Classics in the History of Psychology

An internet resource developed by
Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario
ISSN 1492-3713

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By C. R. Garvey (1929)
University of Minnesota

First published in Psychological Bulletin, 26, 652-660.

Posted April 2000

There have been several outlines of the development of laboratory psychology in the United States, notably by W.O. Krohn (15) on facilities in experimental psychology in 1890, E. H. Delabarre (11) on psychology laboratories in America in 1894, C. A. Ruckmick[sic] on history and status of psychology in the United States in 1912 (24) and on the development of laboratory equipment in 1926 (23), C.R. Griffith (13), and E.F. Buchner (4, 5, 6).

Since there have been a large number of laboratories established since 1912 and since no comprehensive list of laboratories with dates of foundation, etc., is available, the writer has attempted to compile such a list by sending a questionnaire to a number of schools and institutions. The questionnaire was sent to every educational institution of higher learning in America which is credited with 1,000 students or more in the 1926 College Blue Book, and to smaller schools which were suspected of having a psychology laboratory. Thus some 200 copies were sent out. Replies were received from about 65 per cent. With few exceptions the questionnaire was sent to the secretary of the institution in question, since it was thought that the information asked for might be a matter of record. The letter was usually referred to someone in the psychology department, if any existed. It was impossible for the scientists to verify dates and amounts of appropriations in some cases because of the attitude of some educational institutions that the time of their clerical help should not be spent in looking up records for scientific purposes. This occurred in only a few instances, however, and the majority of the questionnaire blanks were carefully filled out and often additional information and copies of articles were sent. Some of the more prominent psychologists wrote personal letters of reply giving interesting data.

The writer wishes to offer here a general apology for adding one more questionnaire study to the literature and to thank heartily all [p. 653] those who assisted in supplying information. The form of the letter used is shown herewith:


In reviewing the history of experimental psychology in this country, I find that no accurate information is available concerning the actual development of the total laboratory system. For instance, the date of foundation of only a few of the laboratories is generally known. I am writing to a number of scientists and officials in the more prominent schools over the country, and trust that you will be able to give me some valuable data in answer to the following questions concerning your laboratory. Your efforts in obtaining and supplying this information will be sincerely appreciated.

1. Name of institution ...................................................

2. Date of first appropriation for psychology laboratory .............

3. Amount of appropriation .............................................

4. Date laboratory was established ....................................

5. Dates laboratory was revised or reorganized .....................

6. Name of man in charge of first laboratory ........................

7. Date of first publication from laboratory (either by faculty

member or student) .............................................

8. Nature of the article, or title ...........................................


9. Name of author ..........................................................

10. Any other information..................................................

Please sign


In the following list, the laboratories are given in the order of foundation as nearly as possible. There are probably some errors both in the order and in the dates. The information is arranged: (a) date laboratory was started, (b) name of director of laboratory at that time, (c) amount of first appropriation or grant for laboratory and date, (d) date of first publication from the laboratory, (e) author. The information is taken mainly from the results of the questionnaire sent out by the writer, but is supplemented from other sources where possible.

