January 28, 2016

Namesakes - Frank Quail and the Quail Building

The Frank Adgate Quail Building was dedicated 5/22/1953 on the Case Institute of Technology campus. Its original occupants included the Building and Grounds Department on the first floor, the Gage Laboratory and Cleveland Regional Office of the Cleveland Ordnance District on the second floor, and Project Doan Brook and the Operations Research section of the Engineering Administration Department on the third floor. Located next to the New York Central Railroad tracks, the Quail Building was located where the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center indoor track now stands.

Quail Building

Ground was broken for the new building in May, 1952. The Consulting Engineers were McGeorge-Hargett & Associates and the General Contractor was E. J. Benes & Company. The cost of the building was $300,000. Originally planned as a one-story building, this idea was changed early in the planning phase and it was constructed as a three-story building. The building was faced with red brick and had white stone trim.

Portrait of Frank A. Quail

Frank Adgate Quail was born near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 6/18/1865. He received the B.A. in 1887 from Washburn College and the LL.B. from University of Michigan in 1889. Quail was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1889. He became a Member of the Corporation of CIT in 1919 and became a Trustee and President of the Board of Trustees in 1924. He served Case as Chairman for 25 years until 1949; however, he continued his service as a trustee until 1959 when he was named an honorary trustee. He received the honorary doctor of humane letters from CIT in 1950.

Quail moved to Cleveland in 1889 when he entered into practice with his uncle, John M. Henderson. (Henderson had been President of the CIT Board of Trustees from 1899 until his death in 1924.) Their firm was later known as Henderson, Quail, Schneider and Peirce. Quail was president of the Cleveland Bar Association and vice president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. He was a trustee of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and an organizer and trustee of Cleveland College. During World War I he was a member of the Board of Appeals of Selective Service.

In April 1956 the Case Computing Center was established. The IBM 650 computer was installed on the first floor in July. In early 1958 the Univac I was installed and the new quarters were officially dedicated 4/12/1958. The staff was headed by Raymond J. Nelson and Frederick Way, III. Computers were housed in Quail until Crawford Hall was constructed in 1968.

The University Archives moved into the third floor of Quail in 1974, taking over the space vacated by the University Press. The Archives stayed until 1996 when it was moved to the University West building (aka UCRC I or BioEnterprise). The other departments which also moved out near the end included Plant Services and Environmental Health and Safety.

Demolition of the Quail Building began in April 1996 and concluded in May, before commencement. The commencement ceremony was held in a large tent on the neighboring Van Horn Field 5/19/1996.

Frank A. Quail died 8/19/1961.

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January 19, 2016

Namesakes - Thomas J. Hill Distinguished Professorship of Physical Biology

Thomas J. Hill

Scientist, teacher, author, and practitioner, Thomas J. Hill’s association with the university spanned fifty years. Thomas J. Hill enrolled in the Western Reserve University School of Dentistry (now School of Dental Medicine) in 1905, graduating in 1908. He was a Demonstrator in the Dental School beginning in 1909, joining the faculty in 1918 as Instructor. He was promoted through the ranks, to Professor of Oral Pathology and Therapeutics in 1928. He retired in 1955 as Professor Emeritus. He also served on the School of Medicine Pathology faculty from 1928-1955.

Dr. Hill authored nearly 100 scholarly articles and a textbook, Oral Pathology and was a leading advocate of flouridated water. He worked tirelessly to improve dentistry research and teaching, serving as Chairman of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics and President of the International Association of Dental Research. His service continued after retirement. Dr. Hill visited every U.S. dental school to review its research facilities on behalf of the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1962 he was sent to Russia by the U.S. State Department to visit medical and scientific institutions.

His many honors included the Callahan Award, presented in 1950 by the Ohio State Dental Association and the honorary D.Sc., presented by Western Reserve University in 1960. In 1954 Hill was named an honorary member of the American Dental Association, only the eleventh person to have been so honored at that time. Hill was named a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Oral Pathology. At home, the Dental School Class of 1944 dedicated their yearbook, Odontoblast, to him. Summarizing the sentiments of many, the WRU Dental School Alumni Association in 1956 said of Dr. Hill, “In his capacity as an inspirational teacher for 39 years in the School of Dentistry he has earned the high esteem and respect of all who were under his guidance. As a scientist, educator and author he has contributed greatly to the welfare of humanity.”

In January 1965 WRU President Millis reported to the Board of Trustees that the Alumni Association of the School of Dentistry had agreed to support a Distinguished Professorship to be known as the Thomas J. Hill Distinguished Professorship of Physical Biology.

