Humboldt State University

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum

Scientific Instruments and Apparatus at Humboldt State University: the Humboldt State Teachers and Junior College Period, 1921 - 1935

In researching the use of scientific apparatus at Humboldt I have been fortunate in that the Property Office at HSU has what appears to be the original property inventory book from Humboldt S-T-C. I have transcribed in the table below every item from this inventory which was obviously "scientific" or labeled for use in science education, and which would have had a Humboldt S-T-C tag. Unfortunately no dates appear in this book associated with the original acquisition of any of the items. Nor is the book labeled as to the college name during the inventory period. Internal evidence in the book (handwriting styles, inks used, later notations and dates, consistency of the order of acquisition numbers with known instruments) does lead me to affirm that it is the original book. Observation of extant apparatus with Humboldt S-T-C tags (555 and 4932 at the extremes) and notations in the book that an electric pen was used starting at item 5000 leads to the assumption that the items listed (214 - 4975) were all tagged with Humboldt S-T-C identification. Use of the electric pen for identification with the transition to Humboldt State College is confirmed by observations of "engraved" extant items (e.g HSC 5036, HSC 5374, HSC 5887).

What about the dating of the instruments on this inventory? We are fortunate in having, as one of the first items in the inventory, an instrument with an established manufacturer's date: the K&E transit serial number of 45650 corresponds to a date of 1923.1 It would appear probable that the earliest scientific equipment at Humboldt was acquired in 1923 or later. The later date for these instruments would seem obvious, since there was a name change of the college in 1935. However, two facts make me suspicious. First, the transition from HSTC to HSC, 4999 to 5000, is too neat. It seems likely that a frugal property officer decided to use up the stock of brass Humboldt S-T-C tags on hand before going to the electric pencil. Second, one of the last items with a brass Humboldt S-T-C tag, 4932, is an A O Spencer spectrometer, and American Optical did not take over Spencer until 1935, making 1935 the earliest possible, but unlikely, date for this instrument. What would be the latest date for a Humboldt S-T-C tagged instrument? Some early instruments (HSTC 1900) are listed in the 1982 University computerized inventory as purchased in 1938. A look at the original inventory reveals the notation (in a later hand) "PA 1938." These instruments are also inscribed with electric pencil, for example, HSC 1900 etc.2 It would appear that a bookkeeping transfer was made between Humboldt State Teachers College and Humboldt State College in 1938. From this evidence I am taking 1938 as the latest date for any Humboldt S-T-C tagged instrument. I conclude that all of the instruments in the table below were obtained between 1923 and 1938, with more likely dates of 1925 - 1937.3

 

1 This date was provided by Bud Uzes who stated "I was given a typed list of K&E instrument serial numbers corresponding to year of manufacture about 20 years ago by Cecil Hanson. Cecil...is now deceased, but at the time he had one of the larger collections of antique surveying instruments in the country. He regularly sought out information of this sort.... At the time K&E was still in business and I expect he got it from the company. I have since given the list out to other collectors and dealers over the years and it now seems to be the authoritative document for this information."

2 Why don't these early instruments have Humboldt S-T-C tags, and thus require inscription via electric pen? From the evidence of items 555 and 557 it appears that many instruments had the tags affixed to their cases, leaving the instrument unmarked. Later (c. 1938) it was apparently decided to mark the instruments themselves, using the then current abbreviation for the college, HSC.

3 College catalog evidence makes it seem likely that Humboldt began teaching science with laboratories in around 1925.

 

Humboldt State Teachers College

Scientific Apparatus and Equipment Listed in the Original Inventory Book
(Items listed with a linked acquisition number are on display in the main museum display cases in the HSU Library, 2nd floor)

