Eugene Francis Grossman Papers, 1896-1965
Title: Eugene Francis Grossman Papers, 1896-1965
Record Series: MsC-38
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.
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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.
SERIES: Personal / Biographical materials
Folder 1: Eugene Francis Grossman: A Biographical Sketch, July 1979
SUBSERIES - PHOTOGRAPHS
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
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
SERIES: NAVAL SERVICE
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
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
Folder 1-6 : Technical papers
Folder 7: Personal photographs
Folder 8: NBC network
Folder 9: Notebooks
Folder 1: Notebooks
SERIES: 20th CENTURY FOX
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
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
SERIES: MOVIE SCRIPTS
Folder 10: Thanks a Million, August 1935
Folder 11: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, September 1948
Folder 12: Pinky, February 1949
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
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
Folder 1: Compulsion, April 1959
SERIES: TV SCRIPTS
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
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
SERIES – ARTIFACTS
Folder 10: Professional association membership cards
Folder 11: Racing programs, 1951
Folder 12: Business cards
Folder 1: Business cards and ephemera
Folder 2: “Operating Instructions & Schematics” [Technical papers? For Fox]
Folder 3: Celebrity photos
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
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.