Suggested Topics for 2009-2010 NHD Theme: "Innovation in History: Impact and Change"
These topics use resources available in the Special Collections Department at Iowa State University Library. Links are provided to online finding aids (where available) for collection descriptions and listings. For additional information about resources available for these and other topics, please contact the Special Collections Department.
- Ames Laboratory Oral Histories (RS 17)
These 12 oral histories, conducted by Sue Futrell, includes a number of individuals who worked at the Ames Laboratory in the latter half of the 20th century. A number have been transcribed, the others are available in digital format.
Like the majority of U.S. Department of Energy Laboratories, the Ames Laboratory began as part of the World War II Manhattan Project. The Laboratory developed an entirely new technology for the conversion of uranium ore to high-purity uranium metal and then used that technology to produce more than 2 million pounds by the end of the war. After the war, the Ames Laboratory specialized in rare metals and methods of achieving chemical transformation without the production of toxic waste. The Laboratory has also expanded its scope beyond materials research, including research in photosynthesis, hazardous waste analysis, computer programming, quasicrystals, and nontraditional materials. Partnering with Iowa State University, the Laboratory and university share facilities, functions, graduate students, and faculty/principal investigators.
- Atanasoff, John Vincent (RS 13/20/51)
John Vincent Atanasoff was born in 1903 in New York State. He graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. (1925) in electrical engineering and accepted a teaching position from Iowa State College. In the fall of 1930 he became a member of the Iowa State College faculty as assistant professor in mathematics and physics. Atanasoff began developing a computation method for solving complicated math problems in a faster, more efficient way. He was promoted to associate professor (1936) of both mathematics and physics. Atanasoff continued to struggle with the development of a faster computation system and in 1937 developed basic concepts for his computing machine (ABC). Although the ABC was never patented, it was part of major court case in the 1960s and 1970s. In Honeywell v. Sperry Rand, Sperry Rand was attempting to establish the validity of patent rights they had purchased from J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly. These rights included the Electronic Numerical Integrator (ENIAC) which Eckert and Mauchly had patented in 1964. Honeywell, Inc. was trying to establish that Mauchly had obtained important concepts used in the ENIAC from examination of a device known as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, during a visit to Iowa State in June, 1941. In his decision (1973), the judge agreed that the concepts used in developing ENIAC were based on Atanasoff’s work with the ABC.
This collection contains biographical records, professional correspondence, and business records. The invention records include files containing notes, information, and drawings relating to the following inventions: an electrical clock (1936); cathode-ray tub and low-frequency detection device (World War II-era); electronic chassis (late 1940s); and several inventions relating to his home in Maryland, including the house itself, a hog house, a dryer for vegetables, and a seeder. Atanasoff’s research notes and published materials relating to his career are in Series 5, Research and publications (1926-1986, n.d.). There are reprint articles, notes for speeches, translations, Iowa State College exam questions and coursework, quantum mechanics notes, portions of a book on underwater acoustics and sound, Naval Ordnance Laboratory project reports, and drafts of “The Advent of Electronic Digital Computing,” published in the Annals of the History of Computing in 1983. A large component of the Atanasoff papers is Legal records, which contains depositions, transcripts of proceedings, testimony, correspondence, black and white photographs, published materials, original notes and drawings, and a finding of fact for the case of Honeywell, Inc. v. Sperry-Rand.
- Baker, Raymond (RS 21/7/8)
Raymond F. Baker graduated from Iowa State College (University) with a B.S. (1935) in agronomy, but had started his career in 1926 after having met Pioneer Hi-Bred founder Henry A. Wallace at a corn day program at Iowa State. Fascinated by Wallace's work with corn hybrids, Baker temporarily left his studies at Iowa State and became Pioneer's second employee in 1928. He completed his Iowa State degree in 1935. As Pioneer Hi-Bred's lead plant breeder for 43 years, Baker developed many of the company's first hybrid seed corns, including the first single-cross hybrid corn to be produced in volume. He is credited with establishing the scientific groundwork in the 1930s that helped Pioneer Hi-Bred become the world's largest seed corn company.
The collection contains biographical materials, typescripts of talks and papers; professional correspondence; professional correspondence with organizations; professional correspondence with foreign countries; and subject files.
