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A Lever Long EnoughA History of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science Since 1864$
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Robert McCaughey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166881

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166881.001.0001

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Fast Start 1864–1889

Fast Start 1864–1889

(p.21) 2 Fast Start 1864–1889
A Lever Long Enough

Robert McCaughey

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes developments in the Columbia College School of Mines during the period 1864–1889. It first considers two people who deserve credit for founding the School of Mines: Thomas Edward Egleston Jr. and George Templeton Strong. The former proposed the school and the latter persuaded his reluctant fellow Columbia trustees to adopt “Egleston's dream.” It then turns to three other people who facilitated the School of Mines's fast start and early success: Strong; Columbia College President Frederick A. P. Barnard; and Charles Frederick Chandler, professor of analytic chemistry and the school's first and longest serving dean. It also discusses the idea of a “polytechnic school” attached to Columbia, dating back to 1850 to Wolcott Gibbs and his trustee backers, Samuel B. Ruggles and Strong. Furthermore, it looks at the school's first engineering students and graduates, including Winifred Edgerton, William Barclay Parsons, and Herman Hollerith. Finally, the chapter examines John W. Burgess's opposition to the very existence of the School of Mines.

Keywords:   engineering students, Columbia College School of Mines, Thomas Edward Egleston Jr., George Templeton Strong, Frederick A. P. Barnard, Charles Frederick Chandler, polytechnic school, Wolcott Gibbs, graduates, John W. Burgess

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