1. Harvard (a) 1874-6, enlarged in 1890 (b) William James (Hugo Münsterberg 1892).

2. Hopkins (a) 1883-4 (b) G. Stanley Hall. Closed in 1887 and re-opened by J. M. Baldwin in 1903. [p. 654]

3. Pennsylvania (a) 1887 (adequate 1889) (b) J. McK. Cattell (e) J. McK. Cattell and George Fullerton.

4. Indiana (a) January 1888 (b) William L. Bryan (d) 1892 (e) W. L. Bryan.

5. Wisconsin (a) September 1888 (b) Joseph Jastrow (c) $500, 1888 (d) 1889 (e) Joseph Jastrow.

6. Clark University (a) 1889 (b) E. C. Sanford (d) 1891 (e) Herbert Nichols.

7. McLean Asylum, Waverley, Mass., at Somerville till 1890. (a) l889 (b) William Noyes, M.D. (d) 1892 (e) William Noyes.

8. Nebraska (a) September 1889 (b) H. K. Wolfe.

9. Michigan (a) 1890 (b) J. H. Tufts (d) 1894 (e) John Bigham.

10. Iowa (a) 1890 (b) G. T. W. Patrick (c) $175, June 1890 (d) 1896 (e) G.T. Patrick and J.A. Gilbert.

11. Columbia (a) 1890 (b) J. McK. Cattell (d) 1893? (e) J. McK. Cattell.

12. Toronto (a) 1890 (b) J. M. Baldwin (d) 1893 (e) Dr. Tracy.

13. Cornell (a) 1891 (b) F. Angell (d) 1893 (e) H. C. Howe.

14. Wellesley (a) September 1891 (b) M. W. Calkins (d) 1892 (e) M. W. Calkins.

15. Brown (a) April 1892 (b) E. B. Delabarre.

16. Illinois (a) 1892 (b) William O. Krohn (d) 1894 (e) William O. Krohn.

17. Kansas (a) 1892 (b) Olin Templin (enlarged in 1916 by W. S. Hunter).

18. Catholic University (a) 1892 (b) E. A. Pace.

19. State Normal, Trenton, New Jersey (a) September 1892 (b) Lillie A. Williams.

20. Yale (a) Fall 1892 (b) E.W. Scripture (d) Oct. 1. 1893 (e) Charles B. Bliss.

21. Chicago (a) 1892-3 (b) Charles A. Strong (c) $500, 1892 (d) 1896 (e) Angell, Moore and Jegi.

22. Princeton (a) 1893 (b) J. M. Baldwin (c) 4 rooms (d) 1896 (e) J. M. Baldwin and W J. Shaw.

23. Minnesota (a) 1893 (b) James R. Angell (c) $500, 1893 (Expanded 1917 by plans of R. M. Yerkes) (d) 1900 (e) Harlow Gale.

24. Stanford (a) 1893 (b) Frank Angell (c) 1893.

25. Wesleyan (a) 1894 (b) Shaw (d) 1894 (e) A. C. Armstrong Jr. and W. J. Shaw.

26. Amherst (a) 1894 (none at present) (b) Charles E. Gorman.

27. Denison University, Granville, Ohio (a) 1894 (b) C. L. Herrick (d) 1894 (e) J. H. Massie.

28. University of City of New York (a) October 1893 (b) Charles B. Bliss.

29. Western Reserve University (a) 1894 (b) H. A. Aikins. [p. 655]

30. Smith (a) 1895 (b) William C. Smith (c) 18')5 (d) ? (e) Arthur H. Pierce.

31. Pennsylvania State (a) 1895-6 (b) Erwin W. Runkle (c) $1,000 for 2 years, 1895 (d) 1898, thesis, not published (e) Jonas Wagner.

32. California (a) 1896 (b) G. M. Stratton.

33. Ohio State (a) 1897 (h) Clark Wissler (revived 1908 by Thos. H. Haines) (c) about $500, 1908 (d) 1908 (e) T. H. Haines.

34. Bryn Mawr (a) 1898 (b) J. H. Leuba.

35. Texas (a) 1898.

36. Maine (a) 1900 (b) M. C. Fernald (c) $150, 1900 (d) 1909 (e) Wallace Craig.

37. Missouri (a) 1900 (b) Max F. Meyer (c) $500, 1900 (d) 1900 (e) M. F. Meyer.

38. Wyoming (a) 1900 (b) June E. Downey (c) $50, about 1900 (d) 1901 (e) June E. Downey.

39. Oregon (a) 1900? (reopened 1912, E. S. Cnoklin[sic]) (b) J. B.·Hawthorne (d) 1916 (e) K. M. Dallenback.[sic]

40. Facultad de Philosofia y Letras de Buenos Aires (a) 1900 (b) Horacio G. Piñero (d) 1915.

41. University of Miami (a) 1900.

42. Northwestern (a) 1900-1 (b) W. D. Scott.

43. University of Washington (a) 1901 (b) F. W. Colegrove (enlarged by William Savery in 1903) (c) 1903 (d) 1912 (e) Stevens and Ducasse.

44. New York University (Washington Square Col.) (a) 1900 (b) Chas. H. Judd.

45. New York University (a) 1901 (b) Robert MacDougall.

46. Cincinnati (a) 1901-3 (b) C. H. Judd (M. F. Washburn. 1903) (c) $50?, 1905 (d) 1908 (e) Louis A. Levice and B.B. Breese.

47. Indiana St. Normal (a) 1901 (b) F. M. Stalker (c) $100 about 1900.

48. Mt. Holyoke (a) February 1902 (b) Helen B. Thompson Woolley (c) $1,000 gift 1901 (d) November 1905 (e) Grace M. Fernald.