- Benjamin, Bert (RS 21/7/57)
Benjamin worked as a draftsman-designer (1893-1940) for McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which merged with several other farm implement companies in 1902 to form the International Harvester Company (IHC). In 1910, he was named supervisor for the McCormick Works experimental department. During his years with IHC, Mr. Benjamin was granted 140 patents for tractors and tractor accessories, including a cotton picker, corn shredder, and corn binder. He also developed the power take-off system. Mr. Benjamin is best known for developing the Farmall tractor, the first tractor that could plow and cultivate row crops.
The collection contains biographical information, correspondence, photographs of farm implements and family, and research materials. Topics discussed in the papers include the Farmall tractor, the International Harvester Company, cotton production, a study on automobile tires, and genealogical materials relating to the Benjamin family
- Bennett, Hugh (MS-164)
Hugh Hammond Bennett (1881-1960) was born in Wadesboro, North Carolina on April 15, 1881. He received a B.S. (1903) from the University of North Carolina with an emphasis in chemistry and geology. Often considered the father of soil conservation, Bennett dedicated his career and life to preventing the loss of the nation’s soil, educating the country about the serious consequences of soil erosion, and convincing the federal government to give the problem national attention.
The collection (1808-1960, n.d.) contains Hugh Bennett's articles, speeches, manuscripts, correspondence, field diaries, conference materials, writings about Hugh Bennett, and publications by others on conservation. The bulk of the collection contains written materials by Bennett relating to soil conservation produced during his career working under the United States government.
- Bergeson, Rollo (MS-309)
Banker and philanthropist Rollo H. Bergeson was born 23 February 1911. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, he lived most of his life in Des Moines. Bergeson graduated from the University of South Dakota and from Duke University Law School. He was one of the principal architects of the plan to develop Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, one of the first such endeavors in the United States. Bergeson also donated a 26-acre tract that later became part of Living History Farms.
The collection (1965-1989, n.d.) documents the creation of Living History Farms and its predecessor, a project Bergeson called Interstate Farms. The collection includes legal documents; correspondence with various investors and participants, including Iowa State University professor and politician William G. Murray; conceptual sketches for Interstate Farms; and newspaper clippings. It also contains descriptions of the various efforts undertaken to purchase the land for Living History Farms. The collection also includes photographs of the site and of Bergeson and Murray together. Also included is information about land that Bergeson donated to the Girl Scouts.
- Black, Neal (MS-78)
Journalist and administrator. Neal Black began his career as a reporter (1949-1953) and then farm editor (1953-1957) for the Waterloo [Iowa] Courier. He was managing editor of the National Hog Farmer 1957-1973, when he became the magazine's editor, a position he held through 1979. He served as president (1980-1988) of the Livestock Conservation Institute, an organization that works to promote methods of livestock management to prevent losses reducing the value of livestock and animal products. Black also served as secretary of the National Pork Industry Conference and chair of the Hog Cholera Eradication Committee of the Livestock Conservation Institute.
The collection (1960-1975, n.d.) documents the fight against hog cholera and includes committee minutes, correspondence, news clippings, and progress reports on a cooperative agreement between the Livestock Conservation Institute and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Correspondents include Keith Myers, G. H. Wise, and Paul Zillman.
- Borlaug, Norman (MS-467)
Norman Ernest Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa on March 25, 1914. The son of Henry O. and Clara Vaala Borlaug, he grew up on a small family farm and obtained his initial education in a one-room rural schoolhouse. After graduation Borlaug joined the United States Forest Service, but returned to Minnesota for a Ph.D. in plant pathology, which he received in 1942. Dr. Borlaug worked as a microbiologist for E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Company until 1944 when he went to Mexico as a research scientist for the Rockefeller Foundation. As Associate Director of Agricultural Sciences of the Rockefeller Foundation, he focused on improving wheat production. Borlaug spent sixteen years in Mexico training local scientists and solving cultivation problems.In 1959, Borlaug joined the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Four years later, in 1963, with inspiration from Mexican President Lopez Mateos and funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, Borlaug was involved in the development of the Mexico-based International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) and served as the director of its wheat program.
