Today in NC State History: “A strange ship casts off…”

February 1, 2013
By Bill Krueger

Print“College life without its journal is blank.” So went part of the announcement in the first issue of the Technician, NC State’s first student newspaper, on this day in 1920. “Smoothly and with never a jerk or a splash, but with an unnerving quiet movement, a strange ship casts off and her voyage has begun.”

The first issue was but four pages, no pictures, and a total of three ads. The news? “The State College is Meeting Its Demands,” read the front-page headline. The story beneath recited increasing enrollment figures and listed a variety of new projects to serve those students, including a new dissecting laboratory for the Veterinary Department and two new farm cottages under construction.

An item on the inside pages reported a fire at Watauga Hall that caused $1,000 worth of damage and resulted in firemen chopping on the floor, “gradually lessening the small chance of any return of our breakage fee.” Another article previewed a meeting of the Electrical Engineering Society that was scheduled to include “stunts” such as “frying eggs over a platter of ice.”

The paper started out as semi-monthly and replaced a short-lived monthly magazine called The Red & White that folded in 1917. By 1922, the student newspaper went weekly. Today, the Technician is published five days a week.

The 1920 Agromeck applauded the new student publication. “Hail! A real college news. And well done, brave and faithful class of ’20….Just what we’ve been looking for through the last four long dreary years.”

—Sylvia Adcock ’81

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