This Week in Princeton History for November 15-21

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Blair Hall gets a new electric clock, Noah Webster gives a Princetonian credit for an idea, and more.

November 16, 1899—The Alumni Princetonian notes that a clock has been installed on the Blair Hall tower and will be powered by electricity.

Blair Hall (without a clock), ca. 1897. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP04, Image No. 69.

November 18, 1821—Noah Webster writes that he showed his first spelling book to Samuel Stanhope Smith at Princeton in 1782 while on his way to Philadelphia to seek his advice. Smith advised breaking up the syllables so people would understand how words are pronounced.

November 17, 1887—The Princeton Dramatic Association presentsWeak Woman” and “Larkins’ Love Letters.”

November 21, 1849—Seniors Joseph Hedges, Aldus J. Neff, Ibzan Jefferson Rice, and John J. Foreman are all suspended for “disorderly conduct in barring the entries of North College & ringing the Bell last night.” As Pennsylvania’s Washington Reporter will explain, “Some mischievous students embraced the opportunity when the Faculty and tutors were attending the inauguration of Dr. Alexander, to barricade the doors and windows and ring the bell. The Faculty were soon on the spot, and caught some of those engaged, four of whom were dismissed.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for April 30-May 6

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the College of New Jersey takes a step toward becoming a university, a woman is named Dean of the College for the first time, and more.

May 1, 1989—The economics department is polling students about their experiences with sexism alongside the usual questions on course evaluations at the direction of chair Richard Quandt ’52, but students and faculty are confused about the motivations behind the survey.

May 2, 1879—The Princetonian reports that, in “One step towards a University,” “A medical Department has been started at the Halsted Observatory.”

Halsted Observatory, undated. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD05, Image 8669.

Continue reading