The Growing College 273
elementary Physics and Mechanics. The first was prescribed for all
degrees, and instruction in it consisted of recitations, lectures and
demonstrations with meager apparatus by the instructor; no laboratory
work was required of the students. On President Taylor's accession
Physics had been taught for many years by Professor W. G. Simmons
who continued the work until his retirement in 1888; his successor,
Professor W. H. Michael, was a graduate of the University of West
Virginia with the degree of Master of Arts. He came to the College in
1886 as Assistant Professor of Languages and Mathematics; he was
an able scholar and while his training in the many subjects he taught
must have been limited, he proved a good instructor in them all. He
was succeeded in 1890 by Professor John F. Lanneau, who was a
graduate of the South Carolina Military Academy and had been an
engineer in the Confederate States Army, and had taught for many
years in Furman University and William Jewell College. He was an
able mathematician and civil engineer and was fully competent to
teach the limited amount of Physics of the curriculum of that period.
Like Simmons, both Michael and Lanneau had as part of their work
instruction in Applied Mathematics (Surveying and Mensuration) and
Astronomy, for which they had a fair equipment. Professor Lanneau
was a trained astronomer and showed his interest in the subject by
frequent articles contributed to Popular Astronomy and other
periodicals. Through his influence in the spring of 1900, a five inch
telescope was made to order and mounted in an observatory on the
top of the Lea Laboratory.14 It was for the session of 1899-1900 that a
full-time instructor was secured for the department of Physics. This
was James L. Lake, of Virginia. He had received the degree of Master
of Arts from Richmond College in 1882, and had been a student in
Johns Hopkins University in 1890-93, and a fellow in Physics in the
University of Chicago, 1896-98. He had served on the faculties of
Ursinus College and Bethel College. He first introduced laboratory
work as a part of the courses in Physics at the College. For a
laboratory the
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14 Wake Forest Student, XIX, 451, March, 1900.
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