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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.

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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The Mildred Allen Papers contain correspondence, published and unpublished writings, research materials, course records, financial and legal records, family papers, biographical material, memorabilia, and photographs.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.

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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. 10Began school today.
1903 May 7Death of Frances.
1903 Dec. 9A "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. 8Telephone "fine."
1905 Jan. 21Explains 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. 25Grandpa sends books on nature.
1905 Aug. 19Having malaria - "mosquito bit me."
1905 Aug. 27Grandpa writes about "wonderful ruins."
1905 Nov. 26Grandpa has been inspecting schools; long rough journey to Roswell, N.M.
1906 Jan. 28Grandpa writes of quality of education in N.M.
1906 Mar. 25Received locket from teachers to be used for pictures of his two granddaughters.
1906 Apr. 15Cousin Edward has an automobile.
1906 Sep. 23Re 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. 2213-year old Mexican boy works for grandpa - would like to "have him as one of the family" and send him to school.
1908 Jan. 19Taking Civil Government in school. Wishes she could spend the next year in N.M. with Grandpa.
1908 Feb. 16Quotes 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. 23From 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. 15Mildred and Margaret to have separate rooms.
1908 May 17Class visits Harvard's Peabody Museum.
1908 June 28Carrie's wedding in Swarthmore; school graduation.
1908 Sep. 20Describes first days at school; lists studies at Jamaica Plain H.S.
1908 Oct. 18Reports on school and reading.
1909 May 16"Margaret and I still like to play dolls, though we do not have much time..."
1909 June 27Grandpa installing electricity. "last year this valley shipped... 71 car loads of cantaloupes and this year we expect to ship ... more."
1909 Aug. 13Printing and developing pictures. Sewing, photography. "I read Medieval History a little and do still less with my French."
1909 Aug. 16From Aunt Alice: "we associate Margaret more with the little folks and thee with the mechanical pursuits."
1909 Aug. 22Grandpa shipped 360 crates of melons. New horse died - may have fed him too many cantaloupes.
1909 Sep. 4From Cousin Carrie: describes camping - comments on women's role in home.
1909 Sep. 19First 2 days of school, red tape, very tiresome. But now enjoying herself immensely.
1909 Oct. 17Every month geom. teacher puts quotation on board (i.e. Locke) hoping "someone may profit."
1909 Oct. 24Grandpa ordered surrey from Chicago.
1909 Dec. 5Making 36 calendars with photographs for Christmas gifts.
1909 Dec. 19English Lit. class "intensely interesting" - Margaret and many of the girls think it is almost as dull as history, or perhaps worse."
1910 Jan. 16We do not know "popular music and I have no use for it."
1910 Jan. 18Grandpa receives silk hat for Christmas; if he were to wear it would need police protection.
1910 Feb. 20Geom. teacher does not know how to give an exam.
1910 Feb. 26Grandpa married 30 years and never had to wait 5 minutes for grandma.
1910 Mar. 20Shopped for suit - "know nothing about styles and do not care much about them."
1910 Mar. 23Aunt 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. 16Cousin 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. 19President of new French Club at school.
1911 Dec. 17Parents visit to Vassar. Chose dorm. Met faculty and president.
1911 Dec. 24Grandpa comments on entering college.
1912 Feb. 18Aunt and uncle give fur coat - lining of hamster.
1912 Mar. 24Grandpa 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 21Boston 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. 18West 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. 25Grandpa believes too many women teachers in schools - leads to dropout of boys.
1912 Aug. 291911 grad. of Vassar, Marguerite Davis, writes Mrs. Allen giving information and advice re college.
1912 Sep. 13Margaret writes Papa re registering at Conservatory of Music - tests, program, costs.
1912 Sep. 15Grandma describes cousin Mildred Fulghum's difficult journey to Las Cruces to attend college.
1912 Sep. 16Margaret writes about music classes at Conservatory.
1912 Sep. 20Mother Allen writes husband from Vassar re Mildred's room, etc.
1912 Sep. 22Grandpa sending Encyclopedia; Literary Digest.
1912 Sep. 22Margaret saw moving picture at Tremont Temple of King and Queen visit to India; machine so noisy could not hear lecturer.
1912 Sep. 24First classes.
1912 Sep. 27Mother 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. 29Father 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. 1To Papa - "to comfort Mamma, tell her I wore ...
1912 Oct. 6Trip to Lake Mohonk.
1912 Oct. 8Mother indignant no food before or after expedition - now understands why so many chafing dishes around.
1912 Oct. 13Medical exam; wanted information re grandparents to check on "hereditary health." Maid empties slops. Hygiene lecture.
1912 Oct. 17"Work is fearfully... easy."
1912 Oct. 20Reason why many sick - not because hatless, but wet feet.
1912 Oct. 29Mother 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. 30Explains to Grandpa that planning work well, "close concentration" and clear thinking "makes my work very easy."
1912 Nov. 1Auntie 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. 17Chem. has required "rather strenuous thinking". Many girls think little. opportunity for dancing and theatre - very dull - "such sentiments seem strange."
1912 Nov. 17To Grandpa - Literary Digest keeps her in touch with outside world.
1912 Nov. 24Mother'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. 15Getting over fear of English; paper on Millet "her hero."