During the 1960s Borlaug began to look beyond Mexico to Southern Asia, where food shortages were reaching crisis proportions. He trained scientists in the production of high-yield dwarf wheat and warned them of the potential for disaster in wheat rust. For this work, in recognition of his contribution to saving the lives of millions, Borlaug was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. An active member of several organizations and author of over seventy articles, Borlaug holds numerous honorary degrees and is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Medal of Freedom, which he received in 1977 and the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime achievement in science and public service which the National Science Board presented to him on June 6, 2000.
This collection consists primarily of Dr. Borlaug’s correspondence files, which include paper records as well as some photographs. These papers include materials from six continents, relating to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trago (CIMMYT), Instituto Nacional de Investagaciones Agricolas (INIA), Central Institute for Agrochemical Support of Agriculture (CINAO), several U. S. universities, the Crop Quality Council, DeKalb Agriculture Association, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Rice Research Institutes (IRRI). One highlight is a photocopy of Borlaug’s September 7, 1970 (six weeks before winning the Nobel Prize) letter to William Paddock where he reacts to the highly critical We Don’t Know How and defends the Green Revolution.
Buchele Wesley (RS 9/7/52)
Wesley Fisher Buchele was born March 18, 1920, in Cedar Vale, Kansas. He received a B.S. (1943) in Agricultural Engineering from Kansas State University; a M.S. (1951) in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Arkansas; and a Ph.D. (1954) in Agricultural Engineering and Soil Physics from Iowa State College (University).
Among Buchele’s varied research interests is agricultural safety. As well as designing many safety devices, he originated several agricultural engineering safety courses at Iowa State, the first courses of this kind taught in the United States. Dr. Buchele is revered as an expert in agricultural machinery safety, and has consulted in numerous cases regarding farm equipment accidents. He even began his own consulting firm, Buchele Associates, Ltd. He also served on the board of directors for Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. In addition, Dr. Buchele received numerous patents from the U.S. government. His most well known patent was for a device that would form and handle large round bales of a fibrous material. He also designed blade guards for rotary lawn mowers, a tandem tractor, and devices for harvesting crops like strawberries and alfalfa. Another of his noteworthy accomplishments is the development of a ridge-till farming procedure that in addition to saving farmers time and fuel expenses, also helps the environment by conserving topsoil and soil moisture and decreasing the need for herbicides.
- Carver, George Washington (RS 21/7/2)
Iowa State’s first African-American graduate and faculty member, who, while at Tuskegee, gained an international reputation in research, teaching and outreach. Carver taught his students that nature is the greatest teacher and that by understanding the forces in nature, one can understand the dynamics of agriculture. He instilled in them the attitude of gentleness and taught that education should be "made common" --used for betterment of the people in the community.
Carver's work resulted in the creation of 325 products from peanuts, more than 100 products from sweet potatoes and hundreds more from a dozen other plants native to the South. These products contributed to rural economic improvement by offering alternative crops to cotton that were beneficial for the farmers and for the land. During this time, Carver also carried the Iowa State extension concept to the South and created "movable schools," bringing practical agricultural knowledge to farmers, thereby promoting health, sound nutrition and self-sufficiency.
The papers contain biographical material, information about Carver’s birthplace monument, correspondence, information about Iowa State University, news clippings, oral history interviews, publications by Carver, published materials about Carver, research and product development, and information about the Tuskegee Institute (University). The collection is comprised of ten series.
- Catt, Carrie Chapman (RS 21/7/3)
Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, suffragist, early feminist, political activist, and Iowa State alumna (1880), was born on January 9, 1859 in Ripon, Wisconsin to Maria Clinton and Lucius Lane. After her husband's death in 1886, she spent some time in California as a newspaper reporter and then returned to Iowa to begin her crusade for women's suffrage. She was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1900-1904 and from 1915 until its goal was reached. She also formed and was president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance for many years. When the women's vote was attained in 1920 Mrs. Catt looked ahead and encouraged the formation of a non-partisan group, the League of Women Voters, a group still viable today.
