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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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