As we build our Timeline,
we are being eclectic as we include important events in the tech
history of QC, CUNY, the Borough of Queens, and other items in order to
put our own history into perspective. Some of the "What else was
going on when... " answers are fun to contemplate.
The following information has been culled from many sources, including the following.
The New York Times Historical Database on the Web is one of our sources for general as well as CUNY information.
Among the sources for the Queens College information is the wonderful book The People's College on the Hill,published
by the College in 1987 for its 50th anniversary. Student Yearbooks,
College Bulletins, student newspapers, faculty-staff newsletters are
among other major sources.
Among the sources for the CUNY information are the various CUNY publications on the CUNY web site.
We will be adding more to this timeline shortly.
- A virtual exhibit on the Museum of the
New York website identifies Charles Durant, in his June 1833 flight in
"Professor Lowe's Mammoth Balloon, The City of New York" as the "first
person to set foot on Long Island from the air." One other source
identifies Mr. Durant as a native american. Professor Lowe was
well known for his aerial reconnaissance using balloons for the Union
Army during the Civil War. The NY Times documents that in 1865
Professor Lowe provided balloon rides (for a price) as entertainment in
NYC., from his location at 59th Street and Sixth Avenue.
- May 1847 - NY State charters
the Free Academy in NYC as a free institution of public higher
education; the Free Academy opens in 1849. In 1866, it becomes
City College (CCNY), and is the first college of what later
becomes CUNY. For men only. See CUNY Matters Fall 1997 issue, p 12 for a timeline of public higher education in NYC.
- Normal College is founded as the second municipal college in NYC. The Normal School later became Hunter College. For women only.
- Borough of Queens is one of 5 boroughs incorporated into the City of New York.
- Wright Brothers famous flight, at Kitty Hawk, NC. ---#### check for date their NYC bicycle shop opened
- African-American inventor and patent preparer Lewis Latimer
moves to Flushing NY. Lewis Latimer worked with Alexander Graham Bell
and with Thomas Edison. In the 1980s, his house was moved to
another area of Flushing, in order to preserve it and make it into a
- NY Parental School for
Boys opens on the site that later becomes Queens College. The Parental
School was PS 12; passes issued to students were printed in the
Parental School Print Shop. As with other NYC public schools, the
doorknobs were beautiful and had a raised design
identifying it as being part of one of the NYC public schools.
- As part of the Hudson Fulton
Celebration, Wilbur Wright flies from Governors Island around New York
Harbor. One report says this was the first flight over NY Harbor.
- NYC's municpal broadcasting
radio station WNYC begins broadcasting on July 8, 1924. Log shows
battery problem caused them to go off the air for a short time.
NYC Mayor John F. Hylan said in the first broadcast "The improvement of
the people in every walk of life through the educative power of the
radio may also be considered one of its paramount purposes."
- EDO Aircraft Corporation
founded in College Point, Queens in 1925 by Earl Dodge Osborn. EDO did
pioneering work in the area of metal floats for seaplanes. March
3, 2004: Earl Dodge Osborn inducted into the Long Island Technology
Hall of Fame.
- Leroy Grumman and 3 others start Grumman Aircraft Corporation on Long Island.
- Queens College opens
Fall 1937 on the former site of the Parental School . One of the requirements for entering students is a
speech test, and the test is recorded using a large recording
device. The student's speech is evaluated, and after a semester
of speech class, another recording is made for comparison. Students are given their recordings.
- The Crown,first student newspaper at QC, begins publication.
- October 22, 1938: Chester Carlson
invents new dry copier process and has successful test in Astoria,
Queens. The text that he copied was "10-22-38 Astoria." This
invention becomes the basis of the Xerox copying process. From the
Xerox website [pdf format] [html format].
- 1939-40 World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Park:
Point - Shea stadium subway stop built for the 1939-40 Fair, replacing
earlier station nearby. New subway cars put into use for the Fair.
- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduces television in the first scheduled TV program.
- Aviation Pavilion
- October 4, 1939 is Air
Transportation Day at the World's Fair; address by Colonel Eddie
Rickenbacker, President of Eastern Air Lines.
- According to the New York
Times, on May 30, 1939 Mrs. Evelyn Saas of Corona watched the TV demo
at the GE pavilion. Her comment according to the Times was that
she hoped that someday deaf people will be able to lip-read messages on
a television-telephone.; Mrs. Saas is deaf, and could lip read some of
the words spoken in the TV program.
June 3, 1939, the American
Society for the Hard of Hearing held a conference with earphones at
each chair and easy opportunities for lip-reading at the World's
Dr. E. P. Fowler, Director of the League, says "Earphones should be no
more embarrassing thean glasses." Dr. High Grant Rowell of
Columbia Teacher's College asks for "a changed attitude on the
employability of the handicapped." There was a lip reading demo
by members of the NY League for the Hard of Hearing.