1913 Jan. 25Mother hears about Wellesley and so glad M is at Vassar.
1913 Feb. 6Vassar student drowned in toboggan accident.
1913 Feb. 7"wild" with excitement - to be in French play.
1913 Feb. 9Had waffles - never seen before. Men "never allowed to be present at plays given by students."
1913 Feb. 16Dance observed - feels she would not be ready for such a performance even in 2 years.
1913 Feb. 18Mother says colleges are encouraging dancing as "healthful exercise" - urges Mildred to dance - "try to be an all round girl."
1913 Feb. 23Grandpa on dangers of dancing - concern re moral standards in college.
1913 Mar. 2Details 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. 19Proctor on corridor.
1913 Mar. 25Trig. going very well; "like reading a storybook for second time."
1913 May 11Latin class - act out plays - good fun.
1913 May 18In Latin wrote play - Red Riding Hood; took 5 hours, more difficult than she expected - enjoyed it tremendously.
1913 May 23Mother 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. 29Mother encourages Mildred to accept invitation to West Point dance provided she is properly chaperoned.
1913 Nov. 16Mother gives advice on West Point trip.
1913 Nov. 30Describes West Point visit. Confining life of Academy. Raises question of peace - place of academy and strict discipline.
1914 Jan. 16Mother travels west - comments on Mexicans and "darkies."
1914 Jan. 18Exams - everyone studying but "I expect to have a good time in reading French plays."
1914 Mar. 1Writing composition in foreign language studied only 5 months gives "sense of power."
1914 Mar. 8Helen McAuslan describes courses at MHC.
1914 Mar. 15MH vs. Vassar debate on minimum wage.
1914 Apr. 19Seniors wore caps/gowns for first time in history of college.
1914 May 10Tree Ceremony - 2-hour rehearsals every day.
1914 May 17Writes 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 24Course selections. "Miss Furness [Astron], although illustrious, is stupid." Reading Dumas. "Break the news gently to Mamma that I washed my hair myself."
1914 Sep. 27Vassar 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. 11Margaret writes about her Conservatory work.
1914 Nov. 8Earning $3 week tutoring.
1914 Nov. 8High school teacher writes with comments on war.
1915 Jan. 3Letter from Adelaide Knight re new Vassar president.
1915 Feb. 72 in math class; 8 in physics. Students like new pres.
1915 Feb. 28Mother writes that Father nervous and restless - talk of an auto; uncertainty over war; father's book not paid for yet.
1915 Mar. 7Did not telegraph news of PBK election so as not to disturb mother.
1915 Mar. 21Enjoys Deutsche Verein especially because provides opportunity to get to know faculty.
1915 Apr. 11PBK initiation.
1915 Apr. 18Tutoring in physics - only 2 others in class are majors.
1915 May 9Comments on the infirmary.
1915 May 9(to father) Leans to taking Goethe course - many consider it necessary part of education.
1915 May 15Donald Swain writes of life at Williams.
1915 May 23Changes in social rules. Taking Saunders course in Spectroscopy.
1915 May 28, 29Margaret and Auntie very ill.
1915 Aug. 15Hoping for fellowship from Vassar to do physics and math at Clark.
1915 Oct. 1750th Anniversary celebration.
1915 Nov. 7Young man walks her home - "I do not think there could be any objection... even on Sunday."
1915 Nov. 12German "interesting." Physics "good fun." Can play good game of tennis.
1915 Nov. 14Busy Sundays. Started out term "so bravely reading French and playing mandolin."
1915 Nov. 18Broken-hearted. Fur coat is "eaten."
1916 Jan. 16Writes 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. 6Doing special work for Saunders.
1916 Feb. 20Trying to improve speaking voice - important for teacher.
1916 Mar. 12Comments on Synge and Fosdick.
1916 Mar. 19Debate (with MHC) "time of great excitement ... even library is shut".
1916 Apr. 20Miss Carter takes physics students to elect. power house and hosp. X-ray lab.
1916 Apr. 22Learning to type.
1916 July 16Earlham too small to provide teaching opportunities. Typing - helping father with new book. Reading.
1916 Aug. 21Career plans.
1916 Sept. 2Alice writes of grad. work in chem. at U. Cal. Berkeley. Only girl in one class; 2 in another.
1916 Sep. 17Found room with nice people in Worcester. Has license to drive. Learned typing by "kind of motor memory."
1916 Oct. 1Choir at Friends. Lab very dirty - many soiled waists. Daily schedule.
1916 Oct. 8Classes. 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. 15Group climb Mt. Wachusett.
1916 Oct. 19Crowd at RR station welcoming soldiers back from Mexico. Will try dancing class.
1916 Oct. 20Mother approves dancing class if "properly chaperoned" but would "wholly disapprove if high school girl going into class of strangers."
1916 Oct. 22Walking with Mr. Parker.
1916 Oct. 26Mother writes about smoking and drinking.
1916 Oct. 29Feels "quite in the swing of the social life of the university." Teaching Sunday School.
1916 Dec. 17Trip to Vassar.
1917 Jan. 6Water pipes froze at univ.
1917 Jan. 9Colloquium presentation liked.
1917 Jan. 21Congenial atmosphere. Skating. Walking with friends - like big family.
1917 Jan. 21Writes 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. 25Grandpa speaks at Y on noted women and secret of their power.
