Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

Professor Gallup was rapidly building a reputation in the automotive field, particularly in the testing of automobile performance and power. In 1911 he had been made chairman of the research committee, Aeronautical Society of America.

Facilities for research in this field as well as in hydraulics were materially increased by new construction at Chaffins. A current-meter rating station, a structural steel boom driven from a shore station, was installed in the upper pond in 1911. It was used not only for meter rating but for some of the earliest tests of airplane propellers ever made in America. Funds were contributed by George I. Alden for the building of a new low-head laboratory on the foundations of the original shoddy mill. This building provided Professor Allen with excellent facilities for testing draft tubes and other hydraulic equipment.

A mild flurry of excitement came to the Civil Engineering department in 1912, when Dr. Conant recommended to the trustees that a suitable department building be constructed. So many students were electing this branch that the Boynton Hall quarters were greatly crowded. At the request of the Trustees, Professor French prepared plans and estimates for an attractive building to be erected on the area between the Salisbury and the Electrical laboratories. The project failed to arouse enthusiasm among the trustees, chiefly because none of them could think of any method to finance it. Hence, the civil engineers resigned themselves to the occupancy of their Boynton Hall quarters for at least another quarter-century.

The only other construction activity in this period was the extension of the Boynton Street wall. The section donated by William Knowlton in the early years of the Institute had terminated at the Hill estate. After the purchase of this tract, the completion of the wall to Salisbury Street had become a much desired project, particularly to Dr. W. L. Jennings. It was through his efforts that the Knowlton heirs were persuaded to supply funds for the extension. Their gift of approximately $4,000 made possible the construction in 1913.


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Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999