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Journal of Billings Grinnell Almy (1407-1C74)

Following is the continuation from Newsletter No. 102 of the journal of Billings Grinnell Almy. (See introduction in Newsletter No. 85, January 1996.)

Sunday, December 25, 1898

First German Christmas one of conversation and writing. Went to church and in evening had a German time. Writing "geschichte" * etc. Wrote one short letter only.

* Transcriber's note - stories

Monday, December 26, 1898

Went to Picture Gallery in the morning. Stores all closed, the "third holiday" as the Germans call it. Pretty much visiting all day. And in the morning the "Pension" (10 in no.) went to "Tannhäuser". Ate supper when we came back in 10:30 to 11:30 then went to bed.

Tuesday, December 27, 1898

A letter in the morning. In the afternoon played dominoes until 5:00p.m. then went to tea with Mr. Loveday 10 Ross Str. Home to supper and games until 10:30p.m. Met Mr. Lewis & Mr. Day just before leaving at 5:00p.m.

Wednesday, December 28, 1898

Spent the forenoon in the physical laboratory with John & Mr. Lewis. Afternoon didn't do much but visit with the Chase's. Saw Mr. Chase's collection of pictures. Evening in Dining Room and writing.

Thursday, December 29, 1898

My new experience with a genuine "Deutscher". The dream, and what resulted there from. Copied sentences in forenoon and lectures in afternoon when I wasn't playing dominoes. Evening John and I played dominoes until 11:00 with Fräulein Fritz and her sister.

Friday, December 30, 1898

The nearest to work that I have done while John has been here. Copied notes all day and ended up this evening by making out a table of the ground covered by Wundt in his lectures. Have 10 pages of notes.

Saturday, December 31, 1898

After saying good bye all round we started for Berlin. Although lost we found the depot in time for train 11:15. Berlin at 4:00 quite dark & rainy. Spent the morning on the street and with Mr. Day & Lewis. Saw the crowd on the street at midnight although they seemed modest. Sampled the "punch" with Day & Lewis and retired about 2a.m.

This concludes the pages that now remain of the journal of Billings Grinnell Almy.


Billings daughter Mignon Almy wrote a very interesting and complete History of the Family of Horace Manchester Almy. In it she writes "By the fall of 1898, my father had decided to join his brother John in Germany. The latter had gone there the year before, to continue his study of Physics at Berlin University. My father chose the University of Leipzig to continue his study of Psychology in which he had majored at the University of Nebraska.

During the next year or so, he did considerable work towards a doctorate, but had not completed it by the time Uncle John was ready to return home. However, during this time, he learned to speak and write German proficiently. He used to say that one even learns to think in a foreign language and it becomes natural to use it. He had lived in boarding houses or pensions, as they are called, and enjoyed his German contacts. He used to tell us of the young German students, with whom he was associated. They, as well as their elders, used to boast of their prowess as a Military might, and that their countrymen would be the victors, if Germany and the United States should ever get into a war. He vividly recalled this, when the two countries were mortal enemies during the years of World War I, and again in the years of World War II."

"Between intervals of study, the two brothers traveled much of western Europe by bicycle, visiting most of the famous Museums and art galleries of the larger cities of Belgium, Holland, France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Part of their traveling was done by train and boat. Before finally leaving for home, they also visited England, Scotland, and the Scandinavian countries. By the fall of 1900, my uncle had completed his work towards his Ph.D. in Physics, and the two returned home together."



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