175 years of making sure things don't fall down

rpi history civil engineering noticeThe first civil engineering degree in the nation was created 175 years ago today at RPI. The school posted a notice announcing the degree on October 14, 1835. The notice also lists what was involved in various courses of study at the school. For example:

During the first 12 weeks, each forenoon is devoted to practical Mathematics, Arithmetical and Geometrical. This is a most important course for men of business, young and old. During the last 4 week of the Winter Term, extemporaneous Speaking on the subjects of Logic, Rhetoric, Geology, Geography and History, is the forenoon exercise. Throughout the whole afternoon exercises are Composition, and, in fair weather, exercises in various Mathematical Arts. ...
Students of the Engineer Corps are instructed as follows:
Eight weeks, in learning the use of Instruments; as Compass, Chain, Scale, Protractor, Dividers, Level, Quadrant, Sextant, Barometer, Hydrometer, Hygrometer, Pluviometer, Thermometer, Telescope, Microscope, &c. ...

That's a lot of ometers.

By the way, among the famous civil engineering alumni from RPI: George Ferris (as in, the Wheel), Frank Osborn (Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Tiger Stadium) and Milton Brumer (the Verrazano Narrows Bridge).

image: Institute Archives and Special Collections, Rensselaer Libraries, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Another of the more famous would be Washington Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge)

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