1916 Alumni Day Reunion costume

Major collection: MIT General Collections
Object type: costume
Maker: Date made: 1916
Materials: fabric; ribbon
Measurements: flat 34" w x 57" l; 57" l x 61 w with arms outstretched
Nomenclature: clothing
Classification: personal artifacts

a.) Pink/Lavender gown with tag "Class of '85 Tech." b.) Brown gown with red trim. c.) Brown apron with red trim and '85. d.) Purple gown with tag "Class of '85 Tech." "It was a celebration of Technology by the American family...," wrote Professor Robert Rogers in his description of the extraordinary weeklong celebration of MIT's new Cambridge campus in June 1916. From 21-gun salutes to an epic pageant, The Masque of Power, which attracted thousands, Rogers noted that this spectacle was "the coming-of-age of Technology, the moment when the Institute consciously took her place among the great world universities." The dedication, commencement, and reunion event were broadcast to a national audience. Not all the events were serious, as this costume from a day of picnics and parades at Nantasket beach attests. However, apart from the U.S. centennial celebration in Philadelphia and the great World's Fairs, never before had the nation witnessed such an unabashed celebration of science and technology. It was a first for MIT as well -- a tradition now made manifest in the Cambridge Science Festival, the nation's first such event, which was established by the MIT Museum in 2007. [MIT 150 Exhibition label text]


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thumbnail Alumni Day 1916
Class of 1885