Hill Professors and the dates they held the professorship are:
David B. Scott, 1965-1975
Donald H. Enlow, 1977-1989

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December 23, 2015

American Astronomical Society 67th meeting and Warner & Swasey Observatory dedication

The American Astronomical Society held its 67th meeting Sunday-Tuesday, 12/28-12/30/1941 in Cleveland in conjunction with the 12/29 dedication of the enlarged Warner & Swasey Observatory and the Burrell Schmidt-type telescope. On Monday evening (12/29 ), Dr. Harlow Shapley, director of the Harvard College Observatory, delivered a lecture in Severance Hall at 8:00 p.m., “Exploring our Galaxy with the Newer Telescopes.” Following the lecture a reception was held at the Warner & Swasey Observatory, sponsored by the Warner & Swasey Company and Case School of Applied Science.


Invitation and ticket for the Harlow Shapley lecture

A Council meeting and conference on teaching were held Sunday; while morning and afternoon sessions for papers were held Monday followed by the Shapley lecture and reception. A symposium on the Schmidt-type telescope and its work was held Tuesday morning capped by a Society photograph at the Observatory. Afternoon sessions for papers were followed by the Society dinner in the evening. A proposed tour of the Warner & Swasey Company plant had to be cancelled because of war work.

Jason J. Nassau

The Warner & Swasey Observatory originally had been dedicated 10/12/1920. It was the gift of Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, both trustees of Case. Under longtime faculty member and head of the Astronomy Department, Jason J. Nassau, the work of the department progressed and grew necessitating more space and equipment. In the late 1930s funds were sought for the improvements. Gifts of over $150,000 were received. Major donors included: Cornelia and Helen Warner, widow and daughter of Worcester Warner; Katherine W. Burrell, widow of Edward Burrell who for many years was the director of engineering for the Warner & Swasey Company; Eckstein Case; and Warner & Swasey Company via in-kind services. A new dome, telescope, exhibition space, and auditorium were added.

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Warner & Swasey Observatory

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December 09, 2015

President Pytte visits the University Archives

The staff of the University Archives joins the rest of campus in mourning the death of President Emeritus Agnar Pytte on Friday, November 6, 2015. We’d like to recall his visit to the Archives in 1989.

The staff of the University Archives at the time (University Archivist Dennis Harrison, Jill Tatem, Eleanor Blackman, Helen Conger, and Denis New) planned a small celebration in December 1989 for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the University Archives in December 1964. (A nice article about the 25th anniversary of the University Archives appeared in the November 1990 issue of CWRU Magazine.)

All past staff members were invited as well as President Pytte, Vice President and University Marshal Patricia B. Kilpatrick, and University Archivist Emerita Ruth W. Helmuth. We originally invited the president as a courtesy and did not actually expect him to attend such a small informal event. But attend he did, accompanied by Pat Kilpatrick, our vice president.

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President Pytte and Pat Kilpatrick at 25th anniversary luncheon

The event consisted of a luncheon, exhibit, and tour of the Archives in the Quail Building (where the indoor track at the Veale Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center now stands). Jill Tatem prepared the exhibit. Ruth Helmuth, accompanied by Virginia Krumholz (former Archives staff member), conducted the tour of the Archives. It was a memorable event and we were all impressed with our “new” president.

The University Archives was located on the third floor of the Quail Building

Another interesting note about the day was that it was snowing all morning. After President Pytte and Pat Kilpatrick walked back to their offices in Adelbert Hall, Pat called to let us know that since the snowstorm was so bad we were allowed to leave work early. While we’d like to think it was in honor of the Archives’ anniversary, the snow really was severe and it took staff members hours to get home. You can see the snow outside the window in the background of the luncheon photo.

While this event will not make a top ten list of presidential events or accomplishments for President Pytte, attendance at our small event showed us what a gracious, friendly person he was.

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November 25, 2015

Pink Floyd Concert at CWRU

On November 6, 1971 Pink Floyd played a concert at Emerson Gym to over 3000 people. This was part of a 27-date North American tour which began in San Francisco and ended in Cincinnati. We believe it was the first concert in Cleveland by Pink Floyd.

The entertainment section headline of The Observer (11/9/1971) read, “Pink Floyd concert - two views.”

The headline for the article by James Cunningham read, “Best concert ever.” As Cunningham recounted,

“We heard foot steps Saturday night We heard a baby cry, and the sound of birds twittering. Who was that girl we heard giggling and who was that with the axe?

“It was Pink Floyd packing them in at Emerson gym for one of the most successful concerts this school has had this year, drawing over 3000 people.

“There was Pink Floyd standing amidst a towering array of amplifiers, and electronic equipment playing for over three hours their special brand of experimental rock built on the group’s almost inexhaustible source of expression.