Collection contains biographical data, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, bibliographies, publications, reviews, addresses, awards, scrapbook of tributes, material relating to the Woman's Centennial Congress, artifacts (Including jewelry from India), and her will. Correspondents include E. W. Stanton, A. B. Storms and Maria Roberts. Box 4 consists of original documents that been restricted, photocopies of the items can be found in the other boxes.
- Dorset, Marion (MS-32)
Marion Dorset (1872-1935) was awarded the B.S. (1893) by University of Tennessee and the M.D. (1896) by George Washington University. He came to Iowa in 1897 to participate in an effort to eradicate hog cholera. Early efforts were not successful, but Dorset continued his research in Washington D.C., while colleagues W. B. Niles and C. N. McBryde led field work in Iowa. This collaboration led to the development of an effective cholera antitoxin in 1910. As well, Dorset developed a tuberculin for bovine tuberculosis and methods for controlling poultry pullorum. Collection (1904-1953, n.d.) includes correspondence with colleagues, printed material, patents, photographs, and clippings documenting Dorset’s life and research.
- Fassel, Velmer (RS 17/1/51)
Dr. Velmer Fassel (1919-1998) was born in Frohna, Missouri and married Mary Fassel in 1943. He received the B.S. (1941) from Southeast Missouri State and his Ph.D (1947) from Iowa State. He became a member of the Iowa State faculty as a graduate assistant (1941-1942), was a chemist with the Manhattan Project (1942-1947), associate chemist with the Ames Laboratory and assistant professor (1947-1951), associate chemist and associate professor (1951-1956), senior scientist and professor of chemistry (1956-1966), section chief for the Institute for Atomic Research (1966-1969) and deputy director (1969-1987). Fassel was named a Distinguished Professor in 1976 and retired in 1987.
Dr. Fassel authored approximately 200 articles and presented numerous invited lectures. Among his awards: the Chemical Instruction Award, the Chemical Instrumentation Award, the Wilton Park International Service Award (1967-ISU), the ISU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Achievement Citation (1987), and the Governor’s Science Medial (1987-Iowa). His numerous contributions to analytical chemistry earned nearly every scientific awards available and he is considered one of the most influential atomic spectroscopists in the world.
This collection contains biographical information, correspondence, research data, course notes, professional correspondence, and subject files.
- Ft. Dodge Laboratories Records (MS-19)
Founded by Dr. D. E. Baughman in 1911 as the Ames Vaccine Company of Ames, Iowa, the facilities were moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1912. Renamed the Fort Dodge Serum Company it underwent another name change in 1932, becoming the Fort Dodge Laboratories. Fort Dodge has an impressive history of animal health “firsts,” including: the first canine Lyme disease vaccine, first genetically cloned feline leukemia vaccine, the first feline ringworm vaccine, and the first complete line of equine vaccines.
The Iowa State University collection represents primarily the work done on development of the manufacturing process for anti-hog cholera serum. H. J. Shore and Marion Dorset discovered anti-hog cholera serum around the turn of the century.
- Gilman, Henry (RS 13/6/52)
Henry Gilman was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 9, 1893. He received his B.S. (1915), M.S. (1916), and Ph.D. (1918) in Chemistry from Harvard University. Gilman began his career at the University of Illinois as an Instructor of Chemistry (1919). He joined the faculty of Iowa State College (University) as an Assistant Professor (1919-1920). He was promoted to Associate Professor (1920-1923) and Professor (1923-1986). Gilman became a Distinguished Professor (1962). While at Iowa State, Gilman helped to develop the Chemistry Department into one of the finest in the United States.
His main area of research was in the organometallic chemistry and he built a reputation as a pioneer in the field. He authored over a thousand papers and edited a two-volume textbook, Organic Chemistry: An Advanced Treatise (QD251 G42o). During World War II, Gilman was a consultant on the Manhattan Project. He also laid the groundwork for the growing interest of organometallics among chemical industries after the war, setting the stage for further development of plastics.
The collection (1893-1993, n.d.) contains biographical information, correspondence, research, presentations, and published works of Dr. Gilman. The biographical information includes awards, a bibliography, newspaper clippings, and general biographical information. Included in the correspondence are letters to and from doctoral students, family members and other individuals. Gilman's publications comprise much of the collection and mostly focus on organometallic chemistry.
