Eugene Francis Grossman Papers, 1896-1965

Collection Overview

Title: Eugene Francis Grossman Papers, 1896-1965

Record Series: MsC-38

Record Group:


Creator: Grossman, Eugene Francis

Date: 1896-1979; 2007

Extent: 13 boxes (6.50 linear feet); 1 oversize folder (3.58 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.

Physical Access: Some materials are located in Manuscripts Oversize flat file storage.

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.

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Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

Eugene Francis Grossman was born in Delmar, Iowa, on January 18, 1896. He was the son of William and Margaret (Eckel) Grossman. Mr. Grossman had three brothers, Francis, John, and George; and three sisters, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Lona.  Mr. Grossman's fascination with radio led him to earn a certificate in electrical training from the Coyne National Trade Schools of Chicago in 1914.  After receiving this diploma, Mr. Grossman enrolled at the Iowa State Teachers College (ISTC) in 1916.  While at the college, he broadcast from his apartment radio station with homemade equipment and also invented the "transmitter attenuator" (mixing panel).  J. Owen Perrine, a professor of physics at ISTC, heard of Grossman's work and allowed him to establish a new radio station in the Physics Building.  The first wireless message sent from ISTC was transmitted by Grossman, who sent the message from the office of President Homer H. Seerley to Raymond A. Pearson, the president of the University of Iowa.

On May 24, 1917, Grossman left ISTC to become an officer in the United States Navy.  His enlistment in the Navy as a radio specialist ended on September 9, 1918.  On July 25, 1922, he joined the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), where he remained until November 21, 1928.  While at NBC, he was a sound engineer for events such as the first radio broadcast of the 1926 Rose Bowl and the Chicago Opera House's performance of Faust. After leaving NBC, Grossman joined the Fox Film Corporation and remained there until his retirement.  As a sound engineer, he worked on motion pictures such as "Rawhide," "The Fly," and "White Witch Doctor."  His television work included such series as "The Rifleman" and "Peyton Place."  His work in motion picture sound took him to places such as Hong Kong, Argentina, and Australia.  In 1977, he returned to his alma mater and established a $20,000 scholarship for students working toward a career in radio, television, or motion pictures. Mr. Grossman died in February, 1982, at the age of 86.


  • Series 1: Personal / Biographical materials
  • Series 2: Naval service
  • Series 3: NBC
  • Series 4: 20th Century Fox
  • Series 5: Movie Scripts
  • Series 6: Television Scripts
  • Series 7: Objects


Scope and Content

The Eugene F. Grossman papers consist of materials related to Grossman’s personal and professional life and date from 1896 to 2007. The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1 contains personal and biographical materials, including photographs from Grossman’s youth, family and friends, and his time as a student at the Iowa State Teachers College. It also consists of correspondence, clippings, and more. The second series focuses on Grossman’s United States Navy career. Materials represented include enlistment, movement, and discharge papers; yearbooks; general U.S. Navy materials and information; and photographs.

The following three series focus on Grossman’s career in radio, television, and film. Series 3 is comprised of materials from his time working in radio at NBC and New York station WEAF. Examples are NBC records; photographs from a variety of events and with celebrities (such as the Coolidge presidential inauguration, 1926 Rose Bowl, and a photograph with Babe Ruth); and scrapbooks and technical papers.

Series 4 consists of files from Grossman’s 20th Century Fox career, including photographs of friends, celebrities (such as Richard Nixon and Shirley Temple); correspondence; technical papers; notebooks; opening night invitations; and a valentine from Shirley Temple. Some of the photographs are signed.

Series 5 and 6 contain movie and television scripts, respectively, and represent Grossman’s work in those areas’ sound departments. The collection inventory goes into greater detail.

The final series consists of objects / memorabilia that belonged to Grossman. There are a mix of professional and personal items. Please see the collection inventory for a complete list.

There are also some materials that are not explicitly related to any of the series groupings. They include additional celebrity photographs; general photographs; and correspondence.

Please note that oversize materials are stored separately from the main collection. Please ask SC&UA staff for access.

The collection's control file contains a biographical thesis about Grossman and other additional resources. Please ask SC&UA staff for access.


Box 1

SERIES: Personal / Biographical materials

Folder 1: Eugene Francis Grossman: A Biographical Sketch, July 1979


Folder 2: Youth, 1896-1925

Folder 3: Grossman photos, 1925-1940

Folder 4: Grossman photos, 1941-[1955?]; Undated

Folder 5: Grossman family portraits

Folder 6: Panoramas shots, [c. 1907-1955?]; Undated

Folder 7: Panoramic shots, [c. 1950-1955?]; Undated

Folder 8: Iowa State Teachers College

Folder 9: Miscellaneous


Box 2

Folder 1: Miscellaneous

Folder 2-5 : Family and Friends


Series 1 continued

Folder 6: ISTC articles and correspondence

Folder 7: Personal correspondence, 1920-1942

Folder 8: Newspaper clippings

Folder 9: Baptismal / First Communion certificates and Coyne Trade School diploma



