables was reduced to 634. Fortunately, only a minor reduction of accommodations for research and for the staff was necessitated. By October of 1909 the present building was so nearly completed that some courses were given in the new laboratories during the first semester of that academic year, and the remaining courses were transferred at the beginning of the second semester, in February, 1910.

During the decade 1910-20 an unprecedented increase in the number of students attending the University overtaxed the original equipment of the new laboratory. To alleviate growing pains, changes in table equipment were made from time to time. Space required for storage of each student's personal apparatus and supplies was reduced by rebuilding table lockers. Fortunately, the original design of the tables and the distribution of gas, water, and waste lines to them permitted this reduction of locker spacing without involving too great an expense. Locker accommodations of laboratory tables for beginning courses, situated on the fourth floor, have been doubled, and in this way table space has been provided for approximately 1,000 students, of whom 250 may occupy the laboratories at one time. For more advanced work it was not feasible to reduce locker dimensions to so great an extent, but an increase of 50 per cent in the number of lockers has been made for tables in all advanced laboratories. It is not possible to proceed further in this direction, for locker spacing is now at an irreducible minimum.

The transfer of the Department of Chemical Engineering to the East Engineering Building in 1923 relieved congestion both in the laboratory and in the chemical library. Part of the vacated laboratory and office space has been used for advanced laboratory courses and research in the several divisions of pure chemistry and in pharmacy, and an opportunity has thus been provided for a change in the organization and functions of the laboratory dispensing department. A new laboratory was equipped for electrochemistry, and several smaller rooms were made available for research in this field. The general laboratory, into which all regular course work of physical chemistry had been crowded, was equipped as a special laboratory for colloid chemistry, and more ample accommodations were found for the general course work in physical chemistry. Similarly, new laboratories were established for advanced work in analytical and organic chemistry, and increased facilities were provided for research in these two departmental units. Likewise, a prescription laboratory was equipped for the Page  515College of Pharmacy, and extra space was given over to the College for research.

Hitherto, the dispensing department had been charged with the handling of student accounts and had supplied apparatus and chemicals, mainly to the chemical laboratory. At the June meeting in 1923, the Board of Regents initiated a new policy for the distribution of such materials, through the establishment of a University Chemical Storehouse, of which the dispensing arrangements for the chemical laboratory should be a part. The resolution of the Board reads as follows:

The University Chemical Storehouse shall be assigned quarters now occupied by the dispensing rooms in the Chemical Laboratory, and in addition Rooms 126, 128, 132, 136, 138 and 227 of the Chemical Laboratory … Professor Robert J. Carney shall be in charge of the University Chemical Storehouse, and it shall be operated as a part of the business organization of the University for the service of all University work in chemistry, and … responsibility of Professor Carney as head of this work shall be to the Secretary of the University.

(R.P., 1920-23, p. 856.)

The new policy is a result of the continued increase in scientific laboratory work done by many departments of the University, for which the purchase and distribution of apparatus and supplies has become an important problem. The University Chemical Storehouse furnishes apparatus, chemicals, and other supplies on requisition to all departments, to individual faculty members, and to students. The change has resulted in a considerable saving to all departments using laboratory materials, and has made available an excellent, diversified stock. During the fourteen years of its existence the yearly net receipts have increased from $23,000 to more than $86,000. If the materials supplied to the Department of Chemistry and to the College of Pharmacy are taken into account, the annual business of the University Chemical Storehouse is now considerably more than $100,000. Besides the regular dispensing employees, a glass blower is engaged to repair apparatus and construct special equipment, so essential to modern research. The Storehouse also furnishes employment to a number of student assistants.

In February, 1926, an advanced course in gas analysis was offered for the first time in a laboratory newly equipped for this service. This is the most recent special laboratory to be established in the building for regular course instruction. Naturally, equipment of research rooms changes from time to time as new problems are developed for investigation. Pressure to offer laboratory work in organic chemistry to students in training for admission to a medical school was met for several years by providing extra facilities in the summer session. When the Medical School made laboratory work in organic chemistry an absolute requirement for all students entering in 1933 and thereafter, it became impracticable to require a summer session for this work. Accordingly, space that is provided with equipment suitable for organic chemistry has been borrowed temporarily in the general pharmacy laboratory. This has been possible because the growth in the number of pharmacy students has not kept pace with the numerical increase of the students enrolled in chemistry, since a four-year training period is now required of pharmacy students, and all shorter periods of training for the pharmaceutical profession have been discontinued. Although the borrowing of space for the use of premedical students continues, it may not be permitted to jeopardize the natural growth of facilities for the use of the students of pharmacy.

Page  516
Organization of the Chemical Laboratory

Early organization. — No need existed for divisions within the Department of Chemistry until the scope of laboratory work was expanded to include several independent fields of application. Prior to the establishment of the Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science) at East Lansing in 1855, lectures on agricultural chemistry had been offered in the Department of Chemistry. The subject has not been developed further, however, because those responsible for chemistry here felt that agricultural chemistry should be promoted entirely within the Michigan Agricultural College. Association with the Department of Medicine and Surgery was given up eventually to allow expansion of medical interests elsewhere, and of other work in the Chemistry Building. Instruction in hygiene was transferred in 1888 to the building erected for the laboratories of hygiene and physics, and the laboratory work in physiological chemistry was removed on completion of a new medical building (now called West Medical Building) in 1903. The departmental units that were left in the Chemical Laboratory Building at that time were those in chemical engineering, pure chemistry, and pharmacy. These remained together until 1923, when the work in chemical engineering was transferred from the present Chemistry Building to quarters in the East Engineering Building.

Since the Department of Chemistry has always served all schools and colleges of the University except the Law School, responsibility for teaching chemistry and for the needs of the laboratory was vested in a director of the chemical laboratory. Silas H. Douglass was the first appointee and held office from 1870 until his resignation in 1877. A successor was not appointed until 1884, when Professor Albert B. Prescott was designated Director of the Chemical Laboratory. He was responsible for both the chemical laboratory and the School of Pharmacy until the time of his death in 1905.

The laboratory of general chemistry. — During the early seventies the rapid development of industries, particularly in iron and steel metallurgy, gave rise to a demand for chemists especially trained in analyses of metallurgical and other industrial materials. The University responded by offering courses and developing research in chemical technology. The promotion of training toward professional chemistry then led to an organization of general chemistry and to the development of laboratory instruction in beginning phases of the work. In 1880 the laboratory of general chemistry was set up under an administration separate from that of analytical, applied, and organic chemistry. Ultimately, it received a status not unlike that of the "second chemical laboratory" of some European universities. Paul C. Freer became its first and only Director in 1891. Nominally, he served until his resignation in 1904, but he was away on leave of absence in the Philippine Islands from 1901 to 1904. For this period S. Lawrence Bigelow was appointed acting head of the department, and he was continued in this position until 1905, when several changes were made in the administration of units within the chemical laboratory, occasioned by the death of Professor Prescott. Physical chemistry was then administered with general chemistry under the guidance of Professor Bigelow, and the directorship of the laboratory of general chemistry was abandoned. At the same time the elementary lecture course hitherto given by Smeaton in the curriculums of the Department of Engineering was transferred to the Department of General and Physical Chemistry, Page  517which was placed on the same footing as the Department of Analytical and Organic Chemistry. Between 1895 and 1900, laboratory work in physical chemistry received initial development within the Department of General Chemistry, Bigelow having been called to the University in 1898 to promote the work. This field has had rapid and wide expansion, in keeping with general trends of the period.

Later organization. — In 1905, after the death of Prescott, the School of Pharmacy and the chemical laboratory ceased to have the same administrative head, and the approach toward the establishment of a "second chemical laboratory" was given up. The chemical laboratory, minus its offshoots in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, the Department of Engineering, and the School of Pharmacy, was once more unified, and Professor Edward D. Campbell, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Analytical Chemistry, was made Director. Campbell resigned the professorship of chemiical engineering in 1914, but he retained his other positions until his death in 1925. After a brief delay Moses Gomberg, Professor of Organic Chemistry, was made Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. The directorship of the laboratory was then discontinued. There seemed no longer any need for it, since Robert J. Carney, as head of the University Chemical Storehouse, was responsible for the building and its supplies. When Gomberg reached the age for retirement, in February, 1936, Chester S. Schoepfle was appointed Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. The affairs of the department are administered by the chairman and an executive committee selected from the teaching staff. Matters pertaining to the budget are in the hands of the chairman and of a committee comprising staff members of full professorial rank.

Professional training in chemistry in the Department of Chemical Engineering. — University recognition of professional training for chemists came first in 1884, when a curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of science in chemistry was organized in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The degree was first conferred in 1886, the recipients being Edward D. Campbell, Louis M. Dennis, and Frederick G. Novy, but was abolished in 1896, along with the special degree in biology, except for students who had already begun the course. The last of these students graduated in 1899. In place of this course a new curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of science in chemical engineering was set up in 1898 in the College (then called Department) of Engineering. The new course resembled the old, except for the inclusion of engineering studies. In this way arose the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering (see Part VII: Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering). Until 1909 students in this department had all their classes in chemistry and in chemical engineering in the old Chemical Laboratory Building, under men of both the engineering and the literary faculties. These classes were thereafter conducted in the present Chemistry and Pharmacy Building until 1923. By 1920 the advisability of removing this work from the chemical laboratory had become apparent. There was a need of more room in which new technological projects could be promoted, and pressure was added also by an urge to develop new courses in physical chemistry and by the crowding of regular laboratory work throughout the Department of Chemistry. The work in chemical engineering was transferred to the new East Engineering Building in 1923. At the time of this transfer there was an adjustment of Page  518ownership rights to scientific journals and reference works, for which joint subscriptions had been made by the two departments, and many volumes were removed to the East Engineering Building.

From 1898 on, the courses in chemical engineering offered the only means of training students for the profession of chemistry. But a demand arose for a training that would include more chemistry than was possible in the engineering course. This was met by re-establishing the curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of science in chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The reinstated degree was conferred for the first time in 1916. Interest in this curriculum has not waned. A further advance in the standards of professional chemical training was made in 1919, when the Regents authorized the Graduate School to announce the degree of master of science in chemistry. To obtain this degree the candidate must have completed all requirements for the degree of bachelor of science in chemistry and also a full year of graduate training in chemistry and cognate subjects, as prescribed by the Department of Chemistry. More and more, this degree is being regarded as a step on the way to the several doctorates that represent final training for the profession.

Professional training in chemistry in the School of Pharmacy. — As early as 1860, courses in pharmacy were offered in conjunction with analytical chemistry, and in 1868 a two-year curriculum was set up, leading to the degree of pharmaceutical chemist. Within the next few years work in pharmacy was expanded so greatly that the Regents established the School of Pharmacy within the chemical laboratory as a separate department, and Albert B. Prescott was chosen its first Dean in 1876 (see Part VII: College of Pharmacy). When, in 1905, Julius O. Schlotterbeck succeeded Prescott as Dean of the School of Pharmacy, the administrative control of the school was separated permanently from that of the chemical laboratory.

Enrollments in the Chemical Laboratory

For the two semesters of 1908-9, the last year in which the old building was occupied, 2,599 students in all were enrolled for classwork, and 1,271 had work in laboratory courses. Three University units — the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Department of Engineering, and the School of Pharmacy — furnished 74.5 per cent of all students in chemistry classes and 81.7 per cent of those in laboratory work. Students in the two medical schools and in the College of Dental Surgery, who then were required to present chemistry as a part of their professional training, made up 24.5 per cent of the class and 16.3 per cent of the laboratory registrations. The Graduate School accounted for the remainder — a total of twenty-five graduate students in the classes and twenty-eight in the laboratory courses. Seven years later, registrations from the medical schools had become insignificant, since medical students were by that time required to present chemistry as a part of their premedical training, and in 1927-28 students from the School of Dentistry had disappeared for a similar reason. In the year 1915-16 the four schools and colleges furnished a total enrollment of 3,497 for classwork and 2,253 for laboratory work. Thus within six years after the present building was occupied, class enrollments had increased 34.5 per cent, and laboratory registrations had shown a 77.3 per cent gain, necessitating reconstruction of nearly all laboratory-table equipment. In 1924, the year after the removal of the work in chemical engineering to new quarters, registrations Page  [unnumbered]

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Page  [unnumbered]Page  519totaled 2,525 for classes and 2,033 for laboratory work. Of these, 2,320 in classes and 1,933 in laboratory work were registered in pure chemistry and the remainder were in pharmacy. Total registrations have fluctuated considerably during the depression years, but recently they have shown a continuous increase, totaling 36 per cent in class enrollments and 32 per cent in laboratory enrollments in the four years ending in 1938.

A steadily mounting interest in chemistry as a field of graduate study is particularly gratifying to the departmental staff. In the old laboratory, graduate students rarely constituted even an integral percentage of total registrations, and in the maximum, never more than 2 per cent. Increased facilities provided by the present Chemistry Building have attracted graduate students in constantly increasing numbers. Occasionally, during the first fourteen years of its occupancy, they have made up as much as 5 per cent of the total enrollment. From the time when the Department of Chemical Engineering was removed, in 1923, until the end of June, 1930, graduate students constituted more than 7 per cent of both class and laboratory enrollment. The number listed in separate class and laboratory courses for 1929-30 was 385. In the following year it had increased to 562, and the enhanced interest has been maintained. For 1935-36 the graduate enrollment in pure chemistry was 740, representing 13.5 per cent of all students.

This trend is shown even more markedly by registrations for the summer session, and also by the number of professional and advanced degrees conferred on students from the department. Chemistry has been offered in the summer session ever since summer work was begun in 1894, as well as in the special summer school of chemistry conducted in 1890 (see Part IV: Summer Session). An occasional graduate student registered for the six-week period of summer session work in the old chemical laboratory. In the summer session of 1910, when the first summer laboratory work in chemistry was offered in the present building, the thirty-two graduate students represented 10.4 per cent of the registration total in the department. During the next fourteen years the proportion grew slightly, but there was some fluctuation. The session of 1924 witnessed a decisive increase to 23 per cent of total registrations, and the rate of increase rose steadily over the next four-year period until, in 1928, graduate enrollment had become 35.8 per cent of the total registrations. The following year another marked increase raised the proportion to 50.7 per cent, and, ever since, a majority of chemistry students in the summer session have been graduates. A peak was reached in 1932 with a 60 per cent graduate enrollment. The small diminution in the interim may be attributed to partial recovery of chemical industries from the effects of the business depression.

By the end of June, 1940, 207 students had received the degree of bachelor of science in chemistry since the curriculum leading to it had been re-established, an average of eight per year for the period of twenty-five years. The strictly professional degree, master of science in chemistry, was conferred on eighty persons from the time of its establishment in 1919 through June, 1940, but of the entire list of students receiving the master's degree with specialization in chemistry, this number represents only a minority. In the first forty years of this century, 168 persons specializing in chemistry received either the doctor of philosophy or the doctor of science degree. Prior to the occupancy of the present laboratory only five of this group had received doctorates, but the continuity in conferring the doctor's degrees has been unbroken since 1909. In Page  520the first two decades, from 1900 to 1920, doctorates in chemistry were conferred on a total of thirty-two persons. The next decade added forty-five to the list, and in the years 1930-40 the number of doctor's degrees in chemistry was ninety-one.

The Chemistry Library

An abundant journal and monograph literature is a most important part of that equipment which is essential to productive research and teaching. Ever since the first Chemical Laboratory Building was erected, in 1856, the department has provided for faculty and student use numerous standard reference works, monographs, and periodicals, both domestic and foreign, that contain articles on chemistry and in cognate fields. The General Library has acquired works on chemistry as new projects have been undertaken in the laboratory. In the course of time a room was set aside in the Chemical Laboratory Building to house a few of the works that were indispensable laboratory equipment. No regular library service was ever provided in the old building. Plans for the present laboratory called for a combined library and reading-room on the second floor, with very particular safeguards against possible damage from fumes or from leakage of waste lines. The room has accommodations for ninety readers, and can house about 14,000 volumes. It contains chiefly journals and monographs, with relatively few textbooks. Owing to the depression, subscriptions to seven journals devoted to pharmacy, and to twenty-three pertaining to chemistry, were discontinued, leaving 144 periodical subscriptions still carried. The diminished buying powers of the library, which represents the very lifeblood of an institution of higher learning, are due largely to the depreciation of American currency in foreign markets, from which many books, monographs, and journals must come.

Older volumes of various journal sets are kept in the General Library. An unusually comprehensive historical collection and a special collection of textbooks and reference works for secondary schools are noteworthy minor features of the chemical library. The department offers various seminars as well as instructional courses in the history of chemistry and in chemical literature, all of which require use of the library. In a course in chemical literature under Professor Soule, the more advanced students are assisted in locating information on works dealing with chemistry.

Departmental Teaching and Research

Three periods offer a convenient chronology for depicting the organization of divisions within the Department of Chemistry and the foundation of its research programs. In the first period the Department of Chemistry and the Medical School, then known as the Department of Medicine and Surgery, entered into a mutually beneficial symbiosis. The old Medical Building housed the first chemical laboratory work, and in turn the original Chemical Laboratory Building housed the medical laboratories of hygiene and physiological chemistry until the erection of other more appropriate buildings permitted their withdrawal. Moreover, the arrangement was in keeping with the scientific spirit of that time, and particularly with the training and predilections of Professor Silas H. Douglass, who served the two departments impartially.

Gradual expansion of activities along independent lines in both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Medicine and Surgery loosened the symbiotic tie in the second period, and it was severed with the erection of the Page  521present Chemistry Building (1909). During most of this time the destinies of the laboratory were in the capable hands of Professor Albert B. Prescott. The period brought to completion the organization of four main divisions within the Department of Chemistry and subsequently a transfer of numerous activities that pertain to chemical technology from the jurisdiction of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts to that of the Department of Engineering. It saw the perfecting of the organization of the School of Pharmacy and its subsequent administrative separation from the Department of Chemistry. Most significant was the beginning of productive research, which led to the establishment of subdivisions within departmental units of chemistry.

Edward D. Campbell guided the laboratory over the difficulties of transfer from the old to the new building. The new laboratory permitted expansion of teaching and a much wider development of research in pharmacy, chemical engineering, and chemistry. Opportunity to receive adequate training for the profession of chemistry again was provided to students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The ultimate parting of the Department of Chemical Engineering from its foster parent toward the close of Professor Campbell's regime offered further opportunity to project chemical research. Hence, a marked increase in the number of graduate students of chemistry and a corresponding augmentation of research are outstanding features in the history of the laboratory during the entire period of Gomberg's administration, and the same situation continues under the chairmanship of Professor Schoepfle.

Chemistry and medicine. — Up to his resignation in 1877 Silas Hamilton Douglass (A.M. hon. Vermont '47) had served the University for thirty-three years. Coming here in 1844 as an assistant to the Professor of Chemistry, he became Lecturer on Chemistry and Geology in the following year. After the accidental death of Douglass Houghton he was appointed Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology. At times before 1870, he also held the professorships of pharmacy, materia medica, medical jurisprudence, and toxicology. In this year he became the first Director of the Chemical Laboratory and held only the single professorship of chemistry until 1875, when his title became Professor of Metallurgy and Chemical Technology. For the first thirteen years he taught all chemistry courses without help, except such as could be rendered by student assistants. Alfred DuBois ('48, A.M. '54), who had acted as assistant from 1855 to 1857, received appointment to the second position on the staff as Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1857, and served until his resignation in 1863.

He was succeeded by Albert Benjamin Prescott ('64m, Ph.D. hon. '86), who also had been an assistant from 1862 to 1864. Prescott was Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Lecturer on Organic Chemistry and Metallurgy from 1865 to 1870, when he became Professor of Organic and Applied Chemistry and of Pharmacy. Similarly, Victor Clarence Vaughan (Ph.D. '76, '78m, LL.D. '00) began his teaching career under Professors Douglass and Prescott as an assistant in the Chemical Laboratory from 1875 to 1883. He was Lecturer on Medical Chemistry in 1879-80, and Assistant Professor of Medical Chemistry from 1880 to 1883. His earlier papers on physiological chemistry represent contributions from the chemical laboratory, as do those of Preston Benjamin Rose ('62m), assistant for nine years and Assistant Professor of Physiological Chemistry in 1875 and from 1879 to 1881 (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy). Otis Coe Page  522Johnson (Oberlin '68, A.M. ibid. '77, Michigan '71p) also served as an assistant in the Chemical Laboratory from 1873 to 1880, when he was appointed Assistant Professor of Applied Chemistry. He was raised to the professorship in 1889. Johnson was appointed Professor of Qualitative Analysis in 1906 and in 1911 was retired as Professor Emeritus. John Williams Langley (Harvard '61, M.D. hon. Michigan '77, Ph.D. hon. ibid. '92) was the last to be appointed to the chemistry staff during the regime of Professor Douglass. He served both in the Department of Chemistry and in the Department of Physics as Acting Professor and Professor, 1875 to 1877, when he gave up the chair of physics. As Professor of General Chemistry from 1877 to 1888 he organized the first instruction in this field. Langley became Professor of General Chemistry and Metallurgy in 1888, but he had a leave of absence in this year, and the following year he resigned to take up metallurgical work with an industrial concern in Pittsburgh. He served as Nonresident Lecturer on the Metallurgy of Steel from 1889 to 1892. During Langley's leave of absence in 1888-89, Lucius Lincoln Van Slyke ('79, Ph.D. '82) carried his teaching duties in general chemistry. While in the University Langley published valuable contributions to metallurgy and chemistry.

During the period of Douglass' activity, the laboratory staff had grown to four regular teachers and two assistants, who had organized work in analytical, organic, and general chemistry, and also in the several applications to medicine, pharmacy, and technology. Professor Douglass bore a heavy burden of teaching and administration. In January, 1847, he was made Inspector of the Buildings and Grounds of the University, holding the post until 1851. He submitted the plans for the second University building, the South College, now known as the South Wing, and superintended its erection in 1848. His plans for the old Medical Building, including a chemical audience room, were submitted in 1848, and, when the building was finally erected, he also superintended its construction. He planned and superintended the construction of the first Chemical Laboratory Building and arranged for its equipment and for four of its additions. He had in charge the erection of the Observatory and of other University construction. Likewise, he was active in the establishment of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, in which he taught for many years. In shifting the fields of his own teaching he demonstrated great versatility and unusual capabilities, and he rendered signal service to the University by providing the nucleus of an admirable teaching organization, comprising Professors Prescott, Vaughan, Johnson, and Langley. To public demand for chemical reports on topics pertaining to general welfare he always responded willingly.

Douglass' Guide to a Systematic Correction of Qualitative Chemical Analysis (1864) was incorporated, ten years after its first publication, in a textbook Qualitative Chemical Analysis, under the joint authorship of Professors Douglass and Prescott. A fourth edition, rewritten by Professors Prescott and Johnson, long had vogue as a standard text and reference work in this field. The writer of this article used it in the early nineties while an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. A ninth, and the most recent, edition of the text was rewritten by Professors McAlpine and Soule in 1933.

The first original contribution from the chemical laboratory was a paper on "The Blow-pipe Assay," published by Prescott in the Engineering and Mining fournal for 1869. His name as author appears on 126 research papers, scientific addresses, monographs, and textbooks, Page  523and, together with Contributions from the Chemical Laboratory of the University of Michigan, representing researches published in the names of students who were working under his direction, the whole of his contributions would amount to some two hundred articles. His monograph, The Chemical Examination of Alcoholic Liquors, and the two textbooks of organic chemistry, Outlines of Proximate Organic Analysis and Organic Analysis, were considered authoritative works for many years. Chemistry, medicine, pharmacy, and the teaching profession have derived lasting benefits from his example and precepts. The renown of the University was augmented by his service in behalf of state and national pharmacy, and by his election to the national presidency of both the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many students trained by him in pharmacy and chemistry have become leaders in teaching and in industry, both at home and abroad. The following are noteworthy: the late Alfred Senier ('74, '74m, Ph.D. Berlin '87), Professor of Chemistry in Queen's College, Galway; the late Abram Van Eps Young (75, '75p), Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern University; the late Lucius Lincoln Van Slyke, Professor of Dairy Chemistry in Cornell University; Louis Munroe Dennis (Ph.B. '85, B.S. [Chem.] '86, Sc.D. hon. '26), Professor of Chemistry in Cornell University; Bernhard Conrad Hesse ('89p, '93, Ph.D. Chicago '96), formerly research chemist with the Badische Anilin u. Soda Fabrik and latterly internationally known consulting chemist of New York City.

Expansion and specialization. — Under the guidance of Professor Prescott, from 1876 to 1905, the expansion and co-ordination of laboratory work was continued. He relinquished teaching in metallurgy and applied chemistry to devote more time to pharmacy, and ultimately to organic chemistry exclusively. In 1881 Dr. Byron William Cheever ('63, '67m, '75l) became Acting Professor of Metallurgy; he continued in this position until his death in 1888. Under his direction, work in metallurgy became allied closely with quantitative chemical analysis, which now was offered as a separate course in analytical chemistry. Cheever had very high ideals of scholarship. Besides eight valuable papers on metallurgical research he published Select Methods in Quantitative Analysis, a work of great merit. Professor Johnson was charged with the duty of lecturing on general applied chemistry. As applications to engineering industries multiplied, his activity in this field ceased. He developed comprehensive courses of instruction in qualitative chemical analysis, to which he remained devoted until he retired. After the time of Cheever and Langley, responsibility for metallurgy and quantitative analysis was placed in the hands of Edward D. Campbell ('86), who later became Director of the Chemical Laboratory and also Chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering. His influence procured the services of Alfred Holmes White ('93, '04e), who came in 1897 from the Federal Polytechnicum of Zurich to develop new work in chemical technology. Soon afterward, when action by the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts abolished certain special degrees, the Department of Chemical Engineering was founded. Responsibility for teaching chemical technology has remained with this department, in which White succeeded Campbell as chairman in 1914.

Altogether, ten other members of the instructing staff taught analytical or technological chemistry in the old building. Frederick Levy Dunlap ('92, ScD. Harvard '95), Eugene Cornelius Sullivan ('94, Ph.D. Leipzig '99), and Hobart Page  524Hurd Willard ('03, Ph.D. Harvard '09) all taught analytical chemistry during Prescott's time. Dunlap resigned in 1907 to become a member of the Federal Board of Food and Drug Inspection. Sullivan went to the United States Geological Survey in 1903, and afterward he developed pyrex ware at the Corning Glass Works. He is now president of the Corning Glass Company. Willard held an acting instructorship from 1903 to 1905, when he became Instructor in Qualitative Analysis. He held a fellowship at Harvard University for two years, completing research there in the field of atomic-weight determination with Professor Theodore W. Richards. In 1925 he succeeded Professor Campbell as head of the Department of Analytical Chemistry. Karl Wilhelmj Zimmerschied ('03, M.S. '04) taught quantitative analysis and metallurgy from 1902 to 1912. He developed the first courses of instruction in metallography. Entering the employ of the General Motors Corporation in 1912, he was for some time president of the Chevrolet Motor Company. In 1907 Harry Newton Cole ('01, '06e, M.S. '15) and Robert John Carney ('07, Ph.D. '16) came to the staff in qualitative analysis and have continued teaching in this division. Cole was retired as Instructor in 1935. Assistant Professor Carney has become Director of the University Chemical Storehouse and has retained only a part of his teaching. He has developed courses of instruction in microchemical analysis and in the chemistry of the rare earths. The other instructors in analytical and applied chemistry have left after very short periods of service.

Instruction leading to the degree of pharmaceutical chemist (Ph.C.) had become a proving ground for the profession of chemistry. Dean Prescott did not discontinue teaching pharmacy until he had provided an adequate staff for the School. When this was accomplished he devoted more time to instruction in organic chemistry and to the development of research. Theodore John Wrampelmeier ('78, '78p), at first his private assistant and later Instructor of Analytical Chemistry, became Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry and Pharmacy in 1885, but ill health led to his resignation a year later. Afterward he became foreign representative in London for the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company, and still later was a noted consulting chemist and chemical engineer in New York City.

The nucleus of a separate staff for the School of Pharmacy was provided in the persons of Alviso Burdett Stevens ('75, Ph.D. Bern '05) and Julius Otto Schlotterbeck ('91, '87p, Ph.D. Bern '96). Stevens succeeded Theodore Wrampelmeier in 1886 as Instructor of Pharmacy, and Schlotterbeck developed instruction in pharmacognosy. Both gave long years of service to the School, and both have served it as dean. Only one other instructor came to this staff during the administration of Dr. Prescott.

Professors Rose and Vaughan continued their teaching activity in medical chemistry. Similarly, Frederick George Novy ('86, Sc.D. '90, '91m) diverted his interests to medicine and taught medical chemistry in the old laboratory from 1887 until 1902. He and Moses Gomberg ('90, Sc.D. '94) are outstanding among students who have received from Prescott inspiration to carry on graduate research. On the shoulders of Gomberg has come to rest the mantle of Professor Prescott as investigator, teacher, and administrator in the Department of Chemistry. He succeeded to the professorship of organic chemistry and to the chairmanship of the department. Five other staff members taught organic chemistry during Professor Prescott's regime. Among them, Perry Fox Trowbridge ('92, Ph.D. Illinois '06) is the only one who remained with the department for Page  525more than a year or two. He served as Instructor in Organic Chemistry from 1895 to 1902, and afterward became director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at North Dakota Agricultural College.

