cool stuff

Posted by Kelsey O'Brien on August 28, 2018
Sixty years ago, NASA was formed, the microchip was invented, Ella Fitzgerald was on the radio, and four men from RPI won the National Handball Championship in Chicago, Illinois. That’s right! Mike McQuillen, Harvey Poppell, Jerry Gonick, and Fernando Arias, under the guidance of RPI’s Athletic Director, “Pop” Graham, won the National Cup in handball, a sport that the team, besides Gonick, had never played until freshman year of college.
Posted by T. A. Gobert on August 3, 2018
I recently posted about a souvenir spoon held by the Institute Archives and Special Collections department at RPI.  Well, it’s not the only one!  The first one was produced at the very beginning of a spoon collecting craze in the gay nineties (1890s, that is).  The other one in our collection dates from 1914.
Posted by T. A. Gobert on July 25, 2018
RPI’s Institute Archives and Special Collections department has a lot of cool things that you might not expect to find among our rare books, manuscripts, and Institute records.  We also have a variety of artifacts, some of which are well over a century old.  Our most recent acquisition in this category is a sterling silver spoon dating from the 1890s.
Posted by T. A. Gobert on November 27, 2017
Not long ago I happened upon something of great interest to me as an RPI archivist – a photograph album documenting Rensselaer and its vicinity in the early twentieth century.  This is the story of how we acquired not one but seven photo albums compiled by Mr. Louis Blackmer Puffer, RPI Class of 1909.
Posted by Jenifer Monger on December 12, 2012
Just for fun, we decided to mine the archives for some of those interesting items that don't quite fit into our usual posts. Instead, we selected some gems that convey a campus mood or a mindset if you will!
Posted by Jenifer Monger on July 10, 2012
We have a visually unique collection of 40 fraternity party posters from the mid-1960’s, representing twenty two different RPI fraternities.
Posted by Amy the Archivist on December 16, 2010
Visitors to the Archives often remark that we have a lot of cool stuff.  I agree!  There are periods of time, however, when I have to deal with more mundane tasks and the 'cool stuff' is very much in my periphery.  I was having a rather blaisé day this week selecting photographs of individuals to scan and add to our image database.  The last folder in the
Posted by John Dojka on July 28, 2009
The cane, a fashion accessory popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was also a college status symbol.  Canes or walking sticks were once commonly "worn" by men during this time period.  At many colleges, freshmen had to earn the right to carry a cane on campus.  Cane rushes or cane contests involved a game of sport or wit between the freshmen and sophomores to win this right.  If the RPI freshmen lost, they could not carry canes until Washington's birthday.  Check out this web page to learn more about the contest at RPI: 
Posted by John Dojka on June 25, 2009
Yes, that's right -- mandolins were all the rage from about 1894 to 1924.  Mandolin clubs popped up at high schools, colleges and cities all over the country.  The club at RPI evolved out of the Banjo and Guitar Club in 1892 --  it was called the Banjo, Guitar and Mandolin Club.
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