This Week in Princeton History for February 10-16

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a local farmer is making use of the waste from the outhouses, badminton debuts on campus, and more.

February 10, 1881—A report to the Board of Trustees notes that a local farmer is emptying the outhouses and taking the excrement to use as manure. (See Volume 6 of the Board of Trustees Minutes.)

February 12, 1891—Prof. Cyrus Brackett gives a lecture on electricity with a demonstration of battery-operated electric lights at Second Presbyterian Church to a large audience.

February 14, 1936—Princeton debuts badminton on campus in a tournament in Dillon Gym.

Princeton University Badminton Club, ca. 1930s. Historical Photograph Collection: Campus Life Series (AC112), Box LP59, Image No. 3890.

February 15, 1960—The New York Times reports that Orange Key’s planned fund-raising dance, advertising “One Hundred Dates to Be Sold,” has been cancelled due to phone calls from angry mothers of the women from Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, who were unwittingly being offered for “sale.” The Centenary College students have decided not to attend.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 14-20

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a member of the Class of 1801 walks 20 miles round trip to attend a memorial for George Washington, a class is lit with electric lamps, and more.

January, 14, 1800—John Johnston, Class of 1801, walks with other Princeton students to Trenton to hear Samuel Smith’s oration on the life of George Washington. Attendance is so large that many, including the students, have no seats and stand for the three-hour ceremony that includes Smith’s address. “To walk ten miles going and ten miles returning, and to stand on our feet nearly three hours, was not a small day’s labor. It will be believed, that when we reached the college we were excessively fatigued and hungry, for we had no opportunity to get anything to eat during the day.”

Samuel Stanhope Smith’s address at the Trenton memorial for George Washington, January 14, 1800. Office of the President Records (AC117), Box 253.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 2-8

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the nation mourns Claiborne Pell, the Triangle Club loses their rehearsal space, and more.

January 2, 1884—Physics professor Cyrus Brackett testifies as an expert witness in a lawsuit between American Bell Telephone Company and the Peoples Telephone Company, one in a series known as the “telephone cases” in which the Supreme Court will rule on who should own the inventor’s patent to the telephone.

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Cyrus Brackett, undated. Historical Photograph Collection, Faculty Photograph Series (AC059), Box FAC12.

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