Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections >> Mildred Allen papers, 1865-[ongoing]
Mount Holyoke College seal
Mildred Allen papers, 1865-[ongoing]
41 boxes (17.1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0502 (LD 7092.8 Allen)

Allen, Mildred, 1894-1990; Physicist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1918-1959. Papers contain correspondence, writings, research, teaching records, financial and legal records, family papers, biographical information, memorabilia, and photographs; chiefly documents her correspondence with her grandfather, Hiram Hadley, and parents, C. Frank Allen and Caroline H. Allen, pertaining to her education, academic career, and family matters.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Mildred Allen was born on March 25, 1894 in Sharon, Massachusetts to C. Frank and Caroline Hadley Allen. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1916, a Master of Arts in 1918 and a Ph.D. in 1922 from Clark University. She taught for brief periods at Mount Hoyoke, Wellesley, and Oberlin before she became chairman of the Physics Department of Mount Hoyoke from 1946-1952. After her retirement in 1959, Allen continued to teach at other institutions, and continued her research in collaboration with Erwin J. Saxl. Mildred Allen died on November 4, 1990 in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mildred Allen Papers contain correspondence, published and unpublished writings, research materials, course records, financial and legal records, family papers, biographical material, memorabilia, and photographs. The correspondence represents both her personal relationships and her professional career. Of particular note are letters from her grandfather, Hiram Hadley, written between 1900-1922, describing his life in New Mexico, family news, and his work as a teacher. Also of interest are the letters written to her mother Caroline H. Allen and those from her sister, Margaret Allen Anderson, discussing family news and her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. Many of the correspondence focus on her accomplished academic career and research, beginning with her experiences as a student at Vassar College, 1912-1916; followed by her graduate work at Clark University where she worked with renowned physicist A.G. Webster, 1916-1922; and her post-graduate studies at Yale University with physics professor W.F.G. Swann and later work under his direction with the Bartol Research Foundation, University of Delaware, 1926-1930. Further correspondence describes her teaching experiences at various institutions, including Mount Holyoke College, where her colleagues included Roswell Gray Ham, Elizabeth R. Laird, Roger D. Rusk, and Frederick A. Saunders. Finally, there are letters between Allen and Erwin J. Saxl concerning their collaborative research on torsion pendulums, 1963-1981. The research materials consist of lab reports including notes, graphs, and data measurement spanning from her graduate work to later notebooks of study on various effects on torsion pendulums. The course records primarily consist of physics exams ranging from introductory courses to advanced studies given at Mount Holyoke. The collection also includes materials relating to her childhood in Boston, her social life, readings, health and relationship with her parents. Also includes papers of her father's, C. Frank Allen, a railroad engineer and professor, 1865-1950. These papers primarily consist of professional correspondence between 1883-1955 and documents regarding the publication of his books.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Mildred Allen Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Summary of Correspondence, 1897 - 1948
Early Years 1897 - 1912

Mildred grew up in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, the daughter of a Professor of Railroad Engineering at M.I.T. Her sister, Margaret, was about a year younger, and there was also a little sister, born in 1899, who died in 1903. The collection of letters of family and friends starts with a letter dated October 24, 1897 from cousin Carrie; Mildred's first letter is dated October 19, 1900 when she was about six and a half years old. Her letters describe family outings, visits from relatives, shopping expeditions, concerts like the Boston Symphony, Sunday School and church, sometimes a "giddy" trip like one to Revere Beach (August 16, 1908). The family usually summered at the shore although in 1911 all four went abroad, and one summer they visited Grandfather Hadley in New Mexico.

Both girls studied music (Mildred studied the piano) and by their high school years were called upon to perform at fairs and socials. Mildred chose carpentry in school rather than cooking. She had a camera and did her own developing and printing of the photographs which she took. Both hobbies readily provided Christmas gifts, which the girls usually made themselves. There was sewing and embroidery, dancing school, skating. Mildred liked school. She was a great reader; her favorite books, she wrote, were read many times (May 15, 1910).

Although the correspondence includes letters to and from relatives and friends, Mildred's chief correspondent was her grandfather, Hiram Hadley, former teacher and president of the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts at Las Cruces, New Mexico, and who was known as the father of education in the State (Nov. 28, 1915). They had a formal signed contract which started in 1905 agreeing to write to each other on a regular basis. His letters describe life in New Mexico - his educational interests, his home and farm where he grew melons, pears and other fruits. He liked to send Mildred questions and puzzles for her to figure out. One of his pet subjects was the importance of good writing and he was a stern taskmaster in reviewing her grammar, style and punctuation. Mildred's first letter was addressed to him (Oct. 19, 1900).

The letters from this period provide a nice contrast between the life of a girl growing up in a well-to-do Boston suburb and that of her grandfather living in the Southwest near the Mexican border.

Vassar College 1912 - 1916

The letters from this period begin on September 19, 1912 and continue until May 28, 1916. Twenty-five letters dated during Mildred's first nine days at Vassar (Sept. 18-29) attest to the extent of this correspondence. Although many of the letters are written by Mildred, they also include those of all the immediate family, relatives, friends from high school and from Vassar, high school teachers; some of the letters are in French. The contract with her grandfather continued; indeed she wrote (Feb. 21, 1915) that she never wished to give it up. The family was close and both parents wanted to know all about Mildred's life at college. Her mother frequently sent lists of very detailed questions which Mildred was to answer. She was especially concerned with Mildred's clothes, her laundry and her health. Fear of colds seemed always present and Mrs. Allen liked to send on information about one of her favorite remedies, like ginger plaster.

Margaret entered the New England Conservatory of Music at the same time that Mildred went off to Vassar. Her letters are of special interest since they give fine detail about the life of a music student - her courses and lessons, recitals, Conservatory faculty members, teaching violin to her own pupils, the rigors of commuting - as well as her involvement with the church and the cultural life of Boston. Helen McAuslan (Mount Holyoke '17) was a friend of Margaret and there are a number of references to her during this period.

Mildred from the very beginning showed great enthusiasm for her academic work. Her major interests were physics and mathematics but she also enjoyed English writing, German and psychology. She had an excellent record - all A with the exception of one sophomore course - and she was one of seven to be Junior Phi Bete (she wore her key under her dress April 18, 1915). She was a good organizer and kept careful record of how many hours she spent on assignments, but she also found time to read, most of it serious literature, although several times she had to read again her favorite book, Ramona. She liked challenging teachers; she wrote she was "wild over Miss Richardson" in Mathematics, who died of cancer during her senior year. She had several physics courses with Frederick Saunders who taught at Mount Holyoke from 1942-1948. Calling on faculty as well as on other students was a common custom.

Mildred lived in Davison for the first three years and then in Main for her senior year. She frequently entertained at tea, attended lectures and concerts, church and meeting, took Bible classes, was an enthusiastic walker and tennis player. And she clearly kept up an extensive correspondence. There are very few references during this time to the war in Europe or to current affairs.

The letters from these four years provide a rich source of information about the experiences of an exceedingly bright young woman who gobbled up the opportunities which Vassar offered.

Graduate Studies and First Teaching 1916 - 1922

Awarded a Vassar fellowship, Mildred chose Clark University for her graduate work largely because of her wish to work with Professor A. G. Webster there; its proximity to her family in Boston, however, was an added advantage. She arrived in Worcester in September, found a room and started work on a Master's degree in Physics which she received in 1918. She had a congenial circle of friends, many of whom enjoyed the out-of-doors as she did and she was active in the Friends Meeting and taught a class of adults in the Sunday School. During her second year at Clark (1917-1918) the draft claimed many of her fellow graduate students. Webster was working on a bullet experiment with a "big German gun."

Mildred's two years of teaching at Mount Holyoke (1918-1920) were happy ones, though the flu epidemic cast its shadow over the College for part of that time. She assisted in the beginning physics course which had 87 students enrolled the first year, was responsible for the laboratory sessions and taught her own course in mechanics. Mead Hall where she lived housed the official College guests including the Sunday ministers, and she relished the opportunity to meet the outstanding preachers of the day as well as lecturers and guests who visited the College. She had a circle of friends with whom she enjoyed walking as well as the "winter sports" of skating and snow-shoeing and she continued with tennis. Clearly she loved the teaching and was genuinely interested in her students. Miss Laird, Department Chairman, was on leave in the Fall of 1919 which meant added responsibilities for others in the Department.

Special friends included Eleanor Doak (Mathematics), Margaret Shields Mabel Chase and Alice Foster (Physics) and Mimosa Pfalz (Chemistry).

