Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Rollins, Edwin B., 1878-1980
|Edwin B. Rollins (1878-1980), E1901, was professor of electrical engineering, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and acting dean of the College of Engineering. In addition to his academic and administrative responsibilities, Rollinspursued an interest in both photography and in research about the history of the architectual environment of the Medford campus.
Rollins was born in Lewiston, Maine, on June 1, 1878. Rollins joined Tufts' engineering faculty as an instructor of physics and electrical engineering upon his graduation from the college in 1901. He became assistant professor in 1910 andwas made full professor and chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tufts in 1928.He served as acting dean of the engineering school from 1927 to 1929, and received the alumni association's Distinguished Service Award in 1948.
As an undergraduate at Tufts College, Rollins worked on campus assisting with the school's new electrical system, winding transformers and installing lights. He earned fifteen cents per hour for his labor.
Throughout his tenure at Tufts, Rollins built a full-scale model telephone office, a collection of lamps, wrote a history of the first forty years of electrical engineering at Tufts, and compiled in notebooks a history of buildings and gates on the Medford campus.
Rollins worked closely with Professor Melville Munro in his activities as campus photographer. Rollins, only a few years Munro's senior, sparked Munro's interest in photography, encouraging him to embark on what was to become an exhaustive photographic history of the college, spanning the entirety of Munro's years at Tufts. Rollins assisted Munro in assembling the scrapbooks and taking photographs.
Rollins and his wife, Mabel, resided at 84 Packard Avenue for the majority of his years at Tufts. He died in Rockland, Maine, on December 17, 1980, at the age of 102.