Posted by: bishopae | December 18, 2014

Special Collections bids farewell to Stephanie

Stephanie Bennett, ISU Project Archivist.

Stephanie Bennett, ISU Project Archivist.

Here is a special post to announce some exciting news.

A little over a year ago, Stephanie introduced herself and the two other project archivists to our readers. Now, Stephanie will be the first of us to leave ISU as she moves on to a new Collections Archivist position at Wake Forest University Special Collection and Archives. Congratulations, Stephanie!!!

Stephanie’s many contributions to the Special Collections department can be quantified in numerable ways—from processing almost 400 linear feet of archival collections, to greeting and assisting patrons over hundreds of hours at our public services desk, to composing more than 30 interesting and informative blog posts. But there are many other ways that Stephanie has contributed to the department over the last year-and-a-half that will be greatly missed: her quick wit, her enthusiasm, and her insights on all things archival.

Thanks for the laughs and for all the hard work, Stephanie! ISU will miss you *sniff*, but we know you will rock your next job!

Stephanie’s last day is tomorrow, so please join us in wishing Stephanie all the very best in her new endeavors in a warmer climate.

Posted by: Stephanie | December 16, 2014

CyPix: Watching and Walking in Winter Wonderland

Morrill Hall in snow circa 1905

Morrill Hall, circa 1905, from RS 4/8/4

Last week, Kim had some fun arts and crafts project ideas from the archives to keep our hands busy while it snows. If I’m telling the truth, my favorite thing to do when it’s snowing is… watch the snow. Since it’s not currently snowing, I’ll content myself with some photographs, like the one above of Morrill Hall dated around 1905.

Lyon Hall 1979

Women outside Lyon Hall, 1979, from RS 7/4

If I do have to go outside, though, good company is important. These women outside Lyon Hall in 1979 are making the most of their winter wonderland adventures – which most likely include class!

Posted by: Kim | December 12, 2014

(Vintage) Things to Do in Winter When Its Cold

Plowed road passing a snow-covered farm with farmhouse and swine (09-02-H.IAHEES.529-11-04)

Plowed road passing a snow-covered farm with farmhouse and swine (09-02-H.IAHEES.529-11-04)

Does it (or will it) look like this where you are this winter?  Not a time to venture outside without bundling up! I like to spend winter curled up on the couch, watching a mini-series, and getting some knitting/crocheting/beadweaving/tatting/weaving time in. Being a multi-crafty person I am always interested in finding “vintage” craft patterns, instructions, and ideas.

I gave myself the challenge of finding craft ideas from within our collections. This might seem quite difficult – our collections are strong in agriculture, science, and technology. However, we also document the University and so we have collections that match the major research and teaching areas on campus, one of which is the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. We also have the papers of alumni, rare books, and Iowa-related materials in other areas. So, after scouring our collections I’ve found several fun things you can do indoors this winter!

Read More…

Posted by: bishopae | December 9, 2014

CyPix: Library study time!

It’s Dead Week at Iowa State University, and here in the library, we see a lot of this:

Students hard at work in the library reading room, circa 1940. Photograph Collection box 146.

Students hard at work in the library reading room, circa 1940. Photograph Collection box 146.

Of course, the building has changed significantly since 1940 — not to mention the hair and clothing styles — but evidently the popularity of the library as a study space persists.

Some people prefer a quieter place to study in the stacks:

A view of the stacks in the then-new library, with a male student working in a study carrel, April, 1925.

A view of the stacks in the then-new library, with a male student working in a study carrel, April, 1925. Photograph Collection, box 146.

And, of course, we also see a lot of this:

A student looking exhausted and resting in the library, 1957.

A student looking exhausted and resting in the library, 1957. Photograph Collection, box 147.

For more historical photos of Parks Library, check out this earlier blog post, or check out our Flickr page.

If you need a place to study or sleep, remember the library!

Posted by: bishopae | December 5, 2014

Extension Service rural programs in Iowa after Pearl Harbor

When the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States was catapulted into World War II. Although the United States had remained neutral while countries in Europe and Asia had gone to war, Americans all over the country were keenly following events overseas and trying to understand them. The people of Iowa were no different.

"The Iowa Farmer and World War II" Extension Service pamphlet from March 1941.