Following Professors Langley and Van Slyke, Paul Caspar Freer (M.D. Rush Medical '82, Ph.D. Munich '87) became Lecturer on General Chemistry in 1889. The next year he was appointed Professor of General Chemistry and Director of the Laboratory of General Chemistry. Under his direction the organization of teaching in this field was completed. He gathered a corps of instructors and published textbooks for use in the classes. His Descriptive Inorganic General Chemistry and Elements of Chemistry were popular college texts for a number of years. Freer preferred research activity in organic chemistry, and he has published a number of papers in this field. He was absent on leave in the Philippine Islands from 1901 to 1904, when he resigned to become director of the Government Scientific Laboratories at Manila. During his regime, class and laboratory work in physical chemistry was added to the activities of the Department of General Chemistry. In the interim this has become an important field for original investigations.

Between 1889 and 1905 twelve men were appointed to the teaching staff in general chemistry. The first three had been students in the department. George Oswin Higley ('91, Ph.D. '05) served as Instructor from 1891 to 1905, when he became Professor of Chemistry at Ohio Wesleyan University. David Martin Lichty (West Chester Normal '87, Ph.D. Heidelberg '07) served on the staff of the department from 1891 until his retirement as Associate Professor Emeritus in 1932. After working on his doctoral studies at the University of Heidelberg from 1905 to 1907 he returned to the University of Michigan and became Assistant Professor of General Chemistry. For many years Lichty had charge of elementary general chemistry for students of pharmacy and dentistry. Two instructors who had been trained in the University of Munich were appointed in 1896. They both remained for only a short period of service, during which they collaborated with Paul C. Freer in organic research. Two years later another influx of German-trained staff members was begun, with the appointment of Samuel Lawrence Bigelow (A.B. Harvard '91, B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology '95, Ph.D. Leipzig '98) from the Physical-Chemical Institute of the University of Leipzig. Five staff members came to the department from this institute during the next seven years.

Bigelow was charged with the development of instruction in physical chemistry, and he had teaching duties also in general chemistry. To promote laboratory instruction and research in physical chemistry he procured the appointment of George Augustus Hulett (Princeton '92, Ph.D. Leipzig '98) in 1899. Hulett stayed until 1905, when he resigned as Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry to become a member of the chemistry staff at Princeton University. He was an indefatigable research worker. During his stay the laboratory of physical chemistry was well equipped and organized, and it gained an enviable reputation for productive research. The tradition was upheld by Samuel Colville Lind (A.B. Washington and Lee '99, S.B. Massachusetts Institute of Technology '02, Ph.D. Leipzig '05), who succeeded Hulett in 1905. He resigned as Assistant Professor of General and Physical Chemistry in 1915, to enter the service of the United States Bureau of Mines at Reno, Nevada. Lind is now dean of the combined Schools of Chemistry and Chemical Page  526Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Bigelow took over the teaching and administrative duties of Freer during the latter's absence on leave and succeeded him in the chair of general chemistry, later becoming Professor of General and Physical Chemistry.

The Department of Engineering had requested separate instruction in general chemistry for engineering students, but Freer was unwilling to permit such a course to be developed. Because of this William Gabb Smeaton (Toronto '98) was called from the Physical-Chemical Institute at Leipzig in 1902 to develop a lecture course for engineering students. This separate division of general chemistry was merged with the regular department in 1905. Smeaton had charge of the course until 1919, when he took over the teaching duties of William Jay Hale (Miami '97, Ph.D. Harvard '02), Associate Professor of General Chemistry. Hale had come to the department in 1903 charged with responsibility for one of the several parallel lecture courses in elementary general chemistry; he had become Assistant Professor in 1908 and Associate Professor in 1915. He resigned in 1919 to become director of organic research with the Dow Chemical Company. Hale had been associated with Professor Alexander Smith at Chicago, and had collaborated in the preparation of the laboratory manual to accompany Smith's Introduction to General Inorganic Chemistry. Later, the manual was published separately by Hale. Smeaton has revised and rewritten all recent issues of the manual. Another valuable work, Calculations of General Chemistry, was written by Hale while in the University. He promoted research in organic chemistry and published fifty original papers, of which a number are joint contributions with research students.

Chemistry in the new building. — Within the period of occupancy of the old Chemistry Laboratory Building forty-five full-time staff members gave instruction in medical chemistry, pharmacy, chemical engineering, and pure chemistry. Sixteen came over to the present building when the transfer of work in pharmacy, chemical engineering, and chemistry was made in 1909, and two additional instructors were appointed then. In June, 1940, nineteen men of the rank of instructor or higher were teaching in the Department of Chemistry. The number of chemistry students has become so large that in order to conduct the many laboratory and quiz sections the department has adopted the policy of providing teaching fellows, who devote half time to assigned duties with laboratory and quiz sections and in their own interests elect advanced courses and carry on research leading to advanced degrees. Teaching fellows may be reappointed for a period not exceeding three years. They are chosen by a departmental committee on the basis of qualifications for both teaching and research. Generally there is an abundance of qualified applicants. All three divisions of chemistry make use of their services, but the majority are needed for duties with beginning courses, principally in elementary general chemistry, which may have from 650 to 800 or more elections. From 1913-14 to 1927-28 the number of teaching fellows has averaged twelve a year, from a minimum of nine to a maximum of fifteen.

Some years ago the staff in general chemistry made an exhaustive study of problems connected with efficiency of laboratory instruction. Opinions were gathered from departmental staffs in other universities that had laboratory problems similar to our own. The outcome was a recommendation that the administration should increase the number of teaching fellows to provide instruction for laboratory groups of approximately twenty students. Increases have been slow in Page  527coming, but ultimately the desired end was attained in 1931-32, when eighteen teaching fellows were appointed. But the number was reduced to sixteen in the following year, to thirteen a year later, and to eleven in 1934-35, owing to a need for retrenchment. The regular teaching staff had at that time been diminished by several retirements for which no replacements have been made. For the year 1936-37 the Department of Chemistry had five fewer teaching fellows and three fewer members of the full-time staff than it had in 1931-32, and it cared for 37.4 per cent more students than were enrolled in 1931-32; but in 1939-40 there were nineteen teaching fellows in addition to nineteen regular staff members. Fortunately, the number of University fellowships and of other nonteaching fellowships supported by various industries was not diminished greatly during the depression period. Frequently, recruits for temporary instructorships to replace staff members on leave of absence are found among those who have finished a period of service as teaching fellows.

A few days before the beginning of spring vacation in 1892 Professor E. D. Campbell lost both eyes in a laboratory explosion. When work was resumed after the recess he met his classes with a bandage over the forehead. For the next thirty-three years, in spite of his great handicap, he was active in research. During later years he discontinued lecturing, but he carried on the duties of administration and the direction of research students throughout his lifetime. Professor Campbell learned through the sight and touch of his colleagues and students. He developed a remarkably retentive memory, an amazing capacity to visualize operations and trends of research problems, and an unusually delicate sense of touch. The writer has often watched him adjust a delicate mechanism, to which his hands had been guided and for which, alas, one's own hands were all too clumsy. His first original investigation was conducted in his senior college year, when he was assistant to Professor Cheever. It bore the title, "A Colorimetric Process for Estimating Phosphorus in Iron and Steel." Altogether, he published twenty-three papers on analysis of iron and steel, fourteen on the constitution of Portland cement, and forty that deal with correlations of chemical and physical properties in steel. Colleagues in the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain considered Campbell an authority in their field. He was revered by all who had personal intimacy with him.

Teaching and administration of quantitative analysis gradually came into the capable hands of Hobart Hurd Willard, who has developed courses to include all phases of inorganic analysis. Clifford Cyrille Meloche (Wisconsin '10, Ph.D. ibid. '14), Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry, is his associate in teaching regular course work in quantitative analysis. Meloche has organized a special field of work in gas analysis. Roy Kenneth McAlpine ('06, Ph.D. '21) and Byron Avery Soule (18, Sc.D. '24), both assistant professors of analytical chemistry, are associated with Assistant Professor Carney in regular course work of qualitative analysis. Besides collaborating in rewriting the Textbook of Qualitative Chemical Analysis of Prescott and Johnson, they published jointly in 1936 Fundamentals of Qualitative Chemical Analysis, a textbook that is finding favor for use of classes in colleges and universities. McAlpine offers courses to aid candidates who are preparing to teach chemistry in secondary schools, and he conducts research in the field of atomicweight measurement. Soule has developed instruction in the use of chemical literature and has a general interest Page  528in chemical bibliography and in independent research.

Willard has prepared comprehensive mimeographed laboratory manuals for the fundamental courses of quantitative analysis. These have had a number of reissues and revisions. Jointly with Professor N. H. Furman, of Princeton University, he published Elementary Quantitative Analysis, a textbook that has appeared in a second edition within two years of the first issue. General and special courses provided by the department offer a broad foundation for research in this field. Particularly helpful to graduate students is the course on physicochemical methods in quantitative analysis. Willard is well known to the profession all over the country for his service in the American Chemical Society as division chairman, member of the Council, director, and associate editor of the Journal. In June, 1940, his research papers numbered seventy-four important contributions, of which a number have been done in collaboration with research students. The subjects of them include atomic-weight determinations on silver, lithium, antimony, and chlorine; perchloric and periodic acids and their salts; numerous oxidizing agents; and various physicochemical methods of analysis. Many graduate students are attracted to this field in the Department of Chemistry for work leading to advanced degrees.

The earliest instruction in elementary general chemistry was developed by lectures and quizzes. Laboratory work became possible only after the new Chemistry Building could provide room without detriment to more advanced work. In 1902, when Smeaton came to the laboratory, only a part of the student body in elementary general chemistry could be accommodated in laboratory work. But all discrimination involving special groups of students was obviated when the present building became available.

The foundation course provides a continuity of work through the year. Courses for special groups of students run for a single semester, and at first these had no laboratory work. Bigelow took over from Freer the responsibility for the foundation course. For many years Lichty handled a special group of students from the College of Dental Surgery and from the School of Pharmacy and occasional students from the two medical schools. Smeaton had a similar group of engineering students; Hale gave instruction in the first semester to a group of students who brought a usable foundation in chemistry from secondary and other preparatory schools. There have been fewer medical and dental students in chemistry classes, as a result of changes in the professional school entrance requirements, but the number of parallel lecture courses has not changed, for enrollments have increased and limitations have been imposed by the need for lecture demonstrations that must be seen by all members of the lecture group. When Hale resigned in 1919 as Associate Professor of General Chemistry, Smeaton was assigned his teaching duties with elementary classes. James Hallett Hodges (Harvard '14, Ph.D. ibid. '17) was appointed Instructor in General Chemistry and was placed in charge of the course for engineering students. As Assistant Professor of General and Physical Chemistry he still has responsibility for this course and, in addition, gives advanced lecture courses in physical chemistry. Hodges' research interests lie in the field of actinochemistry.

Bigelow came to the University mainly for the purpose of promoting instruction in physical chemistry. Because his activities were diverted to the administration of the work in general chemistry during Freer's absence, colleagues were Page  529brought to the staff to develop the laboratory instruction and programs of research. Bigelow conducted the fundamental lecture courses in both general and physical chemistry. He has published lecture synopses for elementary general chemistry and a popular textbook, Theoretical and Physical Chemistry. His researches have contributed fundamentally to the knowledge of osmotic phenomena. With small groups of students he has directed researches in this field for a number of years. A study of the size of pores in porcelain and of osmotic effects, in collaboration with Floyd Earl Bartell ('08, Ph.D. '10), led to a staff appointment for Dr. Bartell in 1910. Bartell was associated with Smeaton in teaching elementary general chemistry for a few years. When Lind resigned, in 1915, Bartell was placed in charge of physical chemistry laboratory work. He has continued in the laboratory the spirit of research introduced by Professor Hulett and maintained throughout Professor Lind's tenure. He is prominent in the colloid divison of the American Chemical Society and has rendered valuable service in organizing national colloid symposia. When readjustments were made in 1923, a newly equipped laboratory for colloid chemistry was established. Here numerous researches are constantly in progress. Bartell's contributions number sixty papers, dealing chiefly with adsorption and the phenomena of wetting.

Richard Chase Tolman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology '03, Ph.D. ibid. '10) came to the department as Instructor in Physical Chemistry in 1910. He remained one year and contributed four research papers in that time. One of these, done in collaboration with Alfred Lynn Ferguson ('08, A.M. '09, Ph.D. '15), started the latter in his research career. Ferguson became Instructor in 1915 and is now Associate Professor of General and Physical Chemistry. He organized a special laboratory for electrochemistry. He has published twenty-six papers in this field and six dealing with problems of education. Numerous important research projects have been developed in this laboratory. One especially deserving mention is that concerned with the redeterminations of fundamental physical constants.

In 1921 Philip Francis Weatherill (Bowdoin '16, Ph.D. Harvard '21) and Lee Owen Case ('20e, Ph.D. '27) were added to the staff as instructors. Both are now assistant professors. Weatherill is responsible for lectures in elementary general chemistry. He offers advanced courses in thermodynamics and has charge of laboratory work in physical chemistry. Case also has charge of laboratory work and offers advanced lecture courses. When Professor Lichty was retired in 1932, John Reginald Bates (Amherst '24, Ph.D. Princeton '27) was called to an assistant professorship of physical chemistry. He was advanced to an associate professorship in 1935 and was granted a leave of absence for 1936. Professor Bates developed new lines of research in photosynthesis and directed many original investigations. He has published a number of papers jointly with Leigh C. Anderson and Joseph O. Halford of the staff in organic chemistry.

In 1936 provision was made to give opportunity for research in still another field of modern physicochemical investigation by the appointment of Kasimir Fajans (Ph.D. Heidelberg '09) to a professorship. Formerly, Fajans had held the chair of physical chemistry in the University of Munich, and his Radioactivity and Latest Developments in the Study of the Chemical Elements, as well as a text of which he was coauthor, had been published in three languages. He is known among scientists as one of the world's leading teachers and investigators.

Page  530Toward the close of Prescott's period of service Gomberg had entire responsibility for teaching organic chemistry in both classroom and laboratory, aided only by a few laboratory assistants. In 1905 Lee Holt Cone (Pomona '01, Ph.D. Michigan '05) became an instructor in the department. Cone became successively an assistant professor and an associate professor. From 1915 to 1917 he gave part-time service to the Dow Chemical Company, and he withdrew from the staff in the latter year. Gomberg and Cone, with laboratory assistants, gave all class and laboratory work in organic chemistry until 1916. In that year three instructors were appointed. Two of them left the service after one year, but Chester Seitz Schoepfle ('14e, Sc.D. '18) remained. He succeeded to the positions held by Associate Professor Cone, who left in 1917 and ultimately became Professor of Organic Chemistry and, upon Gomberg's retirement in 1936, Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. Four instructors who received appointments between 1917 and 1921 resigned within one or two years to enter industrial service. Frederick Franklin Blicke ('16, Ph.D. '21), who became Instructor in 1921, was promoted to an assistant professorship in 1925. A year later he was transferred to the College of Pharmacy as Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, a position that was created especially for him. At the present time he is continuing a program of organic research as Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

In each of the years 1924, 1925, and 1926 one instructor was added to the staff. All three appointees have remained in the department, and all have received promotions. In the meantime instructors have been obtained on temporary appointments only, as substitutes for regular staff members on leaves of absence.

Leigh Charles Anderson ('21, Ph.D. '24), appointed Instructor in Organic Chemistry in 1924 and Associate Professor in 1937, had undergraduate and graduate training at the University. He held a teaching fellowship while doing work for the doctorate. Anderson has developed spectrometric research dealing with absorption spectra of organic compounds. Werner Emmanuel Bachmann ('23, Ph.D. '26) had a part of his undergraduate and all his graduate training in the University. Since his appointment to the staff in 1925 he has held a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship for study at the University of Zurich, 1928-29, and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in 1935 for study in England and Germany. He is developing a research field in biochemistry. Anderson and Bachmann are authors of a Laboratory Manual of Organic Chemistry. In 1938 Professor Bachmann was named chairman of the division of organic chemistry of the American Chemical Society, and in 1939 he and two other chemists at the University — J. Wayne Cole, Du Pont Postdoctoral Fellow, and Alfred J. Wilds, Teaching Fellow — duplicated in the laboratory the process by which the sex hormone estrone is manufactured by the human body. This was the first time that any human sex hormone had ever been synthetically produced.

Joseph Olney Halford (California '24, Ph.D. ibid. '26), who had done his work for the doctorate in physical chemistry, came to the staff in 1926 for the purpose of applying physical chemistry to research problems of organic chemistry. He has developed spectrometric methods in this field.

All members of the department participate in laboratory instruction and share the classwork. Research activities are particularly well co-ordinated. Prescott had established a tradition for intensive research in organic chemistry. When Gomberg succeeded to a professorship in 1904 he had published twenty-eight Page  531original investigations that were recognized in all countries as outstanding contributions. Altogether, his scientific papers number ninety-two, of which some are in collaboration with colleagues. The major investigations have led to the opening of new and varied fields of inquiry, and in following these openings many students have been trained in research under his guidance. Now they are spread over the country in industrial research laboratories and in institutions of higher learning. National recognition has come to him in the awards of the Nichols, Willard Gibbs, and Chandler medals, the national presidency of the American Chemical Society, and membership in the National Academy and in numerous other scientific societies, both at home and abroad. In building up a staff of associates he has shown a rare good judgment in selecting an articulated group whose members share the teaching and supplement one another in research. Already the four associates now on the staff have contributed almost one hundred original papers. Professor Emeritus Gomberg has assurance that the work begun under him will progress much further.

In a History of the Chemical Laboratory (1916), Campbell estimated that a total of 746 articles had been published by members of the teaching staff while they were connected with the chemical laboratory. These included papers in medical chemistry, in pharmacy, in chemical engineering, and in pure chemistry. Original contributions to the science of chemistry amounted to 401. From 1916 to 1940 the staff in pure chemistry has added 432 original contributions. Included in the list are a number of epochmaking papers.


Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Campbell, Edward D.History of the Chemical Laboratory of the University of Michigan, 1856-1916. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1916.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1844-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Jeffries, Zay. "A Contribution to the Theory of and the Constitution of Steel."Trans. Amer. Soc. Steel Treat., 13 (1928): 369-404.
"Memorial Exercises Held in Honor of … Albert Benjamin Prescott."Mich. Alum., 11 (1905): 260-70.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940. (P.R.)
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
University of Michigan. Catalogue of Graduates, Non-Graduates, Officers, and Members of the Faculties, 1837-1921. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Vaughan, Victor C.Albert Benjamin Prescott. Ann Arbor: Privately published, 1906.
Vaughan, Victor C.A Doctor's Memories. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1926.
White, Alfred H."Edward DeMille Campbell."Ind. and Eng. Chem., 17 (1925): 1204.
Page  532


EARLY history. — The specialized teaching of political economy began at Michigan pursuant to the following resolution of the Regents, dated April 14, 1880:

That, to provide for the instruction heretofore given by President Angell, Henry Carter Adams … be appointed Lecturer upon Political Economy for one semester, at a salary of $800.

(R.P., 1876-81, p. 497.)
President Angell, who had been teaching classes in this subject during one semester and in international law the other half year, had just been granted leave to become United States Minister to China. Adams (Iowa College '74, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '78, LL.D. ibid. '15) continued to teach in Ann Arbor only one semester of each year, the other semester at Cornell, until 1887. Then he was appointed to a full professorship at Michigan, a post he held until his death in 1921.

Instruction in political economy, however, was provided in the University from its very inception. The "Catholepistemiad" scheme, drawn up by Judge Woodward in 1817 (see Part I: Early History and Regents), proposed a "didaxia, or professorship," of "economical sciences" among the twelve subjects of instruction. And, at the Regents' third meeting (June 21, 1837), a resolution was passed "that until otherwise ordained the Professor of Political Economy shall be also Professor of the Ancient and English Languages." Actually, political economy was taught, until President Angell's time, by the current professor of moral and intellectual philosophy, who was nearly always the president of the University or the senior member of the faculty. Thus, the early teachers of political economy were Ten Brook, Tappan, Haven, and Cocker. Indeed, President Haven's chair from 1865 to 1868 was known as the professorship of logic and political economy. As early as 1845 political economy was required during the third term of the senior year in the "Department of Arts and Sciences." In the later fifties President Tappan's growing interest in philosophy pushed economics entirely out of the announcements of courses, but it reappeared as an elective study in Haven's administration and was made a prominent part of the curriculum by President Angell.

A few further details may be gleaned from the annual catalogues — all with reference to the liberal arts department or college. In 1843-44, for example, seniors apparently were required, during the last term, to study Wayland's Political Economy. Similar announcements recurred for more than a decade, except that this subject was sometimes taught in the junior year; in 1850-51 Wayland's text was still used. Juniors of 1852-53, in both classical and scientific courses, were instructed in economics "by the use of text books, accompanied with lectures and by references to the standard works on political economy. The students are here also required to read original essays on subjects connected with the course" (Cat., 1852-53, p. 30).

President Angell, in his first year at Ann Arbor, reported to the Regents:

We should have also, at an early day, a Professor to give instruction in Political Economy, Political Philosophy, and International Law. The very brief course in Political Economy has been conducted by the Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy [Cocker], who would prefer to confine himself to his own special work, and it has not been offered at all to the classical students. I have this year given twenty familiar lectures on International Law to about two-thirds Page  533of the senior class. But provision should be made by which every student should be able to take a generous course in the Political Sciences.

(P.R., 1871-72, p. 16.)

Dr. Angell proceeded in the following years to develop such courses himself, teaching political economy one semester, international law the other. By 1879-80, the year before Adams came here, Angell was responsible for three classes in economics: two sections of an elementary course and one in "advanced political economy" — all meeting twice a week.

Buildings and special facilities. — The first acquisition of special facilities for political economy was announced through the University Calendar (1871-72, p. 10) in the first year of Dr. Angell's presidency:

The University Library contains about twenty-two thousand volumes. During the past year it has been enlarged by the addition of the library of the late Prof. [Karl Heinrich] Rau, the distinguished Professor of Political Economy in the University of Heidelberg, Germany … purchased and presented to the University by Philo Parsons, Esq., of Detroit. It contains about four thousand volumes and from two thousand to three thousand pamphlets. It is especially rich in European works on the Science of Government, Statistics, Political Economy, and cognate subjects.

Adams' earliest activities at Ann Arbor were naturally carried on in University Hall, which was then relatively new. Soon after Tappan Hall was built (in 1894), Adams and his colleague Taylor were transferred there. The department's work developed in Tappan Hall until about 1910, when the south part of the old Chemistry Building became designated as the Economics Building. This building has been so patched over from time to time that now only its numerous chimneys suggest its former uses. The larger lecture rooms are still fitted with shades and screens for lantern projections, which have not been used for many years. The northern parts of the whole structure (first used in 1857), now known as the Pharmacology Building, usually harbor some animals used for experimental purposes. Also, an additional large basement room was equipped before 1920 as an accounting laboratory, with desk-tables and adding machines. It is overcrowded, and has been for some years, by the large classes in that subject.

Another large room on the second floor became the departmental library about 1914. When Angell Hall was completed, in 1924, the economics and mathematics libraries were combined on its third floor, and the room thus vacated in the Economics Building has served as a statistical laboratory as well as a general classroom. For some years, in the time of Adams and Taylor, virtually all book accessions in economics and sociology were purchased directly by the department for the economics library; since the middle 1920's most single copies of economics literature have gone into the General Library, and additions to the economics reading room are mainly multiple copies for the larger classes. In 1912 the department collected some thirty-one photographs and prints of leading economists. If funds for the purpose become available, this collection may be extended and suitably displayed.

Persons and policies; programs of undergraduate studies. — The most obvious divisions of the department's history are the terms of the three administrative heads — Adams (1880-1921), Day (1923-27), and Sharfman (since 1927).

In Adams' term several significant phases may be discerned, each phase lasting approximately a decade. For about twelve years after he began lecturing here, Adams conducted the teaching in economics almost single-handed, and until 1887 during only one-half of the year. In 1892 Fred M. Taylor Page  534joined him, and soon thereafter Charles H. Cooley became a full-time instructor and began to give courses in sociology. The third decade of Adams' regime saw the establishment of new courses in industry and commerce and in public control of railways and other industries, taught in part by Edward D. Jones and Harrison S. Smalley. In the fourth decade (after 1912), public control of industry was further developed by I. L. Sharfman, and in this period students, teachers, and courses in business administration and sociology all became more numerous. The School of Business Administration (see Part VI: School of Business Administration) was created in 1924, three years after Adams' death. The Dean of the new school, Edmund E. Day, continued to be Chairman of the Department of Economics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts until his resignation from the University in 1927, since which year the School and the department have been headed respectively by Dean Griffin and Professor Sharfman. The group teaching sociology (see Part IV: Department of Sociology) remained administratively a wing of the Department of Economics until 1931, two years after Cooley's death; and a year or two later sociology offices and classes were removed to the old Law Building (Haven Hall).

The roster of persons who have taught economics and business in the Department of Economics (or Political Economy), from the beginning of such instruction at the University through the year 1939-40, includes 183 names. This count excludes eight nonresident lecturers in political economy, also Cooley and other sociologists, and appointees in the School of Business Administration in 1924 and later years. Classified by highest rank attained up to 1940, this roster includes eighteen full professors, four visiting professors, six associate professors, fourteen assistant professors, seven lecturers, ninety-four instructors, and forty teaching fellows.

Henry Carter Adams, 1880-1921. — Adams was called to Michigan in 1880, as stated above, to take over President Angell's one-semester offerings in political economy. Within a few years, under the stimulus of the School of Political Science (see Part IV: Department of Political Science), various other courses were announced under the heading "Political Economy." These announcements signify the beginnings of Adams' instruction at the University of Michigan in public finance and industrial history, and they also show how early he developed alliances with other departments and with people and organizations outside the University. For 1882-83, for example, the following courses were announced in connection with the economics offering: Public Scientific Surveys, Relations of Government to Scientific Progress; and Economic Development of Mineral Resources. These two courses were taught respectively by the professors of geology and of mineralogy and mining engineering.

During the first year of his full professorship here (1887-88) Adams introduced a course designated Principles of the Science of Statistics. At about the same time he became chief statistician for the Interstate Commerce Commission, which post he held until 1912. In this period also appeared germs of other types of instruction which grew to great importance — notably advanced economic theory, international trade, and social and industrial reform. The classes had already attained such size that Adams was allowed an assistant. This assistant, Frederick C. Hicks ('86, Ph.D. '90), later president of the University of Cincinnati, became Instructor in Economics in 1890-91. During the latter academic year Adams was absent, doing work with Page  535the Interstate Commerce Commission, and his place was temporarily filled by Fred Manville Taylor (Northwestern '76, Ph.D. Michigan '88), who was then teaching history and political economy at Albion College.

By 1892, the year when Taylor came here permanently as Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Finance, ten courses in political economy were announced for each semester — "classified," according to the Calendar of 1892-93, "as undergraduate, intermediate, and graduate courses." Frank Haigh Dixon ('92, Ph.D. '95), later Professor of Economics at Dartmouth and at Princeton, assisted Adams in his course (for which five sections were listed) on industrial history; and Charles Horton Cooley ('87, Ph.D. '94) taught Theory of Statistics and History of Political Economy, as well as an elementary course in economics. Taylor was giving two or three one- or two-hour courses each semester in currency and banking, American industrial history, agrarian, socialist, and communist movements, and social philosophy with reference to economic relations, and he was also assisting Adams in a course announced as Problems in Political Economy. The problems studied, according to the Calendar, were "the railroad problem; industrial crises; free trade and protection; industrial reforms; labor legislation; taxation." Taylor, moreover, was already launched on his own introductory course in principles (Elements of Political Economy — three lectures a week and one quiz hour for each of the four sections). The four teachers collaborated, each semester, in a weekly two-hour seminar, Current Economic Legislation and Literature.

This 1892-93 offering was typical of its decade, except that within a few years Cooley was beginning his career in sociology, and Taylor took over the history of political economy. The Calendar for 1888-89 had announced a seminar "designed for candidates for advanced degrees," and in 1895-96 Adams, Taylor, and Cooley were listed for a course of three credit hours on "critical studies in economics and sociology, intended especially for graduate students but open to seniors specializing in political economy, who satisfy their instructors of their fitness for the work."

Not until 1910 did the curriculums in business administration, which developed into a separate School in 1924 (see Part VI: School of Business Administration), become as prominent as economics and sociology were in the departmental announcements; but the year 1901 was marked by two significant appointments — those of Edward David Jones (Ohio Wesleyan '92, Ph.D. Wisconsin '95) as Assistant Professor of Commerce and Industry and of Durand William Springer (Albion '86, A.M. Michigan '24) as Lecturer on Accounts. The Calendar of that year refers to "those who wish to combine the study of political economy and finance with history, political science, and law for the purpose of preparing themselves for some one of the several professions or careers to which this group of studies naturally leads." (This is reminiscent of the similar aims of the School of Political Science about twenty years earlier.) And, in the Calendar for 1902-3, the following paragraph first appeared:

Industry and Commerce. The courses in industry and commerce have for their special object the study of organization and processes of modern business. They are closely related to economics, both as a study of wealth production and as an account of economic principles in industrial society. Some of them are technical in character and are intended to rank as semi-professional courses.

