Archive for the ‘Historical Tidbits’ Category

“Obscure Historical Matter”

July 1, 2008

An item from the Jefferson [Wisconsin] Banner, November 8, 1906:

New Use for the Phonograph

It is announced that a feature of the new correspondence school opened by the University of Wisconsin will be the use of the phonograph. Professors will read lectures into phonographs, and the records will be sent to distant students. The innovation will be first tried in German to overcome the pronunciation of difficult sounds.

[This was obviously a Wisconsin Extension press release; it also appeared in the Superior Telegram.]

–Submitted by Von Pittman


A humorous historical note…

May 13, 2008


In 1902, the chair of the University of Chicago’s history department, John F. Jameson, was alarmed when one of his most promising young faculty members received an offer from Cornell University. 


Jameson wrote to President William Rainey Harper with suggestions for putting together the strongest possible counter-offer in hopes of retaining the young man in question. 


He proposed a substantial raise, a loftier title, a lighter class load, and “freedom from correspondence work . . . “


In spite of receiving such a generous offer, Charles Catterall accepted the Cornell position.



— Von Pittman