Here’s a fun image of Cy arm wrestling what looks like another team’s mascot, back in 1986.
For more information about Cy, check out: http://historicexhibits.lib.iastate.edu/Cy/index.html.
Here’s a fun image of Cy arm wrestling what looks like another team’s mascot, back in 1986.
For more information about Cy, check out: http://historicexhibits.lib.iastate.edu/Cy/index.html.
This month’s collaborative post highlights items from our Artifact Collection that remind us of spring. I know it’s probably a little premature to start thinking of spring, but tell that to this week’s forecast!
Nothing says spring like baseball! That’s why I choose this metal baseball bat from our archives collection for this post. This bat is a special one. It has nine engravings that indicate which schools won this special trophy bat over the course of ten years. In chronological order: Grinnell 1892, IAC 1893, IAC 1894, SUI 1895, Grinnell 1896, Cornell 1898, Grinnell 1899, SUI 1900, SUI 1901, and Grinnell 1902. SUI stands for State University of Iowa, our rivals in Iowa City, and IAC stands for Iowa Agricultural College, the name for Iowa State University from its founding until 1959. The bat also includes an engraved baseball game scene surrounded by a leaf border. What a fun piece of history from early higher education in Iowa!
Spring is all about getting back outdoors and enjoying the return of sunshine and warm weather. And for some people, that means going out to the ballpark and enjoying a friendly game of baseball. Iowa State no longer has a baseball team, but this silver bat traveling trophy, dating from the 1890s, is a reminder of the excellent Cyclone teams of years past.
With major league pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on February 14, my thoughts are with the coming season for my (reigning World Series Champions) Chicago Cubs. As a result, the Silver Bat is the artifact that makes me think most of spring. The bat was a trophy awarded to members of the Iowa Inter-Collegiate Base Ball Association. The Association, formed in 1892, originally included Drake University, Iowa College at Grinnell (now Grinnell College), Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University), and the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa). Cornell College joined in 1893. The bat has an engraving of a baseball game in progress and the following inscriptions: Grinnell 1902, SUI 1901, SUI 1900, Grinnell 1899, Cornell 1898, Grinnell 1892, Grinnell 1896, SUI 1895 on the handle; and on the end of the bat, IAC 1893, IAC 1894.
This woven picture by Shirley Held is entitled “Bluebirds Herald Spring.” To me, it strongly resembles an Impressionist painting. Monet could have put these colors together. This nearly-abstract scene truly sings of Spring.
Shirley Held (1923-2014) earned a B.S. and M.S. in Home Economics and Applied Art at ISU before joining the faculty of the Department of Art and Design in 1953. She was promoted to full professor in 1975 and retired in 1990.
ISU Special Collections and Archives has the Shirley E. Held Papers (RS 26/2/53) in addition to dozens of textile artworks like this one. I’m making a mental note to learn a bit more about Held, her career, and her artistry.
One of our artifacts which definitely makes me think of spring is the lithographic plate (Artifact 2000-105.002) of a bird’s nest with eggs, and then right next to it the hatched baby birds. I also love that not only do we have the original plate, but also one of the prints which was made from the plate (2000-105.001). Lithographic plates have always intrigued me since I first learned about them – who would have ever thought to create a print from stone and a water-resistant drawing substance such as wax? This artifact comes from Iowa State University’s Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Records (RS 9/10/04).
Link for collection: http://www.add.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/arch/rgrp/9-10-4.html
This button reminds me of spring for a couple of reasons. VEISHEA, of course, was celebrated in the spring. This button invokes memories of the parade, cherry pies, and dirt dessert from the Agronomy department. While there are many VEISHEA artifacts, photographs, and documents in the archives, I chose this button because of the depiction of one of ISU’s swans. Spring is a great time to walk around our beautiful campus; and specifically, take a break by Lake LaVerne to visit Lancelot and Elaine. To learn more about VEISHEA, see our online exhibit or by visiting the archives to look at RS 22/12: VEISHEA.
This hand fan was presented to Martin Jischke, Iowa State University’s 13th president, in May 1993. The hand fan includes birds and butterflies. It makes me think of spring because of the artwork on the fan. Of course, a fan also comes in handy as the temperatures heat up in spring.” This fan is associated with the Martin C. Jischke Papers (RS 2/13).
Currently there is very little snow on the ground and it’s a windy but sunny 37 degrees Fahrenheit. However, today’s Throwback Thursday picture shows an entirely different scene. Below shows a snowy day, likely in late January, with students having a toboggan race during the 1949 Winter Carnival. Check out our previous post about the Winter Carnival.
