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Current Inventive Urge Overwhelms Instructor in Fine Arts Department

Robert G. Scott Builds Gadget To Show Light, Color Effects On Many Objects


From electric chairs in Eliot House to red and green monsters that mow the hardy grass of the Yard, it is apparent that Harvard is producing more and more devices and inventions calculated to make life either simple or complex, according to the point of view of the gullible layman.

For, one of the most gullible of these visited the top floor of Hunt Hall yesterday and discovered science's latest contribution to the art. There, Robert G. Scott, '29, instructor in Fine Arts, has created a novel apparatus for showing students in Fine Arts 2d the effects of light and odor on various shades and pigments.

Mr. Scott's device is a large box (cubic content: one yard) mounted on a table. To prevent any annoying reflection, the outside of the box is painted black. The inside is a very pure white. All around the edge of the affair, which is open on one side, are rows of colored lights which are mounted so as to provide only reflected illumination.

Outside the machine are 17 switches and three transformers, which are really dimmers. In the midst of the switches and numerous wires and plugs stands Mr. Scott. A flick of his fingers makes the box a livid red, a brilliant blue, a glaring yellow, an emerald green. He can turn on the three primary colors (remember your physics?) at once and produce nothing but white light with the combination.

Stepping to the switchboard, Mr. Scott announced, "And now I'll show you the . . ." but nothing happened although he had manipulated a dozen switches and plugs. "Hmmm," said Mr. Scott. He revealed that his invention would blow a fuse under certain complex electrical conditions. "Yes, that's one of Matilda's idiosyncrasies," he remarked.

The gullible layman gasped at this departure from the terminolegles of science and the arts. "Matilda?" he queried. Mr. Scott laughed. "Yes, we named her that about one o'clock the other morning, but we don't quite know why."

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