By Published: Nov. 5, 2021

From 1924 to 1925, Old Main underwent renovations to redesign its theater, add a laboratory and generally improve the building, originally built in 1876. 

“Those were the days when Old Main was the University,” declared the Colorado Alumnus in November 1924. “Its windows rattled, its walls rocked during storms and its floors and stairs creaked with the weight of a hundred students, the entire University population. And it still stands, but it will rock and creak no more.” 

Electric ceiling lighting replaced kerosene lamps, candles and gas mantles. This particular electrical switch is believed to be one of the switches that sourced the building’s power.

Similar in appearance to the one used in the 1931 Frankenstein film, the heavy switch contains a slate baseplate and a tiny triangular logo from electric manufacturing company, Trumbull-Vanderpoel, based in Bantam, Connecticut. 

Fred Luiszer (Geol’87; PhD’97) donated the switch to the CU Heritage Center in 2018. He acquired it as a student in the late 1960s when minor upgrades were made to Old Main. Read more about this Heritage Center artifact.

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Photo by Mona Lambrecht, CU Heritage Center