The reading room is closed tomorrow and Monday January 2. We are back to our regular hours Monday-Friday beginning Tuesday, January 3. Drop by and see us!
This month’s collaborative post highlights items from our Artifact Collection related to food. After all, one of the key components of this holiday season is celebrating with food. We hope you enjoy these collection highlights from our Artifact Collection.
I was drawn to this teacup and saucer because my mom and grandma both collected tea cups. I used to love examining the patterns of all the different teacups in my mom’s china cabinet when I was growing up and feeling the thinness of the fine bone china they were made of. This particular teacup and saucer in our artifact collection belonged to the mother of H. Summerfield Day, University Architect (1966-1975) and Planning Coordinator (1975-1980). It was collected and donated to the archives by a former library employee in the Cataloging Department, Dennis Wendell.
This wooden cheese box is interesting because it’s much sturdier than I would expect. It’s only 9.25” wide, so card stock would have sufficed. I think it would make a cool pencil box. Pasteurized process cheese is not my favorite kind, but I have such high regard for cheese that I can’t help liking the box. “Process cheese” notwithstanding, it was an ISC product so it was probably of exceptional quality. I’m inspired to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup this weekend.
I have chosen the bowl of wax apples, originally shown at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, as this month’s food-related artifact. I had heard of its existence here, but had never had the opportunity to see these first-hand until working on an artifact housing project earlier this year. I was amazed at how shiny and fresh these 140-year-old wax apples looked, and at the same time being terrified of causing damage to these amazing artifacts! Colonel G. B. Bracket, who created the wax apples for the Iowa State Horticultural Society’s exhibit, received a gold medal for the wax Iowa apples. The apples represent the 300 varieties of apples grown in Iowa at the time.
In a slight departure from the theme of food for this week’s blog, I have selected this Iowa State milk carton as it represents a long history of producing dairy products at Iowa State. This milk carton would have been filled with milk during the 1960s, but the dairy program at Iowa State began much earlier than that. Iowa State started operating a creamery in the 1880s to provide a place to store and process milk and dairy products for the benefit of the students and staff of Iowa State. Any milk left over was processed into butter and sold to the neighborhood surrounding the school. Of course, in those days milk was not delivered in attractive paper cartons like this! In 2007 Iowa State renewed its support of the dairy industry in Iowa when it opened a new dairy farm south of campus. Although the days of Iowa State selling its own milk are long gone, you can still buy homemade ice cream from students in the Dairy Science Club as they carry on the tradition of preparing dairy products on the Iowa State campus.
One of the most fascinating food-related artifacts we have is a fat pot from Kenya. According to the catalog record, this pot was “used for collecting the fat from meat as a result of cooking or for cosmetic purposes by the natives of the Turkana-Tribe from Northern Kenya.” This doesn’t sound all that different from what we do in America today, in which we collect the drippings from meat to make gravy or broth. The pot is made of wood, twine, and leather, with a leather cap. I suppose this item intrigues me largely because we don’t have a lot of artifacts from around the world, and I don’t know of any other African artifacts in our collections. It’s associated with the Shirley Held Papers (RS 26/2/53). Held was a faculty member of what is now the College of Design.
I was browsing items in our internal artifact database and was tickled to see this beer can. Believe it or not, this is just one can of at least three other beer cans I could have selected that we have in our collection. I picked this can because it includes an image of Cy. I feel like I can justify selecting beer as a food-related artifact because, to some, it is food. All kidding aside, beer can be enjoyed with food just like wine and it even enhances some food. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that pretzels or nuts are often served with beer. Below is the description of the beer can from the catalog:
The can is a gold color, with red and black lettering. There is an image of Cy holding a mug of beer in one hand, and a football in the other. On the can itself reads, in red lettering, “CYCLONE BEER.” Underneath the slogan, there is black lettering that reads, “Not associated with Iowa State University.” There is a makers mark that describes the nature of where the beer was brewed and canned. On the top of the can reads: “Iowa Refund, 5 c.” There is still liquid inside of the can.
This beer can, with an assortment of other materials, came to the archives from the Iowa State University Alumni Association.
This image is of a chocolate pot and two cups which carries the mark of Wheelock China, a large Midwestern importing firm which flourished from 1855 until the early 1920s. Wheelock is best known for their souvenir china, depicting local scenes and buildings and marketed to tourists. Most of their products were imported from Germany. These items are marked with the Wheelock Imperial Eagle stamp, which was used on china the company imported from Austria.