- Part of Horace Harding Blvd. near the College is renamed World's Fair Blvd.
- Article in the Crown - Jan. 12, 1940: "WNYC to Erect Broadcasting Station Here - Dr. Bradley Will Conduct Adult Education Course"
... WNYC, New York
City's radio station, will establish a broadcasting unit at Queens
College, The Crown learned yesterday from Dr. Henry Miller of the
Economics Department, who has been negotiating for several months with
the station. Professor Phillips Bradley, chairman of the
Political Science Department, has been selected to deliver a series of
some thirty lectures on "The Problems of Democracy" on an adult
education course to be given twice a week from the Queens College
"This is a unique experiment in adult education...", Dr Miller stated.
...Professor Bradley intends to enlist the cooperation of Queensboro
Womens Clubs and the principals of the high schools to schedule
meetings and assemblies at the time of the broadcasts, which will be
given Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 pm.
- Article in the Crown - May 10, 1940: "GMC Efficiency Startles Four Innocents From Queens," by Albert Kraus. Very interesting observations in parts of this article that are not included here.
Efficiency and all its implications were experienced by three Queens
College students ... and Professor William Withers... last Monday
evening when ... General Motors Corporation undertook to wine and dine
us and introduce us to the great and the near great in the automotive
industry at a dinner for more than 100 college men at the World's
- Approximately 400 students listen to a radio in Jefferson Hall to hear FDR tell on December 7th about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- Queens College begins a pre-engineering program.
- Summer 1942: Some Queens College students work in defense plants.
- Mayor Fiorello La Guardia begins regular radio broadcasts.
- Hunter College Uptown (now
Lehman College) begins its wartime hosting of a training site for the
WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) of the US Navy.
- August 1943: Queens College
begins its wartime hosting of the ASTP (Army Specialized Training
Program), in which members of ASTP unit 3222 lived and studied
engineering and foreign languages on campus.
- New York Times, March 18, 1944, page 9: "ASTP Classes to Cease - Queens College, Where 283 Were Trained, To Halt Project".
With its 283 men ordered to report for departure... the Queens College unit ... is being inactivated...
.... Representatives of three city colleges Brooklyn, City, and Queens
will meet with Army officials in the Board of Higher Education Offices
at 695 Park Avenue to discuss a mutual termination of the projects...
...The college is sponsoring a dinner... A motion picture of highlights of their stay at the college will be shown...
- A Victory Ship is named Queens Victory as a result of Queens College's ASTP role.
- Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reads comics on the radio during a newspaper strike in NYC>
- Queens College Speech and Hearing Center helps returning veterans.
- (recheck year?) George Capel hired by Physics Department to provide Audio Visual services to Music Department and to campus.
- Queens College's Rampart begins publishing - college's 2nd student newspaper.
- Spring 1950: President John J.
Theobald circulates "mimeographed letter" on campus about the Teachers
Union, and why disciplinary probation was appropriate for students who
distributed leaflets. "The People's College on the Hill," Queens College 50th Anniversary - 1987.
- Unit of Air force ROTC established at Queens College; disbanded in 1960.
- New QC power plant built.
- Joe McCarthy hearings on
ends in censure of McCarthy. McCarthy and related red scare witch
hunts resulted in a number of QC and other CUNY faculty losing their jobs.
- Queens College student newspaper Knightbeat begins publication; later changes name to Newsbeat.
- Both Crown and Rampart student papers are suspended at Queens College.
- Phoenix begins publication as a student newspaper at Queens Colllege.
- May 19, 1959: QC student Bianca Covelli Stewart is among four blind students given $ 500 awards by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower for superior academic achievement.
The awards are given as part of a celebration of the 8th anniversary of
Recordings for the Blind.
- in a ceremony in Washington.
- colleges in NYC joined to become CUNY - the City University of NY.
- Historical Documents collection of NYS and NYC documents is started at Queens College by Professor Leo Hershkowitz.
- 1964-1965 World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Park.
- NY Panorama (NYC scale model) debuts, with model helicopters and other planes.
- NY Hall of Science --- space capsules shown by student guides.
subway cars (later known as "redbirds") put into service on the #7 line
starting 1963 and featured at the Fair. Cars retired and placed into
position off the NJ shore as artificial reefs in 2003 - 2004.
- NY Times / September 11, 1964, p. 38: Computers Turn to Poetry Study; Special to the New York Times. Report on a three-day conference at IBM on "literary data processing."