In the new courses which Jones taught relating to industrial development and organization appeared professors from Page  536the Departments of Geology and of Law. There was also a revival of nonresident lectureships, one of them "on the industrial significance of ship canals."

The teachings of Adams in governmental control of railways and of other industries were supplemented, at first by those of Harrison Standish Smalley ('00, Ph.D. '03), who in 1903 was appointed Instructor in Political Economy. In the year of Smalley's death (1912) the services of Isaiah Leo Sharfman (Harvard '07, LL.B. ibid. '10) in the University were begun. Sharfman, who advanced to a full professorship in 1914 and has been Chairman of the Department of Economics since 1927, applied his training in law and his experience in teaching and research to the elaboration of courses on corporations, railways, and public utilities, from the standpoint of public policy and social control.

Edmund Ezra Day, 1923-27. — Edmund E. Day (Dartmouth '05, Ph.D. Harvard '09, LL.D. Vermont '31), who left Michigan in 1927 to join the Rockefeller Foundation and is now president of Cornell University, began his teaching and chairmanship here in February, 1923. The total enrollment in the department had been growing very rapidly, as will be shown below. This growth, and the difficulty of even maintaining the upper staff during Adams' last illness and the interregnum, had thrown the teaching of the numerous students in economics, sociology, and business administration into the hands of less than a dozen men of professorial rank, assisted by a crew of instructors working toward their doctor's degrees. Day was enabled to enlarge the upper staff and to set up a professional school of business administration, including its Bureau of Business Research, which has been of assistance in some economic studies and publications. (The teachers of sociology already had practical autonomy, though they were formally within the Department of Economics until 1931.) From Day's time also dates continuous existence of the present Economics Club, which arranges evening meetings at irregular intervals, where faculty members and graduate students of economics and business administration present findings from their researches and have discussions with visiting scholars in these fields.

Soon after his advent, Day urged upon the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts the development of a scheme of majors or concentration, to be part of the requirements for the bachelor's degree. (This College at the University of Michigan was one of the last academic strongholds of the "free elective system.") His committee's plan was rejected, but within a few years (1931) another committee secured adoption of the present concentration plan.

Isaiah Leo Sharfman, 1927 to date. — In the department's latest decade, enrollments have continued to grow, and the undergraduate concentration program has received increasing attention.

Enrollments. — In the academic year 1912-13, when available records were begun (Professor Sharfman soon thereafter became Secretary of the Department), there were 793 enrollments in introductory courses, 822 in more advanced economics, 434 in business administration, and 457 in sociology; a total of 2,506 student class-members within the department, averaging some 1,250 each semester. By 1916-17 the corresponding total for both semesters had grown to 4,426. The war reduced this index to 2,834 in 1918-19; then came a deluge of 6,712 enrollments (elections) in 1919-20 and still more (7,626) in 1920-21. Thus, in the autumn of 1920 Taylor had the task of organizing instruction of more than 1,000 students in his introductory course; and great upswings had occurred in all the other categories of courses in the department. Page  537This heavy tide subsided somewhat within a few years. Elections in courses then in the department but now given in the School of Business Administration reached their peak of 1,891 in 1921-22; while elections in sociology rose to nearly 2,100 just before the separate Department of Sociology was organized (1931). The total elections in elementary and advanced economics courses remained close to 3,000 from 1925 to 1929, fluctuated near 3,300 until 1934, and between 1937 and 1940 have run above 4,700. This last rise is attributable in part to new requirements and recommendations in various curriculums of the College of Engineering. Already in 1912-13 there were 141 elections in special economics courses for students in other colleges, and nowadays the similar courses draw more than 700 elections a year. The introductory courses in accounting (with several hundreds of elections each year) and some advanced work in this field have remained in this department and are patronized in part by students working toward degrees in engineering and law, as well as by those contemplating business and other professional degrees.

Further analysis of trends within the introductory courses shows that the largest number of enrollments in the introductory courses is always in the two semesters of the year's work on the sophomore level, which serve as a foundation for the more advanced courses in the department. Before 1921 there was only one full semester (four or five hours credit) of elementary principles. At one time, at least (1909-10), six weeks of the second-semester course were devoted to "distribution" theory, the remainder to "problems." Since 1921 the year's introductory work — usually for three hours' credit each semester (one lecture and two or three quiz meetings a week) — has been organized with reference to a framework of principles. Another course provides an introductory survey of economics through one semester for seniors and graduate students whose main interests lie elsewhere.

The percentage of D and E grades in all the department's courses (including business administration and sociology) in 1912-13 was slightly lower than the corresponding percentage in other courses in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but by 1924 the percentage of D's and E's in economics courses had risen well above the general level for the College, though no economics courses have been open to freshmen.

Concentration. — The foregoing survey of trends in course elections leads to a historical view of specialization in economics and allied subjects in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. For some years before the business and sociology courses were split off there were curriculums within this College leading to certificates in business administration and in social work (with the bachelor's degree; see Part IV: Department of Sociology). Since 1924 the former of these has been supplanted, in part, by the combined curriculum in letters and business administration — a five-year course, open only to students with a B — or better average of scholarship. This group of students, in their junior year, is supervised by the Department of Economics, which, since the concentration plan of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts became effective, has also been responsible for upperclassmen concentrating in economics.

Table I shows that usually 10 per cent or more of the juniors and seniors in this College not enrolled in the combined curriculums are specializing in economics. Actually, for most years, this has been the largest single group. The table also shows numbers of juniors, each autumn semester, in the combined letters and business administration curriculum. Availability Page  538

TABLE IUpperclassmen in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Specializing in Economics and Business
First Semester of Academic Year Juniors in Combined Curriculum in Letters and Business Administration Junior and Senior Concentrators
In Economics In the College Per Cent in Economics
1933-34 40 53 ..... ....
1934-35 54 140 ..... ....
1935-36 45 166 1,576 10.5
1936-37 52 196 1,670 11.7
1937-38 33 269 1,711 15.1
1938-39 27 279 1,761 15.8
1939-40 41 207 1,870 11.0
of this type of combination (in letters and law also, for example) enables the better students to expedite their academic work, and it also distorts, somewhat, statistical comparisons as to numbers and abilities of concentrating groups at the University of Michigan and elsewhere. (At Harvard College, for instance, where concentration has been required over a much longer period and where there are no combined curriculums for undergraduates, about 16 to 17 per cent of all concentrators, in the decade 1926-36, were in economics.)

A survey was made several years ago which traced the students who made B or better in the elementary economics courses, Economics 51 and 52, in 1932-33 and 1933-34, to ascertain their later fields of specialization. The largest percentages (26.3 for 1932-33 and 19.6 for 1933-34) went into the combined curriculum in letters and law. Corresponding percentages of these superior students were, for the same years: concentrating in economics, 13.2 per cent and 17.6 per cent; entering the letters and business administration curriculum, 21.2 per cent and 7.8 per cent. These three fields together, therefore, appear to attract about half of the students who show most aptitude in the earlier economic studies.

The full-year course in economic principles, available in the sophomore year, is required before entrance upon the economics concentration program in the junior year is permitted. As an upperclassman this concentrator must take not less than twenty-four nor more than thirty-four hours of credit in economics courses, including a course in accounting or statistics and sequences of two and three courses respectively in two other economic fields — such as theory, money and credit, labor, public control of industry, international economic relations, economic history, and public finance. Certain courses in advanced economic theory are counted in any of the other sequences.

Graduate program. — Graduate studies have long been highly important in the program of the Department of Economics.

The count of higher degrees in economics appears to begin with the doctor of philosophy degree awarded in 1890 to Frederick C. Hicks, whose dissertation was entitled "The Foreign Trade of the United States." In the decade ending in 1900, twelve master's and seven doctor's degrees were awarded in this field — among the latter being the doctorate of Charles Horton Cooley ("A Theory of Transportation"). From 1900 to 1910, Page  539advanced degrees continued to be few — ten master's, seven doctor's. After 1910 the pace quickened. In the next three decades (ending in 1920, 1930, and 1940) the numbers of master's degrees awarded in economics were, respectively, 34, 87, and 159; and of doctor's, 7, 19, and 24. The total, 1889 to 1940, is 302 master's, 65 doctor's.

The preceding data are believed to be accurate for the period since 1910, but for the earlier years it is not always possible to classify advanced degrees according to field of specialization. Fred M. Taylor, for example, received this University's doctor of philosophy degree in 1888, his dissertation being entitled "The Right of the State to Be." His graduate study appears to have been more largely in philosophy and politics than in political economy; his degree therefore is not included in the above count. For three decades after doctorates in economics began to be given here, the subjects of dissertations were usually in Adams' fields, transportation and public finance, or in Taylor's fields, money and general theory. Several types of master's degrees were formerly given in political economy (masters of arts, of philosophy, of laws, and of science; see Part II: Degrees).

Thoroughly capable graduate students with previous training in economics have usually been able to earn the master's degree in about one academic year and the doctor's degree in perhaps three or four years of full-time work (beyond the bachelor's degree). When the School of Business Administration was organized in 1924, it provided for the master's degree in business administration, based upon two years of study in a specialized and largely prescribed curriculum additional to four years of undergraduate work, except (as noted above) for students in the combined letters and business administration curriculum. More recently programs leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy in business administration have been established in the Graduate School.

Questioning has been heard for some time, in the field of economics as elsewhere, as to what trends should be favored with reference to the master's degree. The increasing disposition of state and local educational authorities to put a premium on the possession of this degree by high school teachers is, of course, an important part of the general story; but this particular demand has not affected the Department of Economics as much as it has affected many other departments, inasmuch as there has been little demand for high-school teachers offering economics as their major subject. No quantitative studies are available to show the statistical distribution of holders of the master's degree in economics by occupations and employers, but most of them who do not pursue studies further toward the doctorate appear to find employment readily, notably in secondary teaching of commercial and social studies, in college and university teaching, and in government and business. In addition to the requirements for undergraduate concentration mentioned above, candidates for the master's degree are required to do a year's work in advanced economic theory and to write at least one substantial paper, normally in a research seminar.

A somewhat special problem has been presented to the University of Michigan by rather large numbers of graduates of foreign universities seeking advanced degrees. Our list shows that between 1890 and 1902, out of ten persons who received the degree of doctor of philosophy in economics, three bore Japanese names. Since the latter of those dates only one Chinese and one Japanese have earned the doctor of philosophy degree in this department, and from 1902 until 1916 Page  540no Oriental names appeared anywhere in the department's lists of higher degrees. After 1916 they occurred with increasing frequency. Of the ninety-nine recipients of the master's degree from 1930 to 1936, no less than twenty-six were Orientals — mostly Chinese. Naturally these Oriental students usually have to work here longer than do American college graduates to earn the master's degree, and a number of them leave without completing the work for it. Variations in studies and standards among the foreign colleges, of course, are still greater than among the numerous American institutions from which we draw graduate students, and such wide differences in background have thus far made it seem inadvisable to require a more nearly uniform curriculum for the degree of master of arts in economics.

In Adams' time there was no general reckoning between the faculty and the doctoral candidate until, his course and language requirements fulfilled and his dissertation accepted, he stood a long oral examination in which emphasis was placed on the dissertation, the special field, and general economic theory. Candidates were accustomed to prepare themselves in the field of theory by long attendance in Taylor's advanced courses, which treated new examples of theoretical literature every year.

Within a year after Edmund E. Day came, in February, 1923, the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy were modified into a system much like that which prevails at present (1939-40). Before he is well launched on his dissertation, the candidate must now take a preliminary general examination, the major part of which consists of four three-hour written examinations in fields selected by himself out of the principal divisions of economics, always including economic theory and its history. And before these examinations may be written, various preliminaries must be completed, notably foreign-language tests, courses in eight specified economics fields, and preparation in some cognate field. The general examination ends with an oral conference. When these hurdles are cleared, the candidate devotes himself to his dissertation; and after the latter is accepted, he must stand an oral examination on it and his special field.

Financial aid. — An important factor in graduate studies everywhere is financial aid to students. A majority of those who have taken the doctorate in this department have been at some stage quizmasters in the elementary courses — a condition which is perhaps normal among the American universities. Frederick C. Hicks, for example, began quizzing for Professor Adams within a year or two after the latter became a full-time member of the faculty, and Hicks earned his doctor's degree in 1890. By 1895 Charles H. Cooley and Frank H. Dixon had secured doctorates in economics in similar fashion. Such predoctoral instructors in many cases were paid on a full-time teaching basis. In recent years the University's policy has been modified, so that persons without the doctorate or equivalent attainments are no longer acceptable for the title "instructor." Graduate student quizmasters are still employed in the economics and other departments, but they are now designated as teaching fellows, and they receive stipends based upon less than full-time service.

Graduate study in economics at the University of Michigan has also been assisted by other fellowships and scholarships. Adams, for example, secured gifts from Messrs. Frank H. Hecker and Joseph Boyer of Detroit, in 1913 and 1914, aggregating $2,500, which funds were employed primarily for the support of two fellows in transportation for two years or more. Probably these fellows Page  541had some instructional duties. For some years of late, moreover, the State College fellowships, administered by the Graduate School, have brought alumni and alumnae from Michigan colleges to the department at the rate of one or more almost every year. Other aids for graduate students include or have included the University fellowships and scholarships, the Michigan-Brookings fellowship, maintained jointly by the University and the Brookings Institution at Washington, D.C., the Earhart fellowships and scholarships (see Part IV: Department of Sociology), the Rackham fellowships, and the Taylor fellowship, for which funds are accumulating as mentioned below.

Research and publications. — Adams was a pioneer among American economists in the development of syllabi and texts in various political economy courses. The General Library contains, for example, his Outline of Lectures on Political Economy (seventy-six pages, dated 1881), used for instruction at Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and the University of Michigan. And in Adams' private library is a volume of mimeographed lectures on "The Labor Problem" and other subjects, used in a course which he gave in the Department of Law in the early nineties. By 1902-3 Taylor's lectures on "Elements of Political Economy" were sold in mimeographed form by Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor. Taylor's Chapters on Money — a preliminary textbook for his students — appeared in 1906, and his source book, Some Readings in Economics, in 1907.

About 1915 the following passage appeared in the Preface to the third edition of Taylor's Principles:

In view of the increased expense to the students due to the frequency of new editions, I shall permit myself to explain that this text, like Professor [Walton H.] Hamilton's Readings, Professor [George W.] Dowrie's Syllabus, and other books or pamphlets published by the University for the use of the classes in Economics, brings no pecuniary profit to the instructor immediately concerned or to the University. Any surplus which may emerge is to go into a departmental Printing Fund to be used for the revision and expansion of these texts and for the printing of other class helps.

The printing fund derived from the sale of these texts was drawn upon as indicated, notably for the syllabus used by advanced theory classes, which went through four editions and was distributed gratis to the students. After Taylor's retirement in 1929, the Regents set aside the $3,638.88 remaining in the fund to accumulate for a fellowship in his memory.

The works just referred to were textbooks, though they embodied a great deal of scholarly research. Taylor's Principles, for example, was prepared and used as an elementary text; it is nevertheless a profound work in economic theory. Similar observations might be made concerning other texts prepared by Michigan teachers, such as Adams' Science of Finance.

Rather comprehensive compilations have been made of publications of present and past members of the teaching staff, but it would be impossible to cite precisely even the chief publications of scholarly work done in the Department of Economics. The works of Charles H. Cooley, for instance, are much more relevant to the origins of the Department of Sociology; yet most of them came to fruition while he and his group were closely associated with the economics staff. In some degree a parallel comment would apply to the writings of some teachers in the School of Business Administration, such as Day's Statistical Analysis, Griffin's Foreign Trade, and Rodkey's Banking Process. Jones's Administration of Industrial Enterprises was Page  542a pioneering, widely influential manual on general principles and practices in business organization; its author resigned from this department and University in 1918, six years before the School of Business Administration was established. Friday's Wages, Prices, and Profits appeared near the end of this economist's work in Ann Arbor. Some books, such as Goodrich's The Miner's Freedom, Remer's Foreign Investments in China, and Hoover's Location Theory and the Shoe and Leather Industries, were published after the authors had joined the staff but had been partly prepared previously; others, like Van Sickle's Direct Taxation in Austria and Ellis' Exchange Control, were largely prepared during the authors' connection with the department, but appeared later. Remer's Chinese Boycotts, Ellis' German Monetary Theory, and Dickinson's Compensating Industrial Effort are examples of work carried through to publication during the authors' teaching here. Associate Professor Robert S. Ford has been senior author of several of the Michigan Governmental Studies, issued by the University's Bureau of Government, of which he has been Director since 1938 (see Part VI: Bureau of Government).

An important type of scholarship, of course, grows out of doctoral dissertations. Among publications arising out of dissertations in economics accepted by this University may be cited Paton's Accounting Theory, Dewey's Long and Short Haul Principle of Rate Regulation, Yang's Good Will and Other Intangibles, and significant articles by Shorey Peterson on economic problems of highway transport. Three of our dissertations have secured publication in full through winning national prize competitions — Watkins' Bankers' Balances, Seltzer's Financial History of the American Automobile Industry, and Nelson Lee Smith's Fair Rate of Return in Public Utility Regulation. No funds have been provided here for subsidizing publication of researches in economics as such, but the monographs and dissertations published by our University's Bureau of Business Research (see Part VI: School of Business Administration) have included several works by members of the economics teaching staff and several dissertations for the doctor of philosophy degree in economics. Economics dissertations thus published, in whole or in part, are those of Wyngarden, Taggart, Phelps, Waterman, Woodworth, and Daniels.

The foregoing retrospect may be supplemented by an attempt to indicate further the significance of the events recounted, with special reference to the structure founded by Adams and Taylor. The interests and abilities of these men, although not always completely harmonious, interacted to produce substantial intellectual achievements and to develop the abilities of many able students and colleagues.

Taylor wrote, shortly before his death, in response to an inquiry from Professor F. A. Hayek (of the London School of Economics, and formerly of Vienna):

… I greatly appreciated your kind comments on my Principles. As my very limited working capacity made it quite certain that I should do relatively little writing, I early determined to limit myself to doing one or two things and doing them as well as I could. My particular capacities and tastes, added to earlier training in philosophy, made it natural for me, as a teacher of Economics, to devote myself to theory, with only so much attention to the concrete as was necessary to furnish the background for theoretic analysis.

Actually, he did not limit himself so narrowly as is here suggested, in his earlier years, for he labored assiduously in the field of money, banking, and currency. In this province, through his teaching Page  543and publications, he was a national intellectual leader by the beginning of the present century. He later became absorbed in problems concerning the elementary course in economic principles and advanced instruction in economic theory. His theoretical publications are based upon somewhat narrow and designedly abstract premises. Although he was always much interested in history and belles-lettres — subjects which he taught at Albion College — he made natural science texts his model for his economic writings, deliberately forswearing literary graces of exposition and making much use of italicized "principles" and "corollaries" as well as of numerical problems. His classroom cabinets stuffed with blueprint charts remain in our buildings as relics, as do a few dictaphone cylinders containing his dictation. The quality of Taylor's theory slowly obtained widespread recognition, as his disciples spread over wider fields, but in reference to his pedagogical methods (especially as applied to the general run of students in elementary principles) many contemporary observers would agree with the following remark in a private letter from a former colleague:

The defect of the elementary course under Professor Taylor was that it was a course in theory and an exercise in logic, rather than instruction in the practice of the scientific method of determining premises. The result was to make young students who had been exercised in the artificially simplified cases used in the course unduly sure of themselves.

Taylor, however, fully recognized this danger, and uttered many warnings. In his second mimeographed lecture of 1902-3, for instance, appears the following passage, typical of the caveats he was wont to give out:

Doubtless if I would ask you what was your purpose in studying Political Economy many of you would say that you wished to be prepared to have an opinion on certain questions before the country and that you would like to be able to discuss them intelligently if the occasion arose; and others that they intended to pursue political careers. The Rigid Application of Principles to Practical Cases Is Extremely Dangerous, and Is Apt to Be a Mistaken Application in Nine Cases out of Ten [capitals in original].

This teacher was also a lifelong student of socialist literature, and his surviving writings are full of penetrating discussions of its problems. The "Critique of the Existing System," with which his Principles ends, is distinctly conservative in tone and indicates the general position which he always held. His last publication — an address as president of the American Economic Association in 1928 — on "Guidance of Production in a Socialist State" is now cited approvingly by both socialist and nonsocialist economists. This publication amply testifies to the persistence of his interest in these theoretical issues; but it is clear that he was never optimistic as to the immediate practical possibilities of economic collectivism.

The department's present courses in elementary economics, money and credit, and social reform are still influenced by Taylor, in that the teachers in charge were his students or colleagues, or both. His favorite field of economic theory, since his retirement, has been divided and cultivated simultaneously by a number of successors, of whom Ellis, Peterson, and Dickinson were for some years personally associated with Taylor.

Different in many ways were the genius and development of Adams. While on the threshold of his career, he boldly jeopardized his worldly prospects by defending labor unions, collective bargaining, and liberal principles in general. Later, his preoccupation with work outside Ann Arbor, especially at Washington, was occasionally considered rather Page  544excessive by a few of his Ann Arbor associates; but these labors nevertheless enriched his teaching. He will long be remembered for his work in the field of government finance; other studies which he persistently carried on form a complex composed of principles and administration of transportation, accounting, statistics, and public regulation of industry. Judge Cooley selected Adams to be chief statistician of the Interstate Commerce Commission, not merely because he was Cooley's colleague in Ann Arbor, but because the younger man had already given such convincing evidences of his fitness as may be found in his classical paper of 1887, The Relation of the State to Industrial Action.

By 1906 statistical reports under oath from the railways to the Interstate Commerce Commission, based on a standard accounting system approved by the Commission, were made mandatory by federal legislation. Adams assisted the railway officials to work out such a system, and later (in 1913) he spent a year in China as special adviser to the Chinese government on railway accounts. These experiences and responsibilities were reflected not only in the courses in railway and transportation problems and in public control of business — which courses were given in both the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and in the Law Department — but also in the proliferation of instruction after 1909 in railway organization, operation, and finance. The Hecker and Boyer gifts, referred to above, belong to this epoch; part of the money was used to buy books on transportation for the General Library. Perhaps the most significant innovation of the period was a course in the year 1909-10, entitled Railway Statistics and Accounts. This course is symbolic of the great constructive achievements of Adams and his school toward basing governmental regulation of industry on that foundation which is now generally realized to be quite indispensable — regular statistical reports, made possible by standardized accounting. In this manner and in other ways the Michigan economist developed practical means which the state may use in its efforts to safeguard industry from shortsighted and antisocial actions.

Adams' work has been carried forward in the department, especially by the two present members of the staff who were his colleagues during his later years — Sharfman (assisted by Shorey Peterson) and Paton. The latter is distinguished both as an accountant and as an economist; his many publications include several texts in accounting, a research monograph on Corporate Profits as Shown by Audit Reports, and his major contributions to the Accountant's Handbook, of which he is editor. Sharfman, whose teaching and other public service have dealt especially with government regulation of transportation and other public utilities, in Adams' time published Railroad Regulation and The American Railway Problem; and the year 1937 saw publication of the fifth and final volume of his authoritative Interstate Commerce Commission.


Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1844-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Lange, Oscar, , and Fred M. Taylor. On the Economic Theory of Socialism. Minneapolis: Univ. Minn. Press, 1938.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940. (P.R.)
Page  545Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)


THE Department of English Language and Literature, like most college departments, came into existence not by special creation, but by a process of evolution. The earliest program of courses, that for the academic year 1843-44, provided for work in rhetoric, but only in connection with a formidable curriculum in the Greek and Latin languages and literatures. The story of rhetoric's uncertain and shifting attachments and its later history as a department (between 1903 and 1930), before its definite union with English, are told in a separate article (see Part III: Department of Rhetoric).

It is true that even in the 1830's the teaching of English existed as one of the fainter hopes entertained by the Regents. A resolution offered on June 21, 1837, and tabled on the same day, provided that "until otherwise ordained the Professor of Political Economy shall be also Professor of the Ancient and English Languages." But no professor of political economy was appointed; and it was not until 1841 that instruction in any subject was given.

The first mention of English literature appeared in the University Catalogue for 1852-53, the first year of President Tappan's administration. It was Tappan's policy, however, to publish hopes as well as promises; he believed, no doubt, that publication might make the hopes come true — as, in the long run, many of them did. A professorship of rhetoric and English literature was announced, but no professor was named, and none was appointed. In the scientific course newly added to the classical course, and leading to the bachelor of science degree, work in English language and literature was prescribed for the first and second terms of the freshman year. In the departmental announcement, it was said that "the Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages, and the Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy" would "take charge of this branch, jointly."

These professors presumably held themselves ready to take charge also of the work in English language and literature in the proposed "university course" of postgraduate studies. But, as it is said in the Hinsdale-Demmon History of the University of Michigan (p. 87):

It is not now easy to get at the precise facts relative to the graduate work that was really done previous to 1878. In the first place we do not know how many of the so-called Graduate Courses were ever given; no doubt, however, it was a minority.

Advanced work in English must have belonged to the weak majority; for before 1860 English language and literature, as well as rhetoric and criticism, had disappeared from the "Programme of studies for the degrees of M.A. and M.S."

In the meantime, however, English had gained the part-time services of a professor. Dr. Haven, who was to return to the faculty later as President, received his first appointment in 1852 as Professor Page  546of the Latin Language and Literature; but two years later, having given over this professorship to Henry Simmons Frieze, he became Professor of History and English Literature. In 1856 he resigned. But when in 1863 he returned as President he served as Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature.

For some time even the study of English literature was rhetorical in its main purpose. The Catalogue for 1854-55 stated: "The survey of our general Literature is necessarily cursory, and is designed chiefly to establish fundamental principles of criticism, and to cultivate correctness and propriety of style." This seems to carry on the policy announced in the Catalogue for 1852-53 for the study of Greek and Latin: that is, to give the student "knowledge … of those rhetorical principles which will enable a person to express his thoughts in idiomatic and perspicuous English. In this department, therefore, nearly as much attention is paid to the study of English as to the study of Greek and Latin." Nevertheless, the change in 1854-55 is important: the student is now to be taught the use of English not only from classical but also from English models.

In 1856-57, the year after Professor Haven resigned, only rhetoric appears to have survived, and that only as taught by an instructor who also had to teach Greek. In the following year, however, the professorship of history and English literature was filled by the appointment to the faculty of a man who was to become one of its most distinguished members, Andrew Dickson White (Yale '53, A.M. ibid. '56, LL.D. Michigan '67), later best known as minister to Russia, ambassador to Germany, and president of Cornell University. Together with Datus C. Brooks ('56, A.M. '59), Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, he brought renewed importance to the study of the English language and literature. This study was still limited to "members of the Scientific Department." And, as the following statement shows, its purpose was still largely rhetorical: "The object of this plan is to secure an examination of the principles of our native tongue." By the year 1858-59, work in English literature had been extended for the second semester of the second year to the classical as well as to the scientific curriculum. An added object of the study is indicated in the promise of "criticism of the Masterpieces of our Literature." And Assistant Professor Brooks could hardly have avoided getting into literary history in his course: "English Language and Literature, particularly during the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Periods, and the Age of Elizabeth." There is no evidence in the catalogues, however, that expansion had gone so far as to include graduate work in English. The activity of the undergraduate students, not only in rhetoric but in the English language and literature, seems to have been largely in original compositions and declamations; and "during the last two years the pieces spoken are original." The tradition of eloquence was still strong.

Although Andrew White made valuable contributions to the development of English studies in the University, his main interest was in history. His desire for a professorship exclusively in history was gratified in 1863, when Erastus Otis Haven (Wesleyan '42, A.M. ibid. '45, D.D. hon. Union '54, LL.D. Ohio Wesleyan '63) returned not only as President but also as Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature. Haven was immediately listed as offering graduate courses in philology and general culture, and a year later English literature was announced for the first time as a senior elective. But such progress as these announcements suggest was probably not substantial; on the contrary, the Page  547program in English must before long have suffered considerable shrinkage. For in 1865, President Haven moved over to the professorship of logic and political economy. He replaced his course in philology with one in logic. He continued to offer his course entitled General Culture; but that seems to have been from the beginning not a course in English but in comparative literature. Only Allen Jeremiah Curtis (Kalamazoo '60, A.M. Michigan '61), Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, was left to carry on the work. Then in 1867, Tyler came.

The events of the life of Moses Coit Tyler (Yale '57, LL.D. Wooster '75, L.H.D. Columbia '87) are related in biographical sketches and other passages scattered through University publications and in the notable Jones-Casady Life of Moses Coit Tyler, published by the University of Michigan Press in 1933. The Life must be read by anyone who in our time would know Tyler's career, his character, and his place in the history of the University and of American scholarship. In 1939 the Board of Regents named one of the new men's dormitories in the East Quadrangle the Moses Coit Tyler House. In making the announcement the University Record described Tyler as "the man who more than any other individual awakened the country to the study of its own literary history."

