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Special Collections

Flashback to the tank rush on September 23, 1916

September 23rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Today, we flashback to the tank rush held one hundred years ago on September 23, 1916. The photos of the event below are from the scrapbook in the Harry Hazen Papers.

The tank rush tradition dates back to at least 1913 when a class “fight” took place at the swimming tank. In subsequent years, a tank rush was formalized and the freshmen and upperclassmen battled to push each other into the tank.

The 1917 Farm Rodeo yearbook offers the following description of the 1916 event:

“At the given signal, the Seniors jumped on the Fresh with a loud cry, and for five or ten minutes the action was fast and furious. During this time as many, if not more, upper classmen than Freshmen went into the tank with a loud splash and many bubbles. But soon experience and team work began to show itself.

The upper classmen broke up into bunches of six or seven, and then it was just a procession, the ‘veterans’ carrying the Fresh up one by one and dumping them in.”

In later years, the tank rush tradition evolved into the Frosh-Soph Brawl. At different times, the Brawl, which was held during the first month of classes, consisted of the following events between the freshmen and sophomores: a tug-of-war, obstacle race, jousting, a haystacking contest, and the tank rush.

Stay tuned for our next installment from the Harry Hazen Papers.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Tank rush, September 23, 1916.

Throwback to the University Farm Agricola on September 22, 1916

September 22nd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

In celebration of the California Aggie‘s return to a weekly print edition which launched today, here is a throwback to the Weekly Agricola issue from September 22, 1916.

Publication of the Weekly Agricola, a four page student newspaper, began on September 29, 1915.  The September 22, 1916, issue debuted the new title of University Farm Agricola. In November 1992, the newspaper became the California Aggie.

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

Front page of the September 22, 1916 University Farm Agricola

 

50 Features of Special Collections: Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm

September 21st, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

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As today marks the first day of instruction for the 2016 Fall Quarter, we’ve chosen to highlight the collection of Harry Hazen, a student who enrolled at the University Farm (now UC Davis) exactly one hundred years ago in the Fall of 1916.

The Harry Hazen Papers on the University Farm document student life during the earliest years of the Davis campus. The collection, which includes a scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia from 1916-1918, the booklet “Harry and I on the University Farm,” Hazen’s 1918 diploma, two family photographs, as well as booklets on apiculture, was donated in April 2016 by Hazen’s granddaughter.

Harry Edward Hazen was born in 1897 in Los Angeles, California to Reverend E.A. and Eleanor Hazen. He attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, graduated in 1915, and attended the University of California beginning in the fall of 1916. In 1918, Hazen was awarded his diploma from the University of California Farm, College of Agriculture. He then moved to Modesto, California, and became a commercial beekeeper. In 1920, Hazen married Ethel Thamer Blackburn; their daughter Lorraine was born in 1923. Later that year, the Hazen family returned to Los Angeles, where Harry founded the Hazen Hardwood Flooring Company in North Hollywood. Harry Hazen remained in Los Angeles until his death in 1953.

The photo shown below is found on one of the first pages of the scrapbook. Taken on September 19, 1916 it shows the student body in front of West Hall, a dormitory which was located where the Memorial Union now stands.

Stay tuned throughout the year as we’ll be posting other items from Harry’s scrapbook while we look back at campus one hundred years ago.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

First Day of School, September 19, 1916.

Mark your calendar: Sacramento Archives Crawl on October 8

September 20th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara

Special Collections is excited to be participating again this year in the Sacramento Archives Crawl. This year’s event will occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

The California State Library, California State Archives, Center for Sacramento History and Sacramento Public Library will serve as hosts and open their doors in celebration of National Archives Month. This year’s theme is A Thirst for History.

As with past Sacramento Archives Crawls, participants will start at any of the four host locations and gather stamps in their passports as they view treasures from dozens of archives and special collections libraries, visit with archivists, and go on special behind-the-scenes tours. Those who visit at least three host locations during the 2016 Archives Crawl will receive a set of beautiful limited-edition coasters. The coasters, which you can preview below, are available while supplies last.

Special Collections staff will be hosting a table at the California State Library, 900 N Street, Sacramento. Stop by and say hello!

More information about the Sacramento Archives Crawl can be found here.

Image on the homepage is Sacramento, California, 1953 from our Eastman Originals Collection.

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50 Features of Special Collections: Ellen Schutt Pomological Watercolors

September 16th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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With apple season now in full swing, it is only fitting that we feature the Ellen Schutt Pomological Watercolors this week.

Ellen Isham Schutt (1873-1955) was an illustrator with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1904-1914. From 1914-1915, she worked with the Department of Pomology at the University of California where she created this collection of 286 watercolors of fruits, most of which are apples. These watercolors, which were created as part of the department’s work to systematically identify apple varieties, were created for classroom use and for demonstration purposes. They illustrate examples of a variety of conditions including cold storage, core rot, injury damage, and moth damage, among others. The apples are usually shown in two views: a full view and a half section. The watercolors are available online here.

