272 History of Wake Forest College
Friends often declared that had the department of Chemistry so well
equipped continued under the direction of such trained specialists as
Duggan and Reese it might easily have become one of the leading
schools of Chemistry in the colleges of the country.
But the development of the study of Chemistry at the College was
seriously checked by the election of a successor to Reese of a man
whose chief qualification for the place was that he came of a family of
famous teachers. This was A. M. Purinton of West Virginia. He was a
graduate of the University of West Virginia with the degree of Master
of Arts; for the past thirteen years he had been teaching in the high
schools of West Virginia and Maryland, and in that time "had given
special attention to the study of Chemistry." 13 Though a man of fine
social qualities, an eloquent speaker, and of fine moral influence, it
soon became evident that he did not have the training that was
required, and he remained only one year.
For his successor the Board chose Charles E. Brewer of Wake
Forest, a grandson of the first president, Dr. Samuel Wait. He had
received the degree of Master of Arts from the College in 1886. For
the years 1887-89 he had been a student of Johns Hopkins University.
On coming to Wake Forest he continued to offer the two-year course
begun by Dr. Duggan, but in 1892-93 added a course in Applied
Chemistry, two hours lecture and three hours laboratory work for the
fall term; for the spring term he offered a course in Mineralogy. After
the organization of the School of Medicine, Professor Brewer added a
class in Physiological Chemistry and Toxicology, two hours of lecture
and four of laboratory for the spring term. This constituted the work
of the Chemistry department during the remaining years of President
Taylor's administration.
The School of Physics was developed much more slowly than that
of Chemistry. Until 1899 Physics, Applied Mathematics, and
Astronomy were grouped together as one school and all these subjects
were taught by one professor. Two courses were offered,
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13
Wake Forest Student, VIII, 20, October,
1888.
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