Physics at UVM -  1895

Williams science hall as it appeared shortly after completion.

The Williams Science Hall was funded by a contribution from Dr. Edward H. Williams of the Baldwin Locomotive Co., located in Philadelphia. A budget of $30,000 was fixed for the furnishing and equipment needs of the departments occupying the building.  These requests were submitted to the architect Wilson Brothers & Company of Philadelphia.  They then made sure the requests were in line with the wishes of Dr. Williams and then ordered the equipment. In the case of the physics department, most of that equipment came from overseas via  James G. Biddle, a "dealer, manufacturer's agent and importer" "of "Electrical and scientific instruments, physcological apparatus, storage batteries etc. etc.". He was a "special agent for Weston Electrical Instrument Co., The Electric Storage Battery Co., Ward Leonard Electric Co., Elmer G. Willyoung & Co., Societe Genevoise, Elliot Bros.". His business also occupied the same building as Wilson Brothers & Co.  A "list of apparatus on which has been based an estimate of ultimate cost for equipment of $30,000" was supplied to UVM by Wilson Brothers. The sole physics professor at that time, Allison Wing Slocum, made up the equipment list. This list detailed items to be purchased for the undergraduate labs, and mention is made of items yet to be purchased for the first year student lab and the advanced physics lab.