“Having been together for over six years they developed a sense of timing and musical sense which has been noticably [sic] lacking in many of today’s 50,000 watt groups. The audience recognized this and responded accordingly.

“It’s hard for any group to keep an audience totally absorbed, especially in Emerson where the conditions are less then adequate for such a large crowd. Pink Floyd could, lifting the listener into every world imaginable.

“Their music often relies heavily on recorded effects played with the music as in High Time Cymboline where the imaginative use of tapes let us hear the footsteps of a person as he walked from room to room. Add to this the total darkness of the gym and the excitement became stunning.

“Organist Richard Wright’s use of the melotron was another highlight of the concert. Echo stood out as his finest solo where his soaring and driving work were outstanding.

“Then there was Careful with that Axe Eugene. All I can say about this ditty is that you shouldn’t see it if you haven’t all your faculties. You’ll need them.

“There were the old favorites of course such as “Atom Heart Mother” or “Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” All very enjoyable although sometimes monotonous.

“It was a successful concert. It made money and it was fine entertainment. We were crowded but after it was over all we remembered was the music. Fie on you who didn’t go.”

Concert poster, 1971

In contrast to Cunningham's article, “Terrible planning” was the headline for Anastasia Pantsios’ article. While she admired the band and their music, the venue and planning for the concert was a disaster.

“Some rock concerts seem destined to be special events. Take, for instance, the appearance of Pink Floyd this Saturday in Emerson Gym.

“Pink Floyd is the group whose innovative music was admired by the Beatles back in 1967, when Pink Floyd’s musical head trips were appreciated only by a small circle of super freaks.

“Now, many of Pink Floyd’s explorations seem almost trite, since so many other groups have adopted them in part, yet the concentrated application of strange outer-space sound effects is uniquely Pink Floyd’s and most other groups attempting to imitate them have degenerated into noisy doodling.

“Pink Floyd’s is totally head music, polar opposite to that of the ‘Git up and boogie’ school, and ideally a situation would have been provided in which the listener could sit back in comfort and sink himself mentally into the band’s deep, cerebral sound.

“Due to the most blatant example of promoter disregard for an audience that I have yet witnessed, the keen edge was taken off the music as one attempted to make oneself even slightly comfortable.

“Twenty minutes before show time the gym was already crammed and full of heavy smoke, a strain on even the strongest lungs. By the time the group began to play, there was no elbow room anywhere, people were standing eight to ten deep in the exit doors and more were sitting in the lobby. Others were turned away, even those who had purchased a ticket in advance.

“There has been much talk lately about providing a pleasant and sane atmosphere in which to listen to rock music. If ever a group deserved such an atmosphere, Pink Floyd did. It irritates me that poor planning or greed or some other motive could result in such a complete fiasco.

“Despite this, one couldn’t help admiring the creative playing of the group. Beginning with a standard blues guitar line that wouldn’t make the group stand out from twenty other good bands, they journeyed into a vast gallery of eerie sounds which surrounded the audience on all sides, making it particularly a pity that so many had to sit in the lobby.

“The group’s overall sound is slow, measured, floating and cold.

“The title of one of the numbers “Set Your Controls for the Heart of the Sun” gives a clear picture of the sort of feeling the group provokes.

“A concert by Pink Floyd is an all too rare pleasure and I hope that the next time around external matters will not intrude upon this pleasure.”

Pink Floyd played Cleveland again in 1972 at the Allen Theater. In 1977 the band played to over 83,000 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium as part of the World Series of Rock.

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November 02, 2015

Student Traditions - Mather College’s Yale-Harvard Basketball Game

Long before intercollegiate women’s basketball attracted television coverage and legions of fans, the sport was a focus of interclass rivalries at women’s colleges, Western Reserve University’s Flora Stone Mather College included. Each year class teams battled each other for supremacy. Basketball season culminated with an all-star game held in late March or early April. Two teams were made up of the best players from all four classes. A single game decided the champion. The tradition seems to have started in 1909 or 1910 and, by 1912, the team names, Yale and Harvard, had been adopted.

Mather's Harvard and Yale teams, 1918

As was typical of Mather College traditions, the annual Yale-Harvard game was no paltry affair. Varia Historia, the student yearbook, described the 1912 game, “The campus and gymnasium had been decorated with huge banners and rooters yelled and sang. Harvard produced a band and a small boy mascot and Yale a bull dog and three more baskets than their opponents.” [105] Getting into the spirit of the rivalry, the cafeteria featured back-to-back Harvard Day and Yale Day. Harvard beets were a feature of the former. There is no description of the Yale menu. Eventually, as was also typical of Mather traditions, a banquet was added to the festivities. For over fifty years the Yale-Harvard game was one of the more vigorous Mather spring traditions.

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