Harold Palmer Mobile Unit Collection, 1948-1952

Collection Overview

Title: Harold Palmer Mobile Unit Collection, 1948-1952

Record Series: 14/15/02/02

Record Group:

14/15/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Palmer, Harold

Date: 1948-1952

Extent: 1 box (0.42 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

The material was collected by Harold Palmer and donated to the department of Industrial Art by his son, Douglas Palmer.

Scope and Content

The Harold Palmer Mobile Unit Collection consists of materials documenting the development and use of the Iowa State Teachers College Mobile Industrial Arts Unit. The unit, originally a 44-foot bread truck and trailer, was designed to help instructors teach industrial arts to rural students whose schools could not afford their own equipment. Among the machines included in the unit were lathes, drill presses, a milling machine, and a metal shaper. Fifth through eighth grade students learned about the machines and their uses through hands-on experience. Dr. Harold Palmer, Head of the Industrial Arts Department from 1948-1954, outlined three purposes for the unit: 1) to upgrade art and industrial arts by pupil participation; 2) to provide teacher and adult education in this field; and 3) to show the school services possible under school district reorganization.

The idea for the Mobile Industrial Arts Unit was conceived by Dr. Harold G. Palmer (1897-1958). He joined the Iowa State Teachers College faculty in 1924, was named Acting Head of the Department of Arts in 1944, and became Head in 1948. He resigned from this position in 1954 because of ill health, but remained a professor until his death in 1958.

The three folders in this collection, covering the period 1948-1952, contain 38 photographs, several newspaper and magazine articles, a handbook, and a program booklet. The majority of the photographs are of the unit and of students using the machines in the unit. The articles describe the mobile unit and the ways individual townships used it for instruction. 


Box 1

  • The Mobile Industrial Arts Unit

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Library Assistant Susan A. Witthoft, August 1995. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear feet updated on September 15, 2017.