Skip to main content

Arnold B. Skromme papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/210

Scope and Content

This collection (1870-2008, undated) contains biographical information, papers and speeches by Skromme, correspondence and meeting materials related to Skromme’s committee work for the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), and research files on various farm machinery and inventors used for his work on the ASAE Historic Commemoration Committee and his books. The collection also contains copies of several patents assigned to Skromme.

Skromme’s papers, presentations, and speeches are primarily concerned with agricultural engineering topics, including articles on hitch safety chains, rollover protection for farm tractors, the history of balers, and a history of the ASAE. Aside from technical concerns, Skromme was also very interested in the education of current and future engineering students. Several presentations and papers as well as his two books investigate ways to better identify and educate future generations of students and engineers.

As a member of the ASAE Historic Commemoration Committee, Skromme provided research assistance and supported recognition for various achievements throughout the history of agriculture in the United States. Files of research and work related to this committee are included in this collection and consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, research files, photographs, and materials related to the dedication of historic milestone markers. A significant amount of material related to the history of the baler (or forage harvester) is included in these research files.


  • Creation: 1805-2008, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Arnold Burton Skromme was born to Austin and Belle (Holmedal) Skromme on April 1, 1917, in Zearing, Iowa. He graduated from Kelley (Iowa) Consolidated High School and received his B.S. (1941) in agricultural engineering from Iowa State College (University).

During World War II, Skromme was employed as a Development Engineer (1941-1945) for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. of Akron, Ohio. He was hired by Auto Specialties Manufacturing Co. of St. Joseph, Michigan, as a Sales Engineer (1945-1947) and then worked as a Research Agricultural Engineer (1947-1950) at the Pineapple Research Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii. Skromme then joined Deere & Company, working as Assistant Chief Engineer (1950-1955) at the John Deere Ottumwa Works in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was promoted to Chief Engineer (1955-1970) of the John Deere Spreader Works in East Moline, Illinois. He was Chief Product Engineer (1970-1984) for John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois, where he supervised the designing and testing of a variety of farm equipment.

Skromme was a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (now the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers), serving as Vice-President (1965-1968) and on numerous committees including the Historic Commemoration Committee and the Standards Committee. He was also a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Society of American Value Engineers, and the Moline Rotary Club. During his career, he obtained over a dozen patents and authored two books, The 7-Ability Plan (Archives call no. LB1590.5 S57 1989) and The Cause and Cure of Dropouts: Seven Bell Curves for Each Student (Archives call no. LC146.6 S57x 1998).

Arnold Skromme married Lois Lucille Martin on September 14, 1940. Together they had four children: Roger, Keith, Debbie, and Erik. Arnold Skromme died on August 8, 2008.


5.30 Linear Feet (3 records center cartons and 1 oversize box)


The collection is organized Alphabetically with biographical information filed at the front.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/210. Arnold B. Skromme papers, 1805-2008, undated
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