1917 Mar. 18Great part of month making electrical cell. Understanding physics lectures takes time.
1917 Mar. 18Colloquium topic; Webster intimated only two hours to prepare, but 33 pages German involved.
1917 Apr. 15Meeting of college and university on war. Hopes mother will approve she accepted invitation by man to his home. Will try knitting helmet.
1917 Apr. 15Margaret writes from MHC while visiting Helen McAuslan.
1917 Apr. 18Father 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. 22Went to dance with Mr. Eksergian - "something of a rest not to go with same man all the time."
1917 May 13Got "a curve" - finally accomplished what she set out to do.
1917 May 17Webster perplexed with curve. Question of when to get degree.
1917 May 20Smallpox scare - to be vaccinated.
1917 June 3Mr. Parker goes to N.J. for job.
1917 June 10First 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. 28Grandpa writes that Grandma's women callers rarely talk of anything important.
1917 Oct. 281st Lieut. Eksergian writes about life at Camp Amer. Univ. - military training, etc.
1917 Dec. 6Friends minister leaves for France.
1917 Dec. 16Report to Fellowship Committee. Hopes for Ph.D. in 1919.
1917 Dec. 16On Sundays breakfasts with all women students of univ.
1917 Dec. 29Aubrey Douglas writes from Camp Devons re life of soldier.
1918 Jan. 20Comments on Mr. Rowland.
1918 Jan. 27Drafting of friends. Belgian with war experience at table.
1918 Feb. 3Responsible for Founders Day celebration. Tired from "war excitement."
1918 Mar. 3Report 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. 9Laird visits Webster at Clark.
1918 Apr. 16Confusion and problems over next year. Work on big German gun. Bullet experiment to be published.
1918 Apr. 21Accepted MH offer.
1918 May 19Reviews experience of two years in Worcester. Appraisal of Webster. Smoking in chem labs.
1918 July 28Grandpa's pear crop - even women and girls in "britches" are picking.
1918 Sep. 22First days at MH - teaching schedule.
1918 Sep. 28Flu. Dr. Lang. Brigham becomes infirmary. MH "fine walking center."
1918 Sep. 29Maids at MH do not deliver food to sick. Classes halved by epidemic. Quarantine.
1918 Oct. 4In Brigham "hospital."
1918 Oct. 13Only 1 death. Faculty meeting decides to continue classes. Bd. of Health believes S.H. ideal place to combat germs.
1918 Oct. 20Likes table at meals. Faculty in dorm discuss students constructively.
1918 Nov. 3Colloquium report. Good long talk with Laird.
1918 Nov. 7Celebrating armistice.
1918 Nov. 10Street car strike. Founders Day. Miss Woolley mistakes her for student.
1918 Nov. 17Armistice celebration; faculty prayer meeting; walks; Math Club; reading French drama.
1918 Nov. 21MEW encourages all to stay over Thanksgiving a/c flu.
1918 Nov. 28Miss Purington, Doak. Thanksgiving custom. Helen McAuslan's aunt runs College book store.
1918 Dec. 1Sunday service "very peculiar custom" - white gloves but no hats. Smith sent students home - "somewhat dangerous."
1918 Dec. 8Laird discusses experience in Germany.
1918 Dec. 15Comments on teaching.
1919 Jan. 5Quarantine again. No Chapel. Strict rules.
1919 Jan. 19Laird tea party - met Dietrich who goes in "aristocratic company" Piano after dinner in dorm.
1919 Jan. 19Prepares for teaching mechanics. 7 students in class.
1919 Feb. 2Visit to Clark.
1919 Mar. 3, 6, 11, 13, 16Father writes about degree plans - one year at M.I.T. Laird reactions.
1919 Mar. 16Vassar debate; 87 in physics class.
1919 Apr. 13Webster visits MH.
1919 Apr. 20Faculty party for Hoag and Purington.
1919 May 11To have Hoag's room next year while she is away; larger room than "an instructor is allowed to have."
1919 Aug. 17Summer reading.
1919 Sep. 21Salary increased 6% to $1113. 10 in Mead family.
1920 Jan. 4Lecture by Blakeslee of Clark.
1920 Jan. 18Miss Shields talks 2 hours on Einstein Theory. Snow-shoeing with Miss Foster.
1920 Jan. 18Advantages of College Chapel.
1920 Jan. 18Writing to Grandpa, recounts from memory Biblical history.
1920 Jan. 25No snow-shoeing on Sunday - "in conservative place like this one does not wish to break customs" Rabbi Wise and Baroness Huard.
1920 Feb. 8Flu threat.
1920 Feb. 29Rehearsals for Faculty Show - quail in Toy Symphony.
1920 Mar. 7Chapel and classes cancelled a/c weather. No trolleys. 4 feet snow on car tracks.
1920 Mar. 8Safford fire - Young, Laird, Doak. Hard on "cooperative" girls. Triumph for firemen.
1920 Mar. 14Lumber for Safford already arrived.
1920 Mar. 21Six Women's College debate; reading Mary Lyon life.
1920 Apr. 25Grandpa writes that long ago he started movement against use of tobacco.
1920 May 3Preparing for colloquium on Mendenhall.
1920 May 16Big student weekend - "excess of college life"; work suffers but "one must be young while one is young." Cyrano play.