That this is not an expression of merely parochial pride is attested by many witnesses. Barrett Wendell of Harvard said in an address to the Massachusetts Historical Society:

Untiring in research, unfalteringly conscientious to the most minute detail, nor yet ever content until he had so mastered every phase of his subject that he could set forth his results with luminous amenity, Moses Coit Tyler has left for those who follow him through the boundless aridities of our earlier literature only the comparatively agreeable task of generalization. Whatever he actually did was done so well that it need never be done again. (Wendell, 393-94.)

The only man who, since Tyler, has done work of comparable importance in the literary history of America is V. L. Parrington, himself a guest member of the Department of English in the summer session of 1927 and known internationally as the author of Main Currents in American Thought. In his bibliography for the period dealt with in Tyler's books he referred to them twice as "invaluable" — a word of praise which he gives to no other book listed. From the Jones-Casady Life, which is always temperate in praise, may be culled such opinions of Tyler as the following:

He was … the first great historian of the national mind expressed in literature… Tyler may be said to have inaugurated the heroic age of scholarship in American literary history … Tyler's success is a miracle of perseverance and painstaking care… His work remains monumental still… Tyler had written a truly great historical work, generous in its sympathy, revolutionary in its scope and range, brilliant in style — an enduring study, the first great work of scholarship in the field of American literary history.

Nor did Tyler have to wait for the acclaim of posterity. Among other evidences of his eminence in the opinion of his contemporaries, the Life tells us that he was included in a list of forty immortals chosen by ballot among the readers of The Critic and Good Literature, outranking Dana, Whipple, Lathrop, Story, and Parkman.

Tyler was born in 1835 in Connecticut, spent his boyhood in Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan for one year. He completed his undergraduate work at Yale, studied theology there and at Andover, and, though he never went on to a degree in theology, held pastorates for about three years in the Page  548state of New York. After a sojourn in Boston, he went to England in 1863, and when he returned to this country, late in 1866, it was as a "lyceum" lecturer and a writer for newspapers and magazines. In 1867 he became Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in the University of Michigan.

Except for an interval of eighteen months in 1873 and 1874, which he spent very unhappily in New York City as literary editor of Henry Ward Beecher's Christian Union, Tyler taught at the University of Michigan until 1881. In that year Andrew White, his friend of long standing, offered him the new professorship of American history at Cornell, and, as White himself had done years before at Michigan, he left literature for history. The change, however, was not abrupt; though Tyler had done much to stimulate and guide the appreciation of literature as such, he was always primarily the social philosopher, reading books with an eye chiefly to their historical significance. His main interest will appear clearly to anyone who reads in his many essays or in his books. Of the latter, which show also his growing absorption in American as distinguished from British literature and history, the most important are The History of American Literature, 1607-1765; The Literary History of the American Revolution; Patrick Henry (in the "American Statesmen Series"); and Three Men of Letters (Berkeley, Dwight, and Barlow).

Tyler's character is a study in contradictions. Before he came to Ann Arbor he was best known as a health faddist and as a facile popular speaker. A present member of the department remarked recently that he would not be considered now even for a teaching fellowship. Yet it is doubtful if any member of our present faculty has a better record of sound, hard work. The work of some of us may not be referred to half a century hence as "a miracle of perseverance and painstaking care." His industry, however, was like that of another great worker, Samuel Johnson. It was fitful. "The tranquillity of the place," he wrote after his return from New York to Ann Arbor, "is like balm to my brain and nerves." But this spirit was restless, and he could enjoy tranquillity only as long as he was satisfied with the work he was doing; only as long as he could hold himself to it "without remissness and without misgiving." In his public utterances and in his writings, he appeared to share the complacency of nineteenth-century liberalism, and to accept with most of his contemporaries the current myth of progress; but his diary, like Johnson's, records that his mind was troubled by many doubts and uncertainties. Year after year moods assailed him in which he wondered whether he ought not to return to the Christian ministry. In the main, he controlled his tendency to melancholy. He and his family lived happily together, he enjoyed many friendships, and he delighted his students with his easy eloquence and his humor. His work was sometimes interrupted, but its quality was certainly enhanced, by what the Jones-Casady Life calls his "feeling of the dreamlike evanescence of the world."

The influence of such a man as Tyler even in a department of the 1940's would be very great. In his day, he practically was the Department of English, and its history was made by him. At first his teaching, except for one course, was in elocution and rhetoric. He did this work conscientiously, and, according to contemporary evidence, exceptionally well. But his important report to the president in 1872 indicates that it brought him more weariness than satisfaction. He spoke of the "delicate and fatiguing task" of reading essays and listening to speeches. He was searching hopefully for some method of "teaching English literature Page  549to students like ours." It was in the study and teaching of literature that his real interest lay.

The Jones-Casady Life stated that in 1874, when he returned from New York, Tyler, with Angell's approval, "cut himself entirely loose from the instruction in elocution and rhetoric, and devoted his time to teaching literature." Hinsdale said that in 1874 Tyler's title was changed to Professor of the English Language and Literature (Hinsdale, p. 241), and the Alumni Catalogue published in 1923 also dates the new title from 1874. The Proceedings of the Regents (at that time not fully nor always accurately indexed) shows no earlier official change. But the annual catalogues for the years from 1867 to 1873 behave rather capriciously: according to them, Tyler's professorship was of rhetoric and English literature in 1867-68, 1868-69, and 1870-71; but of the English language and literature in 1869-70, 1871-72, and 1872-73. His report in 1872, mentioned above, appears in the Proceedings as coming from the professor of the English language and literature, and the same title appears elsewhere in the Proceedings of these years. It is evident that Tyler's inclination from rhetoric to literature was strong during his earlier residence at Michigan, and that his inclination received at least semiofficial approval.

In the part of the Hinsdale-Demmon History written by Hinsdale, Tyler's coming is said to have "marked a change in the English department; henceforth attention was paid to the study of literature as well as to its accessories" (Hinsdale, p. 55). This statement implies not so much the shift from courses in rhetoric to courses in literature as the adoption of the method of literary study for which Tyler had been searching. His desire was that students might "come to know for themselves the exhilaration of original research." By "research" Tyler did not mean quite what we now understand by the word, nor what he himself practiced. His first hope was only to escape from "the difficulty of interesting young people in critical estimates of books which they had never before seen or heard of." Nevertheless, the assignment of readings in original sources led not only to the introduction in 1875 of the senior course announced as the Study of Masterpieces, but also to the offering of graduate seminars; though, as Hinsdale remarked, the word "seminary" was slow in finding its way into the catalogues. By 1881, when Tyler left for Cornell, the main course for future programs in English was set at the University of Michigan and also at other American universities, as the result largely of the pioneer work of Tyler.

From 1881 to 1920, a period of thirty-nine years, Isaac Newton Demmon ('68, A.M. '71, LL.D. Nashville '96) was Professor of English and head of the Department of English. His connection with the University dates from 1865, when, after two years in Northwestern Christian University (now Butler College) and a term of service as a soldier in the Civil War, he entered the class of 1868. After his graduation he taught Greek at Alliance College, ancient languages at Hiram College, and mathematics at Michigan. For three years after that he was Principal of the Ann Arbor High School. In 1876 he returned to the University as Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and History, succeeding Harry Burns Hutchins, later President of the University, in that position. In 1879 his title was changed to Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Anglo-Saxon, and in 1881 to Professor of English and Rhetoric.

During the headship of Demmon a good many persons believed that the department was not moving forward as it should. It is certainly true that Demmon did not favor expansion or innovation Page  550Generally speaking, he adopted changes in departmental policy reluctantly, often after holding out for some time against the pressure, not only of advice, but also of events. He was not, as Tyler was, a brilliant teacher. He was not, as Tyler was, a distinguished author. It may be that he did not receive his rightful share of the distinction that came to Tyler, for he was heard in his old age to say somewhat ruefully that in the opinion of his friends his part in the making of The History of American Literature had been much greater than Tyler's brief note in the Preface acknowledged. Although he read with approval and appreciation anything well written by a member of his staff, he had so strong a distaste for what Henry Seidel Canby has recently called "cross-word puzzle scholarship" that the encouragement he gave others to publish was far from urgent.

The man who during the years around 1900 attracted students from all over the country, and, notably, advanced students from the East, was Fred Newton Scott. In recognition of his eminence the Department of English was divided, and Professor Scott was for the rest of his time on the faculty (1903 to 1927) head of the Department of Rhetoric (see Part III: Department of Rhetoric).

And yet — not long ago a woman of Ann Arbor whose memories of the University community run back into the days of Angell and Frieze and Adams and White and Cooley and the rest of the famous men of their generation was asked who was the biggest of the giants that were at Michigan in former times. She answered, as one surprised that the question needed to be asked: "Why, Mr. Demmon." Giants of this breed cannot, of course, be measured; but the fact that such an answer could be given means something.

The one man who could have written with authority concerning Demmon, and concerning the Department of English during his administration, was Louis A. Strauss. If he had lived to do it, he would have written the article for which this is only a substitute. Fortunately, he did leave a record covering this period of the department's history which it would be a wanton waste not to draw upon here. A digest, whenever possible in Strauss's own words, follows. The original, a memorial read before the University Senate on November 22, 1920, may be found most conveniently in the Michigan Alumnus for March, 1921:

A ripe old age had crowned a life of incessant labor and high endeavor, a life replete with varied achievement and enriched by such a range and depth of experience as few men, and only big men, can know … Mr. Demmon died, as he had lived, a fighter to the last — a passionate devotee of truth and right and justice as he saw them, an uncompromising hater of sham and selfishness and oppression, according to his lights. Moderation was not one of his virtues: brutal frankness was … A thing was good or bad — there was seldom a middle ground. He spoke his convictions with a courage and disregard of convention that commanded the respect even of those who disagreed with him. His intensity frequently betrayed him into bitterness, but never into dishonesty. Friend and foe alike have felt the lash of his scorn …

We shall consider his services to the University to which he devoted his life, under the following heads: 1. The Educator; 2. The Compiler of University Records, and Editor of University Publications; 3. The Bibliographer and Builder of the English Library; 4. The Teacher and Scholar.

1. From the outset of his career Professor Demmon evinced a keen and profound interest in educational problems, large and small, and exerted a powerful influence toward their settlement … Before the faculty of his college Mr. Demmon was invariably an ardent advocate of justice to the secondary schools … He held unwaveringly Page  551to the belief that the system of admission to the University by certificate from accredited schools, which the University of Michigan did so much to establish and standardize in the middle west, is incomparably better than the system of admission upon examination… It would thus appear that, in matters of educational policy, Professor Demmon was anything but a hide-bound conservative. On the contrary, he was progressive in his views, and a constant growth in liberalism is manifest to anyone who studies his life … That he did not stubbornly maintain a position in the face of obvious tendencies is well illustrated by his conduct in the matter of graduate fellowships. For many years he had flatly stood out against them. He said he did not believe in hot-house methods of building up and maintaining a graduate school. Gradually his views altered, until in 1909-1910, during his chairmanship of the Graduate Council, the Board of Regents, for the first time in the history of the University, set aside a considerable sum from the general fund for the support of fellowships; and this was accomplished largely through Mr. Demmon's influence …

2. Professor Demmon's arduous labors upon the early records of the University, the general catalogues, and necrology, are perhaps better known than appreciated by many of his colleagues … Mr. Demmon's close friends frequently deplored his activity in this seemingly ungrateful field and urged him to discontinue the work, but the value of his efforts to the University and his efficiency, born of long training and enhanced by the possession of a prodigious memory, naturally induced the administrators of the University to avail themselves of his services as long as possible … Chief among the University publications brought out by Professor Demmon are: "The Semi-centennial Celebration of the Organization of the University of Michigan" (1888), "The Quarter-centennial Celebration of the Presidency of James Burrill Angell" (1897), "General Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1837-1891" (with Professor Pettee, 1891), and two subsequent editions of the same work under his sole editorship, those of 1837-1901 (1902), and 1837-1911 (1912). In 1906 appeared the history of the University of Michigan. The author, Professor Burke A. Hinsdale, died in 1900, and the Board of Regents entrusted to Mr. Demmon the difficult task of completing and editing the work and seeing it through the press. The trust was executed with his customary care and fidelity and with complete success …

3. Undoubtedly the work which Professor Demmon loved best and in which he achieved results of the most significant and lasting benefit to the University was that done in connection with the library. Any day he might be seen spending hours in the cataloguing rooms poring over book catalogues or checking up accessions, or in the stacks hunting for lost or misplaced volumes, or in the reserved collections jealously looking to the safety of the University's choice treasures, or in the bindery giving directions for the preservation of some frail victim of the ravages of time, or in the corridors soundly berating some luckless library official for delivering a rare first edition into the hands of the Philistines — the students … Thanks to his untiring zeal and industry, the University possesses a Library of English Literature that is not approached in completeness and working value by any university library in the west … An eminent antiquarian book-dealer in New York once told a member of this committee that in his opinion Mr. Demmon was the best posted man as to English books and their market value, and on the whole the wisest purchaser in the United States … Many of his purchases have increased ten and twenty-fold in value, and would therefore have been beyond the reach of the University at a later time … The McMillan Shakespeare Library, the English Dramatic Library, the Carlyle and New England collections are notable achievements, but they are probably less significant as evidence of his thoroughgoing work than is the solid and representative character of the English library as a whole … He built for the future, and the future will build for him, upon the broad foundations he has laid, a monument more enduring than brass.

4. Liberal as were his views in matters of University policy, as a teacher and scholar Page  552Mr. Demmon was distinctly conservative. "A Man of the Old School" he was commonly called. This means, first, that his interest in his subject was broad and general, rather than highly specialized; and secondly, it means that he deprecated and resisted the latter day tendency to import into literary criticism and history the implications and methods of modern science … Whereas he took the lead in general educational reform and progress, in his own subject he followed, regretfully and sadly, the tendency of the times … Professor Demmon was anything but a showy teacher. He was less fluent in the class room than in the forum, where opposition frequently stirred him to eloquence. But he had traits that are more valuable in the long run than the ability to deliver impressive lectures or to make recitations "go" by dint of bustling methods, or a masterful domination of the class room through the imposition of his own personality … The atmosphere of Mr. Demmon's classes was surcharged with fine emanations from his mind and character that were bound to make themselves felt. There was his reverence for good literature that has fixed the attitudes of thousands of students for life. There was a reserve, characteristic of big men, that at once told the ready instinct of the student mind that this man had vast resources of knowledge that he could but slightly draw upon in the class room … There was, again, a large idealism, bafflingly allied with the shrewdest common sense — a combination typically American and familiar to us all since the days of Emerson … Much of his best teaching was done outside of the class room. He was always glad to talk informally with individual students … Combined with the traits mentioned before, his geniality, his accessibility, his interest in and sympathy with the aims and ideals of the students won his way into their hearts and made them his grateful friends forever; and the majestic beauty of his face — an ideal teacher's and scholar's face — completed an impression that a student might well cherish as one of the greatest gains of his college course.

Notwithstanding Demmon's conservative policies the department under his direction grew steadily. A reading of the successive announcements makes this clear. Although at first Demmon took over the courses which had been given by Tyler and entrusted his own to Benjamin C. Burt, within a few years the work began to be spread. More and more, courses were assigned in accordance with the special trainings and abilities of the growing staff. Within ten years Demmon's teaching was almost entirely confined to the "Masterpieces" courses inherited from Tyler, and to his seminary in American literature. Before the end of the century, courses in elocution and oratory and in English philology were announced independently of the English departmental program, and, without counting these, the number of the course offerings in English had more than doubled. To one coming to Michigan about 1910, the work in English seemed both in amount and in method very much like the work being done in certain other leading American universities, though, in a few of them, graduate work had been growing faster. Perhaps the pressure of general tendencies was enough for healthy progress; certainly the record of the Department of English in Demmon's time shows few experiments tried and discarded, but rather a gradual and steady onward movement.

Associated with Demmon were a number of men whose names are known to all who work in the English field. Some who left the University to carry on their distinguished work in other universities must be mentioned here. Charles Mills Gayley ('78, LL.D. '04, Litt.D. Glasgow '01), whose "The Yellow and Blue" has been sung by Michigan students and alumni for fifty years, after spending six years as a member of the Department of Latin, taught English for two years, and then went to the University of California, where he became Professor of Page  553English and Dean of the Faculties. Joseph Villiers Denney ('85, A.M. hon. '10, Litt.D. Wittenberg '20), of Scott and Denney's Paragraph Writing fame, left Michigan for Ohio State University. There he was Professor of English, for many years Dean of the College of Arts, Philosophy, and Science, and for one year Acting President. George Hempl ('79, LL.D. '15, Ph.D. Jena '89), after teaching English philology and general linguistics here for seventeen years, became Professor of Germanic Philology at the Leland Stanford Junior University in California. George Rebec ('91, Ph.D. '97) began his university teaching as Instructor in English at the University of Michigan, but he is better known for his work in philosophy, first here and later at the University of Oregon. John Strong Perry Tatlock (Harvard '96, Ph.D. ibid. '03) began his connection with the Department of English in 1897 and remained until 1915. Since then he has been Professor of English at Stanford, Harvard, and California. Tatlock's successor was Samuel Moore (Princeton '99, Ph.D. Harvard '11), an eminent philologist and Chaucerian who remained in the department until his death in 1934. During his later years he was also editor of the "Middle English Dictionary," his appointment to this work having been recommended by a committee of the Modern Language Association of America. Shirley Wheeler Smith ('97, A.M. '00) was Instructor in English from 1898 to 1901. He left, but he soon returned; and he still serves the University as Vice-President and Secretary.

This roster of eminent names — and it might have been made longer — suggests that under Demmon's direction the Department of English rapidly grew away from anything resembling a one-man department. The tendency has increased even faster since his retirement. It would be a tedious task either to set down or to read the names of the present members of the department, numbering about fifty. For the greater part, those who survive from Demmon's regime and those who came later must await the notice of a future chronicler.

But one name runs through so much of the history of the department during the past two decades that it demands more than passing attention. Demmon's successor, not as head but as chairman, was Louis A. Strauss ('93, Ph.D. '00). He spent most of his life in the University, and most of his life was devoted to its service. Immediately after his graduation in 1893 he entered the department as an assistant in English. In September, 1938, he began his forty-sixth year of teaching with undiminished zest and apparently in good health, but on the second day of the semester he died.

For many years Demmon had depended increasingly on Strauss's advice in the management of the department, and there was no doubt as to who was best qualified to succeed him. It is certain that Professor Strauss welcomed the appointment as chairman rather than as head. At first he tried calling the department to sit as a kind of committee of the whole, but this purely democratic system proved unwieldy and sometimes embarrassing, and it was abandoned by common consent. Since then, although regular meetings of the whole department and meetings, as needed, of different subcommittees have been held, official actions have ordinarily been taken by a departmental executive committee. This committee has been variously constituted; at present it is made up of those members of the department who are full professors.

Strauss was an excellent presiding officer. The fullness of his experience and the clarity of his thinking gave him definite opinions on most questions under discussion, and he presented his opinions Page  554cogently. But it was not in his nature to be overbearing. He never exploited his authority. In argument he always shed more light than heat. He was never intolerant or impatient even with those who were both intolerant and impatient.

To quote Earl Leslie Griggs's "Appreciation" (Griggs, p. 38), Louis Strauss, "born before the day of specialization, made all learning his business. He seemed to have read everything in English literature." He was well read also in other literatures, particularly in German. He was a lover of good music, and he had an almost professional knowledge of it. In this, and in his interest in painting, he resembled Browning; and his course in Browning, the course most familiarly associated with his name, was correspondingly strengthened. A man of great learning, he never paraded his learning. He had no touch of what is supposed to be the professorial manner. He was on friendly terms with all sorts and conditions of men, including tinkers and mechanics, men in locker rooms and guides on the northern lakes; and always without a hint of condescension, but because he was simply interested in what they did and what they thought.

Strauss wrote well, but he published little. Whatever he did publish was recognized as of high quality. After the appearance of his edition of Farquhar, for example, the reviewer for the London Times said that the introduction was the most sensible essay on Restoration comedy he had ever seen.

In his teaching Strauss was eminently successful. To the last his courses maintained their drawing power and their strong influence. Much as the world had changed since his career began, he never felt, and others never felt, that it had left him behind. He was not too much disturbed by innovation and experiment, but viewed them with a regard at once speculative and sympathetic. What his deepest feelings were, even his dearest friends often wondered. They found in him, however, a serenity that seemed to say:

What is excellent, As God lives, is permanent.

Like Demmon, he was active in University affairs, not only in matters of general policy, but particularly in positions that brought him into personal contact with students. For many years he was the chief faculty sponsor of student dramatics. For some time before its work was taken over by the office of the dean of students, he was chairman of the University committee on student affairs. Later, for five years, he was chairman of the University Board in Control of Student Publications. In all these exacting positions he was acclaimed by students and faculty alike for his fairness and wisdom. In 1933 the Michiganensian was dedicated to him — one of many evidences that he and his work were appreciated.

In his administration of the department, Strauss never looked out for his own interests. He knew this, and he was frankly proud of it. The rest of the men in the department knew it too, and harmony prevailed. To quote again from Griggs's "Appreciation" (p. 39):

The epithet I have heard used most frequently to describe him is beloved … A young member of our staff — and he will forgive me, I know, for venturing to include so personal a reference — told me with tears in his eyes — "I loved that man."

When, in 1936, Strauss was upon his own request relieved of the chairmanship of the department, he was appointed Isaac Newton Demmon Professor of English. The appointment was approved by the Regents "in view of his success throughout the years in developing an unusually strong department of English." Perhaps the most obvious evidence Page  555of the strengthening referred to is to be found in a number of important additions to the staff. James Holly Hanford (Rochester '04, Ph.D. Harvard '09), a leading authority on Milton and now of Western Reserve University, came in 1921. In the same year came Oscar James Campbell (Harvard '03, Ph.D. ibid. '10), now of Columbia University, whose activity both as teacher and scholar has been largely devoted to the drama. Earl Leslie Griggs (Colorado '22, Ph.D. London '27), who came in 1929 and is now at the University of Pennsylvania, is well known as a Coleridge specialist. Howard Mumford Jones (Wisconsin '14, A.M. Chicago '16) joined the department in 1930. Now at Harvard University, he continues his widely read studies in American literature and American culture. These men were members of the department for eight, fifteen, ten, and six years respectively. Their contributions were varied, but they were all alike in the stimulus which they brought to our teaching, and in their help in building the program for graduate study. Others who began their work at Michigan in Strauss's or in Demmon's time might be spoken of in similar terms; but since, happily, they are still active in the department, no account of their achievements is ready to be written.

The following holders of the fellowship in creative arts, which was established and maintained during President Burton's administration, were in effect and to its great advantage associate members of the English Department: Robert Frost, then as well as now perhaps the most eminent of American poets; Robert Bridges, poet laureate of England; and Jesse Lynch Williams, American dramatist and novelist (see Part II: Fellowships in Creative Arts).

Many distinguished scholars have been at times, oftenest during summer sessions, guest members of the department. Among them were: V. L. Parrington, already mentioned with reference to his Main Currents in American Thought, from the University of Washington; Ernest de Selincourt, of Birmingham, England; H. E. Woodbridge, from Wesleyan University; T. M. Parrott, from Princeton; H. S. V. Jones, from the University of Illinois; Douglas Bush, from Harvard; Ernest Sutherland Bates, editor of The Bible as Living Literature and celebrated historian of American traditions; G. E. Reynolds, from the University of Colorado; R. P. McCutcheon, from Tulane University; Louis B. Wright, from the Huntington Library; and Jacob Zeitlin, from the University of Illinois.

One of the earliest policies adopted during Strauss's chairmanship involved the abandonment of the survey course as an introduction to English literature. Instead of attempting to teach sophomores the history of English literature, the staff turned to the less ambitious but still hard task of teaching them how to read, introducing historical considerations only as they might be needed for the appreciation of individual authors. Like Moses Tyler long ago, we were conscious of "the difficulty of interesting young people in critical estimates of books which they had never before seen or heard of." If we did not commit ourselves to Tyler's hope, that they might "come to know for themselves the exhilaration of original research," it was partly because we were trying to adapt the method to students who were younger and possibly not as well prepared as his.

The year 1924 saw the introduction of the English honors course for seniors, an offering which put on record again the department's belief in the value of emphasis on the student's own reading. Admission to this course was limited "to students of high standing and to those deemed qualified to do independent work." At first nine hours of credit were Page  556given in each semester of the senior year. Later, in order to allow greater flexibility in the making of senior programs, the work was reduced to correspond to five hours of credit in each semester, and a three-hour preliminary course for juniors was added. Members of the department in charge of the honors work have carried it in addition to their regular teaching schedules. Their successful experience has been drawn upon in the planning of the degree program for honors in liberal arts, instituted by the College in 1939.

The English proseminar, providing for studies in several different fields, was introduced in 1927. It is expected that candidates for the master's degree will elect three proseminars, giving six hours of credit in all toward the total of twenty-four hours required for the degree. By this provision not only candidates for the doctor's degree, who elect seminars, but also all graduate students have some training in advanced, independent work.

Early in 1928 the Division of English, embracing the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Speech, was established by authority of the Regents. This rather loose organization, operating chiefly in the field of graduate work, lost most of its usefulness in 1930, with the complete reunion of the Departments of English and Rhetoric. There were good reasons for their separation in 1903, and even better reasons for bringing them together again in 1930, but the story is too long to be told here. It may be read in the thoroughly informed account written by Strauss for the Michigan Alumnus. It is safe to say that nobody concerned would welcome a second separation.

Among the richest contributions which the work in rhetoric brought to the reunited department were the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood prizes for creative writing. The administration of this endowment is explained in a separate article.

Other articles deal with the immense labor being done by members of the department in editing the Middle English and the Early Modern English dictionaries.

When the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts ordered the division of student work into a general and a degree program, each two years long, the Department of English Language and Literature took the action quite seriously. It set rather exacting requirements for admission to concentration in English, including the requirement of a qualifying examination before third-year work might be undertaken. There seems to be a general opinion that the department has been too exacting in this respect, as no other department has thought it wise to adopt a similar policy, and, accordingly, the year 1939-40 was the last in which the concentration qualifying examination was given.

Since the department became responsible in 1930 for the work in freshman composition, it has tended to ask for fewer impressionistic sketches and for more themes that test the student's power of clear analysis and sound construction. This does not mean a declining interest in the finer and rarer elements of writing. It does imply a conviction that the use of language as an instrument can with some success be taught to the average student, and that he may be guided to the attainment of a respectable degree of literacy. Those who have the interest and competence to write with a less utilitarian purpose have in advanced courses a wide range for the exercise of their talents.

In order that the department may know what to expect of incoming freshmen, and that high-school students and their teachers may know what the department expects, it has conducted for Page  557some years what is known as the Correlation Project. Teachers from certain schools, large and small, are invited to send several times a year samples of their students' work, each set containing a theme written by each member of a class in composition. Members of the departmental committee in charge of the work then read, comment upon, and grade the themes, and return them. The work with freshmen is definitely benefited by the interchange, and the teachers who co-operate are good enough to say that they and their students share in the profits.

In other ways, too, the department works to improve its teaching. Frequent conferences are held with high-school teachers who are in residence for graduate work. In such conferences the teachers exchange ideas, and by showing what their problems are they help the staff not only to deal wisely with the young people, but also to give future teachers better training.

To come now suddenly to the top of the academic ladder, there are the summer programs for advanced study in different fields. These are conducted under the auspices of the University, not of any single department (see Part IV: Summer Session). In organizing two of them, however — the Linguistic Institute and the Graduate Conference on Renaissance Studies — the Department of English has had a leading part. It was also active in the graduate study program in American culture and institutions, in the summer session of 1940. These programs all bring to Ann Arbor scholars of international reputation, and many less well known who come to confer and learn.

It is not by accident that this writing has slipped into the present tense, for most of the things that have been said about the department during Professor Strauss's chairmanship apply equally to the present regime. In 1936, after the dean of the College had asked the opinions of the members of the department, Louis Ignatius Bredvold (Minnesota '09, Ph.D. Illinois '21) was appointed Chairman. His policy, and that of the department, is to consolidate and to further the progress made in earlier years.


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Wendell, Barrett. [Memorial on Moses Coit Tyler.]Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc., 2d ser., 14 (1900-1901): 393-94.
Page  558


BEFORE there was English literature at Michigan, there was rhetoric. It is true that a freshman entering the University as far back as 1844 would have found no required composition to mar the pleasure he might take in his Latin and Greek and mathematics. But in his sophomore year he would have to spend one-third of his second term mastering Newman's Rhetoric and making practical application of its principles. By 1845-46, if we are to believe the penciled emendations of the available copies of that year's Catalogue, rhetoric (probably Newman's) had edged its way into the first term of both the freshman and sophomore years, and Whately's Rhetoric was one of four subjects required in the third term of the junior year. Except for the substitution of Blair for Whately, this arrangement was maintained up to 1850-51. By 1852, however, English Language and Literature had replaced Newman's classic in the first term (of the scientific course; it was not prescribed in the classical course), and had been added in the second term. Elocution had been made a third-term freshman subject, while rhetoric proper was reserved for the first term of the sophomore year for both classical and scientific students.

The nature of the rhetoric work, as well as that in English language and literature, in this early period may be inferred from extracts from the announcements. Thus, in the Catalogue for 1852-53, one reads: "The Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages and the Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy take charge of this branch jointly." In 1853-54, the statement read:

Rhetoric is attended to as a special recitation but one term by students of the Classical Department; but constant attention is directed to this important subject by the professors of Ancient and Modern Languages. Weekly exercises are attended by the students during the entire course.

