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!

Posted by: Kim | November 14, 2014

Announcing the Leo C. Peters Papers

Peters-portrait

Portrait of Leo Charles Peters, undated. (RS 11/10/51, box 3 folder 10)

We are proud to announce that a large expansion of the Leo Charles Peters Papers (RS 11/10/51) is now available for research. Dr. Peters was a staple of the Iowa State University (ISU) Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1961 until his retirement in 1996.

Born in Kansas, he got his start in engineering at Kansas State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering (1953). Peters worked as an engineer for much of the 1950s at the John Deere Tractorworks in Waterloo, Iowa with the exception of the two years he spent in the 839th engineering battalion of the Special Category Army with Air Force during the Korean War. Peters left John Deere to take up a position as Instructor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and complete his graduate education, earning both his M.S. (1963) and his Ph.D. (1967) in mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics from ISU. Peters was quickly promoted to Associate Professor, earning full Professor in 1978. He remained with the University until his retirement in 1996. Materials in the collection document Peters’ transition from student to professional to faculty member and provide insight into engineering curriculum development and university-industry partnerships. A significant portion of this collection concerns teaching activities and curriculum for engineering courses.

Peters_ISUSAE-students

ISU SAE entry into the SAE mini baja competition, 1983. ( RS 11/10/51, box 1, folder 49)

Part of Peters’ lasting contribution to ISU was his initiation of an ISU student branch of the Society of Automotive Engineers (ISU SAE) in 1968. The branch’s first year was very successful – earning a personal visit from F. B. Esty, the National President of SAE and culminating in the presentation of a branch charter for formal induction into SAE. Other notable guests of ISU SAE were Phil Myers (former president of the Society of Automotive Engineers), Andy Granatelli (Chief Executive Officer of STP), and Jacques Passino (Director of Ford Motor Company’s Special Products Division). Peters’ love of advising and working with students was recognized multiple times via awards for outstanding teaching and advising.

A sketch of the layout for a Moot Court workshop. RS 11/10/51.

A sketch of the layout for a Moot Court workshop. (RS 11/10/51, box 2 folder 29)

Drawing on both his formal education and experience as an engineer, Peters was an expert in product safety and product liability issues. He published in these areas and taught “moot court” workshops at engineering conferences where participants explored product liability and the law. He also worked as an independent consultant and expert witness specializing in patent infringement, products liability, and failure analysis.

One of the special features of this collection is the series of diaries that Peters kept from 1959 to 1969. Scattered throughout notes on classes, tough mechanic jobs at John Deere, thesis due dates, and class exams are hints of his rich family life – “Mark’s First Communion (May 8, 1966)” and “Sue’s 7th and 8th graders bought and gave her a bassinett for a going away gift (January 17, 1958).” Peters was devoted to his family and, along with wife (and ISU alumna) Suzanne Gordon Peters, raised nine children. This collection gives us a glimpse into the many facets of a scholar’s life.

A portion of Peters' 1959 diary.

A portion of Peters’ 1959 diary. (RS 11/10/51, box 2, folder 55)

Suzanne Peters, a birth announcement, and a newspaper account of family in attendance at Peters' doctoral graduation. RS 11/10/51

Suzanne Peters, a birth announcement, and a newspaper account of family in attendance at Peters’ doctoral graduation. (RS 11/10/51, box 3 folder 10)

This collection adds to our steadily growing body of materials on ISU engineering faculty (see Henry M. Black and Anson Marston). Our other engineering collections include: Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), the records of the College of Engineering, and our materials on agricultural engineering and technology.

The Leo Charles Peters papers are now available for research (RS 11/10/51) at our reading room on the fourth floor of the Parks Library. Please come by and take a look – there’s a lot more than we can include in a single blog post!

Posted by: bishopae | November 11, 2014

CyPix: Ames Ambulance Unit

In honor of Veteran’s Day, and in the ongoing commemoration of the centennial of World War I, today’s post features the Ames Ambulance Unit. This unit consisted of 36 Iowa State College (University) students who volunteered and served on the Italian-Austrian front from 1917-1919.

Photo shows two men carrying a stretcher on which another man is laid. Several other men are engaged in various tasks.

Wounded being removed from bottom of aerial cable way in the Valley of Santa Felicita, Italy, circa 1918, RS 13/16, photo collection box 1103.

On April 6, 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared war against Germany, officially entering World War I. In May, U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker authorized the formation of the U.S. Army Ambulance Corps and looked to universities across the country to organize volunteer units. Iowa State University was asked to raise a unit of 36 ambulance workers. Nearly 100 men applied and underwent physical examinations as well as tests of their mechanical knowledge, specifically relating to Model T operation and repair. After the 36 men were selected, they began training in first aid, military tactics, automobile operation, and elementary French.

Photo show sthe back of an ambulance open with a stretcher being lowered onto the ground from the air against a background of mountains.