“The Iowa Farmer and World War II” Extension Service pamphlet from March 1941. Box 16, folder 5, William H. Stacy Papers, RS 16/3/57.

Seven days after Pearl Harbor, on December 12, during a regularly-scheduled radio program, Iowa State College Extension Sociologist Bill Stacy outlined efforts already underway by community groups to understand the world around them:

“The 4-H girls’ clubs, for three years, have been studying a ‘World Conscious Program.’ …Out of school Rural Young People have organized programs in 61 counties. This year these groups have as the theme for their major study, ‘Our Job in Strengthening Democracy.’…Farm women’s groups for a third year, are studying ‘The Farm Family and the World Today’….Then, as you know, the Extension Service has published eight circulars in a series called ‘The Challenge to Democracy'” (Script for Radio Dialogue in Box 10, Folder 1, William H. Stacy Papers, RS 16/3/57).

Understanding and supporting democracy as a means of combating the totalitarianism of the Axis Powers was of prime importance. Stacy also emphasized the need to bring communities together to support war efforts and also to support the well-being of citizens during a time of national stress and hardship.

Iowa State Extension Service 1942 Annual Report, "Iowa On the Front Line of the Food Front."

Iowa State Extension Service 1942 Annual Report, “Iowa On the Front Line of the Food Front.” Box 16, folder 5, William H. Stacy Papers, RS 16/3/57.

During World War II, every effort and activity was directed toward the war, and Iowa State College Extension Service put its shoulder to the wheel throughout all its departments. Extension agronomists supported programs for higher crop production throughout the state. Home Economics Extension nutritionists developed programs to keep Iowans strong and healthy. Home management specialists helped homemakers to make do with less and save on resources needed for the war. Rural Sociology Extension, headed by Bill Stacy, supported community councils and assisted community leaders with discussion programs. Even recreation programs were designed to ease wartime tensions!

Stacy created the Program Service for Rural Leaders, guides to be used by community organizations for leading discussions on timely topics with suggestions for different types of recreational activities. One Program Service from February 1943 included in a pamphlet on “American Square Dances for Wartime Relaxation” that included a Victory Reel!

 "American Square Dances for Wartime Relaxation" pamphlet. Box 16, folder 5, William H. Stacy Papers, RS 16/3/57.

“American Square Dances for Wartime Relaxation” pamphlet. Box 16, folder 5, William H. Stacy Papers, RS 16/3/57.

To learn more about wartime Extension Service programs in Iowa, see the William Homer Stacy Papers (RS 16/3/57) and the Ralph Kenneth Bliss Papers (RS 16/3/13). For other World War II-related collections, check out our Subject Guide for World War II manuscript collections.

Posted by: Kim | December 2, 2014

CyPix: A Computer Called “Cyclone”

Man with Cyclone schematic. (University Photographs RS 6/3)

In the mid to late 1950s Iowa State University was faced with the dilemma of increasing computational needs across multiple departments but no access to a high-speed computer. In 1956 the Working Committee on Improvement of Computational Facilities at Iowa State College inspected both the Datatron 205 (Purdue University) and the ILLIAC (University of Illinois) before deciding to build a vacuum tube computer based on the ILLIAC. The University of Illinois shared both the ILLIAC’s construction plans and its codes, routines, and subroutines enabling ISU to construct the computer more cheaply and quickly.

Cyclone - ControlChassis

One of the control chassis for Cyclone in the process of construction. (University Photographs RS 6/3)

IBM subsidized the rental of an IBM 650 which ISU began using while the new computer was being constructed. No funds had been provided by the Iowa General Assembly for the computer but the project was able to proceed based on donations from the Alumni Achievement Fund, the Iowa State College Research Foundation, and a National Science Foundation grant. A computer of this caliber was rare – it was one of only nine non-commercial machines in its class built during this period. As was typical with installations of similar computers, students and faculty were charged for each hour of use. The rate in the first year of operation (1959) was $40 per hour. That’s equivalent to over $320 in 2014!

This computer, dubbed “Cyclone,” was able to perform 600,000 additions per minute and had a 40,960 bit (.005 MB) memory. It was 10 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 12 feet long and it took several years to build. Cyclone had 2700 vacuum tubes and needed constant cooling by 6 tons of circulating air. In contrast, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer had approximately 270 vacuum tubes and was roughly the size of a desk. Unfortunately, soon after completing Cyclone, vacuum tubes had been outmoded by the new technology of transistors. The computer was retired in 1966.