The students of the Scientific Department receive instruction by lectures, upon the History and Analysis of the English Language, and give especial attention to the study of Rhetoric.

Original essays will frequently be required in this Department.

It would appear that the Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy had now relinquished his interests in rhetoric.

The information in the 1854-55 Catalogue was still more explicit:

During two terms of the first year, the members of the Scientific Department devote one third of their time to the study of the English Language and Literature. The object of this plan is to secure an examination of the principles of our native tongue, as thorough and exact as that which is necessary for the mastery of a foreign language. The survey of our general Literature is necessarily cursory, and is designed chiefly to establish fundamental principles of criticism, and to cultivate correctness and propriety of style.

All members of the Sophomore class, in both departments [classical curriculum, or "course," and scientific course], have a daily study in Rhetoric during the first term of the year in which a good text-book is examined, and a course of lectures given by the Professor, and original Compositions are presented by the students every week for criticism.

Declamations are required regularly through the whole course; and during the last two years the pieces spoken are original, and previously presented to the professor, for criticism.

It is instructive to learn that students of eighty-five years ago were expected to master their native tongue as thoroughly as any foreign language!

Page  559The emphasis on oral expression suggested in the extracts quoted continued to a much later period. Thus, in 1875, a freshman would have been privileged to enroll in a course, labeled quite simply "1," which included lectures in elocution, "with exercises for the voice, and the delivery by each student of two original speeches" (Cal., 1875-76, p. 37). His texts would have been Tancock's English Grammar, Morris' Elementary Lessons in Historical English Grammar, and Earle's Philology of the English Tongue. By 1886-87 the title of the freshman course was Composition and Elocution, but the pièce de resistance was still "two speeches." It was not until much later that written composition became the essential work in first-year courses.

Indeed, until well into the seventies, continual emphasis seems to have been laid on the art of speaking well, not only in freshman but also in later years. The Catalogue for 1869-70 carries the following summary of work under the heading English Language and Literature:

  • Freshmen. — English Language — Lectures. Exercises in declamation every Monday at 4 P.M. at the Old Chapel. A public exhibition, the participants in which are chosen by the Professor in charge of this department.
  • Sophomores. — The art of effective expression — Haven's Rhetoric; Lectures. English Literature — Lectures; Chaucer's Legende of Goode Women (Corson's Ed.). Exercises in composition every Monday at 3 P.M. at the Old Chapel. Two public exhibitions, the participants in which are volunteers.
  • Juniors. — Exercises in the delivery of original speeches every Monday at 2 P.M. at the Old Chapel. A public exhibition, the participants in which are chosen by the Faculty.
  • Seniors. — Exercises in the delivery of original speeches every Saturday morning in the Chapel before all the classes. A public exhibition, the participants in which are chosen by the Faculty.

There was, however, a gradual shift toward written work, though essay writing seems for a long time to have been generally reserved for the second year. Thus, in 1874-75, the University of Michigan sophomore took a course labeled Rhetoric: Theory and Practice, for which he wrote compositions exemplifying the principles set forth in Day's Art of Discourse. By 1880-81 the textbook in this course had been changed to O. J. Hill's Science of Rhetoric, and each student was required to present two essays. This, in general, seems representative of the second-year course.

The department in which these courses were offered was known as English Language and Literature. This title had been first adopted in 1869, succeeding the old heading Rhetoric and English Literature, which in turn had in 1854 replaced the original division-name Rhetoric. In 1882 the department was rechristened English and Rhetoric. This change may have occurred in deference to a new course that had unobtrusively crept into the announcement for the previous year (Cal., 1881-82, p. 42): "13. Grammatical and Critical Study of Selections in Prose and Poetry. Tuesday and Thursday, 4-5. Assistant Professor Burt." By 1883-84, this course had become Rhetorical Study of Selections in Prose and Poetry (Cal., p. 46), the probable ancestor of the present course called Rhetorical Analysis. In 1886-87 there appeared another new course title, destined to become well known on the University of Michigan campus: Seminary in Rhetoric and the Principles of Literary Criticism. The name of the department remained unchanged up to 1903,* when the division into Department of Rhetoric and Department of English occurred. During this period a marked increase in the offerings Page  560in rhetoric and criticism gave evidence of an emphasis which was, in the next twenty-five years, to raise the University of Michigan to a place of outstanding leadership in this field.

The history of the Department of Rhetoric proper is very much the story of Professor Fred Newton Scott ('84, Ph.D. '89). Scott came to the Department of English and Rhetoric as an instructor in 1889, when his name appeared in connection with the freshman course. As an assistant professor in 1890, a junior professor in 1896, and a full professor in 1901, Scott seems to have rapidly acquired most of the advanced work in rhetoric and criticism. By 1902, the last year before the work in rhetoric was made a separate department, there were listed under his name the following courses:

  • 4. Essays in Description and Narration.
  • 4a. Essays in Exposition and Argument.
  • 15. Principles of Style.
  • 15a. Theory of Prose Narrative.
  • 17. Teachers' Course. Methods of Teaching Composition and Rhetoric.
  • 18. Advanced Composition. Essays in Exposition. Interpretation of Literture and Art.
  • 21. Seminary in the Theory and History of Rhetoric.
  • 21a. Seminary in the History and Theory of Rhetoric. (Cal., 1902-3, pp. 76-78.)
Other courses in rhetoric and criticism offered in the Department of English and Rhetoric at the time were: Paragraph-Writing, eleven sections, taught by Strauss, Thomas, Bohn, and Morrill; Theme Writing, eleven sections, by Strauss, Thomas, Bohn, and Morrill; Studies in Diction and Usage, two sections, by Fulton; and Principles of Literary Criticism, by Demmon.

The Department of Rhetoric came into existence as a separate unit — mainly, it is said, because Professor Scott wished it so — in 1903 (see Part III: Department of English Language and Literature). The Proceedings of the Regents carries under April, 1903, the entry:

On motion of Regent Dean, the title of Professor I. N. Demmon was changed to Professor of English, and the title of Professor Fred N. Scott was made Professor of Rhetoric by the full vote of the Board.

(R.P., 1901-6, p. 172.)
And in the Calendar for 1903-4 the Department of English and the Department of Rhetoric were for the first time separately listed. The change occurred with no particular disturbance to courses. Men who had been teaching literature and composition were given their choice of remaining with the old, or entering the new, department. It is of interest that Louis A. Strauss, who had been Assistant in English in 1893 and Instructor in 1895, was one who elected to stay with the old division.

Scott carried with him the elementary work in composition and the advanced courses in rhetoric and criticism which he and others had been teaching. In the University Calendar for the year 1903-4 the new department announced that it would offer two types of courses: (1) courses "to give practice in the leading types of prose composition," and (2) courses to "familiarize the student with the fundamental principles of Rhetoric and Criticism." These offerings totaled sixteen courses, only four of which — Prose Rhythms, Newspaper Writing, Interpretations of Literature and Art, and Reviews — were new. It is worthy of note that two of the new courses were in journalism (see Part IV: Department of Journalism). A third, Prose Rhythms, was unique in American education; its inclusion in this curriculum was indicative of Scott's many-sided interests in literary problems. The course known as Interpretations was to become one of the Page  561most popular and most valued in the department: it was long a proving ground for students who aspired to do work in practical criticism.

The courses given in this first year were to form the backbone of the work in rhetoric for the next twenty-five years. Some of the titles were changed, some new ones were added, a few were discontinued, but the elementary courses, and certain of the advanced courses in style and rhetoric and composition offered in 1903-4 were to become fixtures in the department, and many of them traditions at the University. Rhetoric 3 and 4 later became Rhetoric 31 and 32, with enrollments running up to the three- and four-hundred mark. Principles of Style was taught up to the time Professor Thomas E. Rankin left the University of Michigan in 1928; the Theory of Prose Narrative, which Assistant Professor Edward S. Everett took over after Professor Scott resigned in 1927, was continued until 1933; Diction and Usage, first taught by Professor Roy Cowden and now by Associate Professor Carlton F. Wells, is still an honored course in the Department of English Language and Literature; and the seminary called Rhetoric and Criticism, continuing in much its original form as long as Scott remained in the University, became the parent of present survey and studies courses in rhetoric and criticism.

In the hands of Fred N. Scott and such capable associates as Joseph M. Thomas, T. E. Rankin, Herbert S. Mallory, Marion C. Weir, Lyman Bryson, John L. Brumm, and later Roy W. Cowden, the department went steadily forward to a position of prominence in journalism, creative writing, and graduate work in rhetorical theory and criticism (see Part IV: Department of Journalism). Students interested in these subjects were attracted to the University of Michigan from all parts of the country, and, in due course, added to the steadily increasing list of prominent writers and scholars who had "studied under Scott."

Shirley Smith, now Vice-President of the University and once an instructor in rhetoric, writing on "Fred Newton Scott as a Teacher" in the Michigan Alumnus, listed the following as former students of rhetoric who had contributed information for his article: Professor Richard R. Kirk, of Tulane University; Professor Karl Young of Yale University; Lyman L. Bryson, Director of the California Association for Adult Education; S. Emory Thomason, Publisher of the Chicago Daily News; Lee A White, of the Detroit News; and Arthur Pound, author, New Scotland, New York.

This is but a fraction of the roll of important names that might be called of those who once studied in the Rhetoric Department. The list would include Ernest Sutherland Bates, college professor and famous author; Alice Snyder, Coleridge scholar and Professor of English at Vassar; Wilfred B. Shaw, author, Director of Alumni Relations, and Editor of the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review, Ann Arbor; Webb Waldron, novelist, journalist, and publicist, Westport, Connecticut; Paul Osborn, playwright, New York City; Avery Hopwood, playwright, and donor of the Hopwood prizes; Ray Stannard Baker ("David Grayson"), author, Amherst, Massachusetts; Katherine Holland Brown, novelist, Quincy, Illinois; Ada F. Snell, Professor of English at Wellesley College; Joseph Thomas, Professor of English and Dean of the Senior College, University of Minnesota; Marjorie Nicolson, Professor of English and Dean of the College, Smith College; James Oliver Curwood, author; Edgar A. Mowrer and Paul Scott Mowrer, journalists extraordinary, Chicago; Edwin S. Beck and James O'Donnell Bennett, journalists, the Chicago Tribune; Karl Edwin Harriman Page  562editor and author, New York City; Fletcher Harris, Professor of English and Assistant Dean of the College at the University of Illinois; Charles C. Fries, philologist and Professor of English, University of Michigan; Winthrop D. Lane, journalist and editor, Trenton, New Jersey; Louis V. De Foe, critic, New York City; Lawrence Conrad, teacher and author, Montclair, New Jersey; Wilson Farrand, educator, Newark Academy, Newark, New Jersey; Melvin T. Solve, Professor of English, University of Arizona; and Harold Titus, author, Traverse City, Michigan.

Many other names might be added, but there is space to mention only a few — Charles Phelps Cushing, author and photographer, New York City; Paul Blanshard, lecturer and specialist in industrial relations, New York City; Jo Chamberlain, formerly Managing Editor, Scribner's Magazine; Warren Bower, New York University; Walter A. Donnelly, Editor of Museums Publications and Supervising Editor of Publications in the Registrar's Office in the University; Phyllis Povah (Mrs. Henry Drayton), actress, Port Washington, Long Island; Mary Yost, Dean of Women, Stanford University; Ruth Mary Weeks, educator, Kansas City, Missouri; Helen Mahin, Professor of Journalism, University of Kansas; Dorothy Tyler, poet and editor, Detroit; and Martin Feinstein, poet, deceased.

From the beginning, the Department of Rhetoric was attractive to graduate students. Advanced degrees in rhetoric had been granted under the old Department of English and Rhetoric. Gertrude Buck had taken a master of science degree in rhetoric in 1895, and in 1898 Annie L. Bacorn had received the degree of master of letters, and Sophie C. Hart and Katherine G. Sleneau the master of arts degree. In the same year, the first doctor of philosophy degree in rhetoric was granted to Miss Gertrude Buck, whose dissertation on metaphor was a distinctive contribution in the field. Between 1898 and 1903, in the remaining years of the combined department, nine more students, one of them Ernest S. Bates, took the master of arts degree in rhetoric. From 1904, the first year that degrees were given in the new department, to 1930, the last year, a total of 140 students took the master's degree in this field. In the same period twenty-three students, as compared with a total of twenty-five in the Department of English, were granted the doctor of philosophy degree in rhetoric. The first of these was William E. Bohn, in 1906.

It is worth noting, as significant evidence of a progressive attitude in the department on linguistic matters, that of those receiving the master's degree, Sterling A. Leonard (1909) and Ruth M. Weeks (1913), became distinctive leaders in the liberal movement in language matters that has in recent years taken firm hold in the English pedagogical field.

Graduate study in rhetoric was characterized throughout the existence of the department not only by a broadly liberal point of view in linguistics, with a consistent emphasis upon the growth of language as a social phenomenon and as an instrument for current needs, but also by critical attitudes which had their bases in psychological investigation and in an examination of literature in its relation to life. Merely historical matters were subordinated to the analysis of works and to an understanding of the principles by which their authors wrote and of the sources and modes of their appeal. Scott's own deep humanism permeated the work of the entire department, and graduate study in rhetoric became synonymous with an earnest search for central standards in artistic creation and aesthetic response. The value of such teaching in an age which tends toward Page  563formalistic and historical scholarship is obvious; its influence, spreading in some degree to every school where graduates of the department have taught, has no doubt been greater than can be easily estimated.

A unique and notable course developed by Professor Scott was Rhetoric 23 and 24, first announced in 1909-10, without further description, as a Seminary in Advanced Composition. The next year's Calendar (p. 127) carried the following information:

This course is intended for a limited number of advanced students who write with facility and are in the habit of writing, but who desire personal criticism and direction. Although the greater part of the time will be spent in the discussion of the manuscripts submitted for correction, there will be talks upon the essentials of English Composition and the principles of criticism and revision. Open only to students who receive special permission.

This was destined to become one of the most prized offerings of the department. Since only a limited number could be accommodated and since only candidates of ability were selected, it soon came to be regarded as an honor to be admitted to the course. The class became something like a young writers' club, and was a proving ground for many who later gained distinction in the literary field. It was, moreover, a recognition, in principle, of the importance of creative writing as a university study. To it, more than to anything else, can be traced the Hopwood prizes and the outstanding development of present advanced courses in writing at the University of Michigan.

The Avery Hopwood award in rhetoric, established by the Avery Hopwood bequest in 1928, through which excellence in writing is rewarded at Michigan with unusual munificence (see Part III: Hopwood Prizes), had faint foreshadowings in the Field poetry prize and the medal awards in rhetoric. The Field prize was established on 1908-9. In the minutes of the Regents' April meeting in 1908 is a copy of a letter to Fred N. Scott containing the offer of the award (R.P., 1906-10, p. 246). The letter reads:

Professor F. N. Scott:

Dear Sir — I will offer a prize of $100 cash for the best poem submitted by any student in the Literary Department of the University of Michigan. This poem is to be written and submitted to the committee of award on or before May 1, 1909, said committee to consist of the Professor and Assistant Professors of Rhetoric in the University. The terms and conditions of the awarding prize are to be prescribed by the committee, who will make a formal announcement of the same.

Very truly yours,

Nelson C. Field, U. of M., '90.

This prize was continued to 1916-17. It was a cash award of $100, given to the undergraduate writing the best poem of the year. Two outstanding winners were Edgar Ansell Mowrer and Martin Feinstein.

The rhetoric medals were established in 1925 and were given each year to 1930. The statement in the Announcement of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts of 1925-26 (p. 314) explains the purpose and conditions of the awards:

In recognition of exceptional proficiency in Rhetoric, two gold medals will be awarded each year. The first will be awarded to the student about to be graduated who has maintained the best scholarship record in Rhetoric during his university residence, his elections to have covered not less than six courses in the department. The second will be awarded to the first year student who has done the most consistently acceptable work in freshman Rhetoric. The winners of the medals will be chosen, by a faculty committee, from candidates recommended by instructors in the department of Rhetoric.

It is a long way from the Field prize Page  564and the rhetoric medals to the lavish Avery Hopwood prizes, but in these modest beginnings, the principle of recognizing proficiency in rhetoric was established; it is quite possible that they gave Mr. Hopwood the idea for his great gift.

The relation of the Department of Rhetoric to the development of journalism in the University merits notice. In the University Calendar for 1890-91 (p. 54) there appeared under "English" a course described as "Rapid Writing. Two-fifths Course. Hours arranged with instructor. Assistant Professor Scott." It is said that this was the first college course in journalism in America. The work of the course seems not to have been the ordinary news reporting and editing, but rather a study of current news stories to the end of writing editorials on subjects of prominent public interest. By 1893-94 this course (numbered 18) appears to have been rechristened Advanced Composition and to have been designated "for those who are already proficient in writing, but who feel the need of practice and criticism" (Cal., p. 64). It was open only by permission and the number was limited to six! After the Department of Rhetoric was formed in 1903, the announcement carried boldly, as Course 13, "Newspaper Writing: Theory and Practice" — evidently the old course Rapid Writing under a new name. This was the beginning of journalism as an avowed subject of study at Michigan.

It is instructive to find in the minutes of the Regents for September, 1903, that Willis J. Abbot, editor of Pilgrim, later, of the Christian Science Monitor, had offered to give lectures in journalism without expense to either students or the University; upon the recommendation of Professor Scott, the Regents accepted this proposal (R.P., 1901-6, p. 235). Further evidence of the practical nature of the course called Newspaper Writing, suggested by this immediate linking with the active field of editing and publishing, is to be found in the description of the work by an old student. According to this student,* each member of the class, using the newspapers as a text, gathered over a considerable period, news stories on any given topic of live interest, such as "Government Control of Monopolies," and wrote editorials on the subject. Another extract from the Proceedings of the Regents for October, 1905, shows the extent to which the practical and laboratory method of instruction was carried out in this class: Professor Scott presented to the Board the information that the Chicago Record-Herald had given him all the newspaper material for the issue of October 1, 1905; and he asked for and was granted $15 for mounting this material (R.P., 1901-6, pp. 633-34).

The work in journalism expanded, most of the courses still taught by Professor Scott, until in 1914-15 Lyman Bryson began to take over some of the work. Later, from 1918, John A. Mosenfelder and, after him, John Brumm and Wesley Maurer, assumed the burden of the teaching of journalism up to the establishment of a separate Department of Journalism, with Professor Brumm as its head, in 1929 (see Part IV: Department of Journalism).

Old West Hall, on the State Street side of the present Betsy Barbour House site, was long a landmark on the campus.* It had been erected as one of the early ward schools of Ann Arbor, but Page  565when that school was moved in 1902 to its new location on Packard Street, the ancient structure was purchased by the University as a temporary makeshift and was sketchily renovated for classroom use. Here, in 1903, Professor Scott and the new Department of Rhetoric took up quarters. The building was later repeatedly condemned, but was not abandoned for over twenty years. It was a byword for inconvenience. It had no private offices and sometimes as many as four instructors would be holding conferences in the same room at the same time. It was so crowded that a passageway less than ten feet wide was used as a classroom, and another of the same sort as office and library. The basement was filled with tons of old themes gathering dust and cobwebs and constituting a fire hazard. President Burton once took a committee through it, exhibiting it as a horrible example of the desperate needs of the University.

In August, 1922, the Regents ordered it removed. In the Regents' minutes one finds this item:

On motion of Regent Murfin, the Board adopted the following resolution: —

Resolved, That it is with regret that the Regents find themselves prevented, by the pressure for class-room space, from removing West Hall for the present year; and be it further

Resolved, That not later than the close of the University year 1922-23, West Hall shall be removed in accordance with the agreement made with Mr. Barbour, the donor of the Betsy Barbour House.

(R.P., 1920-23, p. 606.)
Removal was delayed, however, until in May, 1923, the Regents finally voted that the building should be razed. But the actual demolition did not take place until 1924.

Probably no student who ever passed the dingy portals of this crazy old building and toiled up its creaking stairways — and in the two decades of its use, thousands of freshmen and upperclassmen entered there — ever forgot West Hall. To some it was but a nightmare of required themes, but to many, especially among the advanced students of rhetoric, it was a place of light and inspiration. For here were situated the rhetoric library, presided over for years by the efficient Clara Belle Dunn, and the seminary room of Professor Scott. Scott's room was unique. It contained more than a thousand books, among them his valuable private collection in rhetoric and criticism. The walls were plastered with pictures, some of them copies of masterpieces, some of an unusual, grotesque sort. Many were prints from foreign magazines, Jugend, for example; and there were photographs of gargoyles and caricatures of great literary figures. Completing the scene were the round table, about which seminary students sat, and Scott himself, remembered by many as a sort of fixture in the room, comfortably ensconced between the table and his desk, which was always piled high with papers, lecture notes, and books.

It seems not inappropriate to put down here some words about this room written by an old student many years after she had enjoyed its unique privileges:

I have many memories of that room and of those classes, memories which meet oddly in a small seminar that gathered there at four o'clock in the afternoon and stayed until six or any later hour, while the shadows slowly obscured the rows of books, the pictures softened into the walls with dusk, and the wind swayed the branches outside the windows in an ancient detachment from earth-walking things. There was talk of everything conceivable that had to do with beauty and truth, art and humanity. And to at least one student the dusk, the books, the pictures, and the voice of the preceptor were like the song of the wind in the branches, sweeping over all the things of earth.

(Mahin, p. 2.)

Page  566Across the hall from Scott's room was the rhetoric library. The origin of this library is recorded in the Proceedings for April, 1903 (p. 169). The item reads:

Regent Dean presented and read the following communication from Professor Scott, and on motion the President was requested to return to the Macmillan Company of New York the thanks of the Board for their gift to the Library of the University.

To the Honorable Board of Regents:

I have pleasure in announcing that I have just received from the Macmillan Company, publishers, of New York City, a collection of 330 volumes intended as the nucleus of a department library of Rhetoric. The books are given without condition, but with the understanding that they will be placed in the Rhetorical Seminary Room in West Hall (Room 6). The collection consists of standard works in rhetoric, literature and psychology, and is valued at $260.

I respectfully suggest that your honorable body make a suitable acknowledgment of the gift.


F. N. Scott

By the time old West Hall was condemned and abandoned in 1923 this library contained a total of a thousand volumes. It was then transferred to the first floor of Angell Hall, where it continued to grow through gifts and special funds until, during the present administration, the Department of Rhetoric and the Department of English were merged. The manner in which a considerable portion of the funds for this library was provided is indicative of the unselfish devotion of various members of the rhetoric staff. Many of the books belonged to Professor Scott or were given to the department by him. In addition the department had a tradition of turning the royalties of certain publications — chiefly compilations by the staff or by members of the staff for classroom use — into a fund for the departmental library. Books that helped in this way included: Materials for the Study of Rhetoric and Composition, edited by Thomas E. Rankin and John L. Brumm; Adventures in Essay Reading, edited by Thomas E. Rankin, G. S. Lasher, and Amos R. Morris; and The Way of Composition, edited by T. E. Rankin, A. R. Morris, Carlton F. Wells, and Oakley Johnson. The most successful of these, Adventures in Essay Reading, alone sold more than 24,000 copies, and, according to a recent statement by the publishers, yielded a total of $4,016.74. A most valuable gift came from Fred N. Scott himself, who upon retiring in 1927 gave to the University his splendid rhetoric collection of many hundreds of volumes.

The roster of men who taught in the Department of Rhetoric during the twenty-six years of its existence is long. Heading the list, from the point of view of length and importance of service, are Thomas Ernest Rankin ('98, A.M. '05), John Lewis Brumm ('04, A.M. '06), and Roy William Cowden ('08, A.M. Harvard '09). Rankin's name first appeared in the records in 1905-6, when, though he was named as Instructor in Rhetoric, all his teaching was done in the Department of Law. In June, 1907, he went over to the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and in 1916 was promoted to a full professorship. During the period of his service, he contributed much to the department as both teacher and administrator. He was for many years in charge of the elementary courses in composition, and he later gradually assumed most of the administrative duties of the department. At the time of his resignation in 1928 he was teaching Versification, Drama, and Literary Types and Forms. Other courses which he had developed, by this time discontinued or being taught by others, were Argumentation, Short Story Writing, and Studies in American Style.

Page  567John Brumm came to the department as Instructor in 1905, after a period as student assistant in English in the Department of Engineering, and taught various writing courses up to the time of the separation of the teaching of journalism from that of rhetoric in 1929. He was made a full professor in 1923. During this period he developed, or helped to develop, the courses Advanced Composition and Rhetoric, Argumentation, English Prose, Written Criticism, and Journalism. In 1928-29, the last year of the rhetoric-journalism combination, he was in charge of courses designated as Feature Writing, Editorial Writing, Critical Writing and Reviewing, Advertisement Writing, and Newspaper Policy and Management.

Roy W. Cowden began teaching in the Department of Rhetoric in 1909 and has held a full professorship since 1935. He developed, or had a share in developing, such courses as the Mechanics of the English Sentence, Modern English Prose, Diction and Usage (in its later form), and Junior Composition. This last course, tending largely to creative writing, was long a principal feeder for Scott's Seminary in Advanced Composition. Professor Cowden was later made chairman of freshman composition; he served in the period of Professor Jack's chairmanship on the executive committee of the department; and he was, in general, prominent in shaping affairs relating to composition. His great enthusiasm for, and his success in, teaching creative writing led to his appointment, after the Rhetoric and English Departments had merged, as Director of the Hopwood Awards.

Of the many others who deserve special notice in this article there is space for brief mention of only a few. Herbert Samuel Mallory (Western Reserve '99, Ph.D. Yale '04), who came to the department as an instructor in 1908 and served it most faithfully until 1927,* will long be remembered for his stimulating teaching and his radiant cultural influence. His Short Story Writing was one of the most successful courses offered in the department. Lyman Bryson ('10, A.M. '15), who began his work in the department as Instructor in 1913 and resigned in 1917 to accept a government position, left his mark as a capable teacher of composition and journalism. Marion Clyde Wier (St. John's '92, Ph.D. Michigan '18), Instructor in 1910-11 and Assistant Professor in 1921, was regarded as one of the most successful teachers of creative writing the University of Michigan has ever had, and he is still mentioned by his colleagues and former students for his erudition and for his enthusiasm for poetry.

Men still on the campus who taught in the Department of Rhetoric ten years or more are: Edward Simpson Everett ('14, Ph.D. '21), who came in 1914 as an instructor and was promoted to an assistant professorship in 1925, a teacher of the dependable type upon whom students and colleagues learn to rely; Frederick William Peterson (Lake Forest '11, A.M. Michigan '16), Instructor in 1918 and Assistant Professor since 1925, whose mastery of language and lively interest in his students have made him a favorite professor on the campus; Erich Albert Walter ('19, A.M. '21), Instructor in Rhetoric in 1919 and now Associate Professor of English and Assistant Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, whose courses in the essay gave preparation for his notable Essay Annual and whose distinctive work in creative writing was recognized by his appointment to the chairmanship of freshman composition and to membership on the Hopwood committee; and Page  568Philip Louis Schenk ('02, A.M. '04, B.D. Union '07), a gentleman of the cloth turned teacher, known for his sound courses in report writing and for his friendly interest in students.

Space forbids the mention of the scores of other men who served in the department for a longer or a shorter term in the twenty-six years of its existence. It would seem inappropriate, however, not to include the names of Amos Reno Morris (Ohio State '07, Ph.D. Yale '04), who came to Michigan in 1921 and who maintains one of the traditions of the old department in his course known as Rhetorical Analysis, and of Carlton Frank Wells ('20, A.M. '22), who also dates his teaching experience in rhetoric from 1921 and whose proficiency in the classroom has been recognized by his appointment to the chairmanship of freshman composition, a position which he still holds.

Scott retired from active duties, on account of ill health, in the middle of the year 1926-27, and Rankin, who as chairman of an executive committee had been for some two years the active administrator, took over the affairs of the department. On August 29, 1927, Peter Monro Jack (A.M. Aberdeen '20), from Cambridge University, was appointed chairman for a period of three years, to succeed Professor Scott. Professor Jack continued as chairman, acting with an executive committee, the other members of which were Professors Cowden and Thorpe, until the Departments of Rhetoric and English were united.

In the Announcement for 1929-30 rhetoric was listed for the last time as a separate department. Instructors were given as follows (p. 281):

Professors Jack and Thorpe; Associate Professor Cowden; Assistant Professors Everett, Walter, Peterson, Morris, N. E. Nelson, Schenk, Abbot, Binkley, and Rowe; Mr. Wells, Mr. Baker, Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Bader, Mr. Proctor, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Bebout, Mr. Butchart, Mr. Hornberger, Mr. Helm, Mr. Hoag, Mr. Ott, and Mr. Boothe.

The course offerings were large and varied. There were listed thirty-eight sections of Rhetoric 1 and 2, nineteen sections of Rhetoric 31, and twenty-three sections of Rhetoric 32. In addition there appeared thirty-six different advanced courses. Among these were most of the old stand-bys of the department, such as Rhetorical Analysis (Morris), Interpretations of Art and Literature and Special Problems in Rhetoric and Criticism (Jack), Diction and Usage (Cowden), and the Drama (Rowe). In addition, there were newer offerings under such heads as Intimate Types of Writing, Biographical Writing, Studies of the Creative Process, Studies in Criticism from the Pléiade to the Lyrical Ballads, and Medieval and Renaissance Rhetoric and Poetic. A glance at the total list gives the impression of a rather overloaded program.

