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Henry Lomb Society records

 Collection — Folder: 1-2
Identifier: RITArc-0004

Scope and Contents

The Henry Lomb Society records consist of organizational documents and newspaper clippings.

The organizational documents contain several copies of the Society's constitution and by-laws, memoranda regarding Society activities, invitations to the group's annual meetings, letters of appointment for Society officers, faculty nominations of potential student members, speech transcripts, and other documents related to the administration of the Society. Of interest is a transcript of Charles H. Wiltsie's address to the Society on May 9, 1934. In his speech, Wiltsie discusses his own background as well as Henry Lomb, specifically the admirable qualities Lomb exhibited throughout his life.

The collection also contains newspaper clippings (circa 1935) on the Henry Lomb Society's induction ceremonies.


  • Creation: 1916-1936
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1934 - 1935


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The Henry Lomb Society (1916-1936) was created in 1916 to recognize students of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute who excelled in "scholarship, personality, [and] service to the school." The first class of eighteen members was inducted in 1916 in the assembly hall of the Eastman building where it was announced that each member would be awarded a pin designed by the fine arts department. Although the original members were selected from the senior class, alumni who performed "notable work" could be chosen for membership up to three years after graduation.

The Society was named for Captain Henry Lomb (1828-1908), co-founder of Bausch & Lomb. Although Lomb emigrated from Germany in 1849, he chose to serve in the U.S. Civil War in 1861 with the New York State Volunteers. His dedication and performance earned him the rank of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and ultimately Captain. Following the war, Lomb returned to Rochester, NY where he took an active interest in supporting the city. For instance, he helped organize and finance the Rochester Public Health Association. In 1885, Lomb co-founded the Mechanics Institute, which ultimately became the Rochester Institute of Technology. He died in 1908 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY.

In 1933 it was decided that the Henry Lomb Society would stop acting as an independent entity and be absorbed by the Mechanics Institute administration. To that end, the constitution was suspended and all activities were turned over to the administration. At a meeting on March 28, 1936, the Mechanics Institute's Policy Committee decided that the Society should be abolished altogether. The Society's activities were gradually lessened and publicity for the organization ceased.


2 Folder(s)




Records of the Henry Lomb Society, an organization started in 1916 as an early honor society at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. The collection includes various organizational documents such as the group's constitution and by-laws, memoranda, and speech transcripts, as well as newspaper clippings related to the organization's activities.


One folder contains newspaper clippings related to the Society, while the other folder contains all other documents in the collection.

Related Materials

Mechanics Institute Scrapbooks: 18 May 1916, 03 May 1917, 04 June 1918, 19 June 1919, 25 May 1920, 11 May 1931, 13 May 1936 (source: 3x5 card file)

Henry Lomb Society pin

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in October 2010.

Henry Lomb Society records
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
29 October 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA