The Centennial History of Tufts College, 1952

Jumbo Book


Leaders of the Modern College

Leaders of the Modern College


It is not buildings or even courses of study that make colleges; it is the people

teachers and students who express its spirit and give it life. A few such individuals may be mentioned here.

Stephen M. Babcock, '66, after taking the Doctor of Philosophy degree at Göttingen, became professor and later dean at the University of Wisconsin. He developed the first

practical test to determine the amount of butterfat in milk. The Babcock Test, now used all over the world, has made the modern dairy industry possible. Interestingly enough, this test has hardly been modified since its


development years ago by Dr. Babcock.

Arthur Michael, a graduate of Tufts, studied with the great chemists and physicists

of Germany, including Bunsen and Helmholtz. After receiving his Doctor's degree he established a private laboratory on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel but in 1894 returned to Tufts as professor of chemistry. Dr. Michael was one of the first theoretical organic chemists of America. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received honors from learned societies throughout the world. Dr. Frank W. Durkee, long head of the Tufts Chemistry Department, is remembered with respect and gratitude by many Tufts graduates who specialized in this significant modern science. Tufts has long been known in chemistry because of the thoroughness of its undergraduate courses. Among dozens or even hundreds of notable Tufts chemists may be mentioned
Arthur B. Lamb, '00, former director of the Harvard Chemical Laboratory and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.

The late Minton Warren, '70, took his

Ph.D. degree at Strassburg after graduating from Tufts. He was professor of Latin successively at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. At one time he was Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome. He was one of America's greatest epigraphists.

William L. Hooper, '77, who has already

been mentioned as acting president of Tufts, was one of the original minds of the day when electrical engineering was just beginning. As a physicist Dr. Hooper was first attracted to the new and developing field of applied electricity. In collaboration with the then infant General Electric Company he made some of the fundamental advances in electrical power machinery that are still in use today.


For example, he designed the first slotted armature for dynamos.

Fred Stark Pearson, '83, one of Dr.

Hooper's students as assistants, even as an undergraduate was one of America's pioneers in the world-wide expansion of the electrical power industry. As a scientist he designed basic items of equipment for electric power stations. As an executive and entrepreneur he was responsible for the development of the electric power and electric street car systems of many of the capitals of South America and


of some of the principal cities of Europe. Dr. Pearson died in the sinking of the Lusitania. The Tufts College chemical laboratory is named in his honor.

While a member of the faculty of the

Tufts College Medical School Dr. Morton Prince wrote his great books on the dissociation of the personality which had a fundamental part in ushering in the whole modern dynamic movement in psychology and psychiatry in America, France and Austria. Other Tufts professors in medicine and dentistry have contributed to the notable advances of these fields in the last half century.

From 1892 to 1912 John S. Kingsley was professor of zoology at Tufts. He was one of


those responsible for the development of the
subject of comparative anatomy in America. Through his own investigations, his books, and his translations of basic German handbooks he possibly did more than any other man to
establish in this country the pattern of this great field which is now recognized as one of the principal premedical subjects. Professor Herbert V. Neal in zoology and Professor
Fred D. Lambert in botany also added to the lustre of this always notable Tufts department. Among many well-known biologists to graduate from Tufts may be mentioned Charles H. Danforth, professor of anatomy
at Stanford, member of the National Academy of Sciences and authority on the development of the endocrine balance of the organism.

Charles E. Fay, '68, long head of the

modern language department at Tufts, was one of the early members of the Modern Language Association of America. Known throughout the world as a mountaineer, he
was knighted by the Prince of Monaco for his contribution to the scientific study of mountains. The Canadian government has named a peak on the Continental Divide, Mt. Fay, in his honor.

P. T. Barnum of circus fame, an early

Tufts Trustee and an active Universalist layman, helped the teaching of biology at Tufts by giving the building which bears his name as well as many mounted specimens for the Tufts Museum. In 1885 after Jumbo, the largest elephant ever to be in captivity,
was killed near a circus train in Canada, Barnum had Jumbo's skin skillfully mounted and presented to Tufts. Thus this great animal still presides majestically over the Barnum Room at Tufts. Jumbo is the mascot of the college.

Vannevar Bush, '13, was a member of the

Tufts faculty and later vice president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is now president of the Carnegie Institution


of Washington, one of the world's greatest research organizations. During the second
World War Dr. Bush headed the Office of Scientific Research and Development which directed the war-related research activity of the nation. Bush is a member of the National
Academy of Sciences and has been awarded knighthood by Great Britain. During his years at Tufts he developed the gaseous rectifier tube and made other notable advances in electronics.

Norbert Wiener, '09, professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology and originator of the science of cybernetics, is another of the group of Tufts graduates who have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He has made contributions in research in several fields of pure mathematics.

Professor Amos E. Dolbear served at

Tufts from 1874 until 1910 as professor of physics. Dr. Dolbear is one of the men who invented the modern telephone. Authorities attribute to him the invention of the receiver as we now know it. His patents were later sold to the Bell Company. Dolbear also invented what we now call the condenser microphone. He sent wireless messages from Ballou Hall at Tufts College before anyone else in the world had sent such messages. In connection with Tufts' long history of relationship to the development of radio, physics and engineering it is interesting that the first regular broadcasts in America were sent out from the station and the high mast then located on the north slope of the Tufts campus. Tufts' interest in the scientific basis of radio and television development continues. Today the college is actively at work upon extensive research in this field for the Air Forces and the Signal Corps of the Army, as well as upon topics in this field related to pure physical science.