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Lawrence H. Skromme agricultural machinery literature collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/227

Scope and Content

The collection (1838-1999) contains catalogs, price lists, and other ephemera relating to agricultural implements and machinery. The collection is primarily composed of catalogs and advertisement cards; there are no owners or instruction manuals. The bulk of the collection is from the last half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century and contains published materials from dozens of implement manufacturing companies.


  • Creation: 1838-1999

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Lawrence H. Skromme was born near Roland, Iowa, on August 26, 1913, to parents Austin G. and Ingeborg B. (Holmedal) Skromme. He graduated with a B.S. (1937) in agricultural engineering from Iowa State College (University). Lawrence’s two younger brothers, Arnold and Robert, would follow in his footsteps and study agricultural engineering at Iowa State.

After receiving his degree, Skromme began his long and productive career in the agricultural implement manufacturing industry. Skromme was initally hired by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. as a design and test engineer (1937-1941) working with tires for agricultural implements. From there he went to work for Harry Ferguson Inc. as a project engineer and assistant chief engineer (1941-1951). Skromme was hired to design plows and implements for the new Ford-Ferguson tractors.

In 1951, Sperry-New Holland hired Skromme to be their chief engineer (1951-1961) and vice president of engineering (1961-1978). He was hired to take charge of all engineering design other than balers. He completely reorganized the engineering division, separating reliability testing and design. He created a unique and highly efficient engineering system at New Holland that earned him recognition and praise throughout the industry. In 1978, he retired from New Holland and went into private practice as a consulting agricultural engineer.

Skromme received many awards throughout his career. He was an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), serving the organizations in numerous roles including President (1959-1960). He was named a Fellow (1965) and received the John Deere Medal (1974) from the organization. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Engineering Education, and the International Assocaition of Agricultural Engineers.

Lawrence Skromme married Margaret Elizabeth Gleason in 1939. Together they had three children, Cherlyn Sue, Inga Jean, Karen Ann. As of 2010, Lawrence resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


13.99 Linear Feet (35 document boxes, 1 oversize box)


The collection is organized Alphabetically by implement company name.

Related collection materials

The University Archives and Special Collections Department also houses several related collections. The Arnold B. Skromme Papers, RS 21/7/210, contain the papers of Lawrence’s brother and fellow agricultural engineer. The Massey Ferguson Collection, MS 672, contains a collection of mostly promotional literature related to farm implements and other products produced by the company. Finally, the Agricultural Product Literature Collection, MS 232, contains product literature for agricultural machinery and implements from various companies.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/227. Lawrence H. Skromme agricultural machinery literature collection, 1838-1999
January 22, 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