Wounded coming down the aerial cable way in the Valley of Santa Felicita, circa 1918. RS 13/16, photo collection box 1103.

The men enlisted on June 4, 1917, and left for training in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on June 10. Training continued in Allentown for a year before being deployed in Italy. The unit served in Italy until early April 1919, transporting sick and injured soldiers from the front. Harold Benson and Eugene McKibben, drivers in the unit, wrote a chronology of the events of the unit, in which they describe a period of intense action, beginning October 24, 1918: “Offensive opens along entire Italian Front from Lake Garda to Adriatic – Fourth Army spearheads attack up Brenta River – Every ambulance kept busy for next two weeks, Pierce and Dodge trucks pressed into action hauling sitting wounded. As fast as Italians advanced, our posts left Col del Gallo San Felicite and Pove, and moved up Brenta to Feltre, Cismon Primolano, Grigno and Strigno over shell-pocked, camouflaged roads packed with italian infantry and artillery, and miles of Austrian prisoners being marched out of the mountains” (RS 13/16/1, Department of Military Science Subject Files, Box 1, Folder 19).

Photo shows a lare tent with a man standing in front with two ambulance trucks parked to the side.

Ames Ambulance Unit post in Valley of Santa Felicita, Italy, Near Mount Grappa, circa 1918. RS 13/16, photo collection box 1103.

Armistice was declared November 4 on the entire Italian Front, but the ambulance unit continued its work evacuating soldiers until early April 1919, when they left Italy for France to ultimately return to the United States, to be discharged May 7. In recognition of their service, the Italian government bestowed on the unit the Italian Cross of War.

Photo shows ten men in suits, members of the ambulance corps, posing outside. In the background is the campanile on the ISU campus.

Reunion of the Ames Ambulence Unit in 1963. Printed in the December 1963 Alumnus.

For more information on the Ames Ambulance Unit, see the Department of Military Science Subject Files (RS 13/16/1).

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush designated November as National American Indian Heritage Month, a tradition that has continued although the name has evolved to Native American Heritage Month. In Washington, DC, the month is commemorated by events and exhibits at institutions such as The Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian Institutions, among others.

Members of White Roots of Peace, a traveling American Indian interest group, participated in the 1973 Symposium on the American Indian

Members of White Roots of Peace, a traveling American Indian interest group, participated in the 1973 Symposium on the American Indian (RS 22/3/0/1)

In December 1970, the Iowa State Daily announced the formation of the United Native American Student Association (UNASA). Its first president, Don Wanatee, stated that the group was established “to foster… understanding” of American Indians,” and to “bring different ideas and information about the American Indian to the University and the general public.” At UNASA’s January 1971 meeting, Wanatee spoke about environmental problems at the Meskwaki Indian Settlement, an early step towards that goal. The group held an annual Symposium on the American Indian as well as an annual campus Native American Week that began in April 1972 and lasted through at least 2005, according to Iowa State Daily articles. In addition to academic lectures, the symposiums often included film screenings, traditional dance performances, and events for children. More information about UNASA is available in RS 22/3/0/1, Student Organizations Records.

I would be remiss in discussing the role of Iowa State’s Native American students if I did not mention notable Native American rights leader and academic Vine Deloria, Jr. A 1958 graduate of Iowa State, Deloria also held a master’s degree in theology and a law degree; his writings also reflected these interdisciplinary interests, covering topics including religion, mythology, law, history, philosophy, and government. Oxford University Press’s American National Biography provides a biography of Deloria that provides information about many facets of his life’s work, from a three-year stint as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians to the nearly 30 years that he spent teaching courses on American Indian studies, political science, and the history of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Arizona, and the University of Colorado. In honor of Deloria’s contributions, Iowa State’s American Indian Studies Program awards the Vine Deloria Jr. Teaching, Research, and Service Award on an annual basis. Iowa State University Library carries a number of Deloria’s books, of course, including several e-books that ISU students, faculty, and staff can check out and read from the comfort of home.

Posted by: Stephanie | November 4, 2014

CyPix: Election Edition

Portrait of Mary Newbury Adams

Portrait of Mary Newbury Adams, MS 10.

Since today is Election Day around the nation, let’s talk about our women’s suffrage collections. We have several, which we’ve talked about on the blog a few times: see related posts here. Read up on Mary Newbury Adams, a founding member of the Northern Iowa Woman Suffrage Association (pictured above), or Carrie Chapman Catt, a president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. A full range of Iowa State’s women’s collections can be seen here.

Another way to celebrate Election Day is by making one of Carrie Chapman Catt’s favorite desserts – try a cranberry souffle, strawberry shortcake-biscuit style, or something else from the Suffrage Cookbook available online through our digital collections.

People of Earth! We have taken over this blog post to give you a very important message. There is something lurking in Iowa State University’s Special Collections Department, something strange and sometimes sinister. If you are not careful, you may be pulled into another world, one perhaps more wonderful or more terrible than the one in which you now live! It goes by the name Science Fiction…

A sample of the science fiction novels on our bookshelves.