The chocolate pot belonged to Shirley Held, a member of Iowa State’s Art and Design faculty for more than thirty years. She received a B.S. in Home Economics Education from Iowa State in 1945. Following graduation, she taught home economics in several towns in northwest Iowa. She returned to graduate school at Iowa State, earning the M.S. in Home Economics-Applied Art in 1951. After a year teaching at Utah State College, she returned to Iowa State as a member of the Applied Art faculty, teaching design, lettering, weaving, and wood and metal crafts. Weaving was her true calling, and she was the author of Weaving: Handbook of the Fiber Crafts, which was published in 1973, with a second edition in 1978. Her pieces were exhibited both in Iowa and nationally, and she promoted the art of weaving through workshops and lectures. She received a faculty citation in 1979 in recognition of her long and outstanding service to the University. Active locally as a member of the Ames Choral Society and the Collegiate United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, she also participated in community theater, both acting and designing costumes for a number of productions. She retired from Iowa State in 1990, and passed away in 2014.
Iowa State University has a ton of traditions. New traditions get developed and old ones fade away. Today’s post is about White Breakfasts, a now defunct tradition. Please note, the caption for the image below states that the White Breakfast was first observed in Lyon Hall in 1915. Our Reference Specialist, Becky notes below that this ceremony was first observed in 1918. The 1918 observance is documented in Julian C. Schilletter‘s The First 100 Years of Residential Housing at Iowa State University. Dr. Schilletter held many positions at Iowa State and was the Director of Residence Halls from 1946-1967.
White Breakfasts were observed in the women’s residence halls from 1918 through the early 1960s. Originated by a Lyon Hall housemother, they were held the last Sunday before the holiday break in December. The residents dressed in white and carried lighted candles. A caroling procession started on the top floor of each dormitory and proceeded to the dining rooms, where a special breakfast menu was served.
This week, we are pleased to feature a guest post by Charles Stewart, Jr., Ph.D. (B.S. 2000). Stewart is an Associate Scientist for the Office of Biotechnology and Manager of the Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facility at Iowa State University. He is a Spring 2003 initiate of Iota Iota Lambda (Ithaca, NY Alumni Chapter), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Earlier this year, while browsing social media I stumbled upon a photo of Jack Trice with his fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha. I was drawn to this photo because like Trice, I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and attended ISU (B.S, 2000). Many in the Cyclone family are aware of Jack Trice’s fatal football game. However, Trice’s life on campus appears lesser known.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the first intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity founded by African-Americans. The fraternity has been interracial since 1945. Alpha Nu was chartered on Thanksgiving Day in 1922 and initially served as the undergraduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha for college men from Iowa State University and Drake University.
As I browsed back issues of the Sphinx magazine, the official magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few references to Jack Trice. The photo mentioned above comes from the June 1923 issue (Vol. 9, No. 3, Page 17) and is accompanied by a short article describing activities of the recently formed Alpha Nu chapter. The chapter was preparing to give educational talks to congregations of several black churches, presumably in the Des Moines area. These talks were part of a national service program of Alpha Phi Alpha called “Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College” which stressed the importance of a college education. This program continues to this day.
A significant portion of this 1923 article was dedicated to Jack Trice. The author writes:
Among the new brothers that have filled the ranks of Alpha Nu is brother John Trice, who is destined to reach great heights in the athletic world. Winning his numerals in football last fall, did not satisfy Brother Trice. This spring, his work on the “Prep” track squad was a revelation to the most keen fans of that sport. He has frequently thrown the discuss [sic] one hundred and thirty-five feet and passing the forty foot mark with the shot, seems to be an easy matter with him. Trice has not only shown ability on the track and gridiron, but his aquatic habits have obtained for him membership to the Iowa State College Life Saving Corps.
The June 1924 issue of the Sphinx (Vol. 10, No. 3, Page 17) also notes that the 1923 football team erected a bronze reproduction of Trice’s famous “Last Letter” in the men’s gymnasium (State Gym at ISU).
Since his untimely death, members of Alpha Phi Alpha have been active in keeping his memory alive. Several members were active in the effort to rename the football stadium after Trice. In particular, the late Dr. George Jackson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, encouraged students and alumni to write to University and Board of Reagents in support of renaming the stadium.
Jack Trice embodied the aims of Alpha Phi Alpha- manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind. Trice’s life and legacy continues to inspire fraternity members today. Chandler Wilkins, senior in Community and Regional Planning and Chapter President of Omicron Pi (the current chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha for undergraduate men at ISU and Drake) comments, “I share Trice’s sentiments that he wrote about in his ‘Last Letter’. I knew I would face obstacles but quitting was not an option. Trice’s story gives me strength to persevere because I know my role here serves a higher purpose.” Kenyatta Shamburger, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Student Affairs and advisor to Omicron Pi, describes Trice as a trailblazer whose story we can all learn from. Shamburger states “I believe that students must channel positive energy in the pursuit of their academic goals while also remaining socially and politically conscious and aware.”