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY,
Sept.10 - Resemblances between Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Shelley's
"Prometheus Unbound" have been turned up through a computer analysis
that was reported at a conference here today at the International
Business Machines Corporation research center...
... The computer studies... were described by Joseph Raben, a Professor
of English at Queen College. Associated with him in the analysis
were Seymour Goodman of the Queens Department of Chemistry and Raymond
D. Villani of I.B.M. ...
... Physical scientists have become computer conscious, or in some
cases, even computer oriented. It is now hoped by computer
scientists that many students of the humanities will follow this lead.
- New York Times, April 27, 1965, p 23: University Sets Up Complaint Center. Describes new complaint center for admissions problems established by the University Applications Processing Center in Brooklyn. Quotes Professor Louis Heil, director of the center.
- February 25, 1966 at 1:30 pm: Queens College Computer Center sponsors public seminar "Computers and the Humanities,"
in the Queens College Theatre. Publicity indicates "partial
support from the National Science Foundation," and presenters
including: Professor Louis T. Milic (Literature), Columbia University;
Professor Lejaren A. Hiller (Music),
University of Illinois; James Humphrey III (Art), Metropolitan Museum
of Art; and Dr. Edmund Bowles (General), IBM Corporation. Phone
number for the Computer Center, for further information, is listed as
"212 HI 5-7500, ext 435."
- New York Times, Nov. 3, 1968, p 1: Colleges Offer Admissions Help to City's Strikebound Seniors. In a paragraph regarding important issues
relared to the teachers' strikes that Fall and what college-bound
seniors can do, they are advised that transcripts are available for
students applying to City University of New York units "... in the data
processing bank, set up by the University Application Processing
- March 17, 1970: Article in the Phoenix: "Government Will be Reorganized - Students Will Receive IBM Ballots"
- QC inaugurates a degree program
in computer science and the Computer Science Department; Dr. Seymour
Goodman is its founder and first Chair.
mid-1970s (rechk date):
- QC inaugurates a degree program
in accounting and the Accounting and Information Systems Department;
Professor Louis Geller is its founder and first Chair. Department
is a spin-off from the Economics Department. (check year)
- The QC Center for Instructional Development (CID) is created in September.
- Out-and-About Video Club formed at Queens College.
CUNY's University Computer
Center founded based on a plan by 3 campus computer center / computer
science dept faculty who felt the campuses needed central support for
academic computing. User services area had keypunch machines.
- Ray Kurzweil, who grew up in Queens, demonstrates his new Kurzweil Reading Machine at a televised press conference January 13, 1976. The Kurzweil reading Machine was the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind. Kurzweil Readers are soon found in libraries. [In 1991, Ray Kurzweil was awarded an honory degree by Queens College.]
- New for FALL 1976 - Tuition
for all at CUNY! There are many unfortunate affects of
this. One of them is that billing and financial aid processes
become more complicated at CUNY.
- UAPC and UAPC director George Finn provide
part of the solution to the new problem of how to handle new financial
aid issues created by the imposition of tuition for all CUNY students,
effective Fall 1976. Previously, New York City residents paid
only small fees to attend CUNY. Undergraduate NYC residents who
are full time now have a tuition charge of $ 387.50 per semester for
freshmen and sophomores, and $ 462.50 for juniors and seniors. - in
addition to the fees.
Aid applications will now
go thru more central CUNY processes, and a multi-copy pre-printed
Tuition Assistance Voucher (TAV), each approximately 8 1/2" x 14") for
each aid recipient with is made available to colleges, showing TAP and
Pell award estimates. Many heavy boxes of these pre-printed TAVs are
picked up and delivered to each campus. Decwriter printer
terminals (dialup - 300 baud) are placed on each campus for campuses to
check information on-line for late filers and late award
- For the Fall 1976 registration
period, Queens College Financial Aid Office opens an outpost during
registration period in the I Building, formerly the college's student
center. The financial aid area is in the area most recently occupied by
the Candy Store and in front of it, and "preprinted TAVs" from UAPC are
pulled and given to early filers at a financial aid station in front of
the stage. Bursar also opens an outpost for registration in the I
Building. Financial Aid selects and circles student's eligible
awards, and uses numbering stamps to validate prepreinted TAVs; later
filers have "manual TAVs" written. Validated Financial Aid Office copies
of TAVs are used to create paper transaction lists, with batch
controls, for central input to the CUNY Student Financial Aid payroll
system to specify how much has to be paid toward the bill and not to the student.
- From the November 1976 issue of the THE Journal (Technological Horizons in Higher Education), article "The On-Line Classroom":
Queens College of the
City University of New York has installed a new system of teaching
terminals. It was pioneered by Professor Louis Geller, chairman
of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.