Some examples from Schutt’s work with the USDA are available on their website.

Jonathan, Mendocino Co., California, 1915.

Jonathan, Mendocino Co., California, 1915.

A Rescued Map – California 1852

August 30th, 2016 by Dawn Collings
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This colorful map depicts counties in the state of California as of 1852 and is unique in that its path to preservation involved piecing it together from scraps after it fell out of a woman’s handbag.

The California Legislature enhanced the map showing county boundaries, a list of post offices, and postal routes.

One of the most eye-catching impressions of this map is the configuration of county boundaries in 1852. Throughout the history of California, the counties have changed, developed, been renamed, and divided into multiple counties into today’s current configuration.1852 california map

California_Counties_Outline_Map

Current California County Boundaries

The story in the lower left corner of the map tells how H. S. Foote rescued this map in 1908 and gave it to the Santa Clara County Free Library for preservation.

Explanatory Paragraph

Explanatory Paragraph

The quotation in the lower margin (which is partially obscured by Foote’s notes) reads, “Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1851 by B.F. Butler in the clerk’s office of the district court of the United States for the northern district of California.”                     Click here to view larger image

 

You can view this map–and other early California maps–in the Map Collection room on the Lower Level of Shields Library, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Map Call Number: MAP G4360 1852 .M2

Post created by Dawn Collings, Kristoffer Landes, and Louis Cashatt.

 

50 Features of Special Collections: McKinnon and Ruble Families Papers

August 30th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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As we are in the midst of pear season here in Northern California, it seems apt to highlight the McKinnon and Ruble Families Papers this week. This collection focuses on the life and career of Aloysius John McKinnon, M.D. (1870-1933); the Ruble family of his wife Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ruble McKinnon (1875-1916); and upon the lives of their children as related to their Rio Vista, California family home and ranch near the Sacramento River.  The Ruble-McKinnon Ranch produced alfalfa, asparagus, potatoes, and other crops but was especially known for its pears.

Aloysius John McKinnon (1870-1933) was born in San Francisco to Daniel A. and Catherine MacDonald McKinnon. Circa 1890, Aloysius joined his family’s well-established San Francisco lumber and shipping business, MacDonald and McKinnon. In 1900, while studying medicine at the University of California, Medical Department in San Francisco, Aloysius married Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ruble (1875-1916). Aloysius received his medical degree in 1903 from the University of California and the following year he and Lizzie relocated to Rio Vista. Dr. McKinnon practiced medicine from his Front Street office and later from an office in his Rio Vista home.

At the time of her marriage Lizzie was the oldest of three surviving heirs to the estate of her twice-widowed father Lewis Cass Ruble (1848-1899). Lewis Cass Ruble’s landholdings became the basis for the Ruble-McKinnon Ranch, which was located on the eastern bank of the Sacramento River and across the river from the town of Rio Vista. After Lewis’ death, his son William maintained the ranch, but circa 1905 upon William’s incapacity, Aloysius McKinnon took over management of the ranch for his wife, Lizzie, and her half-sister, Mabel. In addition to practicing medicine and managing the ranch, Aloysius was active in local organizations including being a founder and officer of the Brannan Island Reclamation District board. He held part ownership of a sailing vessel, the schooner Melrose, and in McKinnon family property located in San Francisco.

Aloysius and Lizzie McKinnon had six children: Lewis Ruble (1901-1956), Louise Isabelle (1903-1991), Ralph A. (1906-1913), Malcolm Bernard (1910-1982), Donald Aloysius (1913-1978), and Kenneth Leo (1915-2003). Lewis Ruble McKinnon studied agriculture at the University Farm School (now UC Davis) in the early 1920s.

The McKinnon and Ruble Families Papers (48.9 linear feet) document the life of a physician and rancher in the California Delta region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection contains biographical information, correspondence, legal and financial documents, family member’s class notes and assignments, ephemera and realia, maps, and photographs. Aloysius John McKinnon and his son, Malcolm Bernard, kept detailed accounts of ranch and household expenses. There are also some records of Dr. McKinnon’s medical practice. The bulk of the papers spans the years 1890 to 1984.

Significant local history information is found in the collection including records of the Brannan Island Reclamation District and items related to the history of the University of California, Saint Gertrude’s Academy, and Saint Mary’s College. Subjects of many of the photographs include McKinnon and Ruble family members, Rio Vista, the Ruble-McKinnon Ranch, the Sacramento River, and San Francisco. The bulk of the photographs date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so a wide variety of historical photographic processes are represented.

An exhibit on our website provides more information as well as select images from the collection.

 Ruble Orchard lug label, 1915

Ruble Orchard lug label, 1915

50 Features of Special Collections: San Francisco Mime Troupe Records

August 23rd, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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Since the San Francisco Mime Troupe will be performing in Davis this Saturday, August 27, we decided that this week’s feature should highlight their organizational records.

