domingo, 25 de noviembre de 2012

One hundred years ago (I)

Several years ago, I started a historical research project. I wanted to know the origin of Salvadoran college of engineering. I dug in libraries. I interviewed people. I wrote to foreign libraries. And I went to several national archives. Our university archive had very little information. In an Annual university report, dated 1927, I found some names that helped me to start my research. Two of the names correspond to a couple of brothers. They were Federico and Julio Mejía.

 It was not an easy task to find information about this two former engineers. Who were they?  Where did they graduate? What major did they study? I was lucky to discover one the names in a biographical dictionary. There I found a very short biography of Julio Mejía. I learned that He studied Electrical  Engineering in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

I wrote some emails to RPI. At the same time I wrote several emails to other institutions around the world; trying to get information from engineers who graduated abroad. Nobody answered me but RPI. An efficient and very nice archivist helped me out. She was very kind. She found out that Julio Mejía's elder brother, Federico Mejía, also graduated from RPI.

Federico Mejía
The eldest Mejía started to study electrical engineering in RPI in 1912, one hundred years ago. He was the son of the salvadoran 19th century aristocracy. He and his junior brother came to America with his family, because his grandfather was a kind of ambassador in Washington.
I managed to contact his descendants. A daughter is still alive. She told me that his father, after graduation, had to leave America because he was drafted for The Great War.

Federico the womanizer?
I just would quote what they wrote on Federico's entry book: ' "Fred." Fred arrived in Troy rather inclined to solve questions by mediation than by corporal struggle. However, he soon realized the ferocity of the Sophs and soon determined to clean them up. Mejía, in his spare hours has an  inclination toward the weaker sex.'

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