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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Gano Dunn


Centurion, 1919–1953

Born 18 October 1870 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 10 April 1953 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium, Middle Village, New York

Proposed by Michael I. Pupin and Henry Holt

Elected 1 March 1919 at age forty-eight

Archivist’s Note: In the June 1940 monthly meeting minutes, he is described as the “lamptender” to the Century for having restored the Tiffany lamp originally belonging to the Column Club.

Century Memorial

Gano Dunn was an electrical engineer whose career extended from the horse-and-buggy days to the times of atomic energy. He graduated from City College in 1889, and two years later took a degree from Columbia.

He was a busy and friendly person and an outstanding leader in his profession. The great engineering corporation of which he was the head built vast projects literally in every corner of the world: from Muscle Shoals to Pearl Harbor, and from Chile to Langley Field. He wrote once: “An engineer is a man who can do with one dollar what any fool can do with two.”

Gano seemed made to be the perfect member of the Century, and he was in the Club a great deal. He was serving on the Board of Management in 1940 when the President appointed him a committee of one to eliminate the smoking of the lamp used at meetings. He carried the lamp home, took it all apart, and submitted a report on the cause and cure of the smoking that has rendered the lamp sanitary and completely satisfactory ever since. In the report he said: “There has been a delicacy in this cohabitation [with the lamp] which I have carefully respected, and I feel like the morsel of earth which in the French Reader the philosopher picked up in mistake for amber. In response to his question whether or not it was amber, it replied: No, no, I am only ordinary earth; but I have lived for a while with the rose.

“I doubt if any other Centurion has ever had the sweetness of companionship that I have had with the little lamp, nor will enjoy quite the same feeling that I shall enjoy to the end of my days, when I shall see it burning on the Management table or in the sacred precincts of the meetings of the Club.

“Vivat Centuria.”

Gano was just like that. He loved companionship and good talk. He was equally at home in science, art, literature, and government. Goodness and mercy followed him all the days of his life, and he dwelt in the house of the Lord.

George W. Martin
1954 Century Association Yearbook