Looking towards a closer co-operation among the related units, the Regents established early in 1928 a Division of English, composed of the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Speech. The resolution was as follows:

  • 1. That a Division of English be established composed of the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Speech.
  • 2. That there shall be a divisional committee of nine to be appointed by the Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and an executive committee to be composed of the chairmen of the three departments.
  • 3. That these committees shall consider, advise, and recommend to the departments or to the administration in regard to all matters of common interest to the three constituent departments. It is to be understood that the functions of these committees will be those of review in the interests of proper co-ordination and co-operation of the departments concerned.

(R.P., 1926-29, p. 444.)

Page  569The arrangement thus provided for proved, however, to be but a temporary expedient. The natural interrelation of the work in English and that in rhetoric made a union of the two departments a logical necessity. It was apparent that such a union would serve the interests of both economy and efficiency. Indeed, it had been generally believed that when Professor Scott, who had brought the department into being, retired, rhetoric would be reunited with English. Accordingly, there was little occasion for surprise when the Regents voted, on January 10, 1930, to "reorganize the Department of English and the Department of Rhetoric into a single department to be known as the Department of English Language and Literature" (R.P. 1929-32, p. 156). The details of the plan were to be worked out by a committee composed of the dean and two members of each department. Professors Strauss and Campbell, for the Department of English, and Professors Cowden and Thorpe, for the Department of Rhetoric, were chosen to act with Dean Effinger on this committee. It was agreed as a preliminary basis for action that whatever plan was adopted, the unique values that had been developed in each department should be maintained and safeguarded for the future. After several meetings the details for reorganization were completed, and rhetoric became a part of the new Department of English Language and Literature.


Announcement, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Univ. Mich., 1925-26.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914. (Cal.)
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1844-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Mahin, Helen O."Half-Lights." In: Fred Newton Scott Anniversary Papers … Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1929. Pp. 1-3.
Miller, Edwin L."Fred Newton Scott."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 42 (1936): 118-24.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940. (P.R.)
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Smith, Shirley W."Fred Newton Scott as a Teacher."Mich. Alum., 39 (1933): 279-80.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Page  570


IN December, 1927, Sir William A. Craigie, the editor who finally brought the Oxford English Dictionary to completion, invited Professor C. C. Fries, of the Department of English of the University of Michigan, to undertake the production of a Dictionary of Early Modern English, that is, of the English language used from 1475 to 1700. As early as 1919, Craigie had proposed his plan for a series of period dictionaries as the only way to meet completely the needs of scholars in the English language and of serious students of English literature. He said:

Dealing as it [the Oxford English Dictionary] does with all periods of English from the seventh century to the twentieth, it has been impossible for it, beyond certain limits, to devote special attention to any one of these. Yet each definite period of the language has its own characteristics, which can only be appreciated when it is studied by itself, and which are necessarily obscured when it merely comes in as one link in the long chain of the language as a whole. To deal adequately with each period it is necessary to take it by itself and compile for it a special dictionary, as full and complete as may be. … As matters stand at present the comparison of the language of one period with that of another both in general respects and in special details can only be done to a very limited extent, with the result that such comparisons as are sometimes made tend to be quite misleading or at the best are incomplete and unsatisfactory.

The invitation to undertake this Early Modern English Dictionary carried with it the offer to furnish as a beginning for the work all the material that had been collected by the Oxford English Dictionary which bore upon the period from 1475 to 1700. This material was sorted out from the huge collections of the Oxford Dictionary during the summer of 1928 and the academic year of 1929-30 and sent to the dictionary offices of the University of Michigan. Altogether the University received two and one-half million quotations from this source.

Other noteworthy collections which helped to complete the evidence upon which to build the interpretations of the 125,000 words constituting the vocabulary of sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century English were:

  • (a) The slips called the "Supplement" by the workers on the Oxford Dictionary. These were citations which furnished evidence of matters missed by the Oxford Dictionary or of earlier or later instances of word meanings than those published in that dictionary. These citations had reached the editors of the Oxford Dictionary after the part of the dictionary containing the words with which they were concerned had been published. This body of evidence, amounting to 50,000 slips, was released to the Early Modern English Dictionary in the fall of 1932.
  • (b) The "Ray Agricultural" slips. These were a collection of citations, amounting in all to some 40,000 items, which Mr. F. R. Ray had gathered during a long period of years with the intention of producing a historical dictionary of agricultural terms to supplement the Oxford Dictionary in this particular field.
  • (c) A word index to Milton's prose and manuscript concordances to the works of Ben Jonson and Nicholas Breton.

In addition to the many quotations received from these sources there was the mass of material resulting from the reading Page  571program of the Early Modern English Dictionary carried out from 1929 to 1934. In this reading program the staff of the dictionary was assisted by volunteer readers representing more than two hundred different colleges and universities throughout the United States. Four hundred sixty such readers made substantial contributions to the files of the Early Modern English Dictionary and helped to gather the pertinent quotations from the important sixteenth- and seventeenth-century works of each of some 150 topics, such as architecture, painting, music, cooking, dress, furniture, commerce, astrology, hunting, heraldry, surgery, and dancing. In all, there are in the collections of the Early Modern English Dictionary more than four and one-half million quotations filed under their respective words.

From this evidence the Dictionary of Early Modern English attempts the full description of every word in the English vocabulary as it expresses and records the experience of English people during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The records show an increase in that vocabulary during these two hundred years of approximately 275 per cent, that is, from 45,000 entries for the Middle English Dictionary to 125,000 entries for the Early Modern English Dictionary. This remarkable growth of vocabulary is by no means limited to the masses of learned words borrowed from the classics and the many names for strange goods imported from the Indies, Russia, and the New World. The records show an enormous increase in the colloquial vocabulary. For example, there is the great number of new words for "striking, beating, thrashing" that are first recorded in the sixteenth century. Some of them are to bang, to baste, to box, to cudgel, to cuff, to lace, to lam, to lick, to pummel, to punch, to thump, to thwack, to whop.

But far exceeding the number of new words added to the English vocabulary during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is the number of new meanings in which these words were employed. The new evidence collected by the Early Modern English Dictionary not only establishes many meanings not recorded by the Oxford Dictionary but pushes back the history of words and word meanings by means of quotations that antedate the first Oxford citation from twenty-five to three hundred years. A good example is furnished in the case of "labour." For the meaning of "labour" in an economic sense defined as "physical exertion directed to the supply of the material wants of the community; the specific service rendered to production by the labourer and artisan," the Oxford Dictionary finds the earliest quotation in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776); and for the sense "the general body of labourers and operatives, viewed in its relation to the body of capitalists, or with regard to its political interests and claims," the Oxford Dictionary finds the earliest quotation in S. Walpole's History of England (1880). The Early Modern English Dictionary, however, pushes back the history of the use of the word labour in these economic senses to the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

The editorial staff of the Early Modern English Dictionary has consisted of the following persons in addition to the editor, Charles C. Fries: H. T. Price, M. P. Tilley, J. E. Hull, L. L. Rockwell, Hope E. Allen, J. K. Yamagiwa, C. E. Palmer, and Katharine Fellows.

From the beginning of the enterprise in 1929 to June, 1938, the work upon the Early Modern English Dictionary was made possible by the funds supplied first by the General Education Board and later by the Rockefeller Foundation. The total funds received amounted to nearly $185,000.

Page  572

Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1926-40.
Rockwell, L. L."The Vocabulary of Bethwackment."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 41 (1935): 444.
Weaver, Bennett. "The Romance of Words."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 585-86, 594.


ALARGE-SCALE dictionary of Middle English (the English language from 1100 to 1475) was first undertaken by Professor E. Flügel of Leland Stanford Junior University, with the financial support of the Carnegie Foundation. After his death the Modern Language Association of America took up this project and Professor Clark S. Northup of Cornell University assumed the duties of editor. At Cornell the work was supported by funds from the Heckscher Foundation. In 1930, because of the aid which the Middle English Dictionary materials could furnish to the Early Modern English Dictionary and because of the obvious economy of doing both dictionaries at the same place, the Modern Language Association accepted the invitation of the University of Michigan and moved the Middle English Dictionary to Ann Arbor. Two representatives of the Modern Language Association, Professor Carleton Brown of New York University and Professor G. P. Krapp of Columbia University, and two representatives of the University of Michigan, Professors O. J. Campbell and C. C. Fries, then agreed upon an editor, and Professor Samuel Moore was invited to undertake the direction of the work. In September, 1934, Professor Samuel Moore died suddenly, and Professor Thomas A. Knott, who had been the general editor of Webster's New International Dictionary (2d ed., 1934) was called to the University to become the editor of the Middle English Dictionary.

The years from 1930 to 1936 were devoted to gathering the material necessary to complete the evidence upon which to base the editing. One hundred and eleven volunteer readers assisted the staff by copying out the quotations from Middle English texts, especially from those texts that have been made available in printed form since the first half of the Oxford Dictionary was published. In all, with the materials sent from Oxford, the slips gathered at Cornell, and those from the contribution of the volunteer readers and the staff at the University of Michigan, there are in the files of the Middle English Dictionary approximately one million quotations for the 45,000 vocabulary entries that will be necessary to represent the language of the Middle English period. From this material the Middle English Dictionary is continuing to make major changes in the recorded history of a large proportion of English words — the results of synthesizing all our knowledge of English life from 1100 to 1475. Such a new, well-focused, adequate Middle English Dictionary, utilizing all the published documents and resources, is needed not only by students of language and literature, but also by students of law, science, philosophy, history, and government.

From 1930 to 1937 this project at the University of Michigan was financed by funds supplied by the American Council of Learned Societies. The total support received from this source and from the research funds of the University of Michigan was approximately $75,000.

Page  573

Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1929-40.
Knott, Thomas A."The Middle English Dictionary."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 47 (1941): 127.
Weaver, Bennett. "The Romance of Words."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 585-86, 594.


WHEN Avery Hopwood was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1905 he left Ann Arbor with the desire to become a playwright. Throughout the years of his college life he had been interested in writing, and he was no doubt encouraged in his work by Professor Fred N. Scott, his teacher and his friend. Both Scott and Hopwood were active members of Quadrangle, the club that did more than any other at the time to discover and develop the creative capacities of students and faculty. Avery Hopwood's first play, entitled Clothes, was a serious drama written in collaboration with Channing Pollock. It was followed by a large number of dramas, most of them light farces, which made the name of Hopwood known not only in the United States, but also throughout the world wherever the play is looked upon as a source of entertainment.

The fact that his first play was a serious drama may indicate the depth of Avery Hopwood's interest in his writing. At least, one of his friends testifies that his failure to continue to write serious drama was always a source of regret to him. His farces, however, brought him the satisfaction of a large and steadily increasing income, until at the time of his death he was a millionaire. No one knows when he conceived the highly dramatic idea that resulted in the Hopwood awards, but one may surmise that his own experience as a struggling young writer on the Michigan campus had something to do with his desire to make the path of the talented student an easier one to travel.

Upon his death in 1928 he left one-fifth of his large fortune to his alma mater with the proviso that the income from the bequest should be given away each year "to students … who perform the best creative work in the fields of dramatic writing, fiction, poetry, and the essay." The quotation is from his will.

The bequest amounted to $351,069.78. From the income in the ten years ending in June, 1940, the University has given away in prizes for student writing over $90,000. The prizes help to subsidize many talented young students during their years in college. In some instances the awards are large enough to give the students a year or more of leisure following graduation in which they may develop their capacities as writers (see also Part III: Department of Rhetoric). Since the inauguration of the contests in 1931 sixty-three prizes of $250 each have been awarded, two of $300, two of $350, three of $400, eleven of $500, seven of $600, eight of $700, eight of $800, three of $900, sixteen of $1,000, two of $1,200, two of $1,250, one of $1,300, twelve of $1,500, one of $2,000, and two of $2,500. Thirty-six of these prizes are of $1,000, or over. Nowhere else in the Page  574world does a university offer such large prizes in the field of writing.

As an aid in the development of the students' capacities, courses in English composition are offered in the Department of English Language and Literature and in the Department of Journalism. These courses are so arranged that properly qualified students may, if they desire, work under direction every semester of their college course.

To add to the convenience of those planning to enter the contests, the committee in charge has opened the Hopwood Room. Here the students find current magazines, book reviews, critical journals, and a growing library of modern literature. Each month a few books fresh from the press are added to the collection. Here also, in a case by themselves and substantially bound, are all the manuscripts that have so far won awards.

As early as 1931 publishers began to be interested in the results of the Hopwood contests, and they are accepting prize-winning manuscripts in steadily increasing numbers. In the following list the date indicates the year in which the manuscript won an award, rather than the date of publication.

  • Swamp Mud, a play, by Harold Courlander (1931).
  • Whatever You Reap, poems, by Annemarie Persov (1932).
  • "Books for the Dead," a play, by Hobert Skidmore (1933), in: American and English One-Act Plays, Vol. II.
  • Fireweed, a novel, by Mildred Walker Schemm, nom de plume, Mildred Walker (1933).
  • I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, a novel, by Hubert Skidmore (1935).
  • Straw in the Wind, a novel, by Ruth Lininger Dobson (1936).
  • The Stubborn Way, a novel, by Baxter Hathaway (1936).
  • The Well of Ararat, a novel, by Emmanuel P. Menatsaganian, nom de plume, Emmanuel P. Varandyan (1937).
  • The King Pin, a novel, by Helen Finnegan Wilson (1938).
  • Lucien, a novel, by Vivian La Jeunesse Parsons (1938).
  • Fragments for America, poems, by Norman Rosten (1938). This volume, with additions of new poems, won the Yale Poetry Award for 1940 and is published in the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
  • Homeward to America, a volume of poems by John Ciardi (1939).
  • Heart-Shape in the Dust, a volume of poems by Robert E. Hayden (1940).
  • The Loon Feather, a novel, by Iola Fuller Goodspeed, nom de plume, Iola Fuller (1939).

Several of the writers mentioned above have continued to show evidence of productivity. Hubert Skidmore's fourth book, a juvenile entitled Hill Doctor, appeared in the summer of 1939. Ruth Lininger Dobson's second novel, Today Is Enough, appeared in 1939. Mildred Walker's fourth novel, The Brewers' Big Horses, appeared on August 8, 1940. Harold Courlander's second book, Haiti Singing, was published early in 1940.

The large awards are beginning to draw to the University young men and women for whom the art of writing is already one of the serious interests of life and for whom it may become a career. The Hopwood committee hopes that this movement will continue and that eventually the most talented young writers in the country, from freshmen to graduate students, will find their way here. As a result of Avery Hopwood's generous bequest the University should become the center for the development of talent in creative writing.


The Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Awards, Univ. Mich., 1931-40.
Jones, Howard M."Hopwood Awards Lead in Their Field."Mich. Alum., 38 (1932): 465-66.
Page  575[News notes.]Mich. Alum., 37 (1931): 639, 661; 38 (1932): 303, 310, 394, 534; 40 (1933): 41-43; 40 (1934): 287; 41 (1935): 288, 409-10; 42 (1935): 75; 42 (1936): 271-72, 425-26; 43 (1937): 196, 296, 560; 44 (1938): 282, 415-16; 45 (1939): 414, 523; 46 (1940): 468; Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 40 (1934): 83-84.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1928-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1926-40.
Schemm, Mildred W."Two Interesting Hopwood Essays."Mich. Alum., 40 (1933): 59-60, 66.
Weaver, Bennett. "Hopwood Awards Total $5,800."Mich. Alum., 40 (1934): 429-30.
Wells, Carlton F."Freshmen Win Hopwood Awards."Mich. Alum., 40 (1934): 300.


In view of the slow development of the teaching of fine arts in other colleges, it is of interest that instruction in the fine arts was provided for in the very first act establishing the University of Michigan, namely, the Catholepistemiad act of August 26, 1817, prepared by Judge Woodward (see Part I: Early History). Under the professorship designated oeconomica, a department of the fine arts was provided for under the term callitechnia. This was much broader in scope than our traditional concept of such a department, since it envisaged the teaching of all those arts which "require the intervention of taste, genius, skill, a sense of beauty," including such subjects as naval architecture and typography.

In the "act to provide for the organization and government of the University of Michigan" passed by the legislature on March 18, 1837, a professorship of fine arts in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts was included among the thirteen professorships thereby created. The chair of fine arts was not among those occupied by any member of the first faculty when the University opened its doors in Ann Arbor in 1841.

The actual introduction of the teaching of fine arts at the University of Michigan is probably the quaintest on record; the minutes of several meetings of the Regents, starting with that of January, 1849, reveal an interesting story. Alvah Bradish (A.M. hon. '52), a portrait painter of Detroit, while on a visit to Jamaica, sent the University an alligator and some tropical fish, which were duly acknowledged by the Regents. In July, 1851, Mr. Bradish sent in a "memorial on the subject of a Professorship of Art." The Regents took no action upon it, and the memorial remained among unfinished business when President Henry Philip Tappan assumed office in 1852. In August of that year, Bradish was appointed Professor of the Theory and Practice of the Fine Arts, with no compensation, and was allowed "a room in the University buildings for reception of such specimens of art as may pertain to his Professorship." He offered no courses and had no duties, but evidently continued his painting of portraits in Detroit. In recognition of his services to the University, he was awarded an honorary master of arts degree in December, 1852. Six years passed. Some "specimens of art" had found their way to the campus, but evidently not to his room. Henry S. Frieze, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, had begun the fine arts collection of the University in 1855, when he secured an appropriation from the Regents with which to purchase works of art in Europe. In 1858, while Frieze was busy compiling the first catalogue of this collection, Bradish petitioned the President Page  576to be allowed to deliver a course of fourteen lectures on the fine arts, offering the results of his studies. After much deliberation, the Regents grudgingly acceded to his request, voting him sixty-five dollars for "travel and board." The lectures were delivered, but Professor Bradish with some spirit returned the money. In 1861, the senior class asked that he be specially permitted to lecture to them — a recognition which he must have regarded as a triumph. The Regents allowed him $250 for this service, but evidently regretted having done so, for they refused the request of the senior class of 1862 for a similar series of lectures. Finally, to prevent further requests of the kind, the nominal appointment of Alvah Bradish as Professor of the Theory and Practice of the Fine Arts was discontinued in August, 1863.

Henry S. Frieze had received his appointment as Professor of the Latin Language and Literature in the fall of 1854 and served the University for thirty-five years, part of the time as Acting President (see Part I: Frieze Administration). His broad cultural interests extended far beyond the limits of his professorship. In addition to beginning the art collection he brought about the establishment of the professorship of music in the University and led the movement to establish the Ann Arbor School of Music in the town. It was natural that he should introduce some teaching of the history of art into his classroom through his lectures on classical archaeology, which was akin to the history of art as it was then taught. Through him the taste for the fine arts was kept alive. Lectures on the history of Greek art were given to seniors in 1872, and by 1879 Martin L. D'Ooge and Henry S. Frieze were lecturing regularly on classical antiquities (see also Part IV: Department of Greek and Department of Latin). The first graduate seminar on Roman archaeology was conducted in 1891 by Francis W. Kelsey, and the first graduate course in Greek antiquities by D'Ooge in 1892. A classical fellowship which included the study of archaeology had been established in 1889.

Thus did the courses in archaeology and history of art creep in under the wings of the Departments of Greek and Latin. In some colleges and universities it was then thought logical to give courses in Greek art and courses on the work of current excavations in Greek language departments. Aesthetics and even the history of art were taught in philosophy departments in some institutions, usually by the professor of "intellectual and moral" or of "mental and moral" philosophy. In 1892-93 the University of Michigan offered Aesthetics of Renaissance Art as a graduate course in the Department of Philosophy.

Up to that time, courses dealing with the history of art in some American universities had found their way to a permanent academic footing as an outgrowth from essentially practical art departments which at first had used the history courses only as a very general background. When courses in the history of art began to appear separately in college catalogues, professors of other subjects often served as teachers of the new subject. A survey of art in American colleges has revealed that even as late as 1912, eighty-three courses in the history of art, both undergraduate and graduate, were given in departments other than those of the history of art (Smith). Seventy-two of these, including courses in Christian archaeology, medieval and Renaissance art, and Italian painting, were given by classics departments, four by French departments, three by history, two by romance languages, and one each by Biblical literature and Semitic language departments. In 1931-32 there were some fifty graduate courses in the Page  577history of art given under classical departments — many in colleges where recognized history of art or archaeology departments existed. In the establishment of departments of the history of art, the method of approach to the subject matter has varied. Mount Holyoke for many years announced that the historical development of art was to be traced philosophically; Vassar, Wellesley, and Washington University, among others, emphasized appreciation; Cornell announced in 1891-92 that the object of its department of classical archaeology and the history of art was "to place the student in a position to perform independent investigation." Wellesley, with Indiana, followed Harvard in including practical drawing courses as an aid to appreciation. Other colleges disagreed with this program, and the controversy as to whether or not historical courses are aided by practical courses continues an active one.

At the University of Michigan, sporadic instruction in drawing and painting had been available to those interested, both on and off the campus. Miss Alice Hunt in the early years of the present century conducted classes in drawing and painting. Her offerings were announced among the courses in the Department of Engineering, and she conducted private classes which were open to Ann Arbor residents. In 1906, the Department of Architecture was organized within the College (then known as Department) of Engineering, and it was affiliated with the Colleges (formerly Departments) of Engineering and Architecture until the College of Architecture became an independent unit in 1931.

The movement which finally achieved the establishment of the Department of Fine Arts in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts owes much to the combined activities of those interested in both the practical and the historical-theoretical aspects of the subject. Practical instruction in drawing and in ink and color rendering became a part of the curriculum in architecture; later, oil painting and architectural sculpture were added. Historical courses in architecture were included in the subjects required of the student preparing for a professional career in architecture.

The need for the re-establishment of the chair of fine arts in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts was recognized for many years. The Regents had been memorialized on the matter on several occasions before the proposal of September, 1910 — signed by Professors D'Ooge, Kelsey, and Lorch, and Dean Cooley, and naming a candidate — led to the appointment of Herbert Richard Cross (Brown '00, Harvard '01, A.M. ibid. '02) as Assistant Professor of Fine Arts for 1911-12.

After his undergraduate and graduate work in the East, Cross, a New Englander, had completed his studies at the American School of Classical Studies in Rome. He had done practical work at the Rhode Island School of Design and had taught at Brown University, Wellesley College, the University of Illinois, and Washington University, St. Louis. The new Department of Fine Arts was housed in the recently completed Alumni Memorial Hall, and Cross also became the curator of the art collections.

The University Calendar for 1911-12 announced Italian Painting of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries for the first semester, and Roman and Medieval Art and Late Renaissance and Modern Painting in France, England, and America for the second, as well as an introductory course, given each semester, covering the history of architecture, sculpture, and painting from prehistoric times until the present. This program was developed during the eleven years of Professor Cross's administration of the Page  578department to a specialization in the general field of the Renaissance and later periods, leaving the art of Greece and Rome, except as considered in the introductory course, to the courses in classical archaeology offered by the Departments of Greek and Latin.

Books for study and reference and lantern slides for the illustrated lectures were an immediate necessity. Through the years of his administration, Cross, as his budgets permitted, built up the equipment of the department. His main interest, however, was in his lectures, which presently became very popular with the undergraduates. He had an extraordinary command of English, which he used with telling effect. To him, the history of art was primarily a cultural and inspirational subject. He could become sincerely emotional over the Aphrodite of Melos, Chartres cathedral, or a Raphael madonna and could arouse, in many of his students, a genuine enthusiasm for his subject.

In July, 1912, Cross was promoted to a full professorship, which rank he held until his resignation in September, 1922. Though his interest lay primarily in undergraduate instruction, six graduate degrees in fine arts were granted during his administration, five master of arts degrees, and one degree of doctor of philosophy. In 1919 the staff of the department was enlarged by the appointment of Bruce McNaughton Donaldson (Princeton '13, A.M. ibid. '15) as Instructor in Fine Arts. In 1922, Cross was succeeded in the administration of the department by Donaldson. The previous experience of the new head of the department had been divided between curatorial and administrative work in two museums of art and university teaching. He had served as Assistant Curator in the Department of Decorative Arts and in the Department of Arms and Armor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and, later, had been appointed Assistant Director of the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. From 1919 to 1922 he had taught courses on medieval and Renaissance architecture and sculpture in the University.

He regarded the problem at the University of Michigan as essentially an undergraduate problem,* and, with a definite plan of reorganization in mind, studied the program of courses and rearranged the material to suit better an enlarged curriculum. The character of the instruction was materially changed. The courses continued to be announced in the annual catalogues as fine arts, but the subject matter became the history of art. The collection of lantern slides was enlarged from about five thousand to approximately twenty-five thousand items in the years 1922-37.

Miss Adelaide Alice Adams ('20, A.M. '21), who had served for some years as Assistant and Teaching Assistant, was appointed Instructor in Fine Arts in 1924.

In October, 1928, the Carnegie Corporation of New York made a grant to the University of $100,000, divided into five equal yearly payments, for the development of fine arts. Professor John G. Winter, of the Department of Latin, was appointed administrator of the fund and in January, 1929, was made, in addition to his other duties, Director of the Division of Fine Arts. The Director was placed in charge of graduate instruction in fine arts. In May, 1936, the title of the Division of Fine Arts was changed to Institute of Fine Arts (see Part VI: Institute of Fine Arts).

The general introductory course deals with the rise and development of the fine arts from prehistoric times to the Renaissance. Page  579A more detailed consideration of the Early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic monuments is presented in two advanced courses. The Renaissance is studied in three courses: one in the Renaissance in Italy, one in the Renaissance in France, and one in the Renaissance in Spain and the Lowlands. An introductory course in Eastern art similar in purpose and character to the general introductory course in Western art is also available. The two remaining undergraduate courses cover American art and modern European art. These courses offer the student the opportunity of including a cultural subject in his program of electives, and the completion of all these courses enables him to pursue graduate work with a preparation equal to the requirements of the graduate school of any American university.


Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1844-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
"Developing the Student's Artistic Taste."Mich. Alum., 33 (1927): 587-90.
Donaldson, Bruce M."Developments in the Modern World … Fine Arts."Mich. Alum., 34 (1928): 403-7.
Editorial. Univ. Argonaut, 1 (1882): 83.
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hiss, Priscilla, , and Roberta Fausler. Research in Fine Arts in the Colleges and Universities of the United States. New York: Carnegie Corp., 1934.
"The Lost Chair."Univ. Chronicle, 1 (1867): 102-3.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940. (P.R.)
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
Smith, Earl B.A Study of the History of Art in Colleges and Universities of the United States. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1912.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Page  580


THE teaching of geography at the University of Michigan is of some years' standing. Geography started as a single course within the Department of Geology, acquired the status of a separate grouping of courses within that department, and finally embarked on a separate career. Since its inception the Department of Geography has had a distinct place in the development of the subject in the United States. Various members of the staff, former and present, have been among the leaders in geographical thought, each contributing to the advancement of some special phase or to the clarification of philosophical ideas within the field as a whole.

The Department of Geology. — In 1906, Professor William H. Hobbs came to the University of Michigan as head of the Department of Geology, following the death of Professor Israel C. Russell (see Part III: Department of Geology). Professor Russell had already set the seal of approval upon geography by publishing a series of books on various aspects of the physical geography of the continent of North America. In 1895, The Lakes of North America appeared, followed in 1897 by The Glaciers of North America and The Volcanoes of North America and in 1898 by The Rivers of North America. In the early part of the twentieth century, the Appleton Company was issuing a series of regional studies of the world, and at the suggestion of Professor Richard E. Dodge of Columbia University, Professor Russell was asked to prepare a volume on North America. This volume, with the title North America (1904), was the first formal geographical treatment of the physical characteristics of the continent in one volume. Professor Hobbs came to the University of Michigan with a record of noteworthy achievement in the realm of the physical aspects of geography, particularly in the study of glaciers. After a lapse of a few years, the first course in the nonphysical aspects of geography was offered in the Deparment of Geology in 1912-13, when Frank Carney, Acting Professor of Geology, gave a course entitled Geographic Influences, and a seminar, Geographic Topics. Irving Day Scott, then Assistant Professor of Physiographical Geology, gave a course entitled General Geography in 1914-15. He later developed courses in meteorology, but has remained with the Department of Geology, in which he now holds a full professorship.

The Department of Geology and Geography. — In 1915-16, the Department of Geology became the Department of Geology and Geography, and Carl Ortwin Sauer (Central Wesleyan '08, Ph.D. Chicago '15) was called to teach geography exclusively, following the completion of special training in that subject for his doctor's degree. The division, or rather double-naming, of the Department of Geology and the coming of Sauer mark the real beginning of the teaching of geography at the University.

