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Mary Jean Logan Sweet Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/197

Scope and Content

This collection (1938-2006) includes a textbook used by Mary Jean Logan Sweet while in the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Program, a copy of her certificate of completion, photocopies of meeting minutes and one pay stub from the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, a copy of the tenth anniversary newsletter, “Cadette Digest,” an address list, and biographical information. Two artifacts used for instruction in the program are housed in the University Artifact Collection: a model airplane and a model of a wooden airfoil rib. The collection also includes an oral history interview with Sweet recorded in October, 2006. In addition, a video recording of this interview (call no. DVD 001 748) has been cataloged and is available in Special Collections.


  • 1938-2006

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Mary Jean Logan Sweet, from Ruthven, Iowa, and a student at Morningside College, was chosen along with nearly 100 other college women to participate in the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Program at Iowa State College (University) in 1943. Sponsored by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, this was a nationwide program designed to ease wartime labor shortages, and also included more than 700 female students at Cornell University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State College (University), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Texas.

The program at Iowa State was an intensive course in aeronautical engineering. The students received a certificate upon completion of the ten-month course (February to December 1943), and were then hired by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the duration of the Second World War. As they completed the course, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation paid for the students’ room and board, and provided a salary of ten dollars per week.

More than 90 percent of the participants graduated, and 75 percent joined the workforce. Sweet worked in the Materials and Processes Department in St. Louis for nine months before she left to teach school under emergency wartime certificate in her hometown. She married Homer C. Sweet, an electrical engineer, and together they raised five children. Mary Jean eventually went back to school and received her B.A. and M.A. (1974) in English from the University of Northern Iowa. She published a number of books related to the history of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and won several state and national poetry awards. She resided in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for many years until her passing on August 3, 2014.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Related collection materials

Additional materials concerning the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Program may be found in Curtiss-Wright Cadettes Program Records, RS 13/16/4, and in the Jean Nickerson Patterson Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Records, RS 21/7/148.

Two books of poetry by Sweet are cataloged in Special Collections:

•Journey into Elder Space, 1999

•The Inner Coast of an Ancient Sea, 2000

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/197. Mary Jean Logan Sweet Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes records
In Progress
January 15, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672