December 10, 2006


In response to my post about Rinehart, Dick Margulis has reminded me that Penn developed a similar tradition at about the same time: the Rowbottom:

The cry of "Yea, Rowbottom!" served as the rallying call for mass student disturbances and even full-scale riots at the University of Pennsylvania during much of the twentieth century. The term was first used in 1910, starting simply as a student's attempt to summon Joseph Tintsman Rowbottom, a 1913 graduate of Penn's School of Engineering, but before the year was out, "Yea Rowbottom!" had become an invitation for mass mayhem.

I neglected the mass mayhem angle in writing about Rinehart, but according to David Winter's article in the Journal of Personality,"[b]y the 1930s, the cry of "Rinehart!" often signaled the beginning of a college riot".

The traditional Rowbottom riots continued at Penn long after the Bowl Fights ended, but like many other aspects of our universities' intellectual life, they vanished in the turmoil of the 1960s.

Posted by Mark Liberman at December 10, 2006 07:34 AM