The San Francisco Mime Troupe is San Francisco’s critically acclaimed and oldest professional political musical theater. It began in 1959 when Ronald G. Davis formed the R.G. Davis Mime Troupe while affiliated with the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop. Initially, the Troupe improvised silent mime performance “events,” but soon added sound, music, and dialogue. In 1962 they began producing free shows in San Francisco parks and moved from mime into other forms of drama: first adaptations of commedia dell’arte, then vaudeville, melodrama, and other American theater. In 1963, they severed connections with the Workshop, and changed the group’s name to the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

In the Sixties, under Davis’s direction, the Troupe affiliated itself with the new counterculture. They published ideas on Guerrilla Theater and Radical Theater and continued to play in theaters, in the parks, and on colleges campuses, appealing particularly to the Left. After some fairly unsettled early years which included revocations of park permits, arrests, and litigation, the San Francisco Mime Troupe was recognized with an Obie Award in 1967 for “unifying theater and revolution and grooving in the parks.”

In 1970 Davis left the company which then reorganized as a worker-managed collective. More awards followed: Obie Awards in 1971 for The Dragon Lady’s Revenge and in 1989 for Seeing Double as well as a Tony Award in 1987 for excellence in regional theater. The Troupe has, for the most part, moved from adaptations to original works written by members of the Troupe and continues to use performances to point out weaknesses in American society.
After more than fifty years of existence the San Francisco Mime Troupe continues to perform in the parks every summer, tour in the fall, and share their message through annual youth theater projects. Their mission continues to be “to create and produce socially relevant theater of the highest professional quality and to perform it before the broadest possible audience.”

The San Francisco Mime Troupe Records consist of unique items relating to the more than fifty year existence of the Troupe. The collection contains original and adapted scripts, financial papers, photographs, audio visual items, promotional material, correspondence, clippings, and office files.

This recent article in the Davis Enterprise provides more information about this year’s show which will be performed in Davis on Saturday, August 27 and in Sacramento on Sunday, August 28.

San Francisco Mime Troupe performs False Promises, 1976.

San Francisco Mime Troupe performs False Promises, 1976.

50 Features of Special Collections: Blackwelder Manufacturing Company Records

August 16th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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Since we’ve started to see trucks of recently harvested tomatoes on the local highways, we thought that it would be appropriate to feature the Blackwelder Manufacturing Company Records this week.

Blackwelder Manufacturing Co., located in Rio Vista, California, focused on the development of tomato harvesters and other agricultural equipment. In 1949, UC Davis agricultural engineer Coby Lorenzen and UC Davis vegetable crops researcher Jack Hanna developed a harvester and a tomato variety that could withstand the rigors of mechanical picking. During the 1950s, they refined the experimental harvester and in 1959 convinced Blackwelder Manufacturing to commercialize the design. The tomato harvester is said to have saved California’s processed tomato industry in the 1960s.

The collection contains business records, correspondence, photographs, films, patent information, manuals, bills of material, drawings, blueprints, and specifications. As part of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, we’ve recently digitized a number of films from the collection. You can view the films on the Internet Archive here.

In addition, an oral history interview of Ernest Blackwelder is available here.

Blackwelder tomato harvester, undated.

Blackwelder tomato harvester, undated.

50 Features of Special Collections: Eastman’s Originals Collection

August 9th, 2016 by Sara Gunasekara
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In celebration of the centennial of Lassen Volcanic National Park which occurs today, we are featuring our Eastman’s Originals Collection, which holds a number of historic images of the park. The Eastman Originals Collection contains photographs, negatives, and postcards for a wide variety of northern California locations and events, including dam construction, logging, mining, food processing, and community buildings and activities from circa 1890-1960.

Jervie Henry Eastman was born on July 20, 1880 in White Cloud, Michigan and moved with his family to northern California in 1886. In 1921, he moved to Susanville and established Eastman & Company as a commercial photography and post card studio. In 1936, Eastman hired Mirl Simmons, a young photographer from Hillsborough, West Virginia, to help with the postcard photography. Later, Eastman and Simmons became partners and the business expanded to provide photographic supplies to southeastern Oregon and studios in Westwood, Weed, and Susanville.

Eastman, who retired from photography in 1959 and sold his share of the business to Simmons, passed away in Susanville on February 11, 1969. Simmons ran the Eastman Studios until 1980, when he retired and sold the business to John and Shirley Castle. The Eastman’s Originals Collection (the historical postcards and negatives) was sold to Anne Fisher in 1982. She managed the collection until her retirement in 1994, when she donated it to UC Davis.

Special Collections has digitized 13,212 negatives in the collection. Those images can be viewed on Calisphere.

Several 16mm films from the collection have recently been digitized through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP). The films, which are of scenes of Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity Counties, can be viewed here.

Cinder Cone and Butte Lake, Calif, 1938.

Cinder Cone and Butte Lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park (Calif.), 1938.