May 19, 1992|
Due to the depression I had to be a day student and decided on Electrical engineering at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania. Tuition was only $400 per year at that time. We had a small class of about 13 students and Bob Reitinger was one of them. We had been friends since high school days and he commuted with me when I drove to Penn.
The Moore School was an excellent school and it's dean was from MIT and the school was run a lot like MIT. Our EE final exams were all open book an were all day affairs. The professors were men that were connected with industry and very familiar with practical engineering problems, which they often assigned as exam problems.
I took most of the math, science, and especially physics courses. In the 30's there was an opportunity to take more courses than they allow today. We had about 26 credit hours per week and I was able to take several electives. I always did fairly well but should have studied more.
I was interested in the research projects of the graduate students and was able to work with them sometimes. During the NRA period I made drawings etc. of their projects and earned 50 cents per hour. Some of the projects were; a Sound Prism to analyze sound before there were oscilloscopes, an Arithmetic Equation Analyzer, a Van DeGraff Hi-Voltage Generator, etc. Also the Moore School made a Mechanical Differential Equation Analyzer and after I graduated they made the first Digital Computer.
It was a very interesting period. I participated in the Engineer's Day every year and one year I was able to buy a movie theater sound system, one of several donated by RCA, and I used it later to play the Wedding March at our wedding. I think this started my interest in sound and I selected "Talking Moving Pictures" as the subject for my senior thesis.
Activities and Societies
Athletics never were of much interest but I did go out for the 135 pound crew in my Freshman year and enjoyed the experience. We were expected to pass a swimming test before graduation and I struggled through periods in the pool enough to just pass the requirements.
I was elected to the Sigma Tau, Eta Kappa Nu, and Hexagon honorary societies.
The Men About Towne club was my major interest. I participated as a chorus girl for three years and served as secretary treasurer and finally as president. Men About Towne was for engineers and was like a small Mask and Wig. We gave shows at the Delancy Street Playhouse.
I joined Theta Xi and was their representative to the convention in Chicago in '33. That turned into quite an adventure. I became part of a plan to drive to Chicago in a Ford roadster with the owner, his uncle, and Howard Sheppard. Howard and I rode In the rumble seat and when it rained we could keep dry if Doug Mode drove fast enough. I supplied the fuel and we stayed at Doug's uncle's apartment.
It was the first year of the Fair. Doug introduced me to Jeanne Diehl, a great girl. It happened to be a time when there were dances being given by the sororities and fraternities at the various hotels and country clubs. We danced every night to great bands in beautiful places and had a ball. In my senior year the class went to the Chicago Fair and I renewed my dating with Jeanne and visited many other great Chicago places like the Evergreen Casino and the Stevens Hotel etc. It was a period when the gangsters were very much in evidence and it was a little scary.
It was the depression period and prohibition lasted until April of my senior year when "near beer" became legal. This was a great for dating. The big bands were at their peak and there were large dance floors to make dancing a major part of the dating experience.
The college and fraternities sponsored major dances. They were always formal, started at 11:30 and ended at 5 AM. Then usually, the date continued with breakfast at the fraternity house or at an all night restaurant, like Lintons. There usually were two name bands like Glenn Gray and Rudy Valley.
There were fourteen in my graduation class, June 20th. 1934, in electrical engineering. After graduation I took a graduate course in power plants and a few selected courses at the Engineer's Club. For example, relay coordination, electric power distribution, public speaking, etc. After about 10 years I received and EE degree from Penn and my Professional Engineer's license for Pennsylvania.
I was a member of AIEE and the Engineer's Club. I became interested in the requirements for electrical installations in hazardous areas and gave a talk to an AIEE group in New York at the convention.
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