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Why Harvard Plates are not Crimson

In 1927, workmen excavating in the Harvard yard for a large steam trench discovered certain fragments of earthenware. These proved to be part of a service used in Harvard halls about 1840. Manufactured by a very old English firm, these plates depicted with a blue floral and fruit border scenes of contemporary Harvard.

Sometimes those old pieces were referred to as "Harvard Pie Plates." According to the story, President Lowell, searching for a perfect specimen, not only found two plates, but was told that the ancestor of the present owner had obtained one of them by lifting a pie from a faculty porch.

The new Harvard plates were designed by Professor Kenneth John Conant of the Fine Arts Department, and show twelve views of the present-day [1931] college, including both new and ancient buildings. These have been reproduced by Wedgwood in the spirit of the early plates.

And so the Harvard plates are blue.

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