Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

Engineering students, Geology was added, replacing an elementary course in Electrical Engineering. An optional course in Architectural Engineering, given in cooperation with the Worcester Art Museum was introduced in 1933, but was given up three years later. In 1934, freshmen and sophomores were permitted an option between Modern Languages and a new course in the History of Civilization and Science, taught under the direction of Dr. Leland L. Atwood. Most attractive of the innovations was the Techniquest, an orientation course for school boys, first offered at the Institute in June, 1934.

Although numerous minor changes and improvements of the plant were made during this period, the only major additions were in the machine shop and power house. Several machine tools were added to equipment, most of them financed by Moses B. Kaven. Two of the vertical boilers in the power plant were removed after long serivce, and replaced by a horizontal, water-tube boiler of modern design, fed by automatic stokers.

There were many important changes in the personnel of the faculty, numerous replacements having been made necessary by death or retirement. The establishment of age seventy as a retirement limit by the Board of Trustees, in 1935, was responsible for several retirements. First of the older group to retire was Prof. Carleton A. Read, who took a year's leave of absence in 1933, completing his twenty-six years of service in 1934. To take his place as head of Heat-Power Engineering came Gustaf A. Gaffert, '23, a former instructor, who had had valuable practical experience since leaving the Institute. In two years he rebuilt courses as well as equipment, resigning in 1936 to return to engineering practice. At that time he was succeeded by Prof. Robert P. Kolb, Rensselaer, '18, who came from the University of Alabama.

Prof. Howard P. Fairfield, grand old man of the Washburn Shops, retired in 1935 at the age of seventy-six. He had been known and loved by students since he became an instructor in 1899, and his teaching experience had covered a


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