1920 June 20Canoe sing with Japanese lanterns. Sorry to leave. "Two years rich in opportunities and inspiration to service and knowledge."
1920 Nov. 7Adelaide Knight on teaching Spanish at Newcomb and living in dorm.
1921 Feb. 20Had Hoover dinner at Tech - stew, bread, cocoa.
1921 Mar. 20Fond of foreign languages, esp. French. Studied Ital. in winter.
1921 June 21At Vassar celebrating 50th - future of college. Comparing Vassar and MHC.
1921 Sep. 18Moving to Wellesley - part-time teaching appointment while continuing at Tech. Boston style now: stockings rolled below knee.
1921 Nov. 20Comments on Wellesley.
1922 Mar. 19Comments on intercollegiate debates.
1922 Mar. 22Wellesley appointment for next year - salary question.
1922 Apr. 16Hopes thesis finished - orals in June.
1922 May 21At 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. 16Adelaide Knight describes summer in Spain studying and traveling.
1922 Oct. 15Comments on teaching at Wellesley.
1922 Nov. 20Spoke at NY meeting of Nat. Ac. Science on her thesis topic.
1922 Dec. 9A. Knight on study in Madrid.
1923 Jan. 4Sara Downer writes about teaching physics at boys school in Chengtu; calls lab Shattuck (China).
1923 June 16In Chicago as guest of University.
1923 June 23Taking courses at Chicago.
1923 June 23Mother writes about Adelaide's illness and death.
1923 Oct. 7As MH faculty, may have hot plate in her room in Mead.
1923 Oct. 21Walked 14 miles on Mountain Day.
1924 Jan. 18Father advises on job possibilities.
1924 Feb. 3Some topics in her course to be expanded. Appointment as Asst. Prof. at $1900.
1924 Feb. 17Comments on schedule, salary; giving 6 hours/week to help Laird with her research. Ideas for summer.
1924 Apr. 20Hunting Mayflowers.
1924 Apr. 21Since no faculty of high enough rank requested Mead suite, Mildred will have it next year - 2 rooms and bath.
1924 June 22Living in Faculty House in summer.
1924 Aug. 6, 9Toronto - science meetings.
1924 Oct. 3Uncle Charlie disapproves MEW endorsement of Davis.
1924 Nov. 2Golf with Laird. Abstained on Child Labor Amendment.
1924 Dec. 7Golden Rule Sunday - only baked beans and brown bread. Laird Mah Jongg party.
1925 Jan. 25Solar eclipse - 6' below.
1925 Feb. 1Teaching grad. course in Math. Physics.
1925 Mar. 1Science meeting at Columbia. Earthquake at Vassar.
1925 Mar. 8Salary next year $2000. "Some girls had letters from their parents forbidding them to hear such a dangerous man as Dr. Fosdick."
1925 May 4European summer plans.
1925 May 5Elected PBK treas.
1925 May 10Talk with Laird re impending changes in dept. To leave MH end of next year.
1925 Aug. 27AAS meeting in Southampton, England.
1925 Aug. 30On Cathedral excursion met Chrissy Smith (MH faculty) "girl of my own age."
1925 Sep. 27Not enough freshmen "flunked" out. All class lists wrong. Heyworth on Ellis Island, rescued by Adams (Treas) - also locked up. Laird gone.
1925 Oct. 18Physics Colloquium - Smith, MH, Amherst, M.A.C. - to meet monthly.
1925 Nov. 1Dept. lantern - "biggest college rumpus" over lantern last year. Halloween supper - faculty wearing each other's clothes.
1925 Nov. 9Elected sec/treas AAUP.
1925 Nov. 15Another joint meeting with Smith Dept.
1926 Jan. 17Laird to India; New Haven next year?
1926 Jan. 25Congratulations from Thompson at Amherst on physics paper.
1926 Mar. 7Doing further study on radio. Cat. course descriptions.
1926 Mar. 21Letter from Charles Morris in Korea thanking Mildred for her friendship with his daughter, Charlotte '29.
1926 June 4Going to study at Yale for "more intimate acquaintance with Modern Physics."
1926 June 5Father drafts letter to Goucher re job opening there.
1926 June 7Her MH future not clear.
1926 June 13At reunion looking after "old ladies" of 1866, 67, 68, 69 classes.
1926 Sep. 26Arrival in New Haven.
1926 Oct. 3Arrival in New Haven.
1926 Oct. 31Minimum of walking 4 miles a day.
1927 Mar. 13Swann at Yale lab may leave - offer includes building him house and lab.
1927 Apr. 25Nat. Acad. meetings in Washington. Comments on Goucher Dept. members.
1927 May 6Swann going to Philadelphia (with extra $10,000 year - letter May 2) to Bartol Foundation, Franklin Institute; Mildred too.