We have a lot of information on Cyclone available in Special Collections. Correspondence and early progress reports can be found in RS 13/25/5 – Cyclone Computer Records . Additional materials are available in RS 13/24/55 – Jauvanta M. Walker Papers, and by searching for “cyclone computer” in our finding aids: http://www.add.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/arch/rgrp.html.

Posted by: Whitney | November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Special: Raising Turkeys in the 1940s

Thanksgiving day is over, but a weekend full of leftovers is ahead! While you’re trying to figure out what to do with all of that leftover turkey, why not learn a little about how that bulky bird was raised? Or, rather, how that bird would have been raised a couple of generations ago.

Bronze turkeys. U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, pages 2 and 3; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

While commercially-produced turkeys today are Broad Breasted Whites, 70 years ago Bronze was the breed (and color) of choice. In fact, my grandfather started out raising Bronze turkeys, but both my father and my brother raise Broad Breasted White. Of course, some  smaller operations today raise heritage turkeys, including the White Holland (an ancestor of today’s widely raised Broad Breasted White), Narragansett, and Bourbon Red.

Let’s say you want to be an old-fashioned turkey farmer. Well, there are few things you need to know: sanitation and disease prevention, equipment, how to care for baby turkeys, and how to feed them until market age.

Sanitation and Disease Prevention

Sanitation and disease prevention were just as important in the old days as it is today. The USDA Farmer’s Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, 1940, provides some guidelines and common practices regarding this issue. It was incredibly important that farms had some sort of sanitation system in place. These included making sure the range had clean soil, feeding birds from feeders that couldn’t be contaminated by their droppings, and always keeping the buildings sanitary. When it came to feed, sanitation of containers was especially important when milk was used (yes, turkeys used to be fed milk). Of utmost importance was keeping turkeys separate from chickens and any other poultry – diseases are easily spread from poultry species to poultry species (this includes pet birds)!

Swift’s Turkey Feeding and Management Guide, undated but from the pre-Broad Breasted White era, provides some additional guidelines. These include availability of fresh, clean water at all times, cleaning and disinfecting brooder houses before new poults arrive, regular disinfecting of equipment, and not allowing visitors to enter turkey buildings or walk on the range, as diseases are easily spread between flocks. These practices are generally still in place today.

Now that you know how to keep your birds healthy, you need to know what equipment is needed.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, page 33; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

Shelter. U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, page 33; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

Equipment

Swift’s Turkey Feeding and Management Guide  recommends equipment to be used to raise 1,000 turkeys – a number that pales in comparison to today’s 10,000+ on turkey farms. Poults (the proper term for baby turkeys, not “chicks” like this guide calls them) were commonly raised both in brooder houses – and still are today, although the buildings are much larger – and on the range (outdoors).

Equipment suggested in the guide include 4-foot long feeders, so that poults always have access to feed, 3-gallon poult-sized fountains for water, larger 6-foot long feeders for when the turkeys get a little bigger, 4 stoves designed for 500 poults each; these were used to keep the turkeys warm. Stoves are still used today, suspended in the air so they hover above the poults, like a low-hanging, warm roof. Brooder houses at the time were recommended to be 10×12 feet or so, with equal size sun porches for fresh air. For the range, 6-foot long feeders were recommended and 4-foot long watering troughs, rather than fountains. Also needed on range were shelters, fencing to keep turkeys contained, and shade.

With all of these set in place, you are now ready to add turkeys to your old-fashioned turkey farm!

Brooder house with sun porch. U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, page 21; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

New Poults

At this point the question is, how do you raise baby turkeys on a 1940s farm? The USDA Farmer’s Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising tells us how to get started. First of all, the litter (stuff that’s put on the ground in turkey buildings) was supposed to be sand or gravel for the first two or three weeks, and then switched over to straw or hay. Today, sawdust is used throughout the turkeys’ lifespans.

Knowing when to start feeding your poults is also important on your 1940s turkey farm, since they have probably hatched on your farm. In 1940, leaving poults in a darkened incubator for 12-24 hours and feeding them as soon as they were moved to the brooder house was becoming the general practice. It also thought to be better than waiting for up to 72 hours, which was sometimes done.

