Early Apparatus

These pages are in the early stages of development.  The content will deal with the early purchases and teaching practices of the first pieces of teaching apparatus at the university.

Equipment Purchases

There is evidence (Tradition Looks Forward, The University of Vermont: A History 1791 - 1904, Julian Ira Lindsay, 1954, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, pgs. 106- 107) that UVM purchased items from John Prince, a Massachusetts supplier and maker of philosophical apparatus. The correspondence describing the items available from Prince to James Dean, UVM's first professor, as well as the bill for the items have been lost since the 1950's. This bill may have turned up in the Samuel Williams papers held in Special Collections at UVM.

List of Apparatus   Click here for a scan of the actual  bill.
Transcription of the above bill.

The following are scans of copies of money transfers and bills for purchases of apparatus.

Compass, chains, and Hadley's Quadrant from E.A. Kutz, 1835

Sextant from E.A. Kutz, 1835

Atwood Machine from William Welch

 G.W. Benedict  purchase of a solar microscope, lenses, electrometers, thunder house, etc., 1836
Transcript of above

A telescope and micrometer from Amasa Holcomb, 1835

In the early 1830's Joseph Torrey went to Europe to buy books and Apparatus for the University. The following are accounts and letters relating to that trip.

Transcript of a letter of introduction and arrangements for credit in Europe.

Account of money transfers from G.W. Benedict to Porter Denny & Co., mentions two barometers. 1837 - 1838
Transcription of the  above


Transcript of a Letter to Abner Benedict from George Benedict on the subject of lecturing, April 14, 1826.

A letter from George Wyllys Benedict to his brother E. C. Benedict, July 9th, 1828.   On the second page of this letter Benedict describes teaching practices at the university.(This is a large file)
Transcription of the above mentioned section.

In 1829, George Benedict gave a series of public lectures at Gould's Hotel in Burlington.  He wanted to earn some extra money for himself  as well as familiarize the community with the university, and satasfy a general public interest with this new understanding of electricity. Lindsay (pg 197) reproduces a note from the Feb 3rd, 1829 Iris , a short lived literary gazette edited by Zadock Thompson:

Professor Benedict commenced his course of lectures on Electricity on Friday evening last at Mr. Gould's Assembly Room, and will lecture on the evenings of Tuesday and Friday  of each week, (commencing at 7 o'clock) till the course is completed.  These lectures afford the Ladies and Genlemen of Burlington an excellent opportunity of becoming aquainted with this brilliant and interesting science, and we are very happy to observe that so great a share of our citizens are disposed to avail themselves of it.  Those who attend, wether from motives of pleasure or instruction, will, we believe, be amply rewarded for their troubles.  No person can behold, without being intereseted and amused, the wonderful exhibition, of this subtle fluid, in the brilliant experiments which are continually presented in these lectures.

The differences in the two dates, the 1829 Iris and his 1827 letter below seem to indicate he gave these lectures more than once.

Transcript of a letter to Abner Benedict in which George Benedict talks about his lectures on electricity, 1827.

The lecture notes are still at the university (roughly 105 pages) and a partial (someday complete) transcription is posted below.

Benedict electrical lectures of 1827.