Because Webster had plans to go on leave in 1920, Mildred arranged to continue her research work for the Ph.D. at M.I.T. She wrote her thesis on the emissivity of water and received the degree from Clark in June of 1922. During the Fall of 1921 she had a part-time teaching assignment at Wellesley College.

Since Mildred was living at home for most of this period, the letters for these years 1920-1922 are fewer, although she and her grandfather, who was now approaching 90, were still corresponding regularly. There are a number of letters from Adelaide Knight, a Vassar friend, as well as other Vassar classmates. Although under pressure from her research, her teaching, commuting and home responsibilities, she still managed to find some time for reading.

Intervening Years 1922 - 1933

1922-23 Wellesley teaching 1923-26 Mount Holyoke teaching 1926-27 Yale research 1927-30 Research Fellow, Bartol Foundation, Franklin Institute 1930-31 Oberlin teaching 1931-33 Research

The years between receiving her degree and settling permanently at Mount Holyoke were spent in research and in teaching assignments. The first year was spent at Wellesley but because of its proximity to home there are few letters from this period. Mildred's grandfather died in the Fall of 1922 so those letters which reported so regularly on her activities ceased. The only hint about this year comes from a letter written by her father in which he said (February 7, 1923) "I see no occasion for thee to stick to Wellesley on uninteresting work."

From 1923-1926 Mildred was back at Mount Holyoke where once again letters home described her experiences. During the last year she was considering job possibilities, but she decided to go to Yale in the Fall of 1926 to work with Professor William Swann, and when he moved on to the Bartol Foundation at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia she followed him there in the Fall of 1927. The laboratory was moved to a new building on the campus of Swarthmore College in the Spring of 1929 and Mildred moved out from the City to take a room with the Kents in Swarthmore. Through the late winter and spring of 1930 she continued to search for the kind of teaching position she wanted. There was a one-year appointment at Oberlin from 1930-1931 while she continued the search. No offers came and she spent the next two years in research, probably living at home. There are virtually no letters from this period, 1931-1933.

Throughout this time she continued her interest in the out-of-doors taking long walks - attending "meeting" very regularly, calling on her friends and her many relatives in the Philadelphia area, entertaining at tea. At Mount Holyoke's Mead Hall where she was permitted a hot plate in her room, mushroom suppers and oyster suppers were favorites. There were scientific meetings, visits to Vassar and Mount Holyoke as well as local class and college functions.

Friends and colleagues who appear in these letters: The Swain Family, especially Barbara, Mount Holyoke Faculty Helen Albro (Zoology) and Evelyn Clift '19 (Physics), Lucy Cope Shelmire '77, Sara Downer '18 (a letter from China January 4, 1923).

Mount Holyoke College: Associate Professor and Professor Physics 1933 - 1948

Mildred settled permanently at Mount Holyoke in the Fall of 1933. She continued to write regularly to her parents up until the time of their deaths in 1948. This period also includes letters by Elizabeth Laird written about monthly beginning in December of 1940 when she was retired and living in London, Ontario.

Mildred's letters are filled with detail about the courses she taught, her students and colleagues, department affairs, her research. She was extraordinarily conscientious in following student progress, correcting papers, preparing and checking laboratory experiments. One of her special pleasures was the meetings of the Quadrilateral Circle, Physics Faculty of the Four Valley Colleges. She was on committees of both the New England section of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers. She was appointed Department Chairman in 1946 and full Professor in 1947. She also served on Mount Holyoke Faculty Committees: Foreign Students, Scholarships, Committee to Appoint Committees and finally the Committee on Appointments, Promotions, etc. During the war there were changes in the college calendar and Mildred taught intensive physics courses during summer sessions. Personnel difficulties within the Department were exacerbated after the departure of Miss Laird in 1940 and the letters include extensive information about these problems and the involvement of President Ham.

When Mildred first returned to South Hadley in 1933, she lived at 14 Silver Street but when the faculty took a cut in salary in 1935. Miss Snell felt she had to alter her house arrangements and Mildred had to find new quarters. For a year she had a room at Miss Griffiths and then she moved into Hooker House. She took dinners at Faculty House which provided a wide circle of faculty friends. Her friendship with Miss Laird grew as they shared activities - walks, drives, picnics, movies, church, etc. A measure of her popularity with students was the frequency with which she was invited by college seniors to Towne House for Sunday afternoon tea. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining her friends and she especially enjoyed her garden and her piano, and she continued her interest in photography. She was active in the local AAUW.

Miss Laird's letters tell about her war work at the university in both teaching and research and about mutual friends, especially Alice Foster who had taught at Mount Holyoke and who was in Canada. There were a number of visits by Mildred to Canada and by Elizabeth Laird to South Hadley.

These letters covering a span of forty-eight years portray the career of a woman in the field of physics from early childhood through two wars and a depression to her life as a full professor at a college for women. The regularity of her reports and the details she includes about her personal and professional life provide a record of unusual historical interest.

Members of the Physics Department (1933-1947) mentioned in the letters:

  • Mary Anne Benson (Douglas)
  • Reina Sabel '41
  • Dwight Bloodgood (Curator and Tech.)
  • Frederick Saunders
  • Edward Clancy
  • Helen Stoelzel '37
  • Elizabeth Cohen
  • Hildegard Stucklen
  • Dorothy Franklin '29
  • Dorothy M. Taylor
  • Eric Rogers
  • Charles Tindal
  • Rogers Rusk
Of special interest:
1902 Nov. 10 Began school today.
1903 May 7 Death of Frances.
1903 Dec. 9 A "business note" to her "auntie" sending $0.25 in stamps, asking her to buy Christmas present for her mother "not worth more than $0.25."
1904 Mar. 25
Many letters re her tenth birthday.
Margaret sends bookmark "because thee reads so much and has more books than bookmarks."
1905 Jan. 8 Telephone "fine."
1905 Jan. 21 Explains to Grandpa why they cannot move to N.M. - music lessons would suffer, "papa is settled in business" Margaret's illness. Margaret and Mildred first in class.
1905 Mar. 25 Grandpa sends books on nature.
1905 Aug. 19 Having malaria - "mosquito bit me."
1905 Aug. 27 Grandpa writes about "wonderful ruins."
1905 Nov. 26 Grandpa has been inspecting schools; long rough journey to Roswell, N.M.
1906 Jan. 28 Grandpa writes of quality of education in N.M.
1906 Mar. 25 Received locket from teachers to be used for pictures of his two granddaughters.
1906 Apr. 15 Cousin Edward has an automobile.
1906 Sep. 23 Re carpentry which Mildred has selected in school, from Grandpa: "Well, that beats the bugs! Just think of a Boston belle learning to do a man's work... However, just go ahead..." "would prefer to have my girls learn to hew out biscuits..."
1907 Sep. 22 13-year old Mexican boy works for grandpa - would like to "have him as one of the family" and send him to school.
1908 Jan. 19 Taking Civil Government in school. Wishes she could spend the next year in N.M. with Grandpa.
1908 Feb. 16 Quotes the speech she gave in class as "mayor". "We find our telephone a great comfort" In carpentry has made a key board, paper knife, glove box.
1908 Feb. 23 From Grandpa: when teaching in Indiana took night course (cost $2) for 12 lessons of penmanship. Illustrates shaded writing. Hurt arm when jumped on moving train.
1908 Mar. 15 Mildred and Margaret to have separate rooms.
1908 May 17 Class visits Harvard's Peabody Museum.
1908 June 28 Carrie's wedding in Swarthmore; school graduation.
1908 Sep. 20 Describes first days at school; lists studies at Jamaica Plain H.S.
1908 Oct. 18 Reports on school and reading.
1909 May 16 "Margaret and I still like to play dolls, though we do not have much time..."
1909 June 27 Grandpa installing electricity. "last year this valley shipped... 71 car loads of cantaloupes and this year we expect to ship ... more."
1909 Aug. 13 Printing and developing pictures. Sewing, photography. "I read Medieval History a little and do still less with my French."
1909 Aug. 16 From Aunt Alice: "we associate Margaret more with the little folks and thee with the mechanical pursuits."
1909 Aug. 22 Grandpa shipped 360 crates of melons. New horse died - may have fed him too many cantaloupes.
1909 Sep. 4 From Cousin Carrie: describes camping - comments on women's role in home.
1909 Sep. 19 First 2 days of school, red tape, very tiresome. But now enjoying herself immensely.
1909 Oct. 17 Every month geom. teacher puts quotation on board (i.e. Locke) hoping "someone may profit."
1909 Oct. 24 Grandpa ordered surrey from Chicago.
1909 Dec. 5 Making 36 calendars with photographs for Christmas gifts.
1909 Dec. 19 English Lit. class "intensely interesting" - Margaret and many of the girls think it is almost as dull as history, or perhaps worse."
1910 Jan. 16 We do not know "popular music and I have no use for it."
1910 Jan. 18 Grandpa receives silk hat for Christmas; if he were to wear it would need police protection.
1910 Feb. 20 Geom. teacher does not know how to give an exam.
1910 Feb. 26 Grandpa married 30 years and never had to wait 5 minutes for grandma.
1910 Mar. 20 Shopped for suit - "know nothing about styles and do not care much about them."
1910 Mar. 23 Aunt Alice in Philadelphia wonders if Mildred thinking about college - Swarthmore?
1910 June 19
One of favorite books: Girls Who Became Famous by Sarah K. Bolton; 19 women -knows many by heart. Biographies a favorite.
"Thee [Grandpa] tells Mamma that it would be good for me to teach a year or two before I enter college. In the East there is no such opportunity...I hope to teach as soon as I get through college...I have 'teacher blood'...l feel that I will be able to teach well."
"Thy grand-daughter of sixteen years is going to take a doll with her [to Falmouth]. She is still a child in some ways."
1910 July 17
Book on history of French lit - but some great writers lived "careless or disgusting lives." Skipping French III. Studying trig. with Papa - "interesting and sometimes amusing."
After college wants to teach - probably mathematics. Gives reasons why not English. Would like to teach at Earlham but "Papa says men are more in demand in coed colleges than women for teachers."
1911 Apr. 16 Cousin Corinna in Indianapolis writes of her work on legislation and ordinances to get police matron in police court.
1911 May 19 - Sep. 15
Trip abroad: In Louvre watching artists copying paintings "made me wild to draw."
Bought oil of Jungfrau; by July 16 had 100 postcards for her album. in England "of course Margaret and I do not drink tea as yet."
1911 Oct. 15 "School is still as fascinating as ever" Describes studies.
1911 Nov. 19 President of new French Club at school.
1911 Dec. 17 Parents visit to Vassar. Chose dorm. Met faculty and president.
1911 Dec. 24 Grandpa comments on entering college.
1912 Feb. 18 Aunt and uncle give fur coat - lining of hamster.
1912 Mar. 24 Grandpa wonders if M's father has "automobile fever" - autos getting thick in N.M.
1912 Apr. 21
Has supper for 11, incl. 6 teachers, with entertainment.
14 page paper on whether women should be paid same as men.
1912 July 21 Boston to lengthen school year and add trade schools.
1912 Aug. 2 (to Mildred from Helen MacAuslan) Visited Mount Holyoke College "quite pretty." "I am very sorry to find you do not believe in woman suffrage."
1912 Aug. 18 West Roxbury HS had 81 girls in graduating class and only 12 boys a/c other schools for boys in area. At Tech camp in East Machias, Maine, where father is teaching surveying and "kindred subjects."
1912 Aug. 25 Grandpa believes too many women teachers in schools - leads to dropout of boys.
1912 Aug. 29 1911 grad. of Vassar, Marguerite Davis, writes Mrs. Allen giving information and advice re college.
1912 Sep. 13 Margaret writes Papa re registering at Conservatory of Music - tests, program, costs.
1912 Sep. 15 Grandma describes cousin Mildred Fulghum's difficult journey to Las Cruces to attend college.
1912 Sep. 16 Margaret writes about music classes at Conservatory.
1912 Sep. 20 Mother Allen writes husband from Vassar re Mildred's room, etc.
1912 Sep. 22 Grandpa sending Encyclopedia; Literary Digest.
1912 Sep. 22 Margaret saw moving picture at Tremont Temple of King and Queen visit to India; machine so noisy could not hear lecturer.
1912 Sep. 24 First classes.
1912 Sep. 27 Mother writes: fears draught at her desk, father wants room change; needs key for closet and bureau. "Please report on all these matters" Advice on food and baths. Sends list of 15 questions she wants answered re heat, clothing, food, etc.
1912 Sep. 29 Father writes: "Apparently thee did not receive any special credit" in physics. Allowance $15 month after books and furnishings (to be itemized). How much time spent on work and exercise?
1912 Oct. 1 To Papa - "to comfort Mamma, tell her I wore ...
1912 Oct. 6 Trip to Lake Mohonk.
1912 Oct. 8 Mother indignant no food before or after expedition - now understands why so many chafing dishes around.
1912 Oct. 13 Medical exam; wanted information re grandparents to check on "hereditary health." Maid empties slops. Hygiene lecture.
1912 Oct. 17 "Work is fearfully... easy."
1912 Oct. 20 Reason why many sick - not because hatless, but wet feet.
1912 Oct. 29 Mother writes that she describes Vassar visit to Father and "his eyes filled with tears" - he is pleased that Mildred is not studying on Sabbath and not spending time in political rallies.
