Subjects

Brass Rat (Class Ring)

Events, Celebrations, Traditions

The 1930 edition of Technique, the MIT yearbook, contains a section on the history of the Brass Rat: "The idea of a Standard Technology Ring has since 1927 been frequently discussed, but the time for actual choice seemed always just around the corner. Students had no definite ideas concerning a Standard Ring and many questions arose. What should be its general shape? Should the ring have a stone in it? Should it be heavy or light? And, should it be distinctly a Technology ring? In the Spring of 1929, C. Brigham Allen, President of the class of 1929, appointed a ring committee consisting of one member of each of the classes of 1930, 1931, and 1932. The committee was headed by Theodore A. Riehl, and its sole purpose was to provide a ring which the Institute Committee would approve as the Standard Technology Ring. In October the committee submitted its first detailed report to the Institute Committee and requested a decision as to whether the Institute Dome or the Beaver should be used on the face of the ring. This precipitated a vigorous discussion concerning the exact status of the Beaver as the Institute mascot. Investigation showed that, on January 17, 1914, President MacLaurin formally accepted the Beaver as the mascot of the Institute at the annual dinner of the Technology Club of N. Y. There was no record of any action having been taken by the Institute Committee so that body then went on record as approving the Beaver for the official mascot of Technology. Opinion was still dividied on the question of Dome versus Beaver, but with thte realization that many schools had domes somewhat similar to Technology's the Institute Committee decided to use the beaver on the face of the ring. The Dome lent itself particularly well to use on the shanks. When coupled with M. I. T. on one shank and the class numerals on the other, the ring was well balanced. Rounded corners for the face and a raised bezel to prevent excessive wear on the Beaver were suggested together with three-piece construction. The Institute Committee appproved the general design as outlined by the ring committee, who chose the present ring, which has been approved by both the Institute Committee and the Alumni Council."

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