Illustrating Apples: Prestele’s Lithographs

Pewaukee – Drawn from Nature and colored expressly for the Iowa State Agricultural College, by Wm. H. Prestele, Washington, D.C. Collected by J. L. Budd, Prof. of Hortl. I.S.A.C.” (ca. 1890)(MS 70, box 1, folder 37)

In the late 1800s, Professor Joseph L. Budd commissioned renowned botanical artist Wilhelm H. Prestele to illustrate from nature several apple varieties. Special Collections and University Archives holds 8 of these in its collection of 58 of Prestele’s lithographs (MS 70). These beautiful and finely detailed works were created during Prestele’s tenure as the first artist in the Pomological Division of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Red June – Drawn and colored from Nature expressly for the Iowa State Agricultural College, by Wm. H. Prestele, Washington, D.C. Collected by J. L. Budd, Prof. of Hortl. I.S.A.C. ” (ca. 1890)(MS 70, box 1, folder 40)

Should you wish to try your hand at botanical illustration, we also have a copy of Répertoire de couleurs pour aider à la détermination des couleurs des fleurs, des feuillages et des fruits which offers guidance on the colors found in flowers, foliage, and fruit such as apples.

Here are the “honey yellow” tones found in some pears and apples:

“Jaune Miel.” “Cette couleur s’observe frequemment sur l’epiderme des Poires et des Pommes mures. (QK669 .So13r)

Other materials on apples and pomology include:

Joseph L. Budd Papers (RS 9/16/13)

Charles Downing Pomological Variety Notes (MS 220)


CyPix: Concrete Canoes

Scene from the Third Annual Midwest Concrete Canoe Race (1973) (MS 275, box 3, folder 3)

Scene from the Third Annual Midwest Concrete Canoe Race (1973) (Mary Krumboltz Hurd Papers, MS 275, box 3, folder 3)

In 1971 The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University competed in the first intercollegiate concrete canoe race. “Clyde Kesler of the University of Illinois gets credit for starting the whole thing, by having his civil engineering students build a ferro cement canoe in 1970. Purdue students learned about it, built their own canoe, and challenged Illinois to a race. That’s how it all got started … but spontaneous enthusiasm has caused the idea to mushroom all across the country.” (1973 race report, MS 275, box 3, folder 3). These events continue today as the National Concrete Canoe Championship hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The concrete canoe race is a way for engineering students to work with concrete, practice fluid analysis, use design software, and work in a team. Iowa State University was not present at the 1973 competition pictured here, but the ASCE Iowa State Student Chapter does have an active concrete canoe team.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of concrete canoe racing, stop by the Special Collections and University Archives Department to examine the other materials in the Mary Krumboltz Hurd Papers (MS 275). Hurd was an Iowa State University alumna (BS Engineering 1947), consultant, writer, and staff engineer for the American Concrete Institute. This collection, part of our Archives of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), documents Hurd’s involvement in setting up the races and has many other photographs of concrete canoe racing in the early 1970s.


CyPix: Sketch of a Pest

Possibly the pupa of a Southern Corn Rootworm (aka Spotted Cucumber Beetle), D. undecimpunctata howardi. (MS 119, box 17)

Click to see the pencil sketch used to make this image. (Dwight Isely Papers, MS 119, box 17)

Over the course of his career Dwight Isely was a USDA Bureau of Entomology researcher, an Associate Professor of Entomology at the University of Arkansas, and Associate Director of the University of Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. His historical marker at the University of Arkansas refers to him as the “father of insect pest management in the United States.”

At left is a drawing attributed to Isely which portrays the pupa of one of the beetles he studied, perhaps the Southern Corn Rootworm (aka Spotted Cucumber Beetle), D. undecimpunctata howardi.

Isely’s papers document his research activities through lecture notes, chart recorder papers, lab notebooks, correspondence, and publications.

Special Collections and University Archives also holds the papers of Duane Isely (Dwight Isely’s son, RS 13/5/56), in addition to Iowa State University entomologists Robert E. Lewis (RS 9/12/51) and J. L. Laffoon (RS 13/25/57) .


CyPix: Masonry School

 

Students at the Masonry School short course, 1961. (University Photographs, RS 16/5, box 1436)

Students at the Masonry School short course, 1961. (University Photographs, RS 16/5, box 1436)

The 1959-1961 Iowa State University General Catalog describes short courses as being conducted for two purposes: “To enable men and women in the same field to meet for a discussion of mutual problems, and to give them an opportunity to discuss and study their problems with college specialists in the light of most research findings.” The courses were open to anyone and were of limited duration and practical in nature.

In addition to masonry, the University has offered courses on school lunches, English grammar, custodial work, wind energy, seed analysis, sausages, tropical biology, soil fertility, and many other topics.

For more on short courses, see:

  • Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management Short Course Records (RS 12/9/6)
  • Duane Isley Papers (RS 13/5/56)
  • Extension Service Records (RS 16/1/1)
  • University Photographs collection 16/5
  • The Iowa State University web archive
  • Related materials in the library catalog

“Life in Iowa”

In 2002, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and ISU Philosophy Professor Nancy Bevin founded “Life in Iowa,” an undergraduate community-based internship and academic program that combined classroom study of Midwestern culture and identity along with experiential learning through internship, service, and community research in an Iowa community. The course focused on issues and concerns specifically related to the cultural and natural landscape of Iowa.

The program had several desired outcomes: 1) cultivating the personal, social, and ethical growth of students; 2) renewing Iowa’s leadership via encouraging students to stay in Iowa after graduation and preparing students for professional and civic life; and 3) fostering sustainable quality of life and ongoing partnerships between Iowa State University and communities in Iowa (Brochures, RS 16/5/5, box 1, folder 9. See also Leopold Center Competitive Grant Report M02-2003).

Diagram of 2002 Life in Iowa partner sites

“Life in Iowa Communities – Summer 2002” (RS 16/5/5, box 1, folder 4)

The Life in Iowa program supported ISU students via paid internships and work in a variety of areas. Each student had to complete 300 intern hours and 100 hours of community service during the 10 weeks of their summer placement. Some of the projects for 2003 involved:

CSA Life in Iowa participants with onions

Life in Iowa participants, L-R: Betty Wells (faculty mentor), Tim Landrgaf (One Step at a Time CSA co-owner), and Ann Holste (student participant), 2003 (RS 16/5/5 box 3, folder 2)

  • Organizing and running a fishing club for local youth (Adams County)
  • Revitalizing kestrel nest boxes (Green County)
  • Interviewing ESL students about their immigration/refugee experiences (Henry County)
  • Developing a website for a visitor center (Allamakee County)
  • Researching and describing historical artifacts (Montgomery County)
  • Coordinating a community garden (Dallas County)

“As you know, an important goal of this program is to encourage ISU graduates to stay in Iowa and build a future here. At the same time, we know that life presents each of us with a series of choices, many – if not most – of them unexpected, and so we have asked not for promises, but rather for newly explored possibilities of vocation and community, of leadership and service in Iowa. What I can say with certainty is that wherever these young persons someday will live will be made better for their presence…and that without exception, the communities where they lived and worked this summer will always welcome them home.” – from Nancy Blevin’s remarks at the “Life in Iowa Celebration,” September 8, 2002. (RS 16/5/5 box 1, folder 3)

A display of brochures.

An array of publications about the Life in Iowa program and its interns. (RS 16/5/5 box 1, folder 8)

By 2004, over 78 students had participated in the program in over 33 counties (“Life in Iowa” website). The program closed in 2007.

To learn more about the Life in Iowa program, see the Life In Iowa Internship Program Records (RS 16/5/5). Information about service learning and related initiatives can be found in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Administrative Records (RS 06/10/03).


Engineering the Home: Domestic Comfort via Science

If the wretched hole which they show in Carnarvon Castle as the birthplace of Edward II be indeed the room in which that unhappy prince first saw the light, I can only say that whatever advantages the men of a former age may have had over us, certainly domestic comfort could not be said to be one of them.

– W. F. Butler. Ventilation of Buildings. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, page 9. (Parks Special Collections TH 7653 .B978v)

“Electric Heating and Cooking Apparatus.” The Electrician, December 31, 1897. (TK1 EL266.

Wherever you’re reading this, take a look around. Chances are that you are, or have recently, benefited from some kind of “domestic comfort” – whether that be an air conditioned house, electrical lighting, a metal cooking pot, or a ventilated

room, the products of science have made life a little pleasanter.

An

An “alarm thermometer” that provide alerts when designated areas became too cold or too hot. The Electrician, November 26, 1897. (TK1 EL266).

The home has benefited greatly from disciplines such as applied physics,1 electrical engineering, thermodynamics, materials science, mechanical engineering, acoustics, and so on. Iowa State scientists have contributed to several domestic comforts: Srinivas Garimella developed technology that can be used for environmentally friendly air conditioners and the Iowa State University Research Foundation, in conjunction with Maytag Corporation, developed an ice dispenser that will work in refrigerators with freezers on the bottom.

Design for a safety lamp. John Davy. The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy. London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1839-1840. (QD3 D315c)
Design for a safety lamp. John Davy. The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy. London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1839-1840. (QD3 D315c)

 You can read more about Iowa State University technology developments here. Iowa State University patents from 1959 to present are also viewable via the Iowa State University digital repository.

For more about Iowa State University inventors, see our technology collections subject guide. A few of those collections are listed below:

  • Iowa State University Inventors and Inventions (RS 00/21)
  • John Vincent Atanasoff Papers (RS 13/20/51)
  • Wesley Fischer Buchele Papers (RS 9/7/52)(pdf)
  • George Washington Carver Collection (RS 21/7/2)
  • Charles A. and Sidonia Goetz Papers (RS 13/6/17)

1“Applied Physics is rooted in the fundamental truths and basic concepts of the physical sciences but is concerned with the utilization of scientific principles in practical devices and systems, and in the application of physics in other areas of science.” – Stanford Department of Applied Physics, 2003.


The Business of Doing Business: Retail and Dry Goods in Iowa

Before the proliferation of larger cities, malls, and online shopping, how did Iowans buy goods? Here in Special Collections we have several collections that can help answer that provide insight on the history of retail in Iowa.

"This is the outside of our store... this letter is to invite you to come inside." Marketing letter from The Tilden Store Company  of Ames, Iowa. (click for full letter and map). (MS 75, box 2 , folder 7)

“This is the outside of our store… this letter is to invite you to come inside.” Marketing letter from The Tilden Store Company of Ames, Iowa. (click for full letter and map). (MS 73, box 2 , folder 7)

The Tilden Store in Ames was a staple shopping for 102 years (1869 – 1971). It provided dry goods, shoes, and groceries, eventually becoming a modern department store. Located on Main Street in downtown Ames, the store was the “largest locally-owned store of it’s kind.Downtown Ames is still a place to find many locally-based retailers.

"Color Scheme and Fabrics for the Tilden Store Co., Ames, Iowa" by Alvin L. Weidt Designers Associates, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (undated). (MS 73, box  4, folder 11)

“Color Scheme and Fabrics for the Tilden Store Co., Ames, Iowa” by Alvin L. Weidt Designers Associates, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Undated. (click for larger view) (MS 73, box 4, folder 11)

 

Many of the early retail stores stocked locally or regionally produced goods. One example is the Moingona Pottery Company (see image below), which provided stoneware and crockery to several dry goods and retail stores in Iowa.

Stop by Special Collections and University Archives to see these materials, ledgers, correspondence, receipts, photographs and more.

[A sampling of orders placed with Moinonga Pottery from several retail stores in Iowa. 1876.] (MS 95, box 2, folder 15)

[A sampling of orders placed with Moingona Pottery from several retail stores in Iowa. 1876.] (click to enlarge) (MS 95, box 2, folder 15)

A sampling of related materials:

  • Garst Family Papers (MS 579)
  • George W. Chandler Papers (MS 95)
  • Hanyan Family Papers (MS 4)
  • Peterson Clothing/General Store Records (MS 603)
  • Schroeder, Allen Leo. The Stoneware Industry at Moingona, Iowa: An Archaeological and Historical Study of Moingona Pottery Works (13BN120) and Flint Stone Pottery (13BN132). Iowa State University, Thesis, 1979. (ISU 1979 Sch76)
  • Tilden Store Company Records (MS 73)
  • Tilden Store Company” in the Farwell T. Brown Photographic Archives at the Ames Public Library

CyPix: Sun-dappled swans

Lancelot and Elaine, 1978. (University Photographs RS 4/8, box 383)

Lancelot and Elaine, 1978. (University Photographs RS 4/8, box 383)

Iowa State University is beautiful year-round, but the picture above shows the almost magical aspect of Lake Laverne and its two resident swans during the summer. Lancelot and Elaine are iconic figures of the Iowa State campus. The Lancelot and Elaine above may be one of the male/female pairs we’ve had through the years, although the current Lancelot and Elaine are both female. See some early footage of the swans via the Special Collections Department’s Flickr account. We have several other boxes of photographs of the swans in University Photographs for RS 4/8/4.

Despite what you may see in historical photographs of the swans, please do not feed them or leave trash in the area – it hurts our birds!


CyPix: S-t-r-e-t-c-h pants!

Students modeling their new stretch pants after creating them in Jane Saddler's class, 1964. Click to see the whole sheet of photographs. (University Photographs RS 12/10, box 1013)

Click to see more.

So “stretch pants” may not be an exciting phrase nowadays, but when the photos at left were taken, spandex had only recently come on to the market. Joe Shivers, a chemist at DuPont, invented “Fiber K” in 1958. Fiber K was the first spandex (an anagram of “expands”) and quickly became a replacement for nylon and rubber fabrics due to its capability to expand dramatically while retaining the ability to return to its original size.[1]

The women at left are demonstrating the stretching capabilities of clothing made in the new spandex fabrics after creating them in Jane Saddler’s class in the Iowa State University Department of Textiles and Clothing (now the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design programs). Make sure you click on the picture to see the students creating their pants.

Learn more about textiles and clothing courses, as well as textiles research, in the RS 12/10 collections.

At left: Students modeling their new stretch pants, 1964. (University Photographs RS 12/10, box 1013)

[1] David Grant Caplan. “History of Stretch Fabrics: Pulling at Stretch Fibers’ Roots.” WWD 181, no. 117 (Jun 12, 2001): 10. http://search.proquest.com/docview/1434218348?accountid=10906.