Flossie

“Flossie, the girl at the Boarding House.”

In our earlier post on the Class of 1912 we described the summer surveys conducted by students between their sophomore and junior years. In late June and early July the teams fanned out within a 50 mile radius of Troy to practice topographical and hydrological survey techniques. The survey teams of 5 to 10 students plus faculty advisor usually had group photos taken posed with their surveying equipment. Many of these photos appeared in the Transit over the years.

One of our favorite photos of the Class of 1912 was taken during June or July 1910 of summer survey Section 12. The photo was taken somewhere in the Berkshires, presumably in front of the boarding house at which the team was staying. Normally the survey team photos are simply “the guys’ plus their survey gear.” However, this photo, which was published in the 1912 Transit, contains “the guys” plus survey gear plus an elegant young woman.

We do not know who the woman was. She is only identified in the accompanying Transit text as “Flossie, the girl at the boarding house.” (Flossie is a familiar or diminutive form of Florence.) She was however, a distraction for at least one member of the team who was teased about the amount of attention he paid to her. Possibly she was employed at the boarding house, or a daughter of the landlord, or, perhaps another guest.

We do know who the members of the survey team were. From left to right: faculty advisor George Herbert Bainbridge, “Johnnie” (John Goyer Brush), “Shad” (Frank Forrester Badger), “Abby” ( Carl Lohnes Abbott), “Jawn” (John Henry Spencer), and “Van” (Herbert Van Gaasbeek Du Mont).

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