What about the other men from that 1923 photo? A.C. Aldridge, Rufus Atwood, J.R. Otis, Frederick Patterson, John Lockett are all alumni of ISU. Atwood, Otis and Patterson went on to become the presidents of Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University), Alcorn State University and Tuskegee University, respectively. John Lockett became the Director of the Agricultural Division and Professor of Agronomy at Virginia State University. Sitting to the right of Trice is Charles Preston Howard. Howard graduated from Drake Law School, co-founded the National Bar Association and went on to have a significant career in civil rights, journalism and politics. More work is needed to uncover the stories of the other men in the photo but through his fraternity brothers Trice appears to have found men whose ambition, character and temperament matched his own.
A famous poem of Alpha men concludes by saying that Alpha Phi Alpha is the “…college of friendship; the university of brotherly love; the school for the better making of men.” I am sure that Trice had a bit of fun with his fraternity brothers while also working with them to address political and social problems on campus and in American society. Trice’s ability to have a fun yet meaningful campus life is a standard we should set for all students.
On Monday and Wednesday afternoon this week, HIS 481X was busy in 405 Parks working on the layouts for their exhibit cases. Staff from the Conservation Lab created mounts and reproduced original materials, selected for the exhibit, so that students could play around with the layout design for the exhibit cases.
The exhibit opens on January 18. Stay tuned for more updates!
Drop by and see our current exhibits! We’re open Monday-Friday from 9-5.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to put together a pop-up exhibit? Last Friday, Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) exhibited about two dozen items for three hours for Iowa State’s Homecoming. The temporary exhibit was open to the public, but our focus was alumni visiting for Homecoming. Today’s post is about our process.
Back in mid-August, we invited the Alumni Center to drop by and see what items we thought we’d include in the October Homecoming exhibit. This dry run entailed staff from the department brainstorming on what items would be best to put on exhibit and what order they should be displayed. Labels were made and the classroom was rearranged into an exhibit space. Heather Botine, Associate Director for Constituent Engagement, dropped by and gave us feedback on how we set the room up and what kinds of materials may engage alumni more. We also discussed what reproductions SCUA could provide for digital display over at the Alumni Center.
We made sure to promote our Homecoming event in the library and in our social media. We enlisted the help of Monica Gillen, the Communication Specialist for the library, and Jody Kalvik, Instruction, Program Coordinator. Monica helped get the word out and Jody designed flyers, posters, a banner, and our signage.
We did one last practice run. We tweaked our list of items on display and took into account Heather’s set-up advice. We also invited Sonya Barron, Conservator, to drop by. Sonya ensured our items were sturdy enough to display, offered to provide mounts, and advised us how to safely display materials. We also made final decisions on what would be in the temporary exhibit and what order we wanted to display items, there was some rearrangement. Pictures were taken of materials so we’d know how to set up the following week.
Now that we had our exhibit finalists, we had to finish drafting and mounting the labels.
We spent the morning setting up and our doors opened at 1 pm. We were so pleased at the opportunity to show off our treasures.
Thank you to everyone who visited us last Friday at 405 Parks Library. To those that missed seeing our treasures on display, drop by and see us sometime. We’re open from 9-5, Monday-Friday.
Today’s post introduces a new blog series here in Special Collections and University Archives— Artifacts in the Archives. These will be a series of posts that include staff picks for different artifacts. This week’s post lists some of our favorites.
I might get judged for this, but… I have to go with Margaret Stanton’s death mask. It’s creepy, it’s a bit macabre, and it’s a fascinating artifact. It’s a piece of Victorian history – this was just one of many kinds of memento mori (items created to remember the dead) that were a popular custom in that era. From my understanding, death masks were never typical in the Midwest, so it’s especially interesting that this one was made here and that we have one at all.
My favorite artifact is Margaret MacDonald Stanton’s death mask. It gives us an opportunity to talk about two people who were here in the early days of the college, and who contributed to keeping the fledgling institution on the right track. Edgar was the first student to receive a diploma at Iowa State. He devoted his life to Iowa State, and was a member of the faculty until the day he died. His memorial to Margaret has become a major symbol of the university.
Because Margaret Hall, the first dormitory specifically for women, was named for Margaret Stanton, we can also talk about early student life, and the changes on Central Campus over the years. And there is the general creepiness factor, which can work into a discussion of past rituals surrounding death and mourning.
It’s fascinating how the math we now do digitally can be done mechanically. These are such ingenious devices. So much mileage out of a couple of interacting cylinders in a wooden frame. And of course, it’s cool looking!