- Grandin, Temple (MS-344)
Temple Grandin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 29, 1947. She received her B.A. (1970) in Psychology from Franklin Pierce College; an M.S. (1975) in Animal Science from Arizona State University; and a Ph.D (1989) in Animal Science from the University of Illinois. She also holds an honorary doctorate from McGill University, Montreal. Dr. Grandin has worked as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University.
Temple Grandin's career has focused on designing humane livestock handling facilities. She started her own company, Grandin Livestock Handling Systems, and has created new systems for handling animals including corrals, pens, chutes, and feedlots. Grandin was one of the first people with autism to write about her experiences from an autistic person's point of view. In addition, she has used her ability to understand animal behavior and the visual thinking skills of her autism to her advantage in designing livestock handling systems.
The collection (1973-2006) contains primarily publications related to animal behavior, the behavior of livestock handlers, and the design of livestock handling systems including academic papers, articles and columns in professional magazines, brochures, a handbook, extension publications, and newspaper clippings. Also included are course materials (articles and livestock facility diagrams), photographs of Grandin's livestock facilities, and biographical information including her vitae, award nominations, bibliographies of her publications, and a listing of her design projects and consultancies.
- Hansen, Harry (MS-267)
Henry L. Hanson was born on August 26, 1921. Hanson received a B.S. (1943) from Iowa State College (University) in electrical engineering and a L.L.B. (1951) from Willis Mitchell Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hanson was the Corporate Patent Counsel for Honeywell Incorporated during the time of the ENIAC trial.
The materials in this collection were selected from the litigation files of Honeywell Incorporated relating to Honeywell Incorporated vs. Sperry Rand Corporation, Civil Action No. 4-67, Civil 138 in the U. S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Fourth Division. Among the files are correspondence, affidavits, motions, briefs, memoranda, depositions, trial transcripts, findings of fact, publications, and photographs (For the judgment, refer to files 5/3 - 5/8).
- Hayden, Ada (RS 13/5/55)
Ada Hayden (1884-1950) was born on August 14, 1884 in Ames, Iowa. She earned a Bachelor of Science (1908) and Doctor of Philosophy (1918) degrees at Iowa State University. Hayden also earned a Master of Science degree (1910) from Washington University in St. Louis. Hayden was the first woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Iowa State University.
She was an Instructor (1910-1918) in Botany, an Assistant Professor (1919-1950) of Botany, and named Curator of the Herbarium (1947-1950). Photographing and illustrating plants was a specialty as well. During her time at Iowa State she added more than 40,000 specimens to the herbarium.
The Ada Hayden Papers include biographical information, diplomas and certificates, illustrations, list of publications, and a small amount of general correspondence and correspondence concerning the Hayden family as well as a bibliography of early botanists. The collection also contains photographs of the Hayden Prairie, animals, plants, Ledges State Park, the Mississippi River, Hayden’s family, self-portraits, prairies, and the Skunk River. In addition, the papers include Hayden’s scripts of her radio talks regarding different state parks, botany, history, and prairie restoration. There are also writings by and about Ada Hayden, which include articles, poems, and memorials. This series contains Hayden’s family and personal correspondence, as well as Hayden Prairie photographs, illustrations, and a list of publications.
- Hog Cholera Pamphlets and Reprints Collection (MS-389)
Hog cholera, also known as swine fever, is a disease native to America. It is highly contagious and its prevalence led to the first notice of an animal disease by the federal government in 1860.
The collection contains pamphlets and reprints relating to early research on hog cholera (1892-1918), a history of USDA hog cholera research (1962), and 14 photographs (8 4x5 and 6 5x7 B/W prints) of the first swine herd in Iowa to receive Erysip. vaccine (B.A.1.) and anti-swine Erysip. serum (1940).
