Columbia Engineers before the Schools of Mines and Engineering. Portraits clockwise, from top left: John Stevens, 1768, pioneer American mechanical engineer, inventor, and railway expert; James Renwick, 1807, adviser on most engineering problems of his time; Alfred W. Craven, 1829, chief engineer of the Croton Aqueduct Commission; Horatio Allen, 1823, importer and operator of first steam locomotive in America. Taken from “Early Columbia Engineers: An Appreciation,” Columbia University Press, 1929.
The 1863 Trustee Letter of the Egleston Plan to establish the School of Mines, the predecessor to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
January 1864—Thomas Egleston appointed professor of mineralogy and metallurgy.
November 15, 1864—Columbia College School of Mines opens in a building on Madison Avenue, with a founding faculty of three: Thomas Egleston, Jr.; Francis L. Vinton, mining expert and Civil War veteran; Charles F. Chandler, chemist and founding dean. Pictured: The School of Mines, 1865, on the Columbia University 49th Street campus.
1864—New Yorkers hold a torchlight parade for George McClellan, Abraham Lincoln’s opponent in the year’s presidential election.
The School of Mines’ 1864-1865 “Scheme of Lectures.”
1867—Prof. Charles F. Chandler begins his work with New York City’s Metropolitan Board of Health, monitoring food and drugs, providing free vaccinations, ensuring the safety of milk supplies, bringing clean water into the city, and enacting building codes requiring indoor plumbing. 1873—Chandler is named NYC Health Commissioner. Commissioner Chandler appoints the first milk inspector. Pictured: “A Perpetual Fever-Nest,” NYC ca. 1860’s, engraved from a photograph by Anthony.
1867—First EM degrees awarded to 13 (or 14) graduates. John A. Church is first in the class. Pictured: EM degree of Edward Everett Giddings.
First elevated railway in NYC opens on July 1, 1868 as the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway, a cable-hauled line, along Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue. This became the IRT Ninth Avenue Line, often called the Ninth Avenue El. Pictured: The line being tested in 1867.
July 4-9, 1868—The Democratic nomination for President takes place in NYC. The lower image shows democrats rallying in Union Square in support of Seymour and other local candidates, October 5, 1868.
1869—The American Museum of Natural History opens, with exhibits of the museum’s collection going on view for the first time in the Central Park Arsenal, the museum’s original home on the eastern side of Central Park. 1877—The museum’s first building opens.
April 3, 1870—The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens to the public in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue. March 30, 1880—The museum opens to the public at its current site on Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.
Students petition the Trustees in the spring of 1872 for full participation at commencement for Mines. On May 6, 1872, the Trustees allow the President and faculty to consider this. (Pictured: original minutes.) All seven speaking parts had always gone to College students; now two went to Mines students.
Pictured: the Old Fairbanks Machine in Mechanical Engineering, with the silver medal it received in 1873. 1874—The machine is installed. This marked the beginning of the Columbia Testing Laboratory.
June 2, 1873—Trustees agree to a doctoral degree plan. Left: resolution of President Frederick A. P. Barnard on April 7, 1873 to allow the School of Mines to grant the PhD. Right: original minutes of the Trustees’ recommendation on May 5, 1873.
Artifacts from the School of Mines student receptions in 1874 and 1875.
Three early Mines professors: Egleston, Chandler, and Van Amringe.