I know you’re thinking, “Great, but when it comes time to feed them, what do I actually feed them?” Let’s take a look, shall we?

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, page 30; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

Turkey feeder. U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, page 30; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

Feeding

The USDA Farmer’s Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising comes to the rescue again, providing guidelines and recipes on feeding your turkeys. First and foremost, feed was to be available to turkeys at all times, from hatching to market.

The first feed poults were given was to be made up of green feed (finely chopped, tender) and dry starting mash (recipes to follow). Ground or crumbled hard-boiled eggs could be added to the mixture, and milk – “if not too high priced” – could be kept in front of them in easily cleaned containers, such as crockery, tin, wooden or granite.

For the first six to eight weeks, a well-balanced, all-mash ration was considered the simplest and most practical way to go. Commercial mashes were available, but they could be made at home as well. The following is one of two mashes that could be prepared, and the one the USDA recommended and fed without liquid milk:

Starting Mash No. 1:

  • Ground yellow corn (17 parts by weight*),
  • pulvarized whole oats (15),
  • 50-55% protein meat scrap (12),
  • Wheat bran (12),
  • wheat middlings or shorts (12),
  • dried milk (10),
  • alfalfa leaf meal (10),
  • 60% protein fish meal (10),
  • cod-liver oil (1.5),
  • fine sifted salt (.5)

* parts by weight add up to 100

After those six to eight weeks, up until market, the feed changed. It could included mash and whole grain or liquid milk and whole grain supplemented with insects and green feed. However, it was better to supply sufficient protein and minerals in the mash, as that would help with regular growth. The USDA guide provides four different growing mash recipes, but the main differences from the starting mash listed above include the omission of cod-liver oil, different amounts of each ingredient, and in some cases the addition of steamed bonemeal and ground oystershell or limestone.

With all this information (and much more thorough research conducted by yourself), you should be ready to run your own 1940s-era turkey farm! Or, maybe you just know a bit more about the history of turkey farming. That’s fine too.

Bronze turkeys on range. U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1409: Turkey Raising, cover photo; MS 67, Box 13, Folder 8

More Information

For more information on raising turkeys and other poultry-related information – including how turkeys were prepared for market and how they were selected for breeding, see the Iowa Poultry Association Records, MS 67. We also have a book on the farm struggles of one man in the 1930s, including entries on turkey farming: Years of Struggle: The Farm Diary of Elmer G. Powers. Want to know how your turkey is raised today? Read this blog post (full disclosure: written by my sister-in-law) that provides a farmer’s perspective. The  Iowa Turkey Federation is also a great resource – plus, they have lots of turkey recipes on their website, in case you haven’t figured out how to deal with all those leftovers yet.

Posted by: Kim | November 25, 2014

CyPix: Airplanes at Iowa State

Ercoupe-RS11-3-1

“Gayle Carnes, Carl Sandford, and Student with the Ercoupe.” – RS 11/3/1 box 1.

In honor of Aviation History Month (November), here are two CyPix drawn from Iowa State University’s aviation history. The image above depicts Professor and Department Head Carl Sandford (at left), a student, and Aeronautical Engineering and Curtiss-Wright cadette program faculty member Gayle Carnes.

Aviation and aeronautical engineering courses were first offered during the 1928 – 1929 school year but it wasn’t until 1941 that the curriculum was formalized into a full “Aeronautical Engineering” program within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The new program was announced via the Iowa State Daily newspaper on December 6th, 1941 – one day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Over the next six months interest in the program grew, resulting in the formation of a Department  of Aeronautical Engineering in June of 1942. (McCormick, Newberry, and Jumper. Aerospace Engineering Education During the First Century of Flight, 2004)

These courses, along with the University’s involvement in pilot training for the Civil Aviation Authority, required that the university maintain airplanes for instructional purposes. The plane in the picture above was an Ercoupe. It was in use until 1955 when it was traded in as part of the purchase of a Navion. Following the Navion was a purchase of a Mooney M20 C Mark 21.

MooneyMark21-RS11-3-1

“The Mooney” – RS 11/3/1 box 1.

Professor M. L. Millet Jr.’s 1963 letter to College of Engineering Dean George R. Town urging the purchase of a new plane (the Mooney) reveals how much stress these planes were under. Professor Millet writes:

“As a result of the flight test course, the airplane [the Navion] has been flown under high power conditions. There have been performed over 1000 stalls to obtain data. These stalls are deep, full elevator stalls which result in considerable buffeting and shaking of the airplane.”

