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Department Photo Archives and Memorabilia

Ohio State's chemical engineering department has a rich history. Beginning with the 1902-03 University Bulletin, the "Outline of the Course in Chemical Engineering" was listed for the first time. In 1904, the name of the degree changed to "Bachelor of Science of Chemical Engineering."

Since the program was established, it operated in four different buildings and has had eight different department chairs, seven permanent and one interim, who oversaw the educations of thousands of alumni.

During this time, a great deal of memorabilia was generated, much of which was retained. We are quite lucky that over the past 20 years, our longtime IT director, Geoff Hulse, has put together a collection generated from University Archives, Department files, and his own efforts.

These items include photographs, drawings, instruments, audio recordings, and department-related ephemera such as Joe Koffolt’s undergraduate textbooks, Dr. Withrow’s academic robe, an inventory of the Department from 1927, the original AIChE Student Chapter charter, and the senior thesis of Helen S. Crooks, the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Ohio State.

Some of this material is now viewable in a display cabinet located directly across from the CBEC 330 conference room. A second cabinet will soon be added to the first to accommodate additional material.

Although many of the photos in the CBE Archives are more recent, some of them go back to the earliest days of the Department. Many of them are of the highest quality.

“At one time, the Department of Photography and Cinema was part of the College of Engineering and the faculty took high resolution pictures of the facilities using large format cameras,” Geoff noted.

The entire collection of images, which numbers in the thousands, has been uploaded to a departmental Flickr website, where they are now available for viewing online or downloading.

Click here to visit the CBE Flickr Photo Archives website.

In addition to the technical pictures, there are faculty portraits, senior class photos, and images of social gatherings and award ceremonies.

Users are permitted (and encouraged) to add comments to photos to help identify the people in them and specify what task(s) they might be performing. The appended information will be highly beneficial to subsequent viewers. 

This collection is not intended to be static.

“It is my hope,” Geoff said, “that alumni will contribute their own photos to the archive, allowing us to fill in the gaps and make the material available to their classmates." Please contact Geoff (hulse.1@osu.edu) if you would like to contribute something.