High on the Hill

Dixon, Linda J.
1979

BALLOU HALL

BALLOU HALL

 

Now we have completed our tour and are back to Ballou Hall, where we began and where Tufts began.

 

Remember that when Tufts was founded, this building was all there was. It contained recitation rooms, dormitory accommodations, a library, a dining room, physics and chemistry labs, a museum, rooms for two literary societies, the president's office, a chapel, and even a well from which water was pumped.

The chapel was what is now the Coolidge Memorial Room, furnished in memory of Arthur W. Coolidge, A03, H45, once lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and in memory of his son, Robert T. Coolidge, A36, once professor of architecture at Yale University. Portraits of all Tufts presidents are on display in the Coolidge Room. (These are identified in Appendix B - Guide to Portraits in Ballou Hall.)

On the third floor of this building, Amos Dolbear, professor of physics, invented his version of the telephone, which was somewhat different from that of Alexander Graham Bell, who is usually credited with being the sole inventor of the telephone. From here Dolbear, who held a patent on a wireless device at the time, sent wireless messages to his home on Professors Row when Marconi, the acknowledged inventor of the wireless, was only six years old.