In 1916-17, the offerings in geography were enlarged. Scott gave a course in physiography, and Sauer offered Commercial Geography, Geographic Influences in American History, General Geography — Influence of Environment on the Conditions and Activities of Men, and Geography of North America. It is interesting to note that two of Sauer's courses dealt with "influences," in accordance with a tradition in American geography. In addition to the foregoing work, he introduced a type of course that Page  581is important in any approach to the subject of geography, namely, a field course. With minor changes this array of studies continued for six or seven years. The World War brought a new course, Strategic Geography, which was described in the Catalogue as "a study of defences and of movement, engagement, and maintenance of armies." This was dropped shortly, but the work of the department was increased by field work which was introduced in the elementary general course, the Catalogue stating that there would be "excursions after Easter, Wednesday afternoons." Dr. Sauer also offered a course designed especially for teachers. Dr. Hobbs gave Topographic Map Reading in 1917-18, a course which was designed primarily for students who were "looking forward to military training."

The next important changes in the geographical branch of the Department of Geology and Geography were the coming of Kenneth Charles McMurry (Wisconsin '15, Ph.D. Chicago '21) from the University of Chicago and the establishment of the summer field camp in Kentucky in 1920 and the introduction of Sauer's course, Geography of Michigan, in 1921 (see p. 583). The course on the geography of Michigan, now carried on by Professor McMurry, was an important addition to the offerings in geography, for it was a forerunner of much of the land-planning work in the state and of the significant work of the Department of Geography in connection with that planning.

Darrell Haug Davis ('03) joined the geographical division of the Department of Geology and Geography in 1920 and taught for several years, first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor. In 1921-22 McMurry was teaching the Geography of South America and Sauer the Geography of the Settlement of America. In the following year Sauer introduced another course of far-reaching significance — Land Utilization. This course, like the one on the geography of the state, helped in the formulation of guiding principles in studying the problems of the cutover lands of northern Michigan.

The Department of Geography. — Before 1923 instruction in geography had grown from a single course in the Department of Geology to fourteen semester and four summer courses given by three men, with a semi-independent status within the department. Then a radical change took place; the instruction in geography was organized as a separate department, effective with the academic year 1923-24. Sauer was called to head the newly created department at the University of California, D. H. Davis went to direct the geography department at the University of Minnesota, and Kenneth C. McMurry, who then held an assistant professorship, took over the administration of the new department at the University of Michigan. In addition, Preston Everett James (Harvard '20, Ph.D. Clark '23) came from his graduate studies at Clark University to accept a position as Instructor, and Robert Burnett Hall ('23, Ph.D. '27), a graduate student at Michigan, also became Instructor in Geography.

The department tentatively reduced its instruction in 1923 by omitting three courses which had been given by Professor Sauer — the Geography of Michigan, the Geography of the Settlement of America, and Land Utilization — although the descriptions of these courses continued to appear in the annual Catalogue. McMurry continued teaching the elementary course and James took over the course on South America, the study of a phase of that continent having been his specialty while working on the doctorate.

Hall and James were instructing in the elementary course, of which it was noted Page  582in the Catalogue: "The first part of the course deals with the elements of the physical environment and the influences which these elements exert upon the life and activities of man." McMurry reorganized the course in land utilization, and it was given again. James taught a new course, Climates of the World, which formed the natural beginning of the development of another important phase in the geographical work at the University, for climate was coming to be recognized as the very base of a systematic approach to the study of geography.

The year 1925 marks a critical point in the development of geography in the United States, for in that year Professor Sauer published a kind of inaugural dissertation at the University of California, "The Morphology of Landscape." This article furnished a point of departure for many younger geographers, who were beginning to revolt against the rigid dogma of what has been called the "influence school." After that date there were important changes marking the acceptance of the new orientation, both in the general field of geographical study and within the department. At the University of Michigan Sauer had laid the foundation for much of the University's further development of geographical instruction, and at the University of California he issued a challenge to geographers in the United States which was not without weight in shaping the development of the study of geography in the department which had formerly claimed him.

Stanley Dalton Dodge (Chicago '22, Ph.D. ibid. '26) joined the staff of the department as an instructor in 1925. The word "influence" was omitted from the formal announcement of the introductory course. McMurry, who advanced to the full professorship in that year, revived the course on the geography of Michigan and inaugurated one on the geography of North America. James, then an assistant professor, offered Tropical Geography, a course which was soon dropped.

The content of the introductory course reflected the effect of Sauer's article, "The Morphology of Landscape," upon the "geographical philosophy" of the department, the course description in the Catalogue of 1926-27 reading in part as follows: "This course deals with the character and distribution of the elements of geographic landscape." The study of "landscape" was spreading in the department, for in the same year Hall introduced the Geography of Asia, and Dodge, the Geography of Europe. A list of related courses in botany, business administration, economics, forestry, and geology in the Catalogue of the same year indicated that the Department of Geography was beginning to discover affinities with other departments. It seems to have been difficult to settle on a formula for the introductory course, for in the following year the announcement was worded anew: "This course provides an elementary knowledge and understanding of the areal distribution of man and his material works, and of the habitats wherein these works were evolved."

The difficulty in formulating a description of the content and purposes of the elementary course led the department to review the entire history of geography as a formal subject, from 600 B.C. to the present, and the course, History of Geography, by Dodge, was begun in 1928. In the next year he offered the Distribution of Population for the first time, laying the foundations for the fuller study of some of the "human" aspects of geography. Ideas germinating in the department were further advanced when, in 1931, Hall began a course named Settlement (the basis for much of the subsequent work in human geography) and James introduced the short-lived course, Urban Geography.

Page  583Geography Summer Field Station. — In the summer of 1920 the Summer Field Station was established at Mill Springs, Kentucky, where field courses in geology were also given. The camp was under the direction of C. O. Sauer in the years 1920-23 inclusive, and then of George M. Ehlers, of the Department of Geology, through 1935, when the Kentucky station was discontinued. During the sixteen years several members of the geography staff, with their assistants, took large numbers of students into the field for preliminary training in field geography. McMurry, James, and Hall, with the assistance of Kendall, Davis, and others, organized the field work after the first years, during which it was in the hands of C. O. Sauer. Since 1935, the geography field work has been carried on in summer camps in the northern part of Michigan, under the direction of McMurry and with the assistance of Charles M. Davis.

Present staff, and research. — In 1940 the personnel of the department, in addition to Professors McMurry, James, and Hall and Associate Professor Dodge, included Assistant Professors Henry Madison Kendall (Amherst '24, Ph.D. Michigan '33) and Charles Moler Davis ('25, Ph.D. '35). McMurry has continued his work in land utilization, and is now recognized as one of the leading authorities on the study of geography as a necessary basis for any practicable plan for the proper utilization of the land. James, specializing in the geography of South America, has become a leading authority in that field. Hall, with interests centered in the study of the geography of Japan, has received wide recognition for his intensive studies of Japanese settlements, and Dodge has continued his studies of the geographic aspects of population and is receiving recognition for them. Kendall has carried on field work in France and Belgium and has been widely recognized for some of his climatic studies, and Davis is continuing field studies in Colorado on the basis of the successful completion of a preliminary study of a small section of the Rocky Mountains. Along the lines indicated by the principal activities listed above the Department of Geography has settled down to a service of usefulness in the study of the various aspects of the "landscape" of the world and of its significance in the solution of problems of interest to man.


Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1906-14.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
Ehlers, George M."Interesting Kentucky Is Laboratory for Geologists and Geographers."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 748-49.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
"Geography — A New University Department."Mich. Alum., 30 (1924): 421-23.
Geology and Geography Field Courses in Kentucky, Summer Session, Univ. Mich., 1921-34.
"Helping the Farmer with Map and Transit."Mich. Alum., 30 (1924): 1140-41.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1906-40.
"Putting Farmland on the Operating Table."Mich. Alum., 31 (1925): 635-37.
Page  584


The Department of Geology Before 1906

THE Department of Geology is, as regards the time of its founding, one of the oldest departments in the University, for as early as October, 1839, the Regents appointed as Professor of Geology and Mineralogy Douglass Houghton (A.M. and M.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute '29), a geologist of distinction and an outstanding personality. The appointment was made without salary stated, and service was to begin when his work for the state survey of Michigan, on which he was then engaged, should be concluded.

Although in the first printed list of the faculty his name comes second, immediately after that of Asa Gray, Professor of Botany, yet, like Gray, he never actually taught classes in the University, for on October 13, 1845, with his survey work still uncompleted, he was drowned from a Mackinaw boat during a storm on Lake Superior.

About a year before Dr. Houghton's death the Board of Regents appointed an assistant to him in the person of Silas Hamilton Douglass (A.M. hon. Vermont '47). Houghton's unoccupied chair was at this time the professorship of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology, and Douglass was an assistant to the Professor of Chemistry. It is not clear just when the actual teaching work in geology was started, for Douglass' primary interest was throughout in chemistry. Douglass' title was many times expanded. In 1845-46 he was Lecturer in Chemistry and Geology; in 1846-47, Professor of Chemistry and Geology; in 1847-48, Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology; in 1850-51, Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Medical Jurisprudence; in 1851-52, Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Jurisprudence, Geology, and Mineralogy. Whatever the title, chemistry appears to have absorbed the greater part of his attention (see Part III: Department of Chemistry). After 1855, when his connection with the professorship of geology ceased, he became Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, Pharmacy, and Toxicology.

Throughout the decade that Douglass conducted the work in geology, it seems to have been restricted to a single three-hour course offered in the last term of the senior year. In 1855 Alexander Winchell (Wesleyan '47, LL.D. ibid. '67), who had been appointed Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering in November, 1853, and had taken up his duties in the University in January, 1854, was transferred to a newly formed chair of natural history. At this time his training had been in mathematics, and his geological experience had been limited to the collecting of fossils in the South with Professor M. Tuomey of the University of Alabama. Since the natural history work occupied a portion only of his time, Winchell taught also elementary mathematics and served as Secretary pro tem of the Board of Regents, though this position he resigned in 1856. In 1859 he was appointed state geologist of Michigan for one year and in 1869 again for two years. In 1859, when he received from the survey a salary of $1,000 for six months' work (Merrill, p. 207), he requested of the Board of Regents the appointment of an assistant to take over his teaching for these months, and the request was granted, though he retained his full University salary.

Although the training in geology of Page  585Dr. Winchell was very deficient, he was a man of remarkable capacity for work, and while he continued to lecture and write on many subjects outside his field of teaching, he eventually became widely recognized as a leader in geological science. The Geological Society of America was founded in 1890, and in 1891 Winchell was elected the second president of the Society in immediate succession to Professor James D. Dana of Yale University. He was an orator of great power, and his lectures to classes reflected this ability rather more than instructional quality. Filibert Roth ('90), former head of the Department of Forestry, was a student in Professor Winchell's classes, and once related to the author that Professor Winchell would enter the classroom, open his text at random, and, his eye alighting upon some word, would make this the text of his lecture. Soon quite absorbed in abstraction, he would be oblivious to the fact that students were slipping away, some by the door and others by the windows. He was also subject to moods in his contacts with students. Harry B. Hutchins ('71, LL.D. '21), afterwards President of the University, related how he went to Professor Winchell and expressed a desire to prepare for a geological career. Winchell was in a happy mood and mapped out the work, so that Hutchins went away enthusiastic. When Hutchins next saw his professor, Winchell's mood had changed, the incident of the earlier meeting had been forgotten, and the student was discouraged from such a course. "So near," said President Hutchins, "did I come to the career of a geologist."

In 1865 a two-year curriculum in mining engineering was offered (R.P., 1864-70, p. 108), and a few students in that field were later actually graduated. In 1875 the state legislature was memorialized and passed an act to provide for a School of Mines to be located at the University, with professors of mining engineering, metallurgy, and architecture and design, together "with the necessary assistant instructors." The sum of $8,000 was appropriated for salaries and $2,500 for equipment for each of the two years 1875-76 and 1876-77. William Henry Pettee (Harvard '61) was appointed Professor of Mining Engineering, and Silas H. Douglas,* Professor of Metallurgy. Financial support was not continued beyond this two-year period, and though Pettee and Douglas gave the courses for two more years, the project was then given up. The lack of continued support from the legislature was due in part to the rivalry between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of the state, and in part to the lack of confidence in the University, and especially in its Professor of Metallurgy, occasioned by the Douglas-Rose scandal within the Department of Chemistry (see Part I: Douglas-Rose Controversy). A School of Mines was located in 1885 at Houghton in the Upper Peninsula.

Almost from his arrival at the University in 1854, Dr. Winchell became involved in a bitter controversy with Dr. Tappan, the President, and was charged by the latter with attempts to oppose his authority and obstruct his policies.

In 1873 Dr. Winchell accepted a call to the chancellorship of Syracuse University. Three years before his departure, that is, in the summer of 1870, Mark Walrod Harrington ('68, A.M. '71, LL.D. '94) had been appointed Instructor in Mathematics and Assistant Curator of the Museum of Natural History, but with the title changed in June, 1872, to Instructor in Geology, Zoology, and Botany. When Winchell departed for Syracuse the Regents called to his chair Eugene Woldemar Hilgard (Ph.D. Heidelberg '53) from the University of Mississippi. His title was Professor Page  586of Geology, Zoology, and Botany. Harrington was at the same time promoted to the rank of assistant professor in the same three departments. Thus, for the first time at the University, the Department of Geology was provided with a staff of two who were making it their special line of teaching. This earnest of a stronger department was to prove disappointing, for the next year Harrington was transferred to the Department of Zoology and Botany, and Hilgard himself within two years had accepted a call to the University of California.

For the two years 1875-77 the chair of geology was to remain vacant. In the meantime Pettee continued as Professor of Mining Engineering, and though Joseph B. Steere was made Assistant Professor of Paleontology in 1876, he did no teaching in geological science. In 1877 the Regents appointed Dr. Pettee Professor of Geology in charge of Mining Engineering, and for the next two years he was to conduct the mining engineering work.

In 1879 Dr. Winchell was called back to the University as Professor of Historic Geology and Paleontology, and the title of Dr. Pettee was then changed to Professor of Mineralogy and Economic Geology. Winchell's title the following year was changed to Professor of Geology and Paleontology, and this chair he held until his death at Ann Arbor on February 19, 1891. Professor Pettee had continued to give courses in economic geology and in the geology of the United States. Thus, for the second time, the department included more than one teacher. Winchell gave a course in elements of general geology (lectures two hours weekly and oral exercises one hour additional) throughout the year; one in paleontological investigations (three to five hours weekly) throughout the year; the teachers' course in the elements of geology (two hours weekly), and a course in mining engineering (five hours weekly) throughout one semester.

When Winchell died in February, 1891, William Hittell Sherzer ('89, Ph.D. '01) was teaching at Houghton. He was called as Instructor in Geology and taught the geology courses for the three months still remaining. At the June meeting of the Board of Regents he was reappointed with the same title for the year following (1891-92). He introduced two new courses: Macroscopic Petrography and Microscopical Mineralogy and Petrography.

In May, 1892, Israel Cook Russell (C.E. New York University '72, LL.B. ibid. '97) was called to succeed Professor Winchell, with the title of Professor of Geology. At first he offered but three courses: Elements of Geology (a three-hour course throughout the year), Physical and Glacial Geology (a three-hour course), for one semester, and Paleontology, likewise a three-hour course for one semester. Later he offered four courses each semester, but most of these were not given, and, in fact, could hardly have been given satisfactorily by a one-man department without even an assistant.

The Department of Geology from 1906 to 1940

During the second semester of 1905-6 Professor Russell died, and in the late summer William Herbert Hobbs (Worcester Polytechnic Institute '83, D.Eng. ibid. '29, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '88, LL.D. Michigan '39) was appointed Professor of Geology and Director of the Geological Laboratory in the University. With his appointment there began a very notable expansion of the work in geology. When he entered upon his office the department occupied two rooms in the attic of the old Museum Building (now the Romance Language Building) with an exhibition room and a share, with other Page  587departments, in the lecture room on the first floor of the building. During the year Irving Day Scott (A.B. Oberlin '00, Pd.B. Albany State Normal '01, Ph.D. Michigan '12), who was then pursuing his work in the department and was afterward advanced through the several grades to become Professor of Physiographical Geology in 1930, was appointed as an assistant. At the Regents' meeting of September, 1907, Ermine Cowles Case (Kansas '93, Ph.D. Chicago '96) was appointed Assistant Professor of Historical Geology and Paleontology, and in succeeding years instructors were added to the department to teach other branches of the science.

In the year 1905-6, 131 students had been enrolled in the department. When Professor Hobbs retired, in 1933-34, there were ten members of the instructional staff, including two professors, three associate professors, four assistant professors, and one instructor, with a number of assistants, and the enrollment of students in the department was 1,035, of which number seventeen were in the Graduate School. The department had taken over ample quarters for its work in 1915 in the new Natural Science Building.

In 1907 Irving D. Scott was appointed Instructor in Geology. He developed courses in physiography, including Meteorology. He also conducted large freshman classes in introductory geology and in 1935 took charge of the work in physical geology.

Rolland Craten Allen (Wisconsin '05, A.M. ibid. '08) was appointed Instructor in Geology to develop the work in economic geology in 1908, and this work he carried on for a year and then became state geologist of Michigan, but he continued to give lectures on certain special phases of economic geology until 1913.

To find room for the expanding department within the antiquated Museum Building the geological collections upon the first floor were crowded closer together, and a part of the space was converted into a laboratory for the students. Small offices were also found for some of the staff in this room.

In 1908 Frank Leverett (Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts '85, Sc.D. hon. Michigan '30), distinguished glacial geologist and long a member of the United States Geological Survey, was appointed to the staff as Lecturer in Glacial Geology, and in that capacity he conducted lectures and took charge of excursions until 1928, when he retired from the department.

Up to the year 1906, or during the first sixty-seven years of the history of the Department of Geology at the University, the instruction in geology was carried on either entirely by one professor, other departments sometimes utilizing a part of his time, or, for brief intervals (1871-73 and 1879-91), by two men of whom one gave full time to it and the other only part time. During Professor Russell's incumbency, which terminated with his death in 1906, he labored without assistance.

In the study of geology at the University of Michigan there is imposed a certain heavy handicap in the fact that all save the latest of geological formations are buried deep under glacial deposits. The rocks of the earth constitute a large part of the equipment of any geological laboratory, and to find them exposed one must go far from the University. Even some of the simplest of geological processes are illustrated in the vicinity only by abnormal examples. This handicap has been met in part for the elementary courses by extended excursions and by newly devised laboratory apparatus. For the advanced students the handicap is particularly serious, for they must undertake their individual Page  588studies of geological problems by time-consuming and extended journeys to somewhat remote areas.

The instructional work within the growing department was organized upon a plan to meet the needs of different classes of students. There were, first, general introductory courses which constituted a part of the liberal education, for the freshmen and for upperclassmen, the latter course conducted by the head of the department and required for certain groups of engineering students and for all forestry students. There were courses for teachers of earth science in secondary schools. To meet the needs of students who were planning to take up economic geology, an intensive undergraduate course was provided with curriculums arranged at some sacrifice of cultural courses, but with concentration on special lines of economic geology, particularly oil geology and geology of the metals and nonmetals. Graduates in these curriculums were given a special certificate in geology and have been very successful in obtaining positions, particularly in the large field of oil geology. Built upon the introductory courses of the department were the advanced courses for the training of professional geologists in the several fields of structural, dynamical, glacial, and economic geology and paleontology.

After the resignation of R. C. Allen in 1909, Charles Wilford Cook ('04, Ph.D. '13), who had been acting as an assistant in the Department of Mineralogy, was appointed to carry on the work in economic geology. He advanced to the rank of professor in 1925 and was especially successful in training men within his field, as clearly shown by the positions they have occupied. His lamented death occurred in 1933.

In 1919 George Marion Ehlers ('13, Ph.D. '30) joined the staff as Instructor and gave especial aid in the assembling and care of the geological collections, as well as in developing courses of instruction in invertebrate paleontology. His advancement to his present rank, the associate professorship, came in 1934.

Up to the year 1912 the subject of geography had not been taught in the University. However, as the need for such work became increasingly apparent, Carl Ortwin Sauer (Central Wesleyan '08, Ph.D. Chicago '15) was appointed to the staff of the Department of Geology in 1916. The name of the department was at the same time changed to the Department of Geology and Geography. Having been promoted in 1918 and again in 1920, Sauer was appointed to a full professorship of geography in 1922. Kenneth Charles McMurry (Wisconsin '15, Ph.D. Chicago '21) was added to the staff as Instructor in Geography in 1920 and was made Assistant Professor in 1921. In 1923 Preston Everett James (Harvard '20, Ph.D. Clark '23) was added to the staff as Instructor in Geography, and in the same year, when Professor Sauer resigned, Dr. McMurry became acting head of the newly organized Department of Geography, made up of all the geography work previously under the joint Department of Geology and Geography (see Part III: Department of Geography).

To secure for all students of the Department of Geology and Geography that important field training which is a first essential, a Summer Field Course in camp was established in 1920 at Mill Springs, Kentucky, with Case in charge of the courses in geology and Sauer in charge of those in geography. Sauer was in 1920 appointed director of the camp. In the next year George M. Ehlers took charge of the courses in geology, and in 1924 he became director of the camp in place of Professor Sauer. In 1924 Irving D. Scott took charge of the courses in physical geology at the camp and for Page  589many years thereafter conducted the work. The Summer Field Course was continued in connection with the Department of Geography at the Mill Springs station in Kentucky until the summer of 1936, when the camp was divided. At this time the Geology Field Course was established at State Bridge, Colorado, with Ehlers as director and with Belknap and Eardley added to the staff of instruction.

Russell Claudius Hussey ('11, Ph.D. '25), Associate Professor of Geology since 1931, became a member of the instructional staff of the department in 1921 to teach general and historical geology. After 1929 he carried the courses in historical geology independently and developed an introductory course in paleontology. From 1931 to 1936 Hussey served as Assistant to the Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, in an advisory capacity to students, though continuing a part of his work in the Department of Geology. He also developed strong courses in the extension work of the University.

It was in 1921 that Laurence McKinley Gould ('21, Sc.D. '25) was appointed Instructor in General Geology, and he was an associate professor at the time of his resignation in 1932; his last four years were spent on leave in connection with exploring expeditions, the latest that of the first Byrd antarctic expedition. In 1932 he became Professor of Geology and Geography at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota.

Miss Ellen Burden Stevenson ('20, M.S. '30), later Mrs. George M. Stanley, entered the department in 1923 as Instructor in Geology, was raised to an assistant professorship in 1931, and resigned to take up other work in the University in 1933. For a considerable time preceding this retirement from the department she had given but half time to her geological work.

In 1924 Walter A. Ver Wiebe (Cornell '13, Ph.D. ibid. '18) was made Instructor in General Geology, and retained this position until 1927, when he resigned to become Professor of Geology in the Municipal University at Wichita, Kansas. Ralph Leroy Belknap ('23e, Sc.D. '29), who joined the department in 1923 as Instructor and has been Associate Professor since 1939, has devoted his time to general geology, and especially to geological field surveying. Lewis Burnett Kellum (Johns Hopkins '19, Ph.D. ibid. '24) was in 1928 appointed Instructor in Paleontology and Petroleum Geology. His work in Mexico previous to his appointment had directed his attention to the structural problems there, and he returned during the summers for successive years, either alone or with colleagues and assistants from this or other universities. He attained his present rank of associate professor in 1937.

In 1928 the University Museums Building was completed, and the collections of fossils were moved to that building. Those members of the staff directly connected with paleontology were given quarters in the new building, which left much-needed space in the Natural Science Building. With this additional space and with new facilities it became possible to provide long-needed instruction in paleobotany, and Chester Arthur Arnold (Cornell '24, Ph.D. ibid. '29) took charge of this work, dividing his time between the Museum of Paleontology and the Department of Botany.

In the planning of the Natural Science Building, provision had been made for instruction in soil geology, and in 1927 Maurice William Senstius (M.S. '19, Sc.D. '28) took charge of that work and was later advanced to Assistant Professor. In 1930 Armand John Eardley (Utah '27, Ph.D. Princeton '30) was appointed Instructor to teach some of the courses in general and economic geology Page  590during Gould's absence in the antarctic. Upon the latter's resignation in 1932 Eardley became a permanent member of the staff, with his work largely in the field of structural geology. He has held an associate professorship since 1939. It was in 1930 also that George Mahon Stanley ('28e, Ph.D. '32) was appointed Instructor in General Geology, to continue certain courses in glacial geology formerly taught by Leverett.

In 1934, when he reached the compulsory retirement age of seventy years, Hobbs was made Professor Emeritus of Geology and was succeeded by Case as head of the department. The same year Thomas Seward Lovering (E.M. Minnesota '22, Ph.D. ibid. '24) was appointed to take charge of economic geology, work in which had been carried by other members of the staff since the death of Cook in 1933.

Extensive graduate work within the department has been carried on only within the last thirty years. Up to 1906, when the period opened, but two master's degrees and two of the doctorate of philosophy had been conferred — one of the latter on Mary E. Holmes in 1887 and the other on W. H. Sherzer in 1901. Even after the expansion had begun, it was of necessity a considerable number of years before the degrees could be conferred upon those who had been working in the department. Within this period and for some years thereafter, or until the department included a fair number of mature scholars, students were quite generally advised to continue beyond the master's degree at the better-equipped universities elsewhere. From the beginning, however, the degree of master of science or master of arts within the department was given only after a considerable amount of graduate work and upon completion of a thesis approved by the department. These theses in many cases have been of such value as to warrant their publication as definite contributions to the science.

Research and Exploration

Of scholarship there has been no lack among the occupants of the chair of geology. Dr. Houghton, who, although he did no regular teaching, contributed to the geological collections and was a distinguished geologist of the pioneer period.

Dr. Winchell, though he had come to the University without training in geology and was probably better known through his lectures and writings as an orator and a great popularizer of science, contributed in important ways to the geology of the state. When state geologist, he worked out the basin structure of the Paleozoic formations of the Lower Peninsula and the stratigraphy of the Marshall group of the Mississippian. To the geological journals he contributed articles on more general problems of the science. His published books and papers make up a list of titles which covers thirteen pages; the wide range of topics includes education, religion, and administration.

His better-known books were Preadamites (1880), Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer (1881), World Life (1883), and Walks and Talks in the Geological Field (1886). Winchell's writings and lectures, more than those of any other representative of science in America, were responsible for the growing liberality of thought toward the great doctrine of evolution.

It is probably not widely known that Dr. Winchell started the regular recording of daily meteorological observations at the University of Michigan, a pioneer in this respect for the country. Winchell's series, begun in New York in 1848, were reported to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. In 1854 his request to the Regents was approved to make these observations regularly at the University Page  591with his own instruments (R.P., 1837-64, p. 575).

Mark Walrod Harrington, Instructor in Geology, Zoology, and Botany in 1872, became in 1879 Director of the Detroit Observatory at the University and started its series of meteorological observations, founded the American Meteorological Journal in 1884, and became Chief of the United States Weather Bureau in 1892 (see Part III: Meteorological Instruments and the Teaching of Meteorology).

Hilgard, who had held the chair of geology from 1873 to 1875, had, in contrast to Winchell, gone through a rigorous technical training and held an earned degree of doctor of philosophy. He thus represented somewhat more of the solid reputation in scholarship. A specialist in soils, his complete bibliography is very extensive, and includes 243 titles. This pre-eminence in scholarship was recognized by the conferment of the honorary degree of doctor of laws by the Universities of Mississippi, Michigan, Columbia, and California, by a gold medal from the Academy of Sciences in Munich, and by election to the National Academy of Sciences.

Russell, who succeeded Winchell in 1892, was a pioneer explorer-geologist of the Great Basin region of the West; he became a specialist of wide reputation on glaciers and was the author of a wide range of semipopular books on North American Lakes (1895), Glaciers (1897), Volcanoes (1897), Rivers (1898), and on North America with Reference to Its Geography (1904). His Quaternary History of Lake Lahontan, published by the United States Geological Survey, is a quarto monograph of 288 pages and forty-four plates, and his correlation paper on the Newark System, also issued by the United States Geological Survey, is a comprehensive monographic report of 344 pages.

He was in 1906 elected president of the Geological Society of America. His published papers number 122. He led two scientific and climbing expeditions to Mount Saint Elias, arrived near its summit on the second expedition, and pointed out the route to the Duke of Abruzzi, who finally succeeded in reaching the summit. In the exploring field Dr. Russell was a member of the Transit of Venus expedition of 1874 to New Zealand and Kerguelen Island in the Antarctic; in 1878 he took part in the government surveys west of the one-hundredth meridian (Wheeler Survey), in 1880-83 in surveys of the Great Basin region for the United States Geological Survey, from 1885 to 1888 in studies of the southern Appalachians, and in 1889 in exploring work for the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey along the northeastern boundary of Alaska. In 1902, after the grand eruption of Mount Pelée, he went with the National Geographic Society's expedition to the scene of the disaster.

The research work of Professor Hobbs before coming to the University was largely in the field of structural geology and petrography, with nearly a score of field seasons in western New England for the United States Geological Survey. After entering upon his duties at the University it has been within the field of dynamical geology, with emphasis on earthquakes, glaciers, and atmospheric circulation in its relation to continental glaciers. He has published four treatises: Earthquakes (1907), Existing Glaciers (1911), Earth Evolution (1921), and The Glacial Anti-cyclones (1926); a textbook, Earth Features (1912 and 1931); two narratives of exploration, Cruises Along ByWays of the Pacific (1923) and Exploring About the North Pole of the Winds (1930); a war history, The World War and Its Consequences, with an introduction by Theodore Roosevelt (1918); three biographical works, Leonard Wood (1920), Page  592Peary (1936), and Explorers of the Antarctic (1941); and also government and other reports and monographs. His published papers number 264 titles. Hobbs was in 1922 exchange professor at the University of Delft and in 1931 Russel lecturer at the University of Michigan (see Part II: Research Club). He is a member of the American Philosophical Society. He organized and led three scientific expeditions to Greenland from the University in 1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29, and was director of another in 1930 — all chiefly for the study of glacial and meteorological conditions.

