Harvard, sad to say, wasn’t always HARVARD. It spent a fair amount of its early history teaching young men not to rub themselves with street mutts by way of bathing and then conferring degrees in philosophy for the achievement. Thoreau himself thought so little of it that he refused to pay the required five dollars to get his diploma. If you are ever in line for very mild amusement dearly bought, take a look at Birkhoff’s history of Harvard’s mathematics department from 1836 to 1944, just to see the palpable straining after something like native accomplishment in the mid 1800s. “Peirce taught many classes and was very instrumental in being at Harvard while teaching classes there… about math.”
We meet again upon Christmastide!
– Count Dolby von Luckner
Relevant Archival Episodes:

Peter’s Solution