Humboldt Acquisition # Inventory Description Inventory Comments Notes - R. Paselk, 1998
214 Anatomy chart (A. J. Nyquist)
555 Precision alidade with extra trough compass (Lietz #11256) with case   Humboldt S-T-C 555 brass tag on case, instrument unmarked.
556 Level, engineers precision Y (Lietz #11783)
557 Transit - K&E #45650 in case Humboldt S-T-C 557 brass tag on case, instrument engraved HSC 557. The K&E serial number 45650 corresponds to 1923.
558 Tripod for above 59" wooden legs
559 Plane table drawing board 24x31
560 Tripod, Johnson head - plane table
561 Tripod - aluminum thread protector
563 Steel tape on maple rod -Lufkin
564 Stadia rods - Lietz 450
565 Ditto
566 Rod - ??S with Brass target (Dietzgen 6530)
567 Ditto (Dietzgen 6500)
1814 Scale Weights
1816 Scales in glass case
1838 Skeleton, Articulated, Male Biol
1839 Cabinet for Skeleton, steel "
1840 Skeleton, on wooden frame "
1842 Microscope #224466 "
1843 Microscope #224448 "
1844 Microscope #224456 "
1845 Microscope #224461 "
1846 Microscope #224457 "
1847 Microscope #224453 "
1848 Microscope #224462 "
1982 Computer inventory lists 1848 as B&L (Assuming the numbers are B&L serial numbers, then all of the microscopes of #2244xx were made in 1929)
1849 Microscope #224454 "
1850 Microscope #224457 " 1982 Computer inventory lists 1850 as B&L
1851 Microscope #224452 "
1852 Microscope #224463 "
1853 Microscope #224446 "
1854 Microscope #224459 "
1855 Microscope #224455 "
1856 Microscope #224458 "
1857 Microscope #224464 "
1858 Microscope #224465 "
1859 Microscope #224235 FFSA-8 Biol
1860 Botanical Charts
1899 Microscope #89556 Bot
1900 " #89602 " Held by HSU Biology Dept.; Spencer records indicate that ser. no. 89602 was manufactured 1923-5. Engraved HSC 1900.
2061 Microscope #89438 Bot
2062 Microscope #89496 "
2063 Microscope #89599 " Held by HSU Biology Dept.; Spencer records indicate that ser. no. 89599 was manufactured 1923-5. Engraved HSC 2063.
2064 Microscope #89518 "
2065 Microscope #89519 "
2066 Microscope #89525 "
2067 Microscope #89527 "
2068 Microscope #89528 " Held by HSU Biology Dept.; Spencer records indicate that ser. no. 89528 was manufactured 1923-5. Engraved HSC 2068
2069 Microscope #89501 " Held by HSU Biology Dept.; Spencer records indicate that ser. no. 89501 was manufactured 1923-5. Engraved HSC 2069.
2070 Microscope #89586 "
2071 Microscope #89595 "
2072 Microscope #89503 "
2073 Microscope #89601 "
2074 Microscope #89440 "
2075 Microscope #89627 "
2076 Microscope #89629 "
2077 Microscope # 173752 "
2078 Meniscope "
2079 Microscope, Hospital #171608 "
2080 Planetarium #47561 Note in book stated Error, this number never used.
2081 Voland Balance #1208 Chem
2082 Voland Balance #1208 "
2083 Voland Balance #1208 "
2084 Balance, Ideal "
2085 Weights, Analytical, 100gr "
2086 Weights, 1mg to 100gr "
2087 Weights - 7gr - 500gr "
2088 Weights - 1gr - 1000g "
2094 Slide Rule "
2095 Boyles Law Apparatus "
2096 Vapor Pressure Apparatus "
2097 Jolly Balance "
2098 Voltmeter Weston" A.C. #52646 "
2099 Ammeter Weston A.C. #52947 "
2100 Voltmeter Weston D.C. #31789 " A factory calibration sheet with this instrument is signed and dated: June 15, 1926.
2101 Ammeter Weston D.C. #32817 "
2102 Hydrogen Ion Apparatus "