The department, now called “Aerospace Engineering,” continues to provide flight instruction as part of it’s undergraduate program. You can learn more about aviation history at Iowa State through the records of the Aerospace Engineering Department (RS 11/3/1) and our aviation collections. Barnes McCormick, Conrad Newberry, and Eric Jumper’s Aerospace Engineering Education During the First Century of Flight (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2004) offers an entire chapter on the history of aerospace engineering education at Iowa State. You can check this book out in the Parks Library general stacks: TL560 A47x 2004.

Several advertisements for new works by the Penumbra Press, circa 1976-1980.

Several advertisements for new works by the Penumbra Press, circa 1976-1980.

Today’s blog post highlights selections from our Iowa Private Presses Ephemera Collection (MS 414). Let’s start off by defining some terms. A private press is a printing press that creates what might be called artisan books — book production that emphasizes the artistic nature of books and the craft of bookmaking, as opposed to a purely commercial venture. They often set type by hand, employ interesting and unusual typefaces, use fine and sometimes handmade papers, bind books by hand, and sometimes specialize in artist’s books.

Ephemera describes material, often printed, that is designed for a limited use and frequently collected as mementos. Examples include programs, flyers, and brochures. Even when printing advertisements, private presses will often do their work with artistic flair!

The private press movement began in the late 1800s and early 1900s in England and the United States in response to

This printed card uses a drop cap red 'F' to begin a quote from typeface designer Frederic Goudy, using a Goudy Lombardic Capital initial, Toothpaste Press 1980.

This printed card uses a drop cap red ‘F’ to begin a quote from typeface designer Frederic Goudy, using a Goudy Lombardic Capital initial, Toothpaste Press 1980.

growth in the mechanized production of cheaper books. Famous private presses include the English designer William Morris‘s Kelmscott Press and the Doves Press in London, both of which was associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. Private presses in Iowa began around the same period, but the material we have in the collection comes from presses established much later than that.

The Iowa Private Presses Ephemera Collection includes material collected by the Special Collections during the 1970s and early 1980s. It includes mainly handbills and leaflets advertising new works released by the presses, or small sheets of printed poems. Most of the presses represented in the collection are from the area around Iowa City.

One final thought: one of my favorite things about private presses are their names–poetic, cheeky, or evocative–they fill me with glee! Some of my favorites from this collection? Toothpaste Press, Fingernail Moon Press (can’t you just see it?), and Grilled Flower Press. Names as creative as these must produce beautiful books! See more names in our finding aid, and come check out the collection yourself to see more beautiful designs.

Several small pieces by the Toothpaste press, circa 1974-1981.

Several small pieces by the Toothpaste press, circa 1974-1981.

Posted by: Whitney | November 18, 2014

CyPix: Basketball Season

The weather has turned cold, and you know what that means! It means that it’s almost winter, you say? Well, yes. But also, basketball season has arrived! To celebrate, here are a couple of photos from the early 20th century, one of our men’s team and one of a women’s intramural team (unfortunately we didn’t have a collegiate women’s team in those days).

24-5-D_mens basketball1922_b1815

Men’s basketball at Iowa State in 1922. The stitching of the basketball is visible in this photo. (RS 24/5/D,G, Box 1815)

Women's basketball ca 1908

Women playing intramural basketball in the grass at Iowa State, circa 1908. Things have changed a lot in women’s basketball in the last 100 years! (RS 22/7)

The men’s team played it’s first game in 1908. In the early days, the official collegiate men’s team often went by “Ames” rather than Iowa State, as you can see referenced on their uniforms in the top photo. The official collegiate women’s team was formed in the 1973-1974 season, but women had been playing basketball at Iowa State long before that, as evidenced by the intramural game being played in the early 1900s photo above. As you can see, women’s basketball uniforms have changed quite a bit since then. Can you imagine playing basketball in those outfits?

More information can be found in the Men’s Basketball collections, RS 24/5, the Women’s Basketball collections, RS 24/18, the Recreation Services Administrative Records, RS 7/8/3, and in the Student Organizations Records, RS 22/7/0/1. Additional basketball photos can be found on our Flickr site as well. Here’s to a great upcoming season of Cyclone basketball!

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