49. Tennessee (a) 1902 (b) B. B. Breese.

50. Utah (a) 190w (b) Milton Bennion (c) about $250, 1902 (e) George S. Snoddy.

51. Vassar (a) 1903 (b) M.F. Washburn (c) $1,000, 1903 (d) 1905 (e) A. Heymond and H. A. Vortriede.

52. Bowdoin (a) 1904 (b) Charles T. Burnett (c) $500, gift 1904 (d) 1906 (e) C. T. Burnett.

53. University of Colorado (a) 1905 (b) M. F. Libby.

54. Ohio University, Athens (a) September 1905 (b) Oscar Chrisman (d) 1905 (e) Chrisman ed. "Paidologist."

55. Pomona College (a) 1905 (b) Arthur M. Smith (c) $1,000, 1905 (d) 1906 (e) A.M. Smith.

56. Drake (a) 1906? (c) $200, 1905. [p. 656]

57. Teachers College, Warrensburg, Mo. (a) 1907 (b) Cloyd N. McAllister (c) $150, 1907.

58. Washington State (a) 1907 (b) A. A. Cleveland (c) $200, 1907.

59. Georgia (a) 1907 (b) L. R. Geissler (c) $100, 1907 (d) 1917 (e) A. S. Edwards.

60. Colorado Teachers (a) 1907? (b) W. G. Chambers (c) $200?.

61. Hobart College (a) January 1908 (b) Foster Partridge Boswell.

62. Pittsburgh (a) by 1908 (b) J. H. White(?).

62a. Psycho-Educational Laboratory and Clinic.

63. Oklahoma (a) 1908, revived 1927, H. Woodrow (b) L. W. Cole (c) $2,000, 1908 (d) 1912-13 (e) Gerald S. Tebbe.

64. George Washington (a) 1908 (b) W. C. Ruediger (c) $150 donations, 1908 (d) November 1910 (e) S.I. Franz and W.C. Ruediger.

65. Montana (a) 1906-1912, 1909? (b) W.F. Book (c) about 1900 (d) 1908 (e) W.F. Book, Montana Pub. in Psych. 1908.

66. Illinois St. Normal University (a) 1909 (b) H. A. Peterson (c) about $200, 1909 (d) 1912 (e) H.A. Peterson.

67. Tufts Col. (a) 1910 (b) R. C. Givler (c) $1,000 about 1914 (d) undergraduates only.

68. McGill University, Montreal (a) 1910, (b) William D. Tait (c) interest on $5,000, 1909 (d) 1923 (e) J. P. Bethel and A. R. Stone.

69. Dartmouth (a) 1911-12 (b) W. V. Bingham (c) $200, 1912.

70. George Peabody (a) ? (h) E. K. Strong, Jr.

71. Iowa State, Ames (a) 1912 (b) O. H. Cessna (c) $100 per year, 1912. (Undergraduates only.)

72. Newcomb College, Tulane University of Louisiana (a) 1912 (b) David S. Hill (c) $65,000, 1912 (d) 1913 (e) D.S. Hill.

73. St. Louis University (a) 1912 (b) Hurbert Greunder (c) $100, 1912 (d) 1917 (e) Hurbert Greunder.

74. College of City of New York (a) March 1913 (b) H.D. Marsh (c) $3,000, 1913 (d) undergraduate only.

74a. Clinical Laboratory (a) 1913 (b) Samuel B. Heckman (c) $2,000, 1913.