Professor Geller put 16 keyboards on line to an interactive computer to
teach the application of computers to accounting and financial problm
areas. Professor Geller states: "The basic idea of the DIGI-LOG ON-LINE
CLASSROOM is to provide the students with hands-on experience so they
can be positively reinforced before leaving the classroom"...
...The ON-LINE CLASSROOM is a teaching terminal system that consists of
an interactive CRT display for on-line operation and control by the
instructor, auxiliary keyboards that are used by the students, large
cideo display monitors to facilitate easy viewing in the classroom or
lecture hall, a printer interface for keeping a record of the class's
transactions. and an instructor control module which is used to enable
the individual keyboards...
...The company feels that many more applicaitons will emerge through
the innovation of the teachers that use the system and the further
development of the computer aided instruction concept...
- New York Times, Aug 28, 1977, p. 126: Systems Programmers.
Ad for systems programmers positions to work on Queens College's Sigma
7, with a reply to Dr. Seymour Goodman, Computer Center, Queens College.
- Marian Freeland, Coordinator of
Programmers in the QC Administrative Data Center, and Syd Lefkoe,
Assistant Director of Financial Aid Services, develop a computer
vouchering system to each student's estimated aid as it comes in on a
new "FAP Merge" tape toward the tuition bill at Spring 1977
registration, after verifying the student's eligible registration
status. The same edits are applied to a new computer edit
system run each financial aid payroll cycle. At this point, any needed computer
tapes as well as many large printouts are hand carried by hand between
the college and the various university computer centers.
- QC's Klapper Library begins the computerized Zebra tracking system.
- BITNET founded by CUNY and Yale; BITNET becomes an important precursor on the way to the Internet.
- Financial Aid Office begins to control financial aid check holds using a Wylbur file on CUNYVM.
- QC Council for Media Research approved.
- NAS 5000 acquired as gift for administrative data center.
- CUNY advertises in the NY Times for systems programmers for new BITNET support center and growing BITNET network.
- QC Quad founded as new QC student newspaper.
- QC Gertz Speech and Hearing Clinic enlarged.
- "Journal of Urban Technology" begins publication in Fall 1992 at NYC Technical College; editor is Dr. Richard Hanley. CUNY Matters - Summer 1996, page 11.
- Fall 1993 - CUNY's Open Systems Center opens for faculty and staff training at CUNY.
- Carmen Dorf receives $
5000 Career Achievement Award in Spring 1995 from the Lighthouse.
In addition to her work at CUNY Central Office / Office of Academic
Affairs since 1982, she graduated from Juilliard School of Music,
played on the Arthur Godfrey Show, does braille proofreading, and plays
the piano and harpsichord. Ms. Dorf is blind and uses a Vert Plus
speech sythesizer with her word processor. CUNY Matters - Winter 1995-1996 issue, page 11.
- Northeast Regional Technology Consortium NetTech initiated with CUNY as the lead institution, per CUNY Matters - Winter 1995-1996 issue, page 3: "US Dept of Education 5-year grant / New Educational Technology Consortium."
- "CUNY's Windows on the World / The Computer and Information Systems Center" published in CUNY Matters - Winter 1995-1996 issue, pages 6-7 gives some of the history of the computer center.
- Fall 1995, Richard Lieberman of
LaGuardia CC publishes a book on the Queens paino makers Steinway &
Sons. The book is namesd "Steinway & Sons." Per CUNY Matters - Spring 1996 issue.
- Fall 1995 issue of NYC Tech's "Journal of Urban Technology" is devoted to "information technologies and inner-city communities." CUNY Matters - Summer 1996, page 11.
- May 1997: US Postal Service issues new stamp with picture of City College., for CCNY's 150th anniversary.
- May 1997: CUNY celebrates 150 years of public higher education in NYC, with exhibit opening at Baruch on the history of CUNY.
- May 1997: Dr. Elaine Hall
graduates summa cum laude with a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate
School; Dr. Hall is blind, and her area of research is vision
research. CUNY Matters
of Fall 1997 identifies her as "the first totally blind woman scientist
to become a vision researcher." Her work was done at Hunter
5, 1997: Queens College presents "1937 Night in NYC - A Sentimental
Journey Celebrating Queens College's 60th Anniversary;"
lectures with slide illustrations, audio/video/photo montages,
memorabilia, dance mini-concert, in Kiely 170, 7-9 pm. Related programs: 60th anniversary website, and exhibit in the Rosenthal Library, and sale of 60th anniversary memorabilia.
© copyright 2004 by Syd
photos by S.
Lefkoe unless otherwise attributed
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