The MIT Beaver Through the Years

by Jay London on January 13, 2014

in Alumni Life, Arts, Campus Culture, Events, Modern Geekhood, Remember When..., Student Life

Slide background The beaver was formally accepted as the MIT mascot in January 1914 and made official in the Feb. 1914 issue of Technology Review.
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The first known appearance of the MIT beaver on campus: menu cards in the Bursar Dining Room.

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The MIT Alumni Association logo, from a 1914 issue of Technology Review.

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This picture was taken at MIT Alumni Day in 1919. Beyond that, we’re really not sure!

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A 1921 issue of the Tech explains the history behind the beaver’s selection as MIT mascot.

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There were no beavers in Massachusetts until 1932, when the state reintroduced them into the wild. They may explain this-stand in at MIT’s 1925 Reunion.

Slide background A beaver celebrates the Class of 1948.
Slide background A beaver hard at work. From a Feb. 1948 issue of Technology Review.
Slide background The foreword to the 1948 Technique, MIT’s student yearbook.
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A celebratory beaver toasts to the Class of 1949.

Slide background The title screen from the Social Beaver, a 1956 promotional film written and directed by Oscar Henry Horowitz ’22 that introduced prospective students to MIT.
Slide background A seldom-seen draft of the MIT logo believed to be from the early 1970s.
Slide background The Class of 1930’s reunion sticker from its 40-year celebration in 1970.
Slide background A trio of patriotic beavers help MIT celebrate the United States’ bicentennial in 1976.
Slide background The MIT beaver did not make its first on-campus visit until 1977. The Class of 1952 enlisted the beaver to help celebrate its 25-year reunion.
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"Beaver fever…wear it!" An advertisements for “Beaver Shirts,” MIT-themed clothing created by the Class of 1980.

Slide background An under-the-weather beaver (perhaps the same one from the Class of 1949) adorns an MIT pharmacy bag from the 1980s.
Slide background A bow tie-clad beaver helps new graduates celebrate at MIT's 1988 Commencement.
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A lesser-known beaver skill: skiing. From a 1989 MIT holiday card.

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The beaver poses in a 1930 Model A Ford to help the Institute celebrate its successful $700 million fundraising campaign. From the Tech, July 15, 1992.

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The MIT mascot and cheerleaders help celebrate homecoming in 1994. From a 1994 issue of the Tech.

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The beaver represents MIT Athletics on its 1994-95 Sports Annual magazine.

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A provocative-yet-tasteful beaver promotes the the 1998 Brass Rat unveiling in a 1997 issue of the Tech.

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The familiar, modern-day beaver mascot costume made its campus debut in spring 2000. Originally published in MIT Tech Talk on May 10, 2000.

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Tim the Beaver and the MIT cheerleaders excite the crowd during DAPER's Beaver Madness event on Oct. 19, 2012. Photo by Tom Gearty.

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A celebratory thumbs up for the then top-ranked MIT Engineers men's basketball team in October 2012. Photo by Tom Gearty.

 

Beaver_SliceMIT’s longtime mascot, the Beaver, turns 100 on January 17, 2014, and everyone is invited. Since its arrival, the beaver—now known as Tim—has become a familiar face around campus, both in person and in print. To honor his centennial, check out a gallery of rare images that honors Tim and highlights how much the beaver has changed over past 100 years.

For more on the MIT mascot, read an exclusive interview Tim gave to Slice, watch a video history from MIT News,  and visit the official birthday website.

Unless otherwise noted, the photos and images are courtesy of the MIT Historical Collection. If you have any additional information on the images, let us know in the comments below or Facebook or Twitter.

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