75. St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York (a) 1911 (b) C. M. Rebert (c) $500, October, 1914.

76. Syracuse University (a) September 1914 (b) Mark Embury Penney, S.T.B., M.D.

77. Temple University, Philadelphia (a) 1916 (b) Thaddeus L. Bolton (c) $130, 1916 (e) J. R. Ulrich.

78. Colgate University, Hamilton, N. Y. (a) September 1916 (b) Melbourne Stuart Read.

79. Ohio Wesleyan (a) 1917 (b) G. R. Wells (c) $300, 1917 (d) 1922 (e) F. C. Dockeray. [p. 657]

80. Colorado Ag. Col. (a) 1917 (b) George T. Avery (c) $150, 1917 (d) 1921 (e) George T. Avery.

81. Northern Normal and Indus. School, South Dakota (a) 1917 (b) Ray M. Staker (c) $100, 1917 (d) 1919 (e) R.M. Staker.

82. Kentucky (a) 1918 (b) C. B. Cornell (c) $300, 1918 (d) 1923? (e) J. B. Miner.

83. Iowa Teachers (a) 1918 (b) George H. Mount (c) $300, 1918 (d) 1924 (e) E. O. Finkenbinder.

84. Ball Teachers, Muncie, Indiana State Normal (a) 1918 (b) Thomas J. Breitwieser (c) $500, 1918.

85. Arizona (a) 1919 (b) Franklin C. Paschal (c) $1,000, 1920 (d) 1925 (e) F. C. Paschal and L. R. Sullivan.

86. Rochester (a) 1919 (b) Louis A. Pechstein.

87. Oklahoma State (a) 1920 (b) S. S. Reed (c) $600, 1920 (not functioning on account of lack of equipment).

88. Washington and Lee (a) 1920 (b) William M. Brown (c) $300, 1920.

89. Southern Methodist University, Dallas (a) September 1921 (b) Joseph U. Yarborough (c) $420, December 1920 (d) June 1923 (e) J. U. Yarborough.

90. Emery University (a) 1921 (b) G. C. White (c) $300, 1921 (undergraduate only).

91. Kansas·State, Manhattan (a) 1921 (b) J C. Peterson (c) $1,700 per year, 1921.

92. Occidental (a) 1922 (b) S. L. Crawley (c) about $300, 1922 (d) undergraduate.

93. Vermont (a) 1922 (b) J. T. Metcalf (c) $1,000, 1922.

94. Miami University (a) September 1923 (b) E. F. Fatten (c) $1,000, 1923-4.

95. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (a) 1923 (b) H. W. Wright (c) $300, 1923. (Undergraduate only till university appoints a real psychologist instead of a "philosopher" -- according to head of department of philosophy and psychology.)

96. Arkansas (a) 1924 (b) George C. Fraker.

97. Buffalo (a) 1924 (b) Edward S. Jones (c) $500, 1921 (undergraduate only so far).

98. Dalhousie University, Halifax (a) 1924 (b) N. H. Symons (not developed at all).

99. Wittenberg College (a) September 1925 (b) Martin L. Reymert (c) $2,000, 1925 (d) June 1926 (e) M. L. Reymert.

100. Muhlenberg College (a) September 1926 (b) Isaac Miles Wright (c) 1926?.

101. Sheldon Jr. College, Iowa (a) September 1908 (b) George A. Kelly (c) $25, 1928.

102. Latter Day Saints University. (Money for psychology laboratory from general laboratory fund.)

103. Kansas State Teachers College. (Research in tests --Norman Triplett.) [p. 658]

104. Teachers College, Maryville, Mo. (No laboratory -- tests only.)

105. Purdue. (Head of Educational Department regrets that there is no psychology laboratory.)

106. DePauw University. (No laboratory -- only a few pieces of apparatus.)

107. Clemson Ag. of South Carolina. (No laboratory except demonstrations in classrooms.)

108. James Milliken University. (One man handles philosophy and psychology -- has no time for laboratory.)

109. Western Teachers College, Macomb, Illinois. (No laboratory -- no space.)

110. Sam Houston State Teachers Col. (No laboratory -- no course in experimental psychology.)

111. South Dakota A. and M. (No laboratory as yet.)

112. North Carolina A. and Eng. (No laboratory except class demonstrations. )

113. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. (No laboratory as yet.)

114. Texas A. and M. (Psychology taught only a few years -- no laboratory as yet.)

115. Rensselaer Polytec. (No laboratory--start teaching psychology in 1928.)

116. Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. (No laboratory as yet.)

117. U. S. Naval Academy. (No laboratory--but plan on testing for entrance requirements.)

The following 24 institutions reported that they had no psychology laboratory:

De Paul University, Chicago.
Alabama Polytec.
Berea College, Kentucky.
Northeastern University, Boston.
University of Bishop's College, Canada.
Lewis Institute, Chicago.
United States Military Academy.
Amherst (included above).
Simmons College, Boston.
Central Normal College, Danville, Indiana.
Teachers College, Kirksville, Mo.

Manchester College, Indiana.
Butler College, Indianapolis.
Bradley Institute, Peoria, Illinois.
Oregon Ag. College, Corvallis.
Baylor College for Women, Belton, Texas.
Virginia Polytec.
Brooklyn Polytec.
Armour Institute.
Georgetown University, D.C.
Massachusetts Tec.
Augustana College. Rock Island, Illinois.


Facilities were not. available for ascertaining the date of foundation of some of the laboratories. For instance, Pittsburgh is listed above as "by 1908" because the 1908 Pittsburgh catalog gives a careful description of a well equipped laboratory, which had probably [p. 659] been in existence long before, but just how long could not be determined since there is no earlier Pittsburgh catalog in the Minnesota files.