1912 Oct. 30 Explains to Grandpa that planning work well, "close concentration" and clear thinking "makes my work very easy."
1912 Nov. 1 Auntie writes of the "menace of Mormonism."
1912 Nov. 10 "One thing which surprises me is that everyone accepts without question theory of evolution" Always sits in front row. "Everyone here is so fond of blacking up or impersonating a man."
1912 Nov. 17 Chem. has required "rather strenuous thinking". Many girls think little. opportunity for dancing and theatre - very dull - "such sentiments seem strange."
1912 Nov. 17 To Grandpa - Literary Digest keeps her in touch with outside world.
1912 Nov. 24 Mother's list of 12 questions.
1912 Dec. 2 (Thanksgiving in NY) "am wild to get back at work."
1912 Dec. 7 "Crazy to get at piano" Criticizes lecture on Livy by Latin Dept. Head Moore.
1912 Dec. 15 Getting over fear of English; paper on Millet "her hero."
1913 Jan. 25 Mother hears about Wellesley and so glad M is at Vassar.
1913 Feb. 6 Vassar student drowned in toboggan accident.
1913 Feb. 7 "wild" with excitement - to be in French play.
1913 Feb. 9 Had waffles - never seen before. Men "never allowed to be present at plays given by students."
1913 Feb. 16 Dance observed - feels she would not be ready for such a performance even in 2 years.
1913 Feb. 18 Mother says colleges are encouraging dancing as "healthful exercise" - urges Mildred to dance - "try to be an all round girl."
1913 Feb. 23 Grandpa on dangers of dancing - concern re moral standards in college.
1913 Mar. 2 Details of luncheon for Bible Class by Dr. and Mrs. Hill - seating arrangement acc. to attendance record. Turner, Poussin on wall, maids, music. Feast of food. "absolute fairyland."
1913 Mar. 19 Proctor on corridor.
1913 Mar. 25 Trig. going very well; "like reading a storybook for second time."
1913 May 11 Latin class - act out plays - good fun.
1913 May 18 In Latin wrote play - Red Riding Hood; took 5 hours, more difficult than she expected - enjoyed it tremendously.
1913 May 23 Mother writes: " Why does it so often seem that my place is at home, instead of taking advantage of the good meetings where I would get strength and courage for my daily routine?"
1913 Oct. 29 Mother encourages Mildred to accept invitation to West Point dance provided she is properly chaperoned.
1913 Nov. 16 Mother gives advice on West Point trip.
1913 Nov. 30 Describes West Point visit. Confining life of Academy. Raises question of peace - place of academy and strict discipline.
1914 Jan. 16 Mother travels west - comments on Mexicans and "darkies."
1914 Jan. 18 Exams - everyone studying but "I expect to have a good time in reading French plays."
1914 Mar. 1 Writing composition in foreign language studied only 5 months gives "sense of power."
1914 Mar. 8 Helen McAuslan describes courses at MHC.
1914 Mar. 15 MH vs. Vassar debate on minimum wage.
1914 Apr. 19 Seniors wore caps/gowns for first time in history of college.
1914 May 10 Tree Ceremony - 2-hour rehearsals every day.
1914 May 17 Writes Grandpa: "At present I am not particularly interested in a husband." Wants to teach math and physics in college or high school. Other opportunities open to women - social work "present fad". Would like to teach at Earlham because of Quaker atmosphere - only 12 Quakers at Vassar.
1914 May 24 Course selections. "Miss Furness [Astron], although illustrious, is stupid." Reading Dumas. "Break the news gently to Mamma that I washed my hair myself."
1914 Sep. 27 Vassar courses. Grandpa's visit. Never uses all her chapel cuts.
1914 Oct. 11 "It is such a comfort to get into a math class where one really has to do some real work."
1914 Oct. 11 Margaret writes about her Conservatory work.
1914 Nov. 8 Earning $3 week tutoring.
1914 Nov. 8 High school teacher writes with comments on war.
1915 Jan. 3 Letter from Adelaide Knight re new Vassar president.
1915 Feb. 7 2 in math class; 8 in physics. Students like new pres.
1915 Feb. 28 Mother writes that Father nervous and restless - talk of an auto; uncertainty over war; father's book not paid for yet.
1915 Mar. 7 Did not telegraph news of PBK election so as not to disturb mother.
1915 Mar. 21 Enjoys Deutsche Verein especially because provides opportunity to get to know faculty.
1915 Apr. 11 PBK initiation.
1915 Apr. 18 Tutoring in physics - only 2 others in class are majors.
1915 May 9 Comments on the infirmary.
1915 May 9 (to father) Leans to taking Goethe course - many consider it necessary part of education.
1915 May 15 Donald Swain writes of life at Williams.
1915 May 23 Changes in social rules. Taking Saunders course in Spectroscopy.
1915 May 28, 29 Margaret and Auntie very ill.
1915 Aug. 15 Hoping for fellowship from Vassar to do physics and math at Clark.
1915 Oct. 17 50th Anniversary celebration.
1915 Nov. 7 Young man walks her home - "I do not think there could be any objection... even on Sunday."
1915 Nov. 12 German "interesting." Physics "good fun." Can play good game of tennis.
1915 Nov. 14 Busy Sundays. Started out term "so bravely reading French and playing mandolin."
1915 Nov. 18 Broken-hearted. Fur coat is "eaten."
1916 Jan. 16 Writes to Grandpa about Clark: Webster known as teacher and scientist; advantages of small university; endowed; close to home. Prefers "meeting" to college chapel.
1916 Feb. 6 Doing special work for Saunders.
1916 Feb. 20 Trying to improve speaking voice - important for teacher.
1916 Mar. 12 Comments on Synge and Fosdick.
1916 Mar. 19 Debate (with MHC) "time of great excitement ... even library is shut".
1916 Apr. 20 Miss Carter takes physics students to elect. power house and hosp. X-ray lab.
1916 Apr. 22 Learning to type.
1916 July 16 Earlham too small to provide teaching opportunities. Typing - helping father with new book. Reading.
1916 Aug. 21 Career plans.
1916 Sept. 2 Alice writes of grad. work in chem. at U. Cal. Berkeley. Only girl in one class; 2 in another.
1916 Sep. 17 Found room with nice people in Worcester. Has license to drive. Learned typing by "kind of motor memory."
1916 Oct. 1 Choir at Friends. Lab very dirty - many soiled waists. Daily schedule.
1916 Oct. 8 Classes. Webster's dynamics has 2 colored gentlemen and an Easterner. Little study necessary. Only woman university student - dining hall has some libarians and secretaries.
1916 Oct. 15 Group climb Mt. Wachusett.
1916 Oct. 19 Crowd at RR station welcoming soldiers back from Mexico. Will try dancing class.
1916 Oct. 20 Mother approves dancing class if "properly chaperoned" but would "wholly disapprove if high school girl going into class of strangers."
1916 Oct. 22 Walking with Mr. Parker.
1916 Oct. 26 Mother writes about smoking and drinking.
1916 Oct. 29 Feels "quite in the swing of the social life of the university." Teaching Sunday School.
1916 Dec. 17 Trip to Vassar.
1917 Jan. 6 Water pipes froze at univ.
1917 Jan. 9 Colloquium presentation liked.
1917 Jan. 21 Congenial atmosphere. Skating. Walking with friends - like big family.
1917 Jan. 21 Writes to Margaret of parents' visit: Father "fine looking man" and Mamma "my older sister" Lab - photographing bullet. Comments on joining sorority at NE Conservatory.
1917 Feb. 25 Grandpa speaks at Y on noted women and secret of their power.
1917 Mar. 18 Great part of month making electrical cell. Understanding physics lectures takes time.
1917 Mar. 18 Colloquium topic; Webster intimated only two hours to prepare, but 33 pages German involved.
1917 Apr. 15 Meeting of college and university on war. Hopes mother will approve she accepted invitation by man to his home. Will try knitting helmet.
1917 Apr. 15 Margaret writes from MHC while visiting Helen McAuslan.
1917 Apr. 18 Father writes re war. First duty to work - no time for knitting. Comments on circular of N.E. Friends - must take care not to undermine Govt.
1917 Apr. 22 Went to dance with Mr. Eksergian - "something of a rest not to go with same man all the time."
1917 May 13 Got "a curve" - finally accomplished what she set out to do.
1917 May 17 Webster perplexed with curve. Question of when to get degree.
1917 May 20 Smallpox scare - to be vaccinated.
1917 June 3 Mr. Parker goes to N.J. for job.
1917 June 10 First draft of thesis.
1917 Sep. 30 "meals promise to be good; no longer choice of meat ... paying $5 week."
