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Past Treasures

"Such a library as ours would not only contain books and current periodicals,
but there would be...articles of historic, scientific, and artistic interest."

~ Frank C. Patten, Head Librarian of Rosenberg Library, 1904 - 1934

The Library accepted its first museum piece shortly after it opened in 1904. Since then, thousands of rare and interesting objects from around the world have been added to the collection. Displayed in these pages are the Library's "Treasures of the Month."

June 2017 "Treasure of the Month"
Andrew Fraser
Captain Herbert A. Robertson (1877 - 1920)

Early 20th century slide rule which belonged to architect Andrew Fraser.
The predecessors to calculators, slide rules were used to make rapid mathematical calculations.

This month Rosenberg Library will exhibit an antique Keuffel & Esser slide rule which belonged to Andrew Fraser, an innovative architect who designed several notable buildings in Galveston during the first half of the 20th century. The slide rule was donated to the library in 1977 by Sister Gabrielle from the Ursuline Convent in Galveston.

Andrew Fraser (1883 - 1977)

Andrew Fraser was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1883. He attended the Inverness Institute of Technology before enrolling at the Heriot-Watt College of Engineering and Architecture at Edinburgh University. Fraser came to the United States to work as a professional architect in 1915. His first project in Galveston was for the Jean Lafitte Hotel commissioned by W.L. Moody, Jr. Opened in 1927, the 10-story structure was the most modern hotel located in Galveston’s downtown business district. It boasted 204 guest rooms — each with its own private bath. Two years later, Fraser designed the towering Buccaneer Hotel on Galveston’s beachfront as well as the Medical Arts building adjacent to ANICO on 21st Street and Mechanic. He also served as a consultant on the United States Post Office Building on 25th Street. After practicing architecture for five decades, Fraser died in Galveston in 1977.

Keuffel & Esser Company

Keuffel & Esser (K & E) was a drafting supply company founded by German immigrants William Keuffel and Herman Esser in 1867. It was the first American company to specialize in drawing materials and drafting instruments. The manufacturing complex was located in Hoboken, New Jersey, while the showroom and offices were located in Manhattan.

K & E produced hard rubber curves and triangles, drafting paper, surveying instruments, and slide rules. The firm was financially successful until the 1970s when electronic calculators, CAD systems, and laser surveying techniques were developed.

In 1982, K & E filed for bankruptcy and was bought out by the Azon Corporation which continues to own the K & E brand name and trademarks.


The Treasure of the Month is located on the library’s historic second floor near the East Entrance. It can be viewed during regular library hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the Museum Office at (409) 763 - 8854 x 125.

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