1927 June 6Plans for next year; summer in Europe.
1927 Sep. 30Living at Warburton House, Phil.
1927 Oct. 9Describes room and work. Bryn Mawr "problem."
1927 Nov. 27Is reserving piano for practice at $0.15 hour.
1927 Dec. 4Rent going up $1 Jan. 1.
1927 Dec. 11Dining with Mrs. Shelmire (MH).
1928 Jan. 1Telephoned Sydney McLean (at Yale last year) - dreading tel. bill, so much to talk about.
1928 Jan. 8Visit to Yale and Loomis lab.
1928 Jan. 30Gave paper on Compton theory.
1928 Mar. 12Scientific meetings and letter from Laird re next year.
1928 Mar. 16Copy of letter to Laird re problems of job offer.
1928 Mar. 26More about Laird and job - happy to be staying in Phil.
1928 Oct. 8Theresa Schindler '06 MH - at Ambler School.
1928 Oct. 29Visit to MH, read paper.
1928 Dec. 13Sent off paper to Journal - preparing 10 minute talk on it for NY meeting.
1928 Dec. 15Charlotte Macomb - (Mead Hall head) writes news of MH people.
1928 Dec. 31NY 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. 11Vassar visit seeing friends, including Charlotte Haywood, teaching physiology.
1929 May 6Taking room on Elm Ave. Swarthmore; lab being moved to new building on Swarthmore campus.
1929 May 13Not 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 26Plans to keep same room next year with Kents.
1929 May 26Father writes he is financing her research work and asks Swann if salary from foundation were possible.
1929 June 2Lab Open House during Swarthmore commencement. Swann getting Hon. degree.
1929 Sep. 6Clipping re television lab.
1929 Oct. 7Letter from Laird - advised to be at Saranac till end Nov., although no trouble with lungs.
1929 Oct. 20Received first installment of stipend from Bartol.
1929 Nov. 11Elected to Swarthmore Sigma Xi.
1929 Nov. 25Death of Sarah Effie Smith '86 (MH Math); hard on Doak. Sigma Xi with movies. of electrons.
1929 Dec. 3Proposal to go abroad as way of families to be together.
1930 Jan. 13Laird visit.
1930 Jan. 17Looking for job.
1930 Feb. 15Visit to Goucher - pleased.
1930 Feb. 27Physics 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. 31Reply 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. 3In response to request from Oberlin describes her papers - current research.
1930 Apr. 13Eye problem.
1930 June 2Going to Oberlin next year.
1930 June 27Letter from Thomson, U. Aberdeen, re research.
1930 July 25Taylor of Oberlin writes re plans for next year.
1930 Sep. 8Arrives at Oberlin. Room rented $6 week.
1930 Sep. 14Describes house, room, town.
1930 Oct. 5Walk and tea with Elizabeth Parks, MH '29.
1930 Oct. 13Meals $8.50; $0.60, laundry.
1930 Oct. 19Walk and tea with Miss Sinclair (math).
1930 Oct. 23Taylor recommends attendance at Optical Soc. meetings in Va.; if want job next year should stay visible.
1930 Nov. 9Leading seminar; research.
1931 Jan. 4Rochester job. Comments on Duke and women there. Mich.State. Western Reserve meetings.
1931 Mar. 1Pa. Coll. for Women job at $1800 does not sound interesting.
1931 Mar. 8Many colds and flu "but never heard of a college which was willing to acknowledge that it had an epidemic of anything."
1931 Mar. 22Dean advises registering with Amer. College Bureau, Chic.
1931 Apr. 3Rochester 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, 29About job search.
1931 May 4, 10About job search.
1931 June 9Finishing up on Howe's research till end June. Short course at U. Mich - 3 big men in wave mechanics to be there.
1932 Apr. 10Laird writes things have not worked out as hoped - moving into new building.
1933 May 9Swann writes re Mildred's research.
1933 Sep. 4At MH, apt. at 14 Silver St. with Chalmers, has car.
1933 Oct. 8At 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. 13Dept. going to Buckland on Mountain Day.
1933 Oct. 29Allyn's supper of Hungarian food.
1933 Dec. 10Frozen water pipes in apt.
1933 Dec. 17Snow delays student departures; waiting to hear re Nat. Res. Council grant.
1934 Jan. 7Grant of $175 for supplies and apparatus for crystal research.
1934 Feb. 1111' below - Chalmers dog's frozen water pan leads to discovery furnace is out.
1934 Mar. 4Lab open nights. Heavy snows.
1934 Mar. 18MEW 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. 15Student Scientific Conf. at Smith.
1934 Apr. 28Fall sends her to Infirmary. Laird's reaction.
1934 May 13College has confidence in B. Bump, "although rather young."
1934 May 27Back bruise to be opened at Infirmary by Dr. Knowlton with nitrogen laughing gas.
1934 June 28, July 2Describes voyage on Scantic Line. Meets Ruth Irene Taylor MH '08 of Dorland Bell School in N. Car. - "a kind of missionary enterprise."
1934 JulyLetters written from Copenhagen - exploring by foot, boat, trolley, train, etc. Reading in French, Italian, English and Danish, occ. talking in German.
1934 Sep. 10Settling in at 14 Silver St. Lovell, Snell, Chalmers.
1934 Sep. 16Laird sprained ankle.
1934 Oct. 7Friends meeting in Greenfield - 3 cars from MH, 1 carrying non-Quakers.
1934 Oct. 15Mountain Day postponed a/c Mr. Crossland's funeral. Physical Soc. at Williams.
1934 Oct. 21Walk with Laird; "many of my best good times were with her this fall."
1934 Oct. 28Heating problems on campus. Bumps housewarming.
1934 Nov. 11Perkins arrives while academic procession forming.
1934 Nov. 18Laird in "very meek and get-at-able frame of mind this fall."
1934 Nov. 21Laird spending Thanksgiving with Allens.
1934 Dec. 16Laird birthday dinner. Speaker at Faculty Club. Quaker meeting - Marks helped with dishes. Power house alters current without warning.