A sample of the science fiction novels on our bookshelves.

Okay, so aliens aren’t actually taking over the blog, but the message is true! As today is Halloween, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of our most unexpected collections and one that fits in quite well with this holiday. The Margaret Young Science Fiction Collection comprises 397 books and 35 serial titles in editions from the early and mid-20th century, all with their original cover art. The collection includes anthologies and several Ace Double Novels, as well as Galaxy Science Fiction Novels. Notable authors in the collection include Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Vern, Kurt Vonnegut, and H.G. Wells.

We have quite a few novels by Robert A. Heinlein as well!

We have quite a few novels by Robert A. Heinlein as well!

You might be wondering just how and why we came to own these volumes. Science fiction, after all, isn’t one of our primary collecting areas. We first received the collection in the 1970s from Margaret Young, an avid science fiction reader and mother of an ISU employee. Young wanted to place the collection in a repository where it would be kept all together, and Dr. Yates (head archivist at the time) wanted to keep the cover art on the books intact. As these editions have become rarer and rarer, it was a good thing they were taken in by Special Collections and not circulated in the General Collection. While it’s a fun collection to have, it should be noted that we do not actively collect science fiction anymore.

A little teaser of some the cover art in the collection.

A teaser of some the cover art in the collection.

Want to see more? Stop in to Special Collections sometime! Just beware of the monsters that lurk within the book covers. Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Posted by: Whitney | October 28, 2014

CyPix: Gravesend Manor

Here’s a Halloween treat for those of you who stayed up late watching TV in the 1960s: a photo of the cast of WOI’s Saturday night horror movie show Gravesend Manor.

A signed photo of The Duke of Desmodas (Jim "Red" Varnum), Malcom the Butler (Ed Weiss), and Esmerelda (actor unknown) of Gravesend Manor, undated. (RS #?)

A signed photo of The Duke of Desmodas (Jim “Red” Varnum), Malcom the Butler (Ed Weiss), and Esmerelda (John Voigt) of Gravesend Manor, undated. (RS 5/6/D,E,M Box 432)

Gravesend Manor, or Grave’s End Manor as it was sometimes printed in programming schedules and notes, aired on Saturday nights at 11:00 in the 1960s and possibly the late 1950s. Our information on the program is limited, but programming notes and programming schedules indicate the show ran for certain in 1960, and then from 1964 through 1968. The program was one of those classic horror movie showcase shows in which a spooky host – such as Malcom the Butler, above – presented old, often B-movie quality, horror movies and would add in their own bit of humor. A current example is Svengoolie, whose show is broadcast on MeTV (channel 8.2 in the Des Moines broadcasting area) on Saturday nights. A couple of older examples include Vampira in the 1950s and Elvira in the 1980s. Some information on Gravesend Manor can be found online at DesMoinesBroadcasting.com and on a few websites dedicated to these types of shows, which can be found by conducting a Google search of Gravesend Manor. The only known remaining footage of the show consists of outtakes, which is featured on this YouTube video.

Curious researchers are more than welcome to stop in and research the WOI Radio and Television Records, RS 5/6/3, to see what else we might have on this program! Additional photos can be found in WOI Radio and Television Photographs, RS 5/6/6 in Box 1.

Posted by: Stephanie | October 27, 2014

#AskAnArchivist at Iowa State

As American Archives Month comes to a close at the end of October, the Special Collections Department here at Iowa State University, aka @ISU_Archives will be participating in a Twitter chat on Thursday, October 30, using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist.

If you have a Twitter handle, you can join in discussions about archives and special collections. Just send a tweet using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist to @ISU_Archives with your question and we will respond – even if it takes some time to go digging through the collections! If you prefer to use another medium, send your question via email to archives (at) iastate.edu.

No question is too silly, strange, or spooky (it is almost Halloween, after all) – the most eccentric or oldest or smallest bits of our collections, a specific question about the University that you have always wondered, or even what to do with your own historical objects, papers, or digital files. As folks who come into the reading room with reference questions can attest, we are always up to brainstorm ways to find a thorough answer.

Throughout the day, a number of Special Collections staff will be answering your questions – we’ll introduce ourselves as we pop onto Twitter.

  • Laura Sullivan, Assistant Head and Collections Archivist
  • Brad Kuennen, Assistant Archivist and resident audiovisual wrangler
  • Kim Anderson, Digital Archivist and electronic records wrangler
  • Stephanie Bennett, Project Archivist who has worked with ISU’s politics-related collections
  • Amy Bishop, Project Archivist with training in rare books
  • Whitney Olthoff, Project Archivist and Iowa State alum

So let us know what questions you have about the work that we do here or the collections that we preserve and provide access to here at Iowa State. Looking forward to hearing from some Cyclones (or anyone, really!) via @ISU_Archives and #AskAnArchivist on Thursday!

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