- Lippisch, Alexander (MS-243)
Lippisch worked for the Dornier Aircraft Company in Friedrichshafen, Germany, as an aerodynamicist from 1918-1922. He was employed as a glider designer for Weltensegler, Inc. in Baden-Baden (1922-1923); as a designer for A. G. Steinmann, Hagen, Westphalia (1923-1925); and in 1925 he joined the staff of the aerodynamics and design department of the Rhon-Rossittengesellschaft, north of Frankfurt. From 1933-1939 he was in Darmstadt as chief of the technical department of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Segelflug (DFS). DFS sent him to the Messerschmitt Company in 1939, to head a department to develop a rocket fighter for the Air Ministry. From 1943-1945 he served as director of research for the Aeronautical Research Institute in Vienna, Austria. In 1950 Lippisch accepted employment at Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he was director of the aeronautical division until 1964. One of his first projects at Collins was the design of a high-speed smoke tunnel. Lippisch's work on smoke tunnel flow visualization led to a thirteen part television series in 1955, entitled The Secret of Flight.
The Alexander Lippisch Papers (1897-1993, n.d.) contain biographical material, correspondence, scientific research files, materials relating to patents, publications, photographs, and films. In addition to a rich array of material relating to Lippisch's work in aeronautical engineering, the collection also includes biographical material about Lippisch and publications and photographs related to general aviation history.
- Lush, Jay (RS 9/11/52)
J. L. Lush was appointed as Professor of Animal Husbandry of Iowa State College in 1930, and later served as Department Head and Distinguished Professor of Animal Science. Lush developed improvement of livestock through his genetic and biometric research. He founded the field of population genetics, which redefined the concept of animal breeds along statistical norms. Lush was also at the forefront of synthetic hormone research, and Lush Auditorium on the ISU campus was later built to honor his efforts. Named Distinguished Professor of Agriculture in 1957, Lush was later elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967. He and his wife were active in general local organizations and travelled extensively throughout the world.
This collection contains interviews, publications, honors received by Dr. Lush, speeches and newspaper clippings.
- Marston, Anson (RS 11/1/11)
Anson Marston was born in Seward, Illinois on May 31, 1864 to George and Sarah Scott Marston. He received a C.E. degree (1889) from Cornell University. Marston worked as a construction engineer (1889-1891) for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He joined the staff at Iowa State College (University) in 1892 as Professor and Head (1892-1917) of the Department of Civil Engineering and became Dean (1904-1932) of the Division of Engineering. Marston, after stepping down and resuming teaching duties, was named Senior Dean (1932-1937) until he retired in 1937.
While at Iowa State, he developed the Engineering Division into a prestigious program. Marston established the Engineering Experiment Station (1904) and became its first Director (1904-1932). He designed Iowa State College sewage disposal system and water tower (Marston Water Tower), and initiated the building of Engineering Hall (Marston Hall). He also supervised the building of the Campanile and the restoration of Lake LaVerne. He established the Iowa State Highway Commission (Iowa Department of Transportation).
This collection (1864-1983, n.d.) contains the papers and publications, research, engineering projects, and correspondence of Anson Marston. In addition, the papers contain Marston’s writings, which focus on sewage and drainage systems, culvert material tests, Iowa Highway System, Iowa State College projects and the Engineering Experiment Station.
- Mollenhoff, Clark (MS-599)
Clark Mollenhoff was the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who wrote Atanasoff: Forgotten Father of the Computer (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1988). In his book he documents the Honeywell v. Sperry Rand, in which the court ruled in favor of Honeywell's argument that Atanasoff was the inventor of the first electronic digital computer. Mollenhoff was a professor of Journalism at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.
This collection contains Clark Mollenhoff's subject files on John Vincent Atanasoff and the J. V. Atanasoff Trial; ca. 1970's-90. Atanasoff developed a prototype of the Atanasoff Berry Computer (ABC) at Iowa State University in 1939, though a final version was never completed. Materials in this collection include correspondence, depositions, photographs, publications, and videocassette tapes.
- Murray, William G. (RS 13/9/15)
William Gordon “Bill” Murray was born on July 15, 1903 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Dr. Frederick G. and Jeanett (Stevenson) Murray. He received a B.A. (1924) from Coe College in economics, an M.A. (1925) from Harvard University in economics, and a Ph.D. (1932) from the University of Minnesota in agricultural economics. In 1967, he helped organize the Living History Farms Foundation; he served as the groups research director (1967-1974), president (1974-1981), and chairman (1981-1988).