1917 Oct. 21 " the work I love so much and with several of the companions whom I enjoy..." Enjoying church relations.
1917 Oct. 28 Grandpa writes that Grandma's women callers rarely talk of anything important.
1917 Oct. 28 1st Lieut. Eksergian writes about life at Camp Amer. Univ. - military training, etc.
1917 Dec. 6 Friends minister leaves for France.
1917 Dec. 16 Report to Fellowship Committee. Hopes for Ph.D. in 1919.
1917 Dec. 16 On Sundays breakfasts with all women students of univ.
1917 Dec. 29 Aubrey Douglas writes from Camp Devons re life of soldier.
1918 Jan. 20 Comments on Mr. Rowland.
1918 Jan. 27 Drafting of friends. Belgian with war experience at table.
1918 Feb. 3 Responsible for Founders Day celebration. Tired from "war excitement."
1918 Mar. 3 Report on men in service. Plays for dancing after dinner.
1918 Mar. 24 "most wonderful day at MHC" Fine location - no maid in hall as at Vassar. At lunch Miss Laird "hardly spoke to me" Liked her very much - "quite restrained and not endowed with social grace ... but great deal to her." Enthusiastic for job.
1918 Apr. 9 Laird visits Webster at Clark.
1918 Apr. 16 Confusion and problems over next year. Work on big German gun. Bullet experiment to be published.
1918 Apr. 21 Accepted MH offer.
1918 May 19 Reviews experience of two years in Worcester. Appraisal of Webster. Smoking in chem labs.
1918 July 28 Grandpa's pear crop - even women and girls in "britches" are picking.
1918 Sep. 22 First days at MH - teaching schedule.
1918 Sep. 28 Flu. Dr. Lang. Brigham becomes infirmary. MH "fine walking center."
1918 Sep. 29 Maids at MH do not deliver food to sick. Classes halved by epidemic. Quarantine.
1918 Oct. 4 In Brigham "hospital."
1918 Oct. 13 Only 1 death. Faculty meeting decides to continue classes. Bd. of Health believes S.H. ideal place to combat germs.
1918 Oct. 20 Likes table at meals. Faculty in dorm discuss students constructively.
1918 Nov. 3 Colloquium report. Good long talk with Laird.
1918 Nov. 7 Celebrating armistice.
1918 Nov. 10 Street car strike. Founders Day. Miss Woolley mistakes her for student.
1918 Nov. 17 Armistice celebration; faculty prayer meeting; walks; Math Club; reading French drama.
1918 Nov. 21 MEW encourages all to stay over Thanksgiving a/c flu.
1918 Nov. 28 Miss Purington, Doak. Thanksgiving custom. Helen McAuslan's aunt runs College book store.
1918 Dec. 1 Sunday service "very peculiar custom" - white gloves but no hats. Smith sent students home - "somewhat dangerous."
1918 Dec. 8 Laird discusses experience in Germany.
1918 Dec. 15 Comments on teaching.
1919 Jan. 5 Quarantine again. No Chapel. Strict rules.
1919 Jan. 19 Laird tea party - met Dietrich who goes in "aristocratic company" Piano after dinner in dorm.
1919 Jan. 19 Prepares for teaching mechanics. 7 students in class.
1919 Feb. 2 Visit to Clark.
1919 Mar. 3, 6, 11, 13, 16 Father writes about degree plans - one year at M.I.T. Laird reactions.
1919 Mar. 16 Vassar debate; 87 in physics class.
1919 Apr. 13 Webster visits MH.
1919 Apr. 20 Faculty party for Hoag and Purington.
1919 May 11 To have Hoag's room next year while she is away; larger room than "an instructor is allowed to have."
1919 Aug. 17 Summer reading.
1919 Sep. 21 Salary increased 6% to $1113. 10 in Mead family.
1920 Jan. 4 Lecture by Blakeslee of Clark.
1920 Jan. 18 Miss Shields talks 2 hours on Einstein Theory. Snow-shoeing with Miss Foster.
1920 Jan. 18 Advantages of College Chapel.
1920 Jan. 18 Writing to Grandpa, recounts from memory Biblical history.
1920 Jan. 25 No snow-shoeing on Sunday - "in conservative place like this one does not wish to break customs" Rabbi Wise and Baroness Huard.
1920 Feb. 8 Flu threat.
1920 Feb. 29 Rehearsals for Faculty Show - quail in Toy Symphony.
1920 Mar. 7 Chapel and classes cancelled a/c weather. No trolleys. 4 feet snow on car tracks.
1920 Mar. 8 Safford fire - Young, Laird, Doak. Hard on "cooperative" girls. Triumph for firemen.
1920 Mar. 14 Lumber for Safford already arrived.
1920 Mar. 21 Six Women's College debate; reading Mary Lyon life.
1920 Apr. 25 Grandpa writes that long ago he started movement against use of tobacco.
1920 May 3 Preparing for colloquium on Mendenhall.
1920 May 16 Big student weekend - "excess of college life"; work suffers but "one must be young while one is young." Cyrano play.
1920 June 20 Canoe sing with Japanese lanterns. Sorry to leave. "Two years rich in opportunities and inspiration to service and knowledge."
1920 Nov. 7 Adelaide Knight on teaching Spanish at Newcomb and living in dorm.
1921 Feb. 20 Had Hoover dinner at Tech - stew, bread, cocoa.
1921 Mar. 20 Fond of foreign languages, esp. French. Studied Ital. in winter.
1921 June 21 At Vassar celebrating 50th - future of college. Comparing Vassar and MHC.
1921 Sep. 18 Moving to Wellesley - part-time teaching appointment while continuing at Tech. Boston style now: stockings rolled below knee.
1921 Nov. 20 Comments on Wellesley.
1922 Mar. 19 Comments on intercollegiate debates.
1922 Mar. 22 Wellesley appointment for next year - salary question.
1922 Apr. 16 Hopes thesis finished - orals in June.
1922 May 21 At Clark preparing for exams. Walks 3 miles on alternate days. "As long as Papa lives, I do not think I should be willing to go west to teach."
1922 Sep. 16 Adelaide Knight describes summer in Spain studying and traveling.
1922 Oct. 15 Comments on teaching at Wellesley.
1922 Nov. 20 Spoke at NY meeting of Nat. Ac. Science on her thesis topic.
1922 Dec. 9 A. Knight on study in Madrid.
1923 Jan. 4 Sara Downer writes about teaching physics at boys school in Chengtu; calls lab Shattuck (China).
1923 June 16 In Chicago as guest of University.
1923 June 23 Taking courses at Chicago.
1923 June 23 Mother writes about Adelaide's illness and death.
1923 Oct. 7 As MH faculty, may have hot plate in her room in Mead.
1923 Oct. 21 Walked 14 miles on Mountain Day.
1924 Jan. 18 Father advises on job possibilities.
1924 Feb. 3 Some topics in her course to be expanded. Appointment as Asst. Prof. at $1900.
1924 Feb. 17 Comments on schedule, salary; giving 6 hours/week to help Laird with her research. Ideas for summer.
1924 Apr. 20 Hunting Mayflowers.
1924 Apr. 21 Since no faculty of high enough rank requested Mead suite, Mildred will have it next year - 2 rooms and bath.
1924 June 22 Living in Faculty House in summer.
1924 Aug. 6, 9 Toronto - science meetings.
1924 Oct. 3 Uncle Charlie disapproves MEW endorsement of Davis.
1924 Nov. 2 Golf with Laird. Abstained on Child Labor Amendment.
1924 Dec. 7 Golden Rule Sunday - only baked beans and brown bread. Laird Mah Jongg party.
1925 Jan. 25 Solar eclipse - 6' below.
1925 Feb. 1 Teaching grad. course in Math. Physics.
1925 Mar. 1 Science meeting at Columbia. Earthquake at Vassar.
1925 Mar. 8 Salary next year $2000. "Some girls had letters from their parents forbidding them to hear such a dangerous man as Dr. Fosdick."
1925 May 4 European summer plans.
1925 May 5 Elected PBK treas.
1925 May 10 Talk with Laird re impending changes in dept. To leave MH end of next year.
1925 Aug. 27 AAS meeting in Southampton, England.
1925 Aug. 30 On Cathedral excursion met Chrissy Smith (MH faculty) "girl of my own age."
1925 Sep. 27 Not enough freshmen "flunked" out. All class lists wrong. Heyworth on Ellis Island, rescued by Adams (Treas) - also locked up. Laird gone.
1925 Oct. 18 Physics Colloquium - Smith, MH, Amherst, M.A.C. - to meet monthly.
1925 Nov. 1 Dept. lantern - "biggest college rumpus" over lantern last year. Halloween supper - faculty wearing each other's clothes.
1925 Nov. 9 Elected sec/treas AAUP.
1925 Nov. 15 Another joint meeting with Smith Dept.
1926 Jan. 17 Laird to India; New Haven next year?
1926 Jan. 25 Congratulations from Thompson at Amherst on physics paper.
1926 Mar. 7 Doing further study on radio. Cat. course descriptions.
1926 Mar. 21 Letter from Charles Morris in Korea thanking Mildred for her friendship with his daughter, Charlotte '29.
1926 June 4 Going to study at Yale for "more intimate acquaintance with Modern Physics."
1926 June 5 Father drafts letter to Goucher re job opening there.
1926 June 7 Her MH future not clear.
1926 June 13 At reunion looking after "old ladies" of 1866, 67, 68, 69 classes.
1926 Sep. 26 Arrival in New Haven.
1926 Oct. 3 Arrival in New Haven.