1935 Jan. 7Laird attends "churchy church."
1935 Jan. 14Employee minstrel show now to be only once in generation.
1935 Jan. 18Lucy Shelmire writes re Mildred's fall. Comments on Miss Clapp "dared to be natural and not a paragon of virtue and proprieties."
1935 Jan. 28Letter to Bridgman at Harvard re research problem.
1935 Feb. 10Entertained by Rusks - "first advance" Visit to Towne House.
1935 Feb. 17Fetches liquid air from Amherst for Rusk - too busy with social engagements.
1935 Feb. 24Physical Society meeting at Columbia.
1935 Mar. 3College entertains Miss McNair from Lahore.
1935 May 20New ruling - grad. assts. must live on campus.
1935 June 3Entertained MEW at dinner - Downer, Cheek, Douglas, Betty Bailey.
1935 Sep. 2Letter from Sara Downer before sailing from San Francisco.
1935 Sep. 22Mr. Bey active in region - not much excitement about him here but police are stationed at golf course.
1935 Sep. 2212 in 2nd year course.
1935 Oct. 7Getting students to Northampton to hear Ruth Nichols explain plane dashboard. Overnight visit with Laird to Evelyn Clift McKnight.
1935 Oct. 27Physics meeting at Brown.
1935 Nov. 10Vassar lunch in Boston.
1936 Jan. 20Laird ill.
1936 Jan. 27Mrs. Mackay, Pearsons Head, reports Laird wishes Mildred to be Dept. head.
1936 Feb. 8So much ice had to drive with windshield open. Miss Martin's death.
1936 Feb. 19Father writes of his dinner for 10 colleagues.
1936 Feb. 23Story 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, 22Threat of floods.
1936 Mar. 5To have Martin apt. New Housing arrangements.
1936 Apr. 19Limited bridge traffic. Miss Searles death.
1936 May 17Visit of Haas, physicist; comment on Mildred McAfee.
1936 May 31Piano purchase. Laird's sister retiring at Toronto.
1936 June 7Comment on new MH president.
1936 June 14Wrote Anna Holman re exhibit of part women have played in physics.
1936 Sep. 27Beg. Physics up 50% in enrollments; Branch neighbor.
1936 Oct. 4Announce new chapel; money to finish physics building.
1936 Oct. 11Mountain Day Dept. picnic - first time Rusks present.
1936 Nov. 1Physics meetings in NY.
1936 Nov. 18Taking over Adv. Optics course.
1936 Nov. 29Thanksgiving 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. 6Birthday supper for Laird.
1937 Jan. 24Galt death; death of Griffith sister.
1937 Feb. 14Took Laird and 3 students to hear Bohr in Cambridge.
1937 Mar. 7Prominent alumna speaks in Md. - MH "laughing stock of education world." Young male faculty now play in student productions.
1937 Mar. 21Movie machine unintelligible as usual.
1937 Apr. 11Preparing major exam.
1937 May 17Miss Purington wore mother's wedding dress at Centennial Garden Party.
1937 June 15MEW thanks for lady slippers.
1937 June 2055 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. 26Chapel 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, 21Letters from Edith Coon in Madras.
1937 Dec. 5Visit 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. 30Sunderland bridge being torn down a/c ice damage.
1938 Feb. 13Re Faculty meeting: "We all think that Dr. Ham does not conduct that with much dignity nor perhaps ease."
1938 Mar. 6Helping with project of Bur. of Standards: survey of humidity in various types of residence. Labelling and diagramming model of Ford engine.
1938 Mar. 20Re 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 8Mary Ellen Chase "spoke well and dynamically" at PBK banquet. Ham an initiate.
1938 May 11Planning on England for Brit. Assn. meeting in Cambridge.
1938 Aug. 23Staying at Girton; describes meetings.
1938 Sep. 25Hurricane; damage.
1938 Oct. 2Hurricane; NE meeting of Physical Soc. lost "star speaker" - hurried home to England a/c war threat.
1938 Oct. 3Invitation to join Optical Soc. of America as result of deck chair encounter.
1938 Oct. 17Meetings of Physical Soc. - 100 to lunch.
1938 Nov. 7To speak in chapel on electricity.
1938 Dec. 11Letter from Mina Breed in England, comments on war threat.
1939 Jan. 22Margaret 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. 12Faculty meetings now in afternoon; "not much detailed discussion takes place any more."
1939 Feb. 26NY meetings; television demonstration at Radio City.
1939 Mar. 5Read Rebecca - held her interest but does not see why so much commotion about it.
1939 Apr. 2Death of Chase in Tenn. - Emeritus in Physics.
1939 Apr. 9Helped student with science conference - worthwhile "but I cannot see certain members of my department doing such things."
1939 Apr. 30Bought new hat by telegraph.
1939 May 7Prof. Swann, PBK speaker. Mildred and Laird described the "situation here" and he passed these remarks to Ham. Rusk talks to Quadrilateral.