The collection contains the papers of Dr. William G. Murray. The documents consist of materials relating to Living History Farms, including original deeds, planning statements, brochures, correspondence, articles and clippings, evaluations, employee policies, admission data, exhibit construction, and program development. The program materials contain information on the Flynn Mansion, the 1900 Farm, the Farm of Today and Tomorrow, the Henry A. Wallace Crop Center, NEH grants, and Church of the Land. Also included in this collection is correspondence with the Wallace and Garst families of Iowa, and extensive material concerning the Pope's visit to Living History Farms in 1979. The remainder of the collection contains information on Murray’s campaign for Governor, and materials from Iowa State University.
- Pammel, Louis (RS 13/5/13)
Louis H. Pammel (L.H.) was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1862. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, being the first student to receive a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (1885) from that institution. He graduated with honors for his research of parasitic fungi, including downey mildew of millet. Pammel also received his M. S. (1889) in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph. D. (1898) from Washington University. In February 1889, Pammel came to Iowa State College (University) as Professor of Botany (1889-1929). Pammel was a member of numerous professional and honor societies, and was active in the creation of Iowa’s state park law and served as the first president of the Iowa State Board of Conservation.
The collection contains Pammel’s speeches and publications, information regarding his research in botany, and documents relating to Iowa State College (University) and his personal life. The papers also contain correspondence with editors, other scientists, and faculty members and students of Iowa State, including George Washington Carver, J.C. Arthur, Charles E. Bessey, and Henry A. Wallace. In addition, the collection includes information regarding Pammel’s work with State Parks and his involvement in numerous professional and honor societies such as the Iowa Academy of Science, Phi Kappa Phi, and Gamma Sigma Delta.
- Runkel, Sylvan (MS-619)
Sylvan Thomas Runkel graduated from high school in Moline, IL in 1924 and received his B.S. (1930) in Forestry from Iowa State College (University). In 1934 Runkel began his tenure with the United States Soil Conservation Service (SCS) as a forester technician, becoming a forester and conservationist in 1939. After his retirement from the SCS in 1972 Runkel drafted four environmental impact statements for Iowa Watershed projects and co-authored five books: Wildflowers of the Iowa Woodlands (1987), Wildflowers of the Illinois Woodlands (1994), Wildflowers of the Indiana Woodlands (1994, with Alvin F. Bull), Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: the upper Midwest (1989)and Wildflowers and other plants of Iowa wetlands (1999, with Dean M. Roosa).
After promoting conservation for many years by assisting numerous groups with talks, nature walks; slide programs, workshops, and developing a wildlife series for the Iowa Public Television Network Sylvan Runkel’s name became synonymous with conservation in Iowa. He was recognized for his particular efforts in the Loess Hills by becoming the namesake for a state preserve in Monona County, Iowa in 1996.
The collection consists of biographical Information, writings, nature walks, conferences/workshops, groups, subject files, notes, and images. The papers document his enthusiasm and commitment to conservation.
- Searl, Richard (MS-167)
Richard Searl spent thirteen years as a practicing veterinarian in southwest Iowa and later became a veterinary consultant for Fort Dodge Laboratories. He served on the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association's Hog Cholera Eradication Committee as well as the Iowa Hog Cholera Eradication Committee. In the course of the fight against the hog cholera virus, controversy developed over the use of modified live virus vaccines and killed vaccines. Many attributed hog cholera outbreaks to the use of these vaccines and a ban on their use was put into effect in 1969.
The materials in this collection resulted from Searl's involvement with the fight against hog cholera (especially the controversy over vaccines) and include Congressional testimony, correspondence, memoranda, publications, and reports. Correspondents include W. J. Mendenhall, Keith Myers, and D. A. Peterson.
- Spedding, Frank (RS 17/1/11)
Spedding, a chemist at Iowa State, led the effort to develop an efficient process for obtaining high purity uranium during World War II. The Ames Laboratory developed an entirely new technology for the conversion of uranium ore to high-purity uranium metal for the Manhattan Project and then used that technology to produce more than 2 million pounds by the end of the war. After the war, the Ames Laboratory specialized in rare metals and methods of achieving chemical transformation without the production of toxic waste. The Laboratory has also expanded its scope beyond materials research, including research in photosynthesis, hazardous waste analysis, computer programming, quasicrystals, and nontraditional materials.
