How many aspects of life at Bowdoin College have remained unchanged since the days when faculty, president, and students all lived in Mass Hall? In January 2022, we can still fervently empathize with this account of the “spring” semester in the Journal of John Deering, Jr., class of 1864: “Find myself back to this honored institution after an absence of nine weeks… Nothing can be seen except a boundless expanse of snow… But after all, I suppose I can pursue my studies and carry out the objects for which I was sent just as well as if the grass were green and the birds singing.”
Who invented the light bulb? Isaac Adams Jr., Bowdoin class of 1858, created an incandescent light bulb with a carbon filament 14 years before Thomas Edison. However, he failed to persevere and produce a scalable innovation that would benefit consumers in the market. Instead, two highly-educated mathematical scientists from the class of 1875, Francis Upton and Charles Clarke, provided invaluable systematic research at Edison’s lab in Menlo Park. As such, without the contributions of Bowdoin inventors, the discovery and diffusion of electrical lighting would have been significantly retarded.
Prof. Samuel P. Newman (appointment in Political Economy, 1824-1839). Samuel Phillips Newman and Bowdoin Economics In 1824, Bowdoin was the first American College to officially introduce a faculty position dedicated to instruction in Economics (or Political Economy, as it was then known). The University of Virginia in 1826, and Brown University in 1828, followed Bowdoin, […]