1926 Oct. 31 Minimum of walking 4 miles a day.
1927 Mar. 13 Swann at Yale lab may leave - offer includes building him house and lab.
1927 Apr. 25 Nat. Acad. meetings in Washington. Comments on Goucher Dept. members.
1927 May 6 Swann going to Philadelphia (with extra $10,000 year - letter May 2) to Bartol Foundation, Franklin Institute; Mildred too.
1927 June 6 Plans for next year; summer in Europe.
1927 Sep. 30 Living at Warburton House, Phil.
1927 Oct. 9 Describes room and work. Bryn Mawr "problem."
1927 Nov. 27 Is reserving piano for practice at $0.15 hour.
1927 Dec. 4 Rent going up $1 Jan. 1.
1927 Dec. 11 Dining with Mrs. Shelmire (MH).
1928 Jan. 1 Telephoned Sydney McLean (at Yale last year) - dreading tel. bill, so much to talk about.
1928 Jan. 8 Visit to Yale and Loomis lab.
1928 Jan. 30 Gave paper on Compton theory.
1928 Mar. 12 Scientific meetings and letter from Laird re next year.
1928 Mar. 16 Copy of letter to Laird re problems of job offer.
1928 Mar. 26 More about Laird and job - happy to be staying in Phil.
1928 Oct. 8 Theresa Schindler '06 MH - at Ambler School.
1928 Oct. 29 Visit to MH, read paper.
1928 Dec. 13 Sent off paper to Journal - preparing 10 minute talk on it for NY meeting.
1928 Dec. 15 Charlotte Macomb - (Mead Hall head) writes news of MH people.
1928 Dec. 31 NY meetings.
1929 Jan. 14 "I am becoming somewhat convinced that I may possibly be getting the effect that I have been looking for for the past two years." (re research).
1929 Mar. 11 Vassar visit seeing friends, including Charlotte Haywood, teaching physiology.
1929 May 6 Taking room on Elm Ave. Swarthmore; lab being moved to new building on Swarthmore campus.
1929 May 13 Not interested in openings at Sweet Briar and Elmira - would like appt. in physics alone and in sufficiently large dept - to have time for research although I know that that is rather hard to obtain for a woman." Saunders after 6 months at MH "rather approved decision not to return there."
1929 May 26 Plans to keep same room next year with Kents.
1929 May 26 Father writes he is financing her research work and asks Swann if salary from foundation were possible.
1929 June 2 Lab Open House during Swarthmore commencement. Swann getting Hon. degree.
1929 Sep. 6 Clipping re television lab.
1929 Oct. 7 Letter from Laird - advised to be at Saranac till end Nov., although no trouble with lungs.
1929 Oct. 20 Received first installment of stipend from Bartol.
1929 Nov. 11 Elected to Swarthmore Sigma Xi.
1929 Nov. 25 Death of Sarah Effie Smith '86 (MH Math); hard on Doak. Sigma Xi with movies. of electrons.
1929 Dec. 3 Proposal to go abroad as way of families to be together.
1930 Jan. 13 Laird visit.
1930 Jan. 17 Looking for job.
1930 Feb. 15 Visit to Goucher - pleased.
1930 Feb. 27 Physics Depts "seem to think that the market is overrun with women wishing to teach physics this year." Vassar Voc. Bureau recommends writing 10 colleges.
1930 Mar. 31 Reply from Bucknell - now offering courses for A.B. students; may be looking for young woman next year "as we should draw a large group from the 500 young ladies in our student body."
1930 Apr. 3 In response to request from Oberlin describes her papers - current research.
1930 Apr. 13 Eye problem.
1930 June 2 Going to Oberlin next year.
1930 June 27 Letter from Thomson, U. Aberdeen, re research.
1930 July 25 Taylor of Oberlin writes re plans for next year.
1930 Sep. 8 Arrives at Oberlin. Room rented $6 week.
1930 Sep. 14 Describes house, room, town.
1930 Oct. 5 Walk and tea with Elizabeth Parks, MH '29.
1930 Oct. 13 Meals $8.50; $0.60, laundry.
1930 Oct. 19 Walk and tea with Miss Sinclair (math).
1930 Oct. 23 Taylor recommends attendance at Optical Soc. meetings in Va.; if want job next year should stay visible.
1930 Nov. 9 Leading seminar; research.
1931 Jan. 4 Rochester job. Comments on Duke and women there. Mich.State. Western Reserve meetings.
1931 Mar. 1 Pa. Coll. for Women job at $1800 does not sound interesting.
1931 Mar. 8 Many colds and flu "but never heard of a college which was willing to acknowledge that it had an epidemic of anything."
1931 Mar. 22 Dean advises registering with Amer. College Bureau, Chic.
1931 Apr. 3 Rochester U. visit - Helen Bragdon MH '18 Dean. Men have moved across the city. AAUP Journal ad looks like "man's salary"
1931 Apr. 2, 19, 29 About job search.
1931 May 4, 10 About job search.
1931 June 9 Finishing up on Howe's research till end June. Short course at U. Mich - 3 big men in wave mechanics to be there.
1932 Apr. 10 Laird writes things have not worked out as hoped - moving into new building.
1933 May 9 Swann writes re Mildred's research.
1933 Sep. 4 At MH, apt. at 14 Silver St. with Chalmers, has car.
1933 Oct. 8 At conf. had to listen to Laird think for nearly 2 hours. Lab sink in, no radiators yet. Garage and architectural plan of college.
1933 Oct. 13 Dept. going to Buckland on Mountain Day.
1933 Oct. 29 Allyn's supper of Hungarian food.
1933 Dec. 10 Frozen water pipes in apt.
1933 Dec. 17 Snow delays student departures; waiting to hear re Nat. Res. Council grant.
1934 Jan. 7 Grant of $175 for supplies and apparatus for crystal research.
1934 Feb. 11 11' below - Chalmers dog's frozen water pan leads to discovery furnace is out.
1934 Mar. 4 Lab open nights. Heavy snows.
1934 Mar. 18 MEW visits lab for 1 1/4 hours. Trying to finish up research done at Harvard so she can give it in Washington in April.
1934 Apr. 15 Student Scientific Conf. at Smith.
1934 Apr. 28 Fall sends her to Infirmary. Laird's reaction.
1934 May 13 College has confidence in B. Bump, "although rather young."
1934 May 27 Back bruise to be opened at Infirmary by Dr. Knowlton with nitrogen laughing gas.
1934 June 28, July 2 Describes voyage on Scantic Line. Meets Ruth Irene Taylor MH '08 of Dorland Bell School in N. Car. - "a kind of missionary enterprise."
1934 July Letters written from Copenhagen - exploring by foot, boat, trolley, train, etc. Reading in French, Italian, English and Danish, occ. talking in German.
1934 Sep. 10 Settling in at 14 Silver St. Lovell, Snell, Chalmers.
1934 Sep. 16 Laird sprained ankle.
1934 Oct. 7 Friends meeting in Greenfield - 3 cars from MH, 1 carrying non-Quakers.
1934 Oct. 15 Mountain Day postponed a/c Mr. Crossland's funeral. Physical Soc. at Williams.
1934 Oct. 21 Walk with Laird; "many of my best good times were with her this fall."
1934 Oct. 28 Heating problems on campus. Bumps housewarming.
1934 Nov. 11 Perkins arrives while academic procession forming.
1934 Nov. 18 Laird in "very meek and get-at-able frame of mind this fall."
1934 Nov. 21 Laird spending Thanksgiving with Allens.
1934 Dec. 16 Laird birthday dinner. Speaker at Faculty Club. Quaker meeting - Marks helped with dishes. Power house alters current without warning.
1935 Jan. 7 Laird attends "churchy church."
1935 Jan. 14 Employee minstrel show now to be only once in generation.
1935 Jan. 18 Lucy Shelmire writes re Mildred's fall. Comments on Miss Clapp "dared to be natural and not a paragon of virtue and proprieties."
1935 Jan. 28 Letter to Bridgman at Harvard re research problem.
1935 Feb. 10 Entertained by Rusks - "first advance" Visit to Towne House.
1935 Feb. 17 Fetches liquid air from Amherst for Rusk - too busy with social engagements.
1935 Feb. 24 Physical Society meeting at Columbia.
1935 Mar. 3 College entertains Miss McNair from Lahore.
1935 May 20 New ruling - grad. assts. must live on campus.
1935 June 3 Entertained MEW at dinner - Downer, Cheek, Douglas, Betty Bailey.
1935 Sep. 2 Letter from Sara Downer before sailing from San Francisco.
1935 Sep. 22 Mr. Bey active in region - not much excitement about him here but police are stationed at golf course.
1935 Sep. 22 12 in 2nd year course.
1935 Oct. 7 Getting students to Northampton to hear Ruth Nichols explain plane dashboard. Overnight visit with Laird to Evelyn Clift McKnight.
1935 Oct. 27 Physics meeting at Brown.
1935 Nov. 10 Vassar lunch in Boston.
1936 Jan. 20 Laird ill.
1936 Jan. 27 Mrs. Mackay, Pearsons Head, reports Laird wishes Mildred to be Dept. head.
1936 Feb. 8 So much ice had to drive with windshield open. Miss Martin's death.
1936 Feb. 19 Father writes of his dinner for 10 colleagues.