- Svec, Harry (RS 13/6/53)
Harry John Svec was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated (1941) from John Carroll University in Cleveland. He began graduate work that year at Iowa State College, but his postgraduate studies were interrupted by World War II and work on the Manhattan Project under the direction of Frank Spedding. The work in Ames involved the large-scale production of uranium metal for subsequent isotopic alteration or conversion to plutonium.
- Sweeney, Orland (RS 11/4/14)
Dr. Sweeney was a pioneer in the commercial utilization of agricultural waste products. He developed methods for manufacturing paper and wallboards out of cornstalks and corncobs, researched the production of the industrial chemical furfural from oat hulls, and developed processing methods for soybeans. Dr. Sweeney’s research in synthetic lumber from cornstalks directly resulted in the development of the Maizewood Products Corporation manufacturing plant at Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. Sweeney also researched the zeolite process for softening water, the production of Dakin’s solution (a medical antiseptic), the manufacture of chemical poison gases, and numerous other topics of interest. His research and inventions resulted in over 300 patents which he held or co-held.
The collection (1916-2002, n.d.) contains biographical information, correspondence, research papers, and patents relating to the work of Dr. Orland Russell Sweeney. The collection includes personal and administrative correspondence, but the majority of the letters are in regards to his research projects and patents. The collection also contains an assortment of technical papers authored by Dr. Sweeney including a copy of his dissertation. The material relating to Dr. Sweeney’s patents include applications, correspondence with the patent attorney, and copies of the patents.
- Switzer, William (RS 14/3/51)
Dr. William P. Switzer came to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory as an assistant diagnostician and instructor. He received his master’s degree (1951) in veterinary pathology from Iowa State as well as his PhD (1954) after joining the Veterinary Medicine Research Institute as an assistant professor.
His main research effort focused on atrophic rhinitis of swine which led to the development of a Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterin. The ISU Research Foundation obtained a patent on the product and it was licensed to Burns-Biotech. It has since become the second-highest income-generating patent ever at Iowa State University; by 1990 gross sales had topped $32 million. He also obtained a second patent on a modified live Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine to prevent kennel cough in dogs in 1979. Switzer also served as a consultant to Merck and Company Pharmaceuticals while it was developing Ivermectin, the single largest income-generating veterinary product in the world.
This collection contains reprints of Dr. Switzer’s publications, newsletters sent out by the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine, blueprints of Animal Research facilities, slides and other teaching materials, x-rays and other documents related to his research into Bordetella Bronchiseptica (including patent applications for the vaccine), correspondence, and biographical information.
- Wallace, Henry A. (RS 21/7/5)
Henry Agard Wallace was born on October 7, 1888 in Orient, Iowa, son of Henry Cantwell and May (Brodhead) Wallace. His father and grandfather ("Uncle Henry") owned and edited Wallace's Farmer, a prestigious Iowa farming journal. His father was also on the staff of Iowa State College for a few years as well as serving as secretary of agriculture under Warren G. Harding. While his father taught in Ames, Henry A. became friendly with George Washington Carver, to whom he attributed his love of plants. Wallace attended Iowa State College, graduating in 1910, when he joined the family journal as an associate editor. During the next twenty-three years he made his reputation as editor of one of the leading farm journals, through developing strains of hybrid corn, and as founder of what is now Pioneer Hi-bred International, Inc., seed company. In 1933, Wallace was appointed Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt and served for two terms, throughout the Great Depression. In 1948, Wallace ran for president as head of the Progressive Party. He lost to Harry Truman.
This collection contains publications, reminiscences of him, correspondence, photographs; and an oral history. Microfilm of his major collection of papers (located at the Univ. of Iowa) is also available.
- Wilhelm, Harley (RS 17/1/53)
Harley Wilhelm, co-founder of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and a scientist with the Manhattan Project. In 1931, Wilhelm earned a doctorate degree and taught metallurgy at ISU, until Frank Spedding, head of the chemistry department that led the development of the bomb, recruited Wilhelm to assist in the Manhattan Project. This collection contains biographical information and secondary information related to the Manhattan Project. In addition, an oral history interview conducted with Wilhelm in the 1970s is included.