2103 Spectrometer #58130 "
2104 Spectroscope "
2105 Syphon Pump & Motor "
2106 Charles Law Apparatus "
2107 Laboratory Rotator "
2108 Manometer "
2109 Vise "
2110 Telescope "
2111 Variable Resistance Box "
2112 Plug Resistance Box "
2113 Variable Rheostat "
2114 Motor 1/15 H.P - 1800 R.P.M. "
2115 Set of Transformers for Evans equip. "
2116 Wheatstone Bridge "
2117 Wheatstone Bridge "
2118 Base Plate and Bell Jar "
2119 Barometer "
2120 Ballistic Galvanometer "
2121 Meter #894 "
2122 Projection Equipment "
2123 Motor, 1/8 H.P. #2825980 "
2235 Plumbing Arm Engineering  
2236 Transit #13185 "  
2237 Tripod, for Transit "  
2238 Level, Precision #13078 "  
2239 Tripod for Precision Level "  
2240 Level Rods with targets "  
2241 Level Rods with targets "  
2298-2300 Specimen cases with trays Zoology  
2688 Autoclave Sterilizer Botany
2689 Force Table Physics
2690 Pully with clamp Physics
2691 Pully with clamp Physics
2692 Pully with clamp Physics
3877 Galvanometer
4309 Centrifuge BKH June 47
4418 Balopticon B& L from BKH June 47
4438 Opthalm-o-graph Am.Optical Co. June 1947
4632 Delineoscope, Brooks (Spencer)
4679 Display case, Insect, Ward's Inc.    
4771-5 Insect drawers-Cornell Type-Ward's Nat.    
4799 Insect Cabinet Wards    
4801 Insect Display Cabinet Wards    
4801-7 Bird and Mammal Case    
4808 Tripod-Compass Dietzgen    
4809-4811 Johnson Head Tripod    
4812-16 Plane Table Board, Eugene Dietzgen    
4817 Johnson Head Tripod    
4818 Leveling Rod, Dietzgen    
4819 Scale, Tripple Beam
4820 Scale, Tripple Beam
4821 Spherical Lamp BKH
4824 Sodium Arc Lamp Transformer (Redman Scientific)
4825 Lamp for same
4833 Potentiometer, Welch, BKH
4834 Potentiometer, Welch, BKH
4835 Boyles & Charles Law Rig - Welch BKH
4836 Boyles & Charles Law Rig - Welch BKH
4837 Telekinocular - Keystone
4850 Oscillograph, Dumont
4851 Oscillograph, Dumont
4852 Reciever, Scott
4853 Reciever, Scott
4853 Signal Generator
4856 Sonometer BKH
4857 Sonometer BKH
4858 Specimen Press, Buehler BKH
4859 Mercury Barometer
4874 Sub-stage Lamp BKH
4875 Sub-stage Lamp BKH
4877 Deliniascope, Spencer {2x2 3/14x4} slides BKH
4878 Wheatsone Bridge BKH
4879 Potentiometer BKH
4880 Young's Modulus Apparatus
4881 Young's Modulus Apparatus BKH
4883 Choke Resonance Coil - Universal Scientific Co. (Physics Dept)
4884 Crows Demonstration Kit - Universal Scientific Co.
4888 Electric Rotator Apparatus - Universal Scientific Co.
4889 Capacitor Board - Universal Scientific Co.
4916 Chicken Skeleton - Gen Biological
4925 Galvanometer BKH
4930 Microscope lamp
4932 Spectrometer - Spencer BKH Marked AO Spencer, ser# 1892
4934 Galvanometer Base BKH L&N
4935 Impact Apparatus BKH
4936 Impact Apparatus BKH
4947 Tripod for K&E Transit    
4957 Dynamo Analysis Apparatus BKH
4958 Dynamo Analysis Apparatus BKH
4959 Wheatstone Bridge
4969 Drying Oven
4970 Hot Plate - Single electric
4971 Hot Plate - Single electric
4973 Jolly Balance BKH
4974 Young's Modulus Apparatus BKH
4975 Young's Modulus Apparatus BKH


HSTC Instrument Inventory

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HSTC (1921-34)<
HSC 35-53 icon
HSC (1935-1953)
HSC 54-73 icon
HSC (1954-1973)

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© R. Paselk
Last modified 6 September 2013