History of Vassar College

Before the electrification of Main Building in 1911, gas generated on campus provided all illumination, such as that from the Welsbach gas burner these students used around 1905. Learn more about the gradual accomplishment of President John Raymond’s call for “licht, mehr licht!”

The Vassar Encyclopedia project is an online work in progress under the direction of Vassar's College Historian, Dean Emeritus of the College and Professor Emeritus of English Colton Johnson. The project's goal is to present lively, accurate, and informative articles relating to the college and its history, of varying length and on diverse topics, written by a wide array of authors. Information about the project is available in the Preface and in the Guide to the Encyclopedia.