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Purdue Chemistry in 1920

1920 was Mellon’s first, full year at the university. At that time, Purdue was fundamentally an undergraduate teaching institution with no graduate school. Many campus-wide instructors only had undergraduate degrees.

The chemistry department was unique in that all seven faculty members had doctorates. Research facilities on campus were meager, and analytical chemistry was important in industry but had not achieved much status academically.

  • Purdue campus total enrollment: 2600
  • Purdue employees on campus: 119
  • President: Dr. Winthrop E. Stone
  • (Stone died the following year in a mountain climbing accident.)
  • Dean of Science: Stanley Coulter
  • Chemistry Department Head: N.P. Evans
  • (Leader of the department from 1900-1925. He never had a secretary!)
  • Chemistry Department: 7 faculty members
  • Chemistry Library book budget: $120 (And there was no librarian!)
  • Mellon’s assistant professor salary: $1800/year
  • Mellon’s furnished apartment rent: $35/month

Image from 1920 Purdue Debris Yearbook

Image from 1920 Purdue Debris Yearbook


Oral History of Guy Mellon,
Derek Davenport & William Jensen
My Three Score and Ten Purdue Years (1919-1989),
M.G. Mellon

Mellon 1920

M. Guy Mellon
ca. 1920

President Stone

President Stone
ca. 1920