1939 May 2118 registered for next year in 2d year class.
1939 May 21Edith Coon writes from Ceylon.
1939 June 4Death of Edith Coon and Laird's sister in Toronto.
1939 July 2Letter from Laird in Toronto.
1939 Sep. 13Attended wedding in Pa. "very few gloves in evidence and very few hats."
1939 Sep. 18Helped entertain freshmen and families in line at Reception.
1939 Sep. 24Eating in N. Rocky. Grad. student, Eleanor Mitts, desperately homesick.
1939 Oct. 22To supervise Master's thesis.
1939 Dec. 9Letter re problems of Physics Department and Dept. Chairman.
1939 Dec. 15Comments on meeting with Ham re Dept. Chair, Laird, Rusk, etc.
1940 Feb. 18Further 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. 15Comments on Ham.
1940 Apr. 22Eleanor Mason of Madras. Community Chest decline. Meeting with Ham; has "facility for flirting with male species."
1940 Apr. 28Problems with Rusk; with grad. student. Kent of B.U.
1940 May 12Helen Stoelzel ill. Guests for May Day.
1940 May 29Letter from Swann offering advice on her difficult situation.
1940 June 3Laird's retirement plan.
1940 June 9Comment 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 7Planning on spectroscopic conf. in Cambridge.
1940 Sept. 4Tea with MEW at Lake Champlain.
1940 Sep. 22Conf. with Rusk re various changes. Teaching 2nd year course and mechanics.
1940 Oct. 6Dr. Stokey and Alma Grace; Benson not overworking.
1940 Oct. 27Nom. for Sec/Treas. local AAUW.
1940 Nov. 3Takes Rogers to Towne House to tea. Chemists perform as chem. class of 1840.
1940 Nov. 10Has two 2-unit students.
1940 Dec. 1Rusk pockets lab key. Children's party.
1940 Dec. 8Laird 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. 15Grading difficult when know students so well. SRO at choral concert.
1941 Jan. 9Alice Foster hospitalized for flu; can "trade off" her work (Laird letter).
1941 Feb. 3Had a permanent but never again.
1941 Feb. 9Eleanor Roosevelt visit.
1941 Feb. 23Ham 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. 2Laird 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. 3Describes Laird visit. "She was at her very best, which is very good indeed." Rusk on catalogue change and mechanics course.
1941 Mar. 9Sorry 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. 16Benson getting married.
1941 May 4Advises Benson-Douglas to wear socks.
1941 May 11May Day problems with Rusk. Douglas's apparel.
1941 May 19New physics appointment. Who will teach beg. course? Going to London, Ont. Laird helping to teach Navy men.
1941 May 26Visit to Vassar - seeing old faculty friends.
1941 June 13London visit. Helping Laird in lab.
1941 c. JuneLaird 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 28At Randolph, N.H. has tea with G.A.Campbell of AT&T and Prof. Richards calls (age 97).
1941 Aug. 28Laird comments on her lecturing - will be back on research.
1941 Sep. 14To teach adv. optics - glad not be involved with intro. course. Golf with Schuck. Skinner's party.
1941 Dec. 7Rusk already used up this year's budget.
1941 Dec. 7Laird writes of lab problem of equipment and space. Foster investigating need of trained women in certain lines of work.
1941 Dec. 18Laird, lacking equipment, may sit and twiddle thumbs. Foster's experiments.
1942 Jan. 1Texts for course 316.
1942 Jan. 4Mr. Haskell rescues skunk caught in Shattuck window well.
1942 Jan. 6, 10Taylor 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. 18Students know more re possible plans for acceleration than faculty. Commencement one week earlier.
1942 Feb. 2Problem with 2-unit student.
1942 Feb. 8Giving new course in electricity.
1942 Mar. 1Stormy dept. meeting on summer course.
1942 Mar. 8Air raid drills. Douglas gone with mumps.
1942 Mar. 15Salary raise. Feeler from Oberlin.
1942 Apr. 5Rusk ill. Douglas gone for good. Laird visit.
1942 Apr. 19Stucklen about to leave.
1942 Apr. 26Extra compensation of $50.
1942 May 7Laird writes of lab equipment problems. Suggestions for summer.
1942 May 13Summer course now definite - 7 students in beg. course. Mildred to teach 5x week. 2x lab plus Bloodgood, lst term.
1942 July 5Class of 10; 8 are pre-med.
1942 July 19Doak has stroke.
1942 Sep. 19Move to new apt. Movers came before packers. 33 cartons books.
1942 Sep. 27Mackay (Pearsons) on housekeeping changes a/c maid shortage. 24/25 in 2nd yr. course.
1942 Oct. 4Cannot 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. 3Laird comments on courses and texts.
1943 Feb. 15Comments 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. 24Saunders class enthusiastic.
1943 Mar. 7Saunders rescues starved bat in lab.
1943 Mar. 8Laird comments on teaching and lab. Heard VP Wallace and inspired to get her copy of War and Peace - in German.
1943 Mar. 17Salary 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. 22Appointment with Ham re dept.
1943 Mar. 24Laird taking Foster's lectures while she is in hospital.
1943 Apr. 11, 18Confusion re SS plans.
1943 May 9To teach her own electricity course in first term and help orient astronomy person who will teach beg. course.
1943 June 13Start of SS. Course schedule does not match Faculty House meal hours - "nothing changes the habits of Faculty House."
