he Physical Laboratory

During the academic year of 1901-02, the Heating and Lighting Plant (left background) was completed at its location at the back end of Tustin Gymnasium. Joseph Nesbit was the architect and builder in charge of erecting the heating plant. By 1903, steam heating had been introduced into all university buildings except the Library, Museum and Commencement Hall in Old Main. The Department of Physics was located in the main story and the Heating and Lighting Plant was in the basement. The building contained a boiler room with three boilers, as well as metal and wood-cutting equipment used by students enrolled in the engineering curricula. A mechanical drawing room also was located on the top floor. In 1903-04 the name was changed to the Physical Laboratory, and the name remained even after the Physical Laboratory was moved to the basement of East College in 1909.

The Electric Plant

In 1898, the Trustees had declined the proposition made by the Lewisburg Electric Company to provide electricity to the university. In 1903, Professor William G. Owens made a presentation to the Trustees regarding the installation of an electric plant in the university. The electric plant was in use at the beginning of the fall term in 1904. Its cost was approximately $10,725.00. By 1912, electricity had been put in all university buildings.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering also occupied space in this building. In 1913, Frank E. Burpee was appointed Professor of Mechanical Engineering and given the task to develop a department of mechanical engineering. In 1914, when three courses were offered in mechanical engineering, a steam engine and a steam turbine "with small generator and detachable wind blower" were installed in the engine room of the heating plant "....for experimental work in connection with the Mechanical Engineering work." A change was also made in the "minor courses" in the mechanical engineering course in the senior year. A second year of work in "steam engines" was discontinued. Instead, students took a term in each of the following: internal combustion engines, heating and ventilation, and refrigeration.

"with small generator..." BT ''82-'20, p. 293 (1/18/1914)

The major source for the information on this page is the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1882-1920 (BT '82-'20). Additional sources are the Bucknell University Bulletin (Fourteenth Series, January 1915, No. 4) Catalogue 1914-1915 (CAT '14-'15) and the Bucknell Uinversity Bulletin (Fifteenth Series, January1916, No. 4) Catalog 1915-1916 (CAT '15-'16).

This building in other years: 1945 | 1965 | 1985 | Current
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