My favorite artifact is the cylindrical slide rule (2009-R004). When most people think of slide rules, which I know doesn’t happen often anymore, it conjures up images of flat ruler-sized devices carried around in the pockets of 1950s college students. This cylindrical slide rule is definitely not pocket-sized! At 24 inches long and nearly 5 inches in diameter, I can’t imagine students toting one of these around campus all day. In this day of computers and smartphones we take for granted how much time and sweat was involved in solving complex equations 100 years ago. This device reduced the amount of hand calculations required to solve some of these difficult mathematical problems. The cylindrical slide rule is now a relic of the past, however I still find it fascinating to look at and wonder about its workings. Maybe someday I’ll actually take the time to learn how to use it. And by that I mean typing “cylindrical slide rule” into YouTube to see if there is a video that someone else has posted.
I like it because it’s a map and it’s not something you would typically expect to see represented on a globe. It would be something I’d love to have on display in my house if it wasn’t here.
For this post, I’m going to say that my favorite artifact is the Stuckslager hammer. The hammer was used to construct one of the first buildings here on campus, Old Main. We have just enough information on the hammer to give a person enough to start imagining all the activities, people, and sites the hammer saw during its lifetime – helping to bring me that much closer to the hustle and bustle which must have been part of the construction of the main building for the State Agricultural College and Model Farm (now Iowa State).
It’s seemingly a regular, common, everyday hammer of today, in look, feel, size and weight – which makes viewing the hammer both familiar and disconcerting. This particular hammer came to Ames in 1868, brought by Oliphant P. Stuckslager with the specific purpose to help build Old Main. We even know where Stuckslager and his family lived in Ames – further helping me to go back in time and imagine the life and times of the hammer during its quite active career, which is said to have continued until the death of its owner in 1908. We know as much information as we do about the hammer in part thanks to a senior research project done on the hammer. A summary of the student’s findings can be found on an earlier blog post.
I like the laundry mailer because it reminds me of when I was an undergraduate. Every weekend I returned home and my dad would do my laundry. Once I got my laundry done before I came home and he was disappointed! It’s also my favorite artifact because it reminds me that life was so different not too long ago. For one, students could fit an entire week’s worth of laundry into the mailer. It’s not very large. It is smaller than most carry-on luggage pieces today. I can’t imagine fitting a week’s worth of clothes in the mailer in the winter. I may be able to swing it for the summer, though, it would be a tight fit and it’s likely I’d have to wear some shorts or skirts more than once during the week. Students back then probably didn’t have a change of clothes for every day of the week. Also, I would guess that mostly mothers did the laundry. More research on the details of ISU students’ use of the laundry mailers needs to be done. Did both men and women use the laundry mailers, or did the women have laundry facilities in their dormitories? What years were the mailers in use here on campus?
Below are some links to additional information about the laundry mailer, shared with me by Becky Jordan:
I love dance cards because they are one of those elements from the past that have completely fallen by the wayside. I am a dancer, and I would love to go to a dance and fill up a dance card with my partners’ names. This particular one is my favorite, because it is so inventive and fun. Most dance cards are little booklets, but this one is a wheel with a little paper inside where you write your partners’ names that you can view through a little window. You turn the inside paper to reveal the different names. It works like a star chart. To use a fancy term, it is a volvelle. It is from an Alpha Kappa Delta dance, but there is no indication of the year. It is part of a collection of dance cards from Clarice Johnson Van Zante given to the department as a donation in 1999. Clarice was an ISU alum who attended in the 1920s, majoring in home economics. Later she worked as a school teacher in Ottumwa. The dance card is currently part of a mini-exhibit in the Special Collections reading room called “‘I’ll Pencil You In’: Dances and Dance Cards at Iowa State.”
You are probably wondering why Special Collections and University Archives keeps a Rice Krispies Treat for posterity. It is a good question since it is unusual for repositories to keep food products as collection material. However, this is not just any Rice Krispies Treat. It is a piece of the world record-holding, largest Rice Krispies Treat, weighing in at 2,480 pounds. Members of the Iowa State community created the sweet, sticky snack during VEISHEA 2001 to celebrate the university theme “Strengthening Families to Become the Best,” co-sponsored by the College of Family and Consumer Science (now the College of Human Sciences). The record-holding treat was also made in honor of Mildred Day, a 1928 ISU graduate of home economics, who “was a member of the Kellogg Company team that developed the Rice Krispies Treat recipe in the 1940s.”
The NAIADS was a synchronized swimming club here at Iowa State University. Visit us in the reading room on the 4th floor and check out the NAIADS Records (RS 22/7/0/9). We’re open Monday-Friday from 10-4.