1936 Feb. 23 Story re Mrs. Warbeke and son of David Adams. Music Dept. casts off old piano to Physics Dept - Miss Laird doesn't discourage completely.
1936 Mar. 15, 22 Threat of floods.
1936 Mar. 5 To have Martin apt. New Housing arrangements.
1936 Apr. 19 Limited bridge traffic. Miss Searles death.
1936 May 17 Visit of Haas, physicist; comment on Mildred McAfee.
1936 May 31 Piano purchase. Laird's sister retiring at Toronto.
1936 June 7 Comment on new MH president.
1936 June 14 Wrote Anna Holman re exhibit of part women have played in physics.
1936 Sep. 27 Beg. Physics up 50% in enrollments; Branch neighbor.
1936 Oct. 4 Announce new chapel; money to finish physics building.
1936 Oct. 11 Mountain Day Dept. picnic - first time Rusks present.
1936 Nov. 1 Physics meetings in NY.
1936 Nov. 18 Taking over Adv. Optics course.
1936 Nov. 29 Thanksgiving in Safford - lacked festive flavor of old; "one of these young things" in charge; Laird "terribly disappointed" turkey passed only once. Comments on Miss Graham of N.Rocky - being groomed for job of Dean? Taking on Cheek mannerisms.
1936 Dec. 6 Birthday supper for Laird.
1937 Jan. 24 Galt death; death of Griffith sister.
1937 Feb. 14 Took Laird and 3 students to hear Bohr in Cambridge.
1937 Mar. 7 Prominent alumna speaks in Md. - MH "laughing stock of education world." Young male faculty now play in student productions.
1937 Mar. 21 Movie machine unintelligible as usual.
1937 Apr. 11 Preparing major exam.
1937 May 17 Miss Purington wore mother's wedding dress at Centennial Garden Party.
1937 June 15 MEW thanks for lady slippers.
1937 June 20 55 pages of student names with more than 12 hours physics since Class 1902 and what they have been doing since; was planned for Centennial celebration.
1937 Sep. 26 Chapel not finished - convocation in S.A.H. with electric organ. "One young thing in dirty white sport shoes and blue socks" Ham had to rise twice to acknowledge student applause.
1937 Oct. 12 Mildred's old music teacher comments on her remarkable music ability.
1937 Nov. 4, 21 Letters from Edith Coon in Madras.
1937 Dec. 5 Visit from Monica Healea (Catherine Robinson roommate in college) and Miss Carter, both Vassar Physics Dept. Snell says Mildred quieter as house tenant than present occupant.
1938 Jan. 30 Sunderland bridge being torn down a/c ice damage.
1938 Feb. 13 Re Faculty meeting: "We all think that Dr. Ham does not conduct that with much dignity nor perhaps ease."
1938 Mar. 6 Helping with project of Bur. of Standards: survey of humidity in various types of residence. Labelling and diagramming model of Ford engine.
1938 Mar. 20 Re college plays: " my day... rejoicing because the girls taking [male] parts were allowed to wear trousers, where formerly they had had to wear skirts."
1938 May 8 Mary Ellen Chase "spoke well and dynamically" at PBK banquet. Ham an initiate.
1938 May 11 Planning on England for Brit. Assn. meeting in Cambridge.
1938 Aug. 23 Staying at Girton; describes meetings.
1938 Sep. 25 Hurricane; damage.
1938 Oct. 2 Hurricane; NE meeting of Physical Soc. lost "star speaker" - hurried home to England a/c war threat.
1938 Oct. 3 Invitation to join Optical Soc. of America as result of deck chair encounter.
1938 Oct. 17 Meetings of Physical Soc. - 100 to lunch.
1938 Nov. 7 To speak in chapel on electricity.
1938 Dec. 11 Letter from Mina Breed in England, comments on war threat.
1939 Jan. 22 Margaret describes NY meeting of Soc. of Engineers at which father made honorary member. Had luncheon ticket "but it developed that ladies were not included."
1939 Feb. 12 Faculty meetings now in afternoon; "not much detailed discussion takes place any more."
1939 Feb. 26 NY meetings; television demonstration at Radio City.
1939 Mar. 5 Read Rebecca - held her interest but does not see why so much commotion about it.
1939 Apr. 2 Death of Chase in Tenn. - Emeritus in Physics.
1939 Apr. 9 Helped student with science conference - worthwhile "but I cannot see certain members of my department doing such things."
1939 Apr. 30 Bought new hat by telegraph.
1939 May 7 Prof. Swann, PBK speaker. Mildred and Laird described the "situation here" and he passed these remarks to Ham. Rusk talks to Quadrilateral.
1939 May 21 18 registered for next year in 2d year class.
1939 May 21 Edith Coon writes from Ceylon.
1939 June 4 Death of Edith Coon and Laird's sister in Toronto.
1939 July 2 Letter from Laird in Toronto.
1939 Sep. 13 Attended wedding in Pa. "very few gloves in evidence and very few hats."
1939 Sep. 18 Helped entertain freshmen and families in line at Reception.
1939 Sep. 24 Eating in N. Rocky. Grad. student, Eleanor Mitts, desperately homesick.
1939 Oct. 22 To supervise Master's thesis.
1939 Dec. 9 Letter re problems of Physics Department and Dept. Chairman.
1939 Dec. 15 Comments on meeting with Ham re Dept. Chair, Laird, Rusk, etc.
1940 Feb. 18 Further complications on dept. appointments. Monica Healea and Fleming. "Laird finding it very hard to retire, and she takes every opportunity to show me how inconsiderate I am of her."
1940 Apr. 15 Comments on Ham.
1940 Apr. 22 Eleanor Mason of Madras. Community Chest decline. Meeting with Ham; has "facility for flirting with male species."
1940 Apr. 28 Problems with Rusk; with grad. student. Kent of B.U.
1940 May 12 Helen Stoelzel ill. Guests for May Day.
1940 May 29 Letter from Swann offering advice on her difficult situation.
1940 June 3 Laird's retirement plan.
1940 June 9 Comment on Trustee Speers. Rusk and her research.
1940 June 30 "I judge Miss Laird is to be allowed in the lab this summer to get things straightened out - it would be cruel injustice for her not to be."
1940 July 7 Planning on spectroscopic conf. in Cambridge.
1940 Sept. 4 Tea with MEW at Lake Champlain.
1940 Sep. 22 Conf. with Rusk re various changes. Teaching 2nd year course and mechanics.
1940 Oct. 6 Dr. Stokey and Alma Grace; Benson not overworking.
1940 Oct. 27 Nom. for Sec/Treas. local AAUW.
1940 Nov. 3 Takes Rogers to Towne House to tea. Chemists perform as chem. class of 1840.
1940 Nov. 10 Has two 2-unit students.
1940 Dec. 1 Rusk pockets lab key. Children's party.
1940 Dec. 8 Laird writes from London; doing "volunteer" work at univ. lab. Has beginners drivers license. Gives Mildred advice on leave of absence and defense work.
1940 Dec. 15 Grading difficult when know students so well. SRO at choral concert.
1941 Jan. 9 Alice Foster hospitalized for flu; can "trade off" her work (Laird letter).
1941 Feb. 3 Had a permanent but never again.
1941 Feb. 9 Eleanor Roosevelt visit.
1941 Feb. 23 Ham interviews and appoints male faculty member without consulting anyone, while department had good woman in mind. Conflict with Rusk over courses. Anything not modern electron physics or electricity "not worth mentioning" Laird's courses "must be eliminated as much as possible."
1941 Mar. 2 Laird comments on her S.H. visit. Suggestion for Stucklen in Physics Dept. re her lab. "One cannot be entirely encouraged by the present college setup."
1941 Mar. 3 Describes Laird visit. "She was at her very best, which is very good indeed." Rusk on catalogue change and mechanics course.
1941 Mar. 9 Sorry that Rogers leaving - had "two good head-on collisions" with Rusk. Hopes Benson will not return. Rusk made full prof. Comment on Bloodgood.
1941 Mar. 16 Benson getting married.
1941 May 4 Advises Benson-Douglas to wear socks.
1941 May 11 May Day problems with Rusk. Douglas's apparel.
1941 May 19 New physics appointment. Who will teach beg. course? Going to London, Ont. Laird helping to teach Navy men.
1941 May 26 Visit to Vassar - seeing old faculty friends.
1941 June 13 London visit. Helping Laird in lab.
1941 c. June Laird writes: call for volunteers,"10000 men and 3000 women to work the devices these people are being trained to work with. I am wondering if the Canadian Gov,. will permit women ...very backward about employing women."
1941 July 28 At Randolph, N.H. has tea with G.A.Campbell of AT&T and Prof. Richards calls (age 97).
1941 Aug. 28 Laird comments on her lecturing - will be back on research.
1941 Sep. 14 To teach adv. optics - glad not be involved with intro. course. Golf with Schuck. Skinner's party.
1941 Dec. 7 Rusk already used up this year's budget.
1941 Dec. 7 Laird writes of lab problem of equipment and space. Foster investigating need of trained women in certain lines of work.