1943 July 4College "has had good meat all along." Stucklen's appointment and Sweet Briar offer.
1943 July 18Laird says MH fortunate in having Saunders in view of shortage. Not been away from work since August.
1943 Sep. 5Vacation at Petersham Inn. MH Art Department there "cat and all."
1943 Sep. 19Told Ham had war offer from Harvard; he says promotions in hands of Com on Appts.
1943 Oct. 3Usually 60 papers minimum to read over weekend.
1943 Oct. 30Laird from Edmonton - not been well. Visited univ. physics dept - army and navy courses. Asks re MH Physics library classification.
1943 Dec. 7Quadrilateral visits Mass. State where 14 groups have had full year of physics since Feb.
1944 Jan. 9Laird 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. 30Set-up in beg. course particularly good; "no signs of shirking on job".
1944 Feb. 13Laird on problems with research. Comments on MH courses. War comments.
1944 Feb. 20Saunders standards in correcting exams.
1944 Mar. 12Importance 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. 19Raise to $3600.
1944 July 3010 in electricity class in SS.
1944 Aug. 11Laird 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. 24Taylor of Oberlin appoints her to Nom. Com. of Nat. Physics Teachers Assn.
1944 Oct. 1As usual has slow section in beg. course.
1944 Oct/NovCorrespondence 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. 12Com. on For. Stud. - 35 "really" foreign and same number of Amer. born abroad.
1944 Nov. 19Make-up lab - Rusk says not necessary.
1945 Feb. 11Spring Vac. cancelled. Commencement May 21. Cancelled NE section Physics meeting.
1945 Mar. 4Dorothy Anne Ball x47 and 2-unit work; lip reads.
1945 Mar. 18Appointment with Ham re promotion. No research, teaching 16 hours.
1945 Apr. 25Laird writes re lab test to premeds. Comments on FDR and Truman.
1945 May 9May Queen gown "much too low around the shoulders."
1945 July 4Laird describes motor trip in Canada with Sara Downer and Foster. Made Honorary Prof. at univ.
1945 Sep. 23Only 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. 7On Com. to Appt. Com. Rusk worked so hard during war, no service on com.
1945 Oct. 14Sara Downer takes 4 hours to prepare Chinese dinner.
1945 Oct. 283-course lunch at Hotel Weldon, in Greenfield, $0.85.
1945 Nov. 4Faculty 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. 3Ham's "inoccuous" Baccal.; "rarely says anything worthwhile."
1946 Feb. 17Downer's Chinese daughter.
1946 Feb. 27To be Dept. Chairman; Saunders turned it down.
1946 Mar. 3Problems about hiring new dept. member. Saunders and Mildred hoping for woman.
1946 Mar. 6Laird writes re finding woman for opening - "I think a woman does better for girls in the long run."
1946 Mar. 10Rusk advises that Saunders be "fired" - too meddling in Dept.
1946 Apr. 7Mildred has had revealing letter from Rusk.
1946 Sep. 22Alma Rosenbaum and Dorothy Taylor arrive in Dept.; no Faculty House meals this week a/c cook is "drunk."
1946 Sep. 29Laird 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. 6Beautiful 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. 13Mountain Day picnic problems with Rusk; Rusk demanding more appropriation money.
1946 Oct. 14Laird writes of lab changes.
1946 Oct. 21Boiling cider "to conform with college rules" for Foreign Student Tea.
1946 Nov. 3Rusk complains not getting service.
1946 Nov. 16Sara Downer describes voyage to China - troop ship with 600 on cafeteria line. "nightmare" getting off ship. Plane west to Chengtu.
1946 Nov. 17Salary raise but college in financial difficulty.
1947 Feb. 6Secretary leaks news of promotion.
1947 Feb. 16Rusk very difficult.
1947 May 18Firm appraising college possessions. Elected to Com. on Appts.
1947 May 25Neilson very ill - "one of the most stunning members of the faculty when I first came."
1947 Aug. 14Laird writes in reply to request listing outstanding MH grad. in physics and science = with comments on their work.
1947 Sep. 28Rusk teaching at Holyoke Jr. College.
1947 Oct. 25Helping Lane with class experiment.
1947 Nov. 2Vice-Chairman NE Section AAPT.
1948 Jan. 8Letter from Dorothy Taylor Tiedje, newly married.
1948 Jan. 18Rusk/Ham/Clancy problems.

CR Ludwig

February 1993

Additional Information
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Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Ham, Roswell Gray, 1891-
  • Laird, Elizabeth R. (Elizabeth Rebecca), 1874-1969.
  • Rusk, Rogers D., 1892-
  • Saunders, Frederick A. (Frederick Albert), 1875-1963.
  • Swann, W. F. G. (William Francis Gray), 1884-1962.
  • Webster, Arthur Gordon, 1863-1923.
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  • Allen, C. Frank (Calvin Francis), 1851-1948.
  • Allen, Caroline H. (Caroline Hadley), 1861-1948.
  • Anderson, Margaret Allen, b. 1895.
  • Hadley, Hiram, 1833-1922.
  • Saxl, Erwin J., 1904-1981.

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