Professor Case has done his principal research work in the field of vertebrate paleontology, which has required collection of the material on exploring trips in various areas of the western United States. In all, no less than thirty of these arduous collecting expeditions have been carried through, and in 1923 he traveled throughout the world for study of Permian areas. Professor Case is today an authority on the vertebrate life of the Permian and Triassic ages. The published material has been brought out in eight monographs by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. These have been: No. 55, Revision of the Pelycosauria; No. 145, Revision of the Cotylosauria; No. 146, Revision of the Amphibia and Pisces of the Permian; No. 181, Permo-Carboniferous Vertebrates of New Mexico; No. 207, The Permo-Carboniferous Red Beds; No. 283, Environment of Vertebrate Life in the Late Paleozoic; No. 321, New Reptiles and Stegocephalians from the Upper Triassic; and No. 375, Environment of Tetrapod Life in the Late Paleozoic of Regions Other than North America. His published papers are represented by 144 titles. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and was Russel lecturer at the University in 1934. He was in 1929 president of the Paleontological Society of America.

Frank Leverett, for a score of years (1908-28) Lecturer on Glacial Geology, is an outstanding authority on the Pleistocene glaciology of North America. This has been recognized by his election to the American Philosophical Society and to the National Academy of Science and by the conferment upon him of the honorary degree of doctor of science by the University of Michigan in 1930. His greater monographs, all published by the United States Geological Survey, include The Illinois Glacial Lobe (1899), Glacial Formations and Drainage Features of the Erie and Ohio Basins (1902), and (with Frank Taylor) The Pleistocene of Indiana and Michigan and the History of the Great Lakes (1915). His published papers number 170 titles.

Charles Wilford Cook (1908-33), Professor of Economic Geology, was a specialist on deposits of salt, oil, gas, and molybdenum minerals and published some nineteen scientific papers.

Laurence McK. Gould (1921-32), Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor in the department, has played an important part in scientific exploration. He was geologist and second-in-command of the first University of Michigan Greenland expedition (1926), geographer and topographer and second-in-command of the Putnam arctic expedition (1927), and senior scientist and second-in-command of the first Byrd antarctic expedition (1928-30).

Lewis B. Kellum, Associate Professor of Paleontology (1928 — ), has directed six scientific expeditions to Mexico in the years 1930 to 1935. They have been devoted to a geological study of eastern Durango, southern and southwestern Coahuila, the San Carlos Mountains, and northern Zacatecas. The expeditions have been financed by grants from the National Research Council, the Geological Society of America, and the University of Michigan. Geologists from the faculties Page  593of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, and Rochester universities, and Michigan State, Rutgers, and Texas Technological College have taken part in these expeditions. Kellum's most important contributions are: "Paleontology and Stratigraphy of the Castle Hayne and Trent Marls in North Carolina" and "Evolution of the Coahuila Peninsula, Mexico."

Ralph L. Belknap, Associate Professor of Geology (1923 — ), has made four expeditions to Greenland, all sponsored by the University of Michigan. He was a member of the first expedition (1926), in charge of surveys, second-in-command of the second (1927) and third (1928) expeditions in like capacity, and he led the Michigan-Pan-American expedition to northwest Greenland in 1932.

Irving D. Scott, Professor of Physiographical Geology (1906 — ), is a specialist in the study of lakes and of dune formations. His scientific papers comprise eleven titles.

George M. Ehlers, Associate Professor of Geology (1914 — ), has specialized in Paleozoic paleontology and is credited with sixteen scientific papers.

Thomas S. Lovering, Associate Professor of Economic Geology (1934 — ), has studied especially the rocks of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, structurally and with regard to the ore deposits. His published papers number twenty-nine titles. The most important are: "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Breckenridge Mining District, Colorado," and "Theory of Heat Conduction Applied to Geologic Problems."

In view of the importance of the mineral deposits in the Upper Peninsula of the state, early made known by Douglass Houghton, the small development of the geological sciences at the University during its first half century is remarkable. For this there are several causes. A lack of confidence arose out of the Douglas-Rose scandal within the Department of Chemistry, for Douglas was in charge of all the geological work for the first ten years and for an even longer time for the work in mineralogy. However, the rivalry between the two peninsulas of the state and the location of the mineral deposits within the Upper Peninsula developed a local pride which was only satisfied when the School of Mines was finally established at Houghton, more than forty years after the founding of the University. This, as well as the location of the State College of Agriculture at the state capital, caused a division of state appropriations and a diversion of federal support when the Morrill Act was passed in 1865.* The needless triplication of personnel and laboratory equipment which these unwise decisions of the state legislature brought about, greatly handicapped Michigan and Iowa, which had much the same experience, among the state universities.

Page  594

"Addresses at Memorial Services in Honor of Dr. E. W. Hilgard …"Univ. Calif. Chronicle, 18 (1916): 159-90.
"Alexander Winchell, an Editorial Tribute" [with bibliography]. Amer. Geol., 9 (1892): 71-148.
Belknap, Ralph L."A Winter in Icebound Greenland."Mich. Alum., 39 (1933): 563-64.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Case, Ermine C."Hobbs Builds Department of Geology."Mich. Alum., 41 (1934): 105-6.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1843-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
"Eulogium of Alexander Winchell."Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., 3 (1892): 56-59.
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Geological Field Courses …, Summer Session (title varies), Univ. Mich., 1935-40.
Geology and Geography Field Courses in Kentucky, Summer Session, Univ. Mich., 1921-34.
Hinsdale, Burke A.A History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Hobbs, William H."Israel Cook Russell."Mich. Technic, 20 (1907), No. 1: 1-4.
Hobbs, William H."A Michigan Expedition to Greenland."Mich. Alum., 32 (1926): 395-97.
Hobbs, William H."The First Greenland Expedition of the University."Mich. Alum., 33 (1926): 51-55.
Hobbs, William H."The Second Expedition to Greenland."Mich. Alum., 34 (1927): 187-91.
Hobbs, William H."The Third University of Michigan Greenland Expedition."Mich. Alum., 35 (1928): 95-99.
Hobbs, William H."Laurence Gould — Antarctic Explorer."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 315-16.
Hobbs, William H."Exploration in Greenland."Mich. Alum., 37 (1931): 585-86.
Hobbs, William H."Greenland Expedition on Way Out."Mich. Alum., 40 (1933): 8.
Houghton, Douglass. Geological Reports of Douglass Houghton, First State Geologist of Michigan, 1837-1845. Ed. by George N. Fuller. Lansing, Mich.: Mich. Hist. Comm., 1928.
Kellum, Lewis B."Michigan Scientists Go Exploring."Mich. Alum., 37 (1930): 145-46.
Merrill, George P. (Ed.). Contributions to a History of American State Geological and Natural History Surveys. Washington, D. C.: Govt. Prtg. Office, 1920. Pp. 203-31.
[News notes.]Univ. Record, 1 (1891): 12-13, 35-36; 1 (1892): 84; 2 (1892): 20; Mich. Alum., 26 (1920): 232; 27 (1921): 606; 30 (1924): 392-93; 31 (1925): 521-22, 673; 32 (1926): 575, 630; 33 (1926): 158; 33 (1927): 635; 34 (1927): 14, 153, 199, 241; 34 (1928): 482, 697, 795-96; 35 (1928): 84, 211; 35 (1929): 480-81, 595, 761; 36 (1929): 159; 38 (1932): 286; 45 (1939): 260; 46 (1940): 499.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1940.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Smith, Eugene A."Memorial of Eugene Woldemar Hilgard" [with bibliography]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., 28 (1917): 40-67.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)
Willis, Bailey. "Memoir of Israel C. Russell" [with bibliography]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., 18 (1907): 582-92.
Page  595


AMONG American institutions the University of Michigan has always been prominent in the cultivation of the German language. It was early recognized that German ranked in cultural and practical value with the classical languages, and it came to be considered almost axiomatic that some knowledge of the language was necessary for every well-educated person. Until the time of World War I the enrollment in German was larger than that in any of the other modern languages, and, under the direction of a long succession of able and enthusiastic teachers, it exerted a powerful influence upon the educational program of the state.

The first evidence of any interest in modern languages in the University of Michigan is afforded by the appearance of the name of Louis Fasquelle, Professor of Modern Languages, in the Catalogue of the year 1846-47. During his first two years on the faculty his teaching was confined to one course in French. It was only one-third of a year long (one term), but was ordinarily required for graduation, as were all the courses listed. There were then no electives indicated, or even alternative curriculums. The French course was extended to two terms in 1848-49, at which time, according to the Catalogue, one term of Spanish and one of Italian were also taught. The latter two courses were replaced by German in the fall of 1849. That this pioneer work before 1850 was highly esteemed, however slight it may now seem, is to be seen from the Regents' annual report to the superintendent of public instruction for 1849:

It deserves to be particularly noticed, that they [the Regents] have introduced a system of extensive and efficient study in Modern Languages, running through the whole course, which will make all students acquainted with most of the modern languages of Continental Europe, and particularly the French, Spanish, Italian, and German. In Eastern Colleges, the Modern Languages are but an incidental study, during one or two terms of certain classes; and that, by students only who may elect them in preference to other branches. In this respect, our University possesses superior privileges; and meets, more extensively and efficiently, the wants of our educated youth, than any of our older Colleges. It is a new feature in College studies, and particularly appropriate to our Western States, filling up with a foreign population from nearly all the different nations of Europe.

(R.S.P.I., 1849, pp. 34-35.)

It may well be doubted that this exactly represented the situation, however, for in our own time it is only a very exceptional student who acquires much knowledge of a foreign language in two-thirds of a year, and the catalogues do not confirm the statement that instruction in modern languages ran "through the whole course."

Louis Fasquelle, 1849-62. — In 1849-50, when German made its appearance, the total amount of modern language work was comprised in two terms of German (junior year) and two terms of French (one term in the sophomore and the other in the junior year). Spanish and Italian were not offered again for nearly twenty years.

The increasing recognition of the importance of scientific studies led in 1852 to the introduction of a scientific course. Three terms each (an entire year) of French and German were required, and students in the classical course were also Page  596obliged to offer three terms of French, but only two of German. The more informative Catalogue of that year tells us what was done in the three terms:

  • First term: Grammar — Oral and written exercises in translating from English into German and from German into English.
  • Second term: Grammar continued — Oral and written exercises in German. Translation from German into English.
  • Third term: Grammar continued — Oral and written exercises on the idioms of the language. Schiller — Wilhelm Tell.

From this it would appear that the ground actually covered was about the same as, or a little less than, that which we at present cover in two semesters of a beginning class.

Fasquelle became Professor of Modern Languages and Literature in 1854-55. The same year, students in the classical course were obliged to include three terms of German, and when the University changed to the semester system in the fall of 1856, the requirement in each language remained at one year. In 1857, the German textbook prescribed was Woodbury's Method, and the students were still reading Wilhelm Tell in the second semester. It would seem that Fasquelle did not vary his work greatly. German became an elective subject for all students in 1855, although French remained as a requirement.

In 1858, courses approved for residence work by candidates for the master's degree were listed; these courses were selected from the regular undergraduate work. Among these were Fasquelle's lectures in French literature (first semester) and in German literature (second semester), which were the requirements in modern languages.

Edward P. Evans, 1862-70. — On the death of Fasquelle in 1862 Edward Payson Evans ('54) became an instructor and after a year was appointed to the professorship of modern languages. While carrying on advanced studies in Germany, he had developed an enthusiasm for the Prussian school system. He gave the details of the work in modern languages as follows — the first evidence that Germanic philology had reached Michigan:

The subjects taught in this Department embrace:

  • 1. The French and German languages.
  • 2. French and German literature.
  • 3. The general principles of Comparative Philology.

The method of instruction comprises translations, written and oral exercises, examinations and lectures. The following textbooks are used: Fasquelle's French Method; Fasquelle's Colloquial Reader; Dumas' Napoleon (Fasquelle's edition); Racine and Molière; Douai's German Grammar; Adler's German Reader; Adler's Handbook of German Literature.

(Cat., 1863-64, pp. 44-45.)

Students in the scientific course (see Part I: Tappan Administration) were required the next year to take four semesters of French, but only two of German, and Otto's German Grammar took the place of Douai's. A further semester of German was added in 1866-67 as an elective for students in the scientific course. Professor Evans listed some twelve books of reference:

In connection with the Lectures on Comparative Philology and Modern Literature, the following books of reference are recommended as most accessible to the student: … Dwight's Modern Philology, Max Müller's Science of Language and Survey of Languages, … the Works of Renan, Rask, Pictet, Nodier, and Wilhelm von Humboldt.

Until Evans' resignation in 1870 the requirements in both languages for those in the classical course remained at two years, with four semesters of each language for the scientific course. Evans also gave lectures on German literature.

George S. Morris, 1870-79. — George Sylvester Morris (Dartmouth '61, Ph.D. Page  597hon. Michigan '81) became Professor of Modern Languages in 1870, and under his direction the program of readings in German seems to have varied from year to year in the more advanced work. For example, in 1871 the senior students in the scientific course read Schiller's Wilhelm Tell and the Geschichte des dreissigjährigen Krieges.

The number of students was somewhat increased through the addition of civil engineering students in the fall of 1872 and students of mining engineering in February, 1874, but there was no addition to the amount of the language offered. The younger men in the department usually remained but a year or two and seem to have been compelled to divide their time between German and French. That the conception of the relative difficulty of texts was somewhat different from that of the present day is shown by the fact that in 1874 students in the classical course read Goethe's Faust in their second semester, while Wilhelm Tell was considered a logical text for the fourth. It must be borne in mind that the preparation of students was very different from that in our own day; in the forties all aspirants to the bachelor's degree had a thorough training in formal grammar and long practice in Latin and Greek.

Although the Calendar of 1874-75 was the first to contain a reference to the degree of doctor of philosophy, no graduate courses were available to students in German. The age of specialization had not yet arrived; anyone with linguistic training was eligible to teach several languages. Alfred Hennequin and Paul R. B. de Pont (see also Part II: Office of the Registrar; Part IV: Department of Romance Languages) appeared for years in the Calendar as teachers of both French and German, and Edward Lorraine Walter ('68, Ph.D. Leipzig '77), of the Department of Latin, not only taught modern languages as well as Latin, but subsequently became head of the Department of Modern Languages.

The advanced work (that is, the third and fourth semesters of study) in German consisted at that time of Goethe's Iphigenie and Dichtung und Wahrheit, O. Brosius' Schiller und sein Verhältniss zu dem Publikum seiner Zeit, Niebuhr's Tales of Greek Heroes (for translation into German), and lectures.

Calvin Thomas ('74, A.M. '77, LL.D. '04) became Instructor in Modern Languages in 1878-79. At that time the first-semester courses consisted of beginning German (four hours) and Emilia Galotti (five hours); and German plays, Goethe's Faust, and Geschichte der deutschen Literatur were studied in the second semester. There was no required work in modern languages for the degree of bachelor of arts, but for that of bachelor of science and for the bachelor's degrees in engineering (civil engineer and mechanical engineer), two semesters each of French and German were required, and for the bachelor of letters, four semesters each of French and German.

Edwin L. Walter, 1879-87. — Morris was succeeded in 1879 by Walter as Professor of Modern Languages.

A two-hour lecture course on the science of language by Thomas was included in the program, and two years later a further addition to the courses was offered — Herder's Geschichte der Menschheit.

The amount of work in German was gradually increasing, eighteen hours being offered in the first semester of the year 1883-84 and fifteen in the second.

Calvin Thomas, 1887-95. — The work in French and German was divided in 1887-88; Walter was made Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Thomas became Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. The first notice in the Calendar of a seminar course Page  598in German appeared at this time. A short course in Gothic was also listed, and scientific German was introduced, so that now a total of thirty-nine hours of work was offered during the year. About this time Swedish and Norwegian in alternate years were first offered by Thomas, one hour a week throughout the year. This broadening of the program was carried further in 1889, when Alexis Frederick Lange ('85, Ph.D. '92), Instructor in German and Anglo-Saxon, taught courses in Middle High and Old High German, and Thomas gave seminars in German literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The courses in Old High German were taken over in 1890 by George Allison Hench (Lafayette '85, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '89), Instructor in German. Max Winkler (Harvard '89, Ph.D. '92) was at that time appointed Instructor in German and offered successive courses in literature of the Reformation and lyric poetry, and Professor Thomas added to his other work a seminar for teachers and courses in linguistic science and the history of German literature.

In May, 1891, Hench was made Assistant Professor and in 1891-92 gave a course in German grammar from a historical and comparative point of view. During the same year Thomas tried the experiment of giving a course in Old Icelandic. In addition to two years of preliminary work thirty-three hours of advanced work were now offered each year.

The instructors in German appointed at about that time were Jonathan August Charles Hildner ('90, Ph.D. Leipzig '99) in 1891, Ernst Heinrich Mensel (Carthage '87, Litt.D. ibid. '20, Ph.D. Michigan '96) in 1892, and Tobias Johann Casjen Diekhoff ('93, Ph.D. Leipzig '99) in 1893.

Old Saxon was added to the schedule in 1894, and appeared at intervals in the Calendar from that time on.

With the establishment of the separate Department of Engineering in 1895, two sections in beginning German for engineering students were formed. These classes were taught by Diekhoff, who also gave advanced courses in descriptive prose and scientific German. Until the spring of 1928, however, modern language instruction in the College of Engineering was independent of that in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

George A. Hench, 1895-99. — While Professor Thomas was absent on leave in 1895-96, he accepted a call to Columbia University, and George Allison Hench, then Acting Professor of German, succeeded him in the headship of the department. Ernst Voss (Ph.D. Leipzig '95) returned as Instructor; and Edwin Carl Roedder ('93, Ph.D. '98, Litt.D. '38) entered the department with an assistantship. Winkler at that time gave a course in Faust, through both semesters, but no Scandinavian was offered that year, although in 1896-97 Hench, as Acting Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, offered courses in Gothic and Old Norse. He was appointed to a full professorship in the spring of 1897, and in the next year's Calendar special work for prospective teachers was first specifically announced. Warren Washburn Florer (DePauw '90, Ph.D. Cornell '97) and John Edward Lautner ('95, M.L. '96) were made instructors in German, and with the growth of the department two more were added in the fall of 1898, Ewald Augustus Boucke (Ph.D. Freiburg '94) and Ernst J. Fluegel. The name of George Hempl ('79, Ph.D. Jena '89, LL.D. Michigan '15) first appeared that year in connection with the Department of German, although his work was not specified. He subsequently offered in the Department of English a course in phonetics which was also listed with the Page  599work in German. Courses in Old Saxon and German folklore were offered. The amount of advanced work beyond the junior grade had now reached twenty hours a week.

George Hempl, 1899-1900. — In August, 1899, Professor Hench was killed in an accident, and George Hempl, Professor of English Philology and General Linguistics, was temporarily placed in charge of the Department of German. He entered actively into the teaching, giving courses in Gothic, modern German sounds, methods of teaching German, and German syntax.

Max Winkler, 1900-1929. — In the spring of 1900, Max Winkler was made Acting Professor of German and was given temporary charge of the department; two years later he was appointed Professor of the German Language and Literature. The same two years saw the appointment of Herbert DeWitt Carrington (Yale '84, Ph.D. Heidelberg '97), Carl Frederick Augustus Lange ('94, Ph.D. '03), Carl Eggert (Iowa '86, Ph.D. Chicago '91), and John William Scholl ('01, Ph.D. '05), all as instructors. The advanced work in the department was rising continually and in 1902-3 amounted to sixty-eight hours. A course in Old Icelandic, by Boucke, indicated a revived interest in Scandinavian, which, however, was not given again until 1907.

The first official mention of extracurricular faculty activity was made in the announcement of the department for 1903-4, as follows:

Journal Club. — Meetings of instructors and advanced students of the German Department are held every two or three weeks throughout the year, at which reports are made of important contributions to German philology and literature.

(Cal., 1903-4, p. 74.)
Departmental notices also attested the growing importance of the training of teachers. "The requirements of the teacher's diploma in German is twenty-five hours of work in the Department selected after consultation with the professor in charge" (Cal., 1905-6). By this time Hildner, Boucke, Florer, and Eggert had been advanced to assistant professorships; and Diekhoff had been appointed Junior Professor. Throughout this period, because of a growing interest in German, instructors were added from time to time, and by 1909 there were seven sections for freshmen, ten for sophomores, and seven for juniors, with fifty-five hours of electives for upperclass and graduate students. In 1912 Boucke received a full professorship. In 1911 he had developed a course in Norwegian literature in English, the only work offered in Scandinavian for the next fourteen years. Throughout this period instructors changed rapidly. Among appointments wasthat of Fred B. Wahr ('12, Ph.D. '15) in 1912 as an instructor.

With the advent of the first World War a feeling against study of the German language and culture spread throughout the country, but was not immediately apparent in the University. In 1916-17 the twelve staff members were teaching nine freshman sections and nine sophomore sections, in addition to many advanced classes. The following year, however, the enrollment dropped to three freshman sections and seven sophomore sections, and three members of the faculty, Eggert, Florer, and Boucke (who had retained his German citizenship) left the University faculty. Frederick William Peterson (Lake Forest '11, A.M. Michigan '16) was transferred from an instructorship in the Department of Engineering English to a similar position in this department in 1916. After a year he became Instructor in Rhetoric. By 1918 Wahr was in military service, and as a result of the various changes, only three men — Winkler, Diekhoff, and Hildner — remained, and only a few sections in elementary Page  600work and twelve hours of senior and graduate work were offered each semester. Work in Scandinavian fell to zero once more; it did not benefit by the misfortunes of its sister language as did the Romance languages. Enrollment fell from a peak of 1,300 to less than 100.

During the first postwar years, return to the study of German was very slow, though there was sufficient development to justify a gradual increase in the faculty. Wahr returned to become Assistant Professor in 1921, and Scholl in 1922 became Associate Professor. During the years 1923 and 1924, however, an increasing number of elementary students necessitated the appointment of five new instructors, among whom was Arthur Van Duren, Jr. ('23, Ph.D. '30), and a further increase in enrollment by 1925 allowed the appointments of Norman Leroy Willey (Syracuse '08, Ph.D. Michigan '25) as Assistant Professor and of Walter Albert Reichart ('25, Ph.D. '30) and three others as instructors.

In 1925-26 the faculty consisted of two professors, two associate professors, two assistant professors, and seven instructors. Work in beginning German was again offered in the second semester. Scientific German became an alternative in the third and fourth semesters, thirteen hours of optional work was offered in the junior courses, and the advanced work totaled twenty-four hours. Courses in Norwegian and Old Norse were again undertaken. The journal club was revived in 1926. Almost every year there was an increase in the number of instructors, among them one of the present members of the staff, Philip Diamond ('22, A.M. '27).

John W. Eaton, 1929-35. — John Wallace Eaton (A.M. Dublin '12, LL.B. Saskatchewan '23, Litt.D. Dublin '29) was called from the University of Saskatchewan in 1929 to become Professor of German and Chairman of the Department, following the retirement of Professor Max Winkler, who died on March 14, 1930. The German staff in the Department of Modern Languages in the College of Engineering had been consolidated with that of the department in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and in this way three new members were added to the faculty: Alfred Oughton Lee (M.S. Berlin '94, M.D. ibid. '98), Professor of Modern Languages, Edmund Wild (Texas '03, M.S. ibid. '09), Associate Professor of German, and Aloysius Joseph Gaiss (Alfred Univ. '18, Ph.D. Michigan '29), Assistant Professor. In 1929-30 the work in the department included nineteen sections of beginning German, with two extra off-semester courses; ten sections of sophomore German; six sections of junior work; four extra hours of electives; and ten hours of graduate electives. Ten hours' work in Scandinavian was also offered each semester. The following year there were twenty-four sections of beginning German, and this continued growth in enrollment necessitated the appointment of five more instructors. Willey became Associate Professor, and Reichart and Van Duren were advanced to assistant professorships.

There was a decline to seventeen regular sections of freshman work in the autumn of 1932, an effect of the financial depression. Although the enrollment gradually increased after its lowest point in 1933, the retrenchment in the number of courses continued. During the year 1935 Professor Tobias J. C. Diekhoff and Associate Professor Edmund Wild were taken by death.

Henry W. Nordmeyer, since 1935. — Henry W. Nordmeyer (Ph.D. Wisconsin '14), of New York University, became Professor of German and Chairman of the Department of German in 1935. Since then the enrollment has increased, and the work has been expanded. Page  601There were 1,035 students enrolled in the department in 1939-40.

Methods of instruction. — German instruction in the University of Michigan has, of course, been exposed to the various pedagogical fads of the teaching profession and of educational experimenters during the course of nearly a century, but the sane views of the various heads of the department have always prevented great excesses. With prudent conservatism the department has kept in mind the fact that this is an American institution, hence the main objective of the instruction is a reading knowledge of the German language.

In Professor Fasquelle's time there was little to distinguish the teaching of ancient and of modern languages; both were impressed upon the student's mind by dictionary, grammar, and written work, whereas conversation was practically ignored.

With Evans, Thomas, and Hench, Germanic philology was stressed and the interrelations of English and the foreign language were emphasized. Under Hempl's brief chairmanship German phonetics assumed major importance and a good pronunciation was considered the principal essential of any serious work. The direct-method system of instruction reached the University of Michigan shortly after the new century began, but Winkler's conservative attitude prevented its being carried to extremes in the German classrooms.

The present tendency to treat a modern language as a mere incidental in the cultural pattern of the foreigners who speak it — to relegate German linguistic instruction to the position of an orientation course in German civilization — has at present no advocates in our corps of instructors.

The faculty of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures has included the names of a considerable number of outstanding scholars. Edward P. Evans lived abroad after his resignation and became a scholar and littérateur of acknowledged importance, writing with equal facility books in German and in English, e.g., Evolutional Ethics and Animal Psychology (1898), Beiträge zur amerikanischen Literatur- und Kulturge-schichte (Stuttgart, 1898).

Professor Calvin Thomas was in his day perhaps the best-known Germanic scholar in America, and his Complete German Grammar still remains the outstanding textbook in its class. He was especially proficient in his work on Goethe and was a pioneer among American scholars in employing the Weimar archives. His edition of Faust was his most important contribution in this field, although his Tasso and Hermann und Dorothea give abundant evidence of his accuracy and erudition.

George Allison Hench was a distinguished philologist and research scholar of his day, already recognized on both sides of the Atlantic, although he was only thirty-three at the time of his death. His great contributions to philology are the Monsee Fragmente and Der althochdeutsche Isidor, but his name also appears under many articles in scholarly publications of his time.

Max Winkler was a worthy successor of such men as Thomas and Hench, and his great erudition is evidenced by his meticulously annotated editions of many German classics, for example, Emilia Galotti, Egmont, Wallenstein, and Iphigenie.

Jonathan A. C. Hildner, whose retirement came in 1938, leaves behind him the record of a long career of inspirational teaching and the remembrance of a fatherly interest in his students. Professor Hildner also was the author of many books and articles, of which the most notable is, possibly, his scholarly edition of Götz von Berlichingen.

Page  602Tobias J. C. Diekhoff also long occupied an important position on the staff and is remembered with affection by many old graduates. His best book was his annotated edition of Nathan der Weise.

Several of the men on the staff who gained no especial recognition from publications in the field of Germanic studies were nevertheless most efficient in their classroom work and contributed much more than their share to the popularity of the department. Among these may be mentioned Ernst Heinrich Mensel, a genial and genuinely loved instructor, who was later a well-known professor at Smith College.

A good number of those whose names appear but transitorily on our faculty lists have attained great distinction in the field elsewhere: Professor Thurnau (University of Kansas), Professor Hollander (Texas), Professor Boucke (Heidelberg), Professor Weigand (Yale), Professor Roedder (New York University), and Professor Lussky (Arkansas).

The total number of advanced degrees in German through June, 1940, was 243. Of these 41 were degrees of doctor of philosophy and 202 were master's degrees — 2 of philosophy, 1 of science, and 199 of arts.

The range of subjects treated in the department in the days of Winkler comprises in itself a liberal education. For example, in the second semester of 1909-10 twenty-six distinct German courses for seniors and graduates were offered. These included work in Hauptmann, Arno Holz, Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Hebbel, two courses in Middle High German, Old High German, Old Saxon, German art and culture of the nineteenth century, the history of German literature, conversation and composition courses, a teachers' course, four proseminars, and the history of the German language.

All this suffered an abrupt change under the influence of the political events of the years 1914-18, and the department has never completely recovered the proportional enrollment it formerly enjoyed, although it has been directed by competent scholars and has received sympathetic support from the University authorities. The present unbalanced enrollment in favor of the elementary courses, which the University has in common with most American universities, is probably caused largely by the fact that entering students usually present themselves without any preparation in the language.


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