Tolman/Bacher House


About Tolman/Bacher Project


Meg Rosenburg
Tolman/Bacher House Curator


Dr. Meg Rosenburg holds a Ph.D. in planetary geophysics from the California Institute of Technology with additional specialization in the history of science. Her research focuses on scientific and cultural understanding of the Moon, impact craters, and the role of analogy in astronomy and geophysics. As the Tolman/Bacher House Curator for the Keck Institute for Space Studies, Meg aims to capture the atmosphere of this historic home through all the eras of its existence, bringing the past and present of the house into focus and providing visitors and fellows an opportunity to experience Caltech’s history in a visceral way. She is also an accomplished science communicator and filmmaker, creating animated videos in collaboration with spacecraft mission teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ocean scientists for the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, and PHD Comics, the popular web comic about life in graduate school. In 2011, she produced The PHD Movie, which was filmed on campus at Caltech, and went on to co-found PHD TV, a web platform for science content. She has a passion for communicating scientific and historical concepts through storytelling and diverse media, and hopes to expand public understanding of science by connecting historians and scientists to broader audiences.





Iryna Chatila
Web Developer


Iryna Chatila is a web developer at the Keck Institute for Space Studies, California Institute of Technology. She has over ten years of programming experience in software engineering, mobile applications and web design.


The Keck Institute for Space Studies would like to extend its sincere gratitude to  Mariella Soprano , Shelley Erwin  and  Loma Karklins  from the Caltech Archives for their invaluable assistance in creating this project. Also, our heartfelt thank you goes to   Joy Painter, Fred Niblock  and  Dana Roth  from the Caltech Library.


Watch a video with Meg Rosenburg
describing her work on the Tolman/Bacher Project.

Video Production: Iryna Chatila, Jess Diep, Meg Rosenburg

Watch a video with Tom Prince,
Director of Keck Institute for Space Studies

Video Production: Iryna Chatila, Jess Diep, Meg Rosenburg

Watch a message from Lehrer Architects,
who designed the Keck Center and lead the architectural restoration of the historic Tolman/Bacher House

Video Production: Iryna Chatila, Jess Diep, Meg Rosenburg

Historical Sources and Further Reading


Papers of Richard Chace Tolman, 1735-1958, California Institute of Technology Archives, Finding Aid available at the Online Archive of California: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf4w1003fs/


Robert F. Bacher Papers, 1924-1994, California Institute of Technology Archives, Finding Aid available at the Online Archive of California: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3489q4fh/


Caltech Synchrotron Laboratory Papers, 1949-1970, California Institute of Technology Archives, Finding Aid available at the Online Archive of California: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf909nb2z1/


Records of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, 1956-1967, California Institute of Technology Archives, Finding Aid available at the Online Archive of California: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt4v19p6gf/


Interview with Robert F. Bacher. Interview by Mary Terrall. Pasadena, California, June-August 1981, February 1983. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechOH:OH_Bacher_R


“All Nobel Prizes in Physics,” NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014.  http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics


“Ruth Tolman.” Psychology’s Feminist Voices. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://www.feministvoices.com/ruth-tolman/


“JPL History: Early History.” jpl.nasa.gov. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jplhistory/early/


“California Institute of Technology.” aip.org. American Institute of Physics Array of Contemporary Physicists. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://www.aip.org/history/acap/institutions/inst.jsp?caltech


“CIT News,” May 1948. California Institute of Technology Libraries. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/637/2/CITNews.pdf


Arvin S. Quist, Security Classification of Information, Volume 1. Introduction, History, and Adverse Impacts. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2002. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://fas.org/sgp/library/quist/


“The One-Billion Volt Synchrotron,” Engineering & Science. California Institute of Technology, April 1950. Web. Accessed 7 Sept. 2014. http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/1080/1/Billion.pdf


John G. Kirkwood and Oliver R. Wulfepstein, Richard Chace Tolman, 1881-1948, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, 1952. http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/tolman-richard.pdf


Ward Whaling, Robert F. Bacher, 1905-2004, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009. http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/bacher-robert-f.pdf


Judith R. Goodstein, Millikan's School: A History of the California Institute of Technology. W. W. Norton & Company, 1991. http://clas.caltech.edu/record=b1254797~S0


Romy Wyllie, Caltech's Architectural Heritage, From Spanish Tile to Modern Stone. Balcony Press, 2000. http://clas.caltech.edu/record=b1336361~S0


Patrick McCray, "Project Vista, Caltech, and the dilemmas of Lee DuBridge," Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 34, Part 2, pp. 339-370. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/hsps.2004.34.issue-2


J. S. Wilson and C. Serber, eds. Standing By and Making Do: Women of Wartime Los Alamos. Los Alamos Historical Society, 1988. http://clas.caltech.edu/record=b1350582~S0


Alan B. Carr. The Forgotten Physicist: Robert F. Bacher, 1905-2004. The Los Alamos Story, No. 6. Los Alamos Historical Society, 2008. http://clas.caltech.edu/record=b1451801~S0


Daniel J. Kevles, The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America. Harvard University Press (Revised Edition), 1995. http://clas.caltech.edu/record=b1294930~S0


Romy Wyllie, "The Keck Institute for Space Studies," California Institute of Technology Women's Club Bulletin, April 2012. http://cwclub.caltech.edu/publications/bulletin/2012_april.pdf


Interview with Harold Bissner, May 5, 1981 (transcript on file with the City of Pasadena Urban Conservation research files). https://www.pasadenaheritage.org/content.php?pgID=30


Leslie Heumann, "Historical Assessment of the Tolman Bacher House," in the Tolman/Bacher House Historical File, Caltech Archives. http://archives.caltech.edu/



Image and document scans courtesy of the Caltech Archives.