1941 Dec. 18 Laird, lacking equipment, may sit and twiddle thumbs. Foster's experiments.
1942 Jan. 1 Texts for course 316.
1942 Jan. 4 Mr. Haskell rescues skunk caught in Shattuck window well.
1942 Jan. 6, 10 Taylor of Oberlin writes re possibility of filling in. Large univ. lost faculty to war work and now raiding smaller colleges. Mildred describes her courses and other women who might be qualified. Had she been starting out now in field, would seriously consider vacuum tube techniques.
1942 Jan. 18 Students know more re possible plans for acceleration than faculty. Commencement one week earlier.
1942 Feb. 2 Problem with 2-unit student.
1942 Feb. 8 Giving new course in electricity.
1942 Mar. 1 Stormy dept. meeting on summer course.
1942 Mar. 8 Air raid drills. Douglas gone with mumps.
1942 Mar. 15 Salary raise. Feeler from Oberlin.
1942 Apr. 5 Rusk ill. Douglas gone for good. Laird visit.
1942 Apr. 19 Stucklen about to leave.
1942 Apr. 26 Extra compensation of $50.
1942 May 7 Laird writes of lab equipment problems. Suggestions for summer.
1942 May 13 Summer course now definite - 7 students in beg. course. Mildred to teach 5x week. 2x lab plus Bloodgood, lst term.
1942 July 5 Class of 10; 8 are pre-med.
1942 July 19 Doak has stroke.
1942 Sep. 19 Move to new apt. Movers came before packers. 33 cartons books.
1942 Sep. 27 Mackay (Pearsons) on housekeeping changes a/c maid shortage. 24/25 in 2nd yr. course.
1942 Oct. 4 Cannot teach optics to student who had progressive ed. and never had plane geom. Young faculty host reception for new faculty at Golf Club.
1943 Jan. 3 Laird comments on courses and texts.
1943 Feb. 15 Comments on foreign students. Are advised against use of bus bet. 4 and 7 as defense workers get preference. Saunders walks to lab in sub-zero weather.
1943 Feb. 24 Saunders class enthusiastic.
1943 Mar. 7 Saunders rescues starved bat in lab.
1943 Mar. 8 Laird comments on teaching and lab. Heard VP Wallace and inspired to get her copy of War and Peace - in German.
1943 Mar. 17 Salary increase of $100. Rusk has 3-year appointment as dept. chair. Saunders says Rusk told President he would not work under anyone, and with shortage of physicists no other choice. SS courses.
1943 Mar. 22 Appointment with Ham re dept.
1943 Mar. 24 Laird taking Foster's lectures while she is in hospital.
1943 Apr. 11, 18 Confusion re SS plans.
1943 May 9 To teach her own electricity course in first term and help orient astronomy person who will teach beg. course.
1943 June 13 Start of SS. Course schedule does not match Faculty House meal hours - "nothing changes the habits of Faculty House."
1943 July 4 College "has had good meat all along." Stucklen's appointment and Sweet Briar offer.
1943 July 18 Laird says MH fortunate in having Saunders in view of shortage. Not been away from work since August.
1943 Sep. 5 Vacation at Petersham Inn. MH Art Department there "cat and all."
1943 Sep. 19 Told Ham had war offer from Harvard; he says promotions in hands of Com on Appts.
1943 Oct. 3 Usually 60 papers minimum to read over weekend.
1943 Oct. 30 Laird from Edmonton - not been well. Visited univ. physics dept - army and navy courses. Asks re MH Physics library classification.
1943 Dec. 7 Quadrilateral visits Mass. State where 14 groups have had full year of physics since Feb.
1944 Jan. 9 Laird writes she has heard news "that was very pleasing about the use of something I did last fall" but not enthusiastic about her present job. Reading Smuts biog and Forrester.
1944 Jan. 30 Set-up in beg. course particularly good; "no signs of shirking on job".
1944 Feb. 13 Laird on problems with research. Comments on MH courses. War comments.
1944 Feb. 20 Saunders standards in correcting exams.
1944 Mar. 12 Importance of checking class experiments ahead - Rusk says not worth time. Hiromi Matsumoto '45 not as bitter as when first left Ariz. concentration camp.
1944 Mar. 19 Raise to $3600.
1944 July 30 10 in electricity class in SS.
1944 Aug. 11 Laird writes of changes in provincial req. for HS physics. Comments on Mr. Cox and physics lab - feels trustee com. to blame for over-ornate facade of P.L. Air training base to become military hospital.
1944 Sep. 17 "talking nonsense" to people in line at Freshmen reception. Few faculty at Convocation. Ham spoke "not quite as badly as usual". Margaret Kemp's health; to teach only one course. 31 in 2nd year course; 9 in adv. elect.
1944 Sep. 24 Taylor of Oberlin appoints her to Nom. Com. of Nat. Physics Teachers Assn.
1944 Oct. 1 As usual has slow section in beg. course.
1944 Oct/Nov Correspondence re Nom. Com. of Am. Assn. Physics Teachers. Louise McDowell of Wellesley, VP of Assn., nom. for Pres, but com. members not promoting her candidacy and she writes Mildred: "that what is loss of face for a man is not loss of face for woman."
1944 Nov. 12 Com. on For. Stud. - 35 "really" foreign and same number of Amer. born abroad.
1944 Nov. 19 Make-up lab - Rusk says not necessary.
1945 Feb. 11 Spring Vac. cancelled. Commencement May 21. Cancelled NE section Physics meeting.
1945 Mar. 4 Dorothy Anne Ball x47 and 2-unit work; lip reads.
1945 Mar. 18 Appointment with Ham re promotion. No research, teaching 16 hours.
1945 Apr. 25 Laird writes re lab test to premeds. Comments on FDR and Truman.
1945 May 9 May Queen gown "much too low around the shoulders."
1945 July 4 Laird describes motor trip in Canada with Sara Downer and Foster. Made Honorary Prof. at univ.
1945 Sep. 23 Only 12 classroom hours this sem cf. to former 16. Sara Downer teaching lab; 35 students in experimental elect. and 6 in theoretical. Ham "for a change" made "very good speech" at Convoc.
1945 Oct. 7 On Com. to Appt. Com. Rusk worked so hard during war, no service on com.
1945 Oct. 14 Sara Downer takes 4 hours to prepare Chinese dinner.
1945 Oct. 28 3-course lunch at Hotel Weldon, in Greenfield, $0.85.
1945 Nov. 4 Faculty discussions on new curriculum will be lively. "Many of our physics girls are losing their jobs as the Bell Tel. Labs are no longer to use women in any technical positions."
1946 Feb. 3 Ham's "inoccuous" Baccal.; "rarely says anything worthwhile."
1946 Feb. 17 Downer's Chinese daughter.
1946 Feb. 27 To be Dept. Chairman; Saunders turned it down.
1946 Mar. 3 Problems about hiring new dept. member. Saunders and Mildred hoping for woman.
1946 Mar. 6 Laird writes re finding woman for opening - "I think a woman does better for girls in the long run."
1946 Mar. 10 Rusk advises that Saunders be "fired" - too meddling in Dept.
1946 Apr. 7 Mildred has had revealing letter from Rusk.
1946 Sep. 22 Alma Rosenbaum and Dorothy Taylor arrive in Dept.; no Faculty House meals this week a/c cook is "drunk."
1946 Sep. 29 Laird visit. She and Saunders attended high school in London (Can.) together as well as U. Toronto. Rusk's request for more course money; Saunders and Ham reaction.
1946 Oct. 6 Beautiful art museum tea but no exhibit a/c "present difficulties with transportation" Rusk says Laird runs dept. To be sponsor of Camera Club.
1946 Oct. 13 Mountain Day picnic problems with Rusk; Rusk demanding more appropriation money.
1946 Oct. 14 Laird writes of lab changes.
1946 Oct. 21 Boiling cider "to conform with college rules" for Foreign Student Tea.
1946 Nov. 3 Rusk complains not getting service.
1946 Nov. 16 Sara Downer describes voyage to China - troop ship with 600 on cafeteria line. "nightmare" getting off ship. Plane west to Chengtu.
1946 Nov. 17 Salary raise but college in financial difficulty.
1947 Feb. 6 Secretary leaks news of promotion.
1947 Feb. 16 Rusk very difficult.
1947 May 18 Firm appraising college possessions. Elected to Com. on Appts.
1947 May 25 Neilson very ill - "one of the most stunning members of the faculty when I first came."
1947 Aug. 14 Laird writes in reply to request listing outstanding MH grad. in physics and science = with comments on their work.
1947 Sep. 28 Rusk teaching at Holyoke Jr. College.
1947 Oct. 25 Helping Lane with class experiment.
1947 Nov. 2 Vice-Chairman NE Section AAPT.
1948 Jan. 8 Letter from Dorothy Taylor Tiedje, newly married.
1948 Jan. 18 Rusk/Ham/Clancy problems.

CR Ludwig

February 1993

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form: