#WaybackWednesday – “The Correct Method of Preserving Fruit”

A few weeks ago, I decided to take another look at one of my favorite collections, MS-0381 Food and Household Product Advertising Guides and Publications collection. circa 1880s-1978, undated. I wrote about this collection in a previous blog post and promised to post more about the collection soon.

Fulfilling that promise, let’s take a look at a booklet titled “The Correct Method of Preserving Fruit”, published by Ball Brothers Glass MFG. CO. in Muncie, Indiana. As expected, the booklet contains details on how to preserve many different kinds of fruit (all using mason jars, of course). However, this guide also contains information on how to can vegetables, make pickles, and even sauces.

Throughout the MS-0381 collection, there are several of these types of practical household guides produced by companies to showcase the many uses of their main product. For another example, check out our previous post about Arm & Hammer Baking Soda advertisements. In this case, Ball Brothers Glass may have created this guide to persuade consumers of the necessity of “Ball” Mason Jars.

Understanding the source and having an idea of the purpose of the information, is always important. In my opinion, it makes these tips seem much more interesting. Here are a few instructions that caught my attention while flipping through the guide. Of course, these may be fascinating to me because I can barely boil water.

Which one of these would you most want to try? Comment below!

All materials from Box 1 of MS-0381 Food and Household Product Advertising Guides and Publications collection. circa 1880s-1978, undated.

#WOW – 1970s Women’s Rights Buttons

The year 2020 marks 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified by the Supreme Court, granting (some) women the right to vote. Though the success of the women’s suffrage movement is notable, the struggle for gender equality continues today.

In 1987, Congress declared March to be National Women’s History Month. In celebration of this month, and the anniversary of the first women’s movement, let’s take a look at one of the ways Iowa State students have made their voices heard – buttons! Shown below are some women’s rights buttons from the 1970s.

#MediaMonday – Baking Soda Advertisements

I have always been fascinated by advertising. Specially, older advertisements have always caught my attention. With advertising being something the average person encounters quite frequently, it makes life more interesting to compare the methods of persuasion used in old advertisements to methods used today.

With this in mind, I was browsing through the catalog for a collection that would indulge this interest. When I came across collection MS-0381: “Food and Household Product Advertising Guides and Publications collection. circa 1880s-1978”, I felt like I won the lottery.

On that note, let’s take a look back at some old advertisements for a product still commonly used today, Arm & Hammer’s Baking Soda.

The earliest Arm & Hammer advertisement in this collection is an almanac from 1909, shown to the left. Titled “the Arm & Hammer Almanac”, the small booklet contains several messages intended to persuade the reader of the need for this product.

Several of the pieces featured in this post are actually guidebooks with several pages of information on the many uses of this product. Below is a guidebook from 1924, highlighting the medicinal uses of baking soda.

It’s interesting to look at these examples of advertising from over several decades. It seems to me that the message has remained the same across the years, which is that “you need Arm & Hammer baking soda in your home”. The following guidebook from 1949, clearly echos this message as well.

All of the pictured advertisements, and a few not included in this post, were published by Church & Dwight Co Inc.

After doing a quick look through the first box of this collection, and gathering material for today’s post, I feel pretty confident in saying that this is my new favorite collection, and I will be posting about it again.

All materials pictured this post can be found in MS-0381 Box 1.

AESHM Student in Project Runway!


Brittany Allen, PhD student currently enrolled in Iowa State University’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program, is one of the contestants on the current season of Project Runway. Project Runway, in its 18th season, is a highly competitive show in which contestants push themselves to the limit for a chance at $250,000 dollars.

Allen’s goal as a designer is: “to bring fun and excitement back into the fashion industry, and…to make women feel more empowered and beautiful.”

Iowa State University’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program is one of 15 highly ranked programs offered by the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM), under the College of Human Sciences.

In 2011, the name of this department was changed from Department of Apparel, Educational Studies and Hospitality Management to Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management, though it is still abbreviated as AESHM. The name change was prompted by the programs move to the College of Human Sciences. According to the department’s website, the mission of AESHM is to: “create, share, and apply knowledge to provide consumers with products, services, and experiences to enhance overall well-being.”

One of the things AESHM is best known for on campus is the annual Fashion Show, which has been an Iowa State Tradition since 1982. The first Fashion Show was actually put on by the Textiles and Clothing club on the steps of the Memorial Union. The event ended up being such a big hit that the fashion show became an annual tradition that continues to give AESHM students the opportunity to showcase their designs today. Here are a few photos from the show that started it all.

We’ve posted about the Fashion Show previously, and will likely post again come April, when this year’s show will be held. We also have some additional posts about AESHM for anyone interested.

Image Credits:

Brittany Allen image credit – https://www.bravotv.com/people/brittany-allen

AESHM Graphic – Screenshot from https://www.aeshm.hs.iastate.edu/

Fashion Show Images from RS 29/2/4 Fashion Show Records Box 1 – https://n2t.net/ark:/87292/w90j7g

#FashionFriday – Graduation Fashion from 1914

Very excited to return to the Mary A. Barton Fashion Illustration Collection for this #FashionFriday! We’ve posted about this collection a few times before but the beauty of this collection never ceases to surprise me.

While browsing through box 12 of the collection, I found a variety of eye-catching illustrations, each a beauty to behold. One illustration that really caught my eye was on a page from McCall’s Magazine, dated June 1914.

The first page is titled “For the Day of Graduation”, and depicts three women in black and white with a pop of orange in the background. The woman on the far right of the image is holding a diploma.

On the other side of this page, there’s information on the different patterns available to create these outfits, along with information on the materials required.

I love being a student employee in Special Collections and University Archives. Not only because of the amazing people I’ve met here, but for the collections I’ve been able to explore. It is the most incredible experience to be handling materials from over a hundred years ago, and sharing them via social media.

Black History Month 1983

“Black Americans are major contributors to historic and contemporary life… Because we wish to deepen our own appreciation of ourselves, and because we need to share our rich culture and heritage with the world.”

Debra Gibson, 1983 – Bomb 1984 pg. 72

In 1983, what was intended to be a week of commemoration turned into a month-long celebration of everything African-American history. Debra Gibson, alumni information specialist and coordinator for Black History Month at the time, chose “Our Attitude, Our Future” as the theme for the month’s activities.

Image from the 1984 Bomb pg. 72

According to this snippet from the 1984 Bomb, pg. 72, the highlight of the month’s activities was the performance of the first black theater production to be held at Iowa State University. The play, “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” by Lorraine Hansberry received positive reviews from those in attendance.

Several lectures were also hosted throughout the month on topics relating to Black History Month, as well as several other exciting events.

For information on similar events at Iowa State, consider checking out our collection on Multicultural Student Organizations RS 22/3 Box 1.

#FlashbackFriday – Postcards

Today I took a look at the Iowa State University Archives Postcard Collection. I’ve been wanting to check out this collection for a while and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. There were hundreds of postcards in just this box and at least six boxes in the collection. Here are a few of my favorites from box one.

I look forward to exploring more of this collection in the future! Materials from Box 1 of the ISU Archives Postcard Collection.

Study Breaks from 1985

Almost no one wants to spend their whole day studying. As important as it is to stay on top of assignments and readings, there’s only so long the average student can study before some kind of study break is needed. The authors of the 1985 Bomb likely would have agreed with the need for occasional study breaks, as they gifted us with this two-page spread on the types of study breaks preferred by students at the time.

According to the Bomb, many students looked to watching T.V. shows such as All My Children and General Hospital, to relax after a long study session. Others preferred to take a quick nap to rest their minds and bodies.

However, by far the most popular types of study breaks at the time were ones centered around food. The most iconic of these food centered breaks being what the authors refer to as “the famous “Quick Trip Run.”

All of these certainly sound more fun than studying! Which, if any, would you choose to relax and refresh yourself? If none of these sound quite right, what works for you?

#FunFriday – 1974 Novelty Sports

Let’s start this #FunFriday with a look at the past! On March 18th, 1974, over 500 students participated in the novelty intramurals of Residence Hall Week. The RHW novelty intramurals were set up in the Linden-Oak-Elm courtyard on a Sunday. Of all the events held that day, I’d be willing to bet the messiest was the mud slide, shown below, which set a new record for longest mud slide.

Other activities included an egg toss, a molasses pour, frisbee toss, pogo stick race, and pyramid building. From these pictures it looks like the next day must have been a laundry day for many participants!

On Wednesday, the RHW Novelty Intramurals moved inside. These indoor events were considerably less messy, but no less fun. Students participated in activities such as a clothes race, bat race, sleeping bag race, and tug of war. Also included in this week was an all-university ping-pong championship between members of residence associations.

Overall, this week sounds like it was a lot of fun!

If you’d like to read about more Iowa State events from the past, check out our digital collection of yearbooks from 1894-1994.

SCUA Research Blog

Throughout my first semester managing social media with the Special Collections and University Archives Department, I’ve learned more about Iowa State than I ever thought I would. My favorite thing about working here has been the opportunity to be so close to so many physical representations of history. Every day I found something new and exciting to photograph and post about.

For this end-of-semester blog post, I was asked to write about one thing that surprised me from the collections I’ve viewed so far. It was difficult to choose just one thing to post about because every day I found something new that surprised me. After much deliberation, I’ve decided to post about my two favorite collections thus far.

RS 21/7/9 – Mary A. Barton Fashion Illustration Collection

This was one of the first collections I viewed that wasn’t necessarily University records; it’s a collection donated by an Iowa State Alumni, Mary A. Barton. More information about the collection can be found here, as well as in previous posts about this collection.

I was shocked at how many illustrations are in this collection, and even more shocked by how beautiful each one is. The majority of the illustrations that I looked at are from the early 1800s. Everything about this collection just blew me away. It is incredible to be able to pick up and look at something from over 200 years ago. I hope to post about this collection again soon!

RS 13/16/4 – Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program

Earlier this semester, I posted some images from this collection on our Facebook page for a #WomenOnWednesdays post. There have been multiple posts about the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program that can be found on Cardinal Tales, I will also link the finding aid for more information on the collection. In the previously mentioned Facebook post, I decided not to post about my favorite items in the collection, due to the images not being very visually engaging. However, I think they’re absolutely fascinating and am excited to share them now!

Above are two letters from 1943, sent from other colleges to Iowa State inquiring about the possibility of their students earning college credits through participating in the program. I find these letters fascinating as they highlighted the involvement of transfer students, many from community colleges, who had been accepted to this program. Being a transfer student myself, I was pleased to see these faculty members fighting for these women to be able to finish their degrees on time even while participating in the war effort.

The tone, and content, of these letters both surprised and delighted me. The letter from Jefferson City Schools, shown on the left, contains the line: “Miss Hultmark is desirous of securing her degree from the Junior College this year…” I enjoy this line because it highlights the determination of this woman to complete her degree, as well as the advocacy of the dean sending the message. I have personal experience with transferring credits and working through the difficulties that come with it, so it was interesting to see a documentation of a step of that process all the way from 1943. In a way, while reading these letters, I felt connected to a part of history.

I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about women’s history at Iowa State in the coming semester.

Moral of the story: stop by the reading room this Spring and check out our collections! You never know what you’ll find!