The writer will be very grateful for further information which anyone wishes to offer or for corrections of any errors which must have crept into a study of this nature.

One of the most striking generalizations from the present study is the seeming lack of laboratory and experimental facilities in many of our normal and teacher-training schools. Several of these schools indicate, however, that they plan to have some sort of laboratory, and there may be a slight tendency in this direction. There also appears to be a tendency to start small laboratories for undergraduate instruction and class demonstration in some of the new junior colleges.

The information shows that there are now something over a hundred psychology laboratories in America, and that others are being established.


1. BALDWIN, J. M., The Psychology Laboratory in the University of Toronto. Science, O.S., 1892, 19, 143-144.

2. BAUDOUIN, M., La psychologie expérimentale en Amérique: Le laboratoire et les cours de Clark University a[sic] Worcester. Arch. de neurol., 1894, 28, 11-18.

3. BAUDOUIN, M., Le[sic] Laboratoires et les cours a[sic] Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Pennsylvania. Arch. de neurol., 1894, 28, 380-385.

4. BUCHNER, E. F., A Quarter Century of Psychology in America: 1878-1903. Am. J. Psych., 1903, 14, 402-416, 666-680.

5. BUCHNER, E. F., Psychological Progress in 1904. PSYCH. BULL., 1905, 2, 89-98.

6. BUCHNER, E. F., Psychological Progress in 1908. PSYCH. BULL., 1909, 6, 1-13.

7. BUCHNER, E. F., Psychological Progress in 1912. PSYCH. BULL., 1913, 10, 1-11.

8. CATTEL J. McK., The Psychological Laboratory. Psych. Rev., 1898, 5, 655-658.

9. CATTELL, J. McK., Early Psychological Laboratories. Science, N.S., 1928, 61, 543-548.

10. CONKLIN, E. S., The New Psychological Laboratory at the University of Oregon. Am. J. Psych., 1928, 37, 155.

11. DELABARRE, E. B., Les laboratoires de psychologie en Amerique. L'Année psychol., 1894, 1, 209-255.

12. FERNBERGER, S. W., The First Psychological Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. PSYCH. BULL., 1928, 25, 445.

13. GRIFFITH, C. R., Contributions to the History of Psychology, 1916-21. PSYCH. BULL., 1921, 19, 411-428. [p. 660]

14. JASTROW, J., The Reconstruction of Psychology. Psych. Rev., 1927, 34, 169-195.

15. KROHN, W. O., Facilities in Experimental Psychology in Colleges in the U. S. Rep. U. S. Com. of Ed., 1890-1891, 1139-1151.

16. LANGFELD, H. S., Princeton Psychological Laboratory. J. Exp. Psych.. 1926, 9, 259-270.

17. McGEOCH, J. A., The Present Status of Psychology. Colo. Coll. Pub., 1919.

18. MINER, J. B., The Changing Attitude of American Universities toward Psychology. Science, N.S., 1904, 20, 299-307.

19. MÜNSTERBERG, H., The Psychological laboratory at Harvard University. 1893.

20. REYMERT, M. L., The New Psychological Laboratory of Wittenberg College. Am. J. Psych., 1928, 40, 171.

21. RILEY, I. W., Historical Contributions. PSYCH. BULL. 1911, 8, 10-14.

22. RILEY, I. W., Historical Contributions. PSYCH. BULL., 1919, 16, 1-4.

23. RUCKMICK[sic], C. A., Development of Laboratory Equipment in Psychology in U. S. Am. J. Psych., 1926, 37, 582-592.

24. RUCKMICK[sic], C. A., The History and Status of Psychology in U. S. Am. J. Psych., 1912, 23, 517-531.

25. SCRIPTURE, E. W., Work at the Yale Laboratory. Psych. Rev., 1894, 1, 66-69.

26. URBAN, F. Y., Die Psychologie in Amerika. Arch. f. d. ges. Psych., 1908, 11, 113-144.

27. DE VARINGUY[sic], H., Le laboratoire de Madison, Wisconsin[sic]. Rev. Scient., 1894, 1, 624-629.

28. WEISS, A. P., The Psychological Laboratory of Ohio State University. J. Exp. Psych., 1927, 10, 434-445.


[1] Acknowledgment is due especially to Dr. Beulah M. Morriron and to Dr. Miles A. Tinker.