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Archivists at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY, have identified the woman in a 1916 photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt at MIT as his wife, Eleanor, and they have requested a copy of the photo from the MIT Museum.
"We'd love to have it," said Karen Burtis, an archives technician at the FDR library. "We don't have many pictures of them together from that period."
The photograph, taken when Mr. Roosevelt attended the dedication of the Cambridge campus, was printed in MIT Tech Talk on April 29, accompanying a story about former presidents who have visited MIT. The photographer identified only the two men in the foreground--Mr. Roosevelt (in top hat), an assistant secretary of the Navy at the time, watching part of the celebration from the yacht of Charles A. Stone, partner of E.S. Webster (at right). The engineering firm established by Mr. Stone and Mr. Webster, both of whom received the SB in electrical engineering from MIT in 1888, built the new campus.
After the photo appeared in MIT Tech Talk, a copy of the picture was sent to the FDR Library to see if researchers there could establish whether the woman was Mrs. Roosevelt.
Since the hat worn by the woman matches one worn by Mrs. Roosevelt in other photos of the same vintage, the archivists decided that it was she, and requested a copy of the photograph from the MIT Museum. The Museum is also sending a copy of the program for the 1916 dedication ceremonies.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 20, 1998.