Sunday, July 15, 2012

Archival

This picture is from my archives. I took it once upon a time, during a stroll around the Caltech campus. Caltech is a nice place for a stroll. You're welcome to walk around there and take in the sights--the architecture, the gardens, the turtles.

Arnold O. Beckman was quite the Caltech guy. He did so many important things for southern California and Caltech that the Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis just wasn't enough, so Caltech named the Beckman Auditorium for him, too. I had not heard of his company Beckman Coulter, but perhaps you are not the ignoramus I am.

Professor Beckman was born in 1900 and lived to be 104 years old. For that reason alone, his oral history ought to be pretty interesting.

UPDATE:
Thank you to Sid, who added this information:
"These are the arches by Alexander Stirling Calder that once adorned the front of Throop Hall, the first building on the campus."
You can find Sid Gally's history column regularly in the Pasadena Star-News. He is also a volunteer at the Pasadena Museum of History, where he probably knows the archives by heart.

26 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

What beautiful architectural detailing, Petrea. I wouldn't associate this with chemical synthesis, so it's quite serendipitous.

dive said...

Hoorah for the Beckmans. How sweet to have put up a memorial to their 'chemical synthesis'. Romantic yet slightly creepy.
Nice building, though.

Mister Earl said...

I know the reason you posted this is because Cal Tech received NCAA sanctions the other day for using ineligible athletes. Even though they probably have some of he worst teams in NCAA history. True story.

Anonymous said...

Most of us have long known the company as Beckman Instruments, but I'll bet that most - like me - didn't know how the company began (in a Pasadena garage in 1935) or the extent of its business.

Timeline on company here (the Coulter name was not added until 1998):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckman_Coulter

Betsy

Petrea Burchard said...

There's pretty architecture all over the Caltech campus, Shell. It gives me a feeling of having stepped out of California and into Europe, at least for a few minutes.

Ha! Dive, love the "chemical synthesis" quip.

Mister Earl, I knew nothing about the scandal. I did know, however, that the team was seriously bad. I'm not that much of an ignoramus.

altadenahiker said...

I am.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hiker, one of the many reasons why we're friends.

Betsy, I often find your comments a bit late but here it is. Thanks for the link.

Sid said...

These are the arches by Alexander Stirling Calder that once adorned the front of Throop Hall, the first building on the campus.

Petrea Burchard said...

Oh Sid, thank you. I never would have known if you hadn't said so. I hope you don't mind if amend the post to quote your comment.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

True Mister Earl. My father was on the football team and said so himself. Brains over bronze. Lost every game. Those in the electrical engineering department of Cal Tech were considered lesser beings on both field and campus. (much like the engineer character in the Big Bang TV show).

Btw: Alexander Stirling Calder is most likely the father of international artist Alexander Calder. His family moved out west to the Linda Vista area because of tuberculosis.

TheChieftess said...

Lovely building regardless of chemical synthesis!!! I've always heard that Cal Tech is a beautiful campus but I've never actually been on campus...I thought it was closed to outsiders?

Petrea Burchard said...

Father:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Stirling_Calder

Son:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Calder

Very interesting, PA.

Bring your camera, Chieftess.

TheChieftess said...

Without a doubt Petrea!!!

Deb said...

Interesting, we have a number of diagnostic instruments made by Beckman Coulter in the lab I work in. Never given any thought to who was behind them, now I know!

Latino Heritage said...

Such a great study in texture, too.

I love the reuse of the arches. I wonder if there might be similar creativity applied to what is left of our library entry ruins that sit on Raymond Avenue.

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't know if that's a coincidence or not, Deb, but I'm amazed! Can you tell us what kind of lab it is? Have you posted about it? (Or perhaps it's top secret?)

LH, that's a wonderful idea. The ruins are poorly cared for (I'm being kind). I'd love to have them as a backyard gazebo.

TheChieftess said...

I'm feeling quite ignorant..."the ruins" where?

Petrea Burchard said...

At the southeast corner of Raymond and Walnut, in Memorial Park, Chieftess. This was the location of Pasadena's first official library building (not first official library, long story). In the late 1920's the building suffered earthquake damage (I think), and was torn down in the 1950's. The only thing left was the entrance, which stands roped off at a corner of the park.
http://bit.ly/Lr47jy

TheChieftess said...

Dayam!!!! The things I've learned on your blog about the area where I've lived the majority of my life!!!

Adele said...

That is some Way Cool stuff! (Oh, and p.s., My IQ - ignoramus quotient - is very high...)

Petrea Burchard said...

Chieftess, as you well know, blogging daily about a place teaches you about it whether you mean to learn or not!

Hee hee, Adele.

Margaret said...

Cal Tech is lots of fun to explore, but I haven't been for a whie. You've inspired me.

Steve Scauzillo said...

Caltech given probation by the NCAA. Funny column in today's LA Times by Bill Plaschke.

Ms M said...

Beautiful windows and detail! And the history is fascinating, too.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I waited till (most) everyone had gone to to get their dose of Zen. I have a little story about corporate cruelty, involving a close friend that I tell every once in awhile. (Kelly was horrified) Yup, Beckman Coulter

Petrea Burchard said...

What do you think, PA? Is it something you'd rather tell offline? Did it happen after 2004?