Box 3

Folder 1: Annapolis yearbook, The Wake, 1918

Folder 2: U.S. Navy rules and regulations

Folder 3: Grossman’s Annapolis notes and exams

Folder 4: Naval career records

Folder 5: Naval keepsakes

Folder 6: Photographs



Folder 7: NBC insurance policy, 1927

Folder 8: Newspaper articles

Folder 9: Correspondence


Box 4

Folder 1-2: Schedule books / notebooks, 1924

Folder 3: Photographs

Folder 4: Telephone directories and trade magazine, article 

Folder 5: Organizational charts and US radio frequency charts, 1926-1928

Folder 6: NBC yearbook, 1937

Folder 7: NBC scrapbook, 1927


Box 5:

Folder 1-6 : Technical papers

Folder 7: Personal photographs

Folder 8: NBC network

Folder 9: Notebooks


Box 6

Folder 1: Notebooks



Folder 2: Trade magazines

Folder 3: Call sheets, supplements to scripts, and sound effect department inventory list (1929), 1951-1965

Folder 4: Technical manuals and articles

Folder 5: Celebrity photographs

Folder 6: Grossman and friends - photographs


Box 7

Folder 1: Correspondence

Folder 2: Technical papers

Folder 3: Notebook for ideas for inventions

Folder 4: Publicity for newspaper and trade clippings

Folder 5: Fox Corporation directories, 1949-1963

Folder 6: Agreements between Grossman and Fox, 1928 and 1936

Folder 7: Opening night invitations

Folder 8: Grossman’s trips to Hong Kong and Buenos Aires

Folder 9: Shirley Temple valentine



Folder 10: Thanks a Million, August 1935

Folder 11: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, September 1948

Folder 12: Pinky, February 1949


Box 8

Folder 1: Front and Center, June 1949

Folder 2: Rawhide, January 1950

Folder 3: I’d Climb the Highest Mountain, May 1950

Folder 4: Kangaroo, June 1950

Folder 5: The Marriage Broker, May 1951

Folder 6: White Witch Doctor, October 1952

Folder 7: The Kid from Left Field, February 1953


Box 9

Folder 1: The Left Hand of God, February 1955

Folder 2: The Bottom of the Bottle, September 1955

Folder 3: In Old Chicago, 1957

Folder 4: A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed, January 1958

Folder 5: The Fly, February 1958

Folder 6: Rope Law, April 1958

Folder 7: Rally Round the Flag Boys, May 1958


Box 10

Folder 1: Compulsion, April 1959



Folder 2: The Rifleman, December 1958-February 1959

Folder 3: The Rifleman, February 1959-May 1959

Folder 4: Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater, February-March 1959

Folder 5: The David Niven Show, March-April 1959

Folder 6: The David Niven Show, April-May 12, 1959

Folder 7: Robert Taylor’s Detectives, April 1959


Box 11

Folder 1: Richard Diamond - Private Detective, March-May 1959

Folder 2: Valentine’s Day, January 1915

Folder 3: Peyton Place, April-May 1965

Folder 4: Men Against Evil, November 1965




Folder 5: Grossman Family information, March 27, 2007

Folder 6: Correspondence concerning Grossman’s involvement in the mining industry

Folder 7: Early photos of Grossman with sound equipment

Folder 8: Celebrities and radio equipment photographs

Folder 9: Articles



Folder 10: Professional association membership cards

Folder 11: Racing programs, 1951

Folder 12: Business cards


Box 12

Folder 1: Business cards and ephemera

Folder 2: “Operating Instructions & Schematics” [Technical papers? For Fox] 

Folder 3: Celebrity photos



Box 13

Item #1: Badge from New York Telephone Company

Item #2: Assistant Sergeant At Arms medal – Democratic National Convention

Item #3: Radio medal from Republican National Convention (Kansas City), 1928

Item #4: Embroidered patch from WJZ / WEAF

Item #5: 10th Anniversary medallion – NBC

Item #6: Lighter from “Proxy” at NBC

Item #7: Ear phones

Item #8: Movietone City – Fox Studio metal item

Item #9: Key from Pat Boone

Item #10: “The Monroes” medallion – “From Michael”, 1967

Item #11: Wallet

Item #12: Alpha counter

Item #13: “Kid from Left Field” mini baseball bat

Item #14: Kai Tung Restaurant – Fine Ivory Chopsticks

Item #15: U.S. Navy spoon

Item #16: Dog tag

Item #17: U.S. Navy lapel or hat pin



Series 1: Personal / Biographical materials

Series 2: Naval service 

Series 3: NBC Technical papers & NBC / WEAF materials

Assorted photographs


Processing Information

Inventory prepared by Student Intern Jeff Harney, September 1993; edited by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, February 1994; updated, January 30, 2015 (GP). Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, October 2017 and Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, October 2022. Linear feet count updated on August 9, 2017 and October 2022.