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Wise Burroughs papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/11/54

Scope and Content

This collection (1911-1994, undated) contains the papers of Dr. Wise Burroughs. The papers consist of biographical information, research materials, patent applications, publications and presentations. The collection also includes correspondence, court documents, and information about Dawe’s Laboratories Inc., Eli Lilly and Merck pertaining to Dr. Burroughs’ research on DES (Diethylstilbestrol).


  • 1911-1994, undated

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Wise E. Burroughs was born December 19, 1911 in Tipton, Iowa. He received a B.S. (1934) in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. (1939) in Chemistry and Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Burroughs served as an Assistant in Animal Husbandry (1935 -1939) at the University of Illinois and taught Animal Science at Ohio State University (1939 -1951). He came to Iowa State College (University) as an Associate Professor (1951-1953) and was promoted to Professor of Animal Science (1953 -1982). He was also the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor (1971) and Emeritus Distinguished Professor (1982).

Dr. Burroughs’s main areas of research included developments and applications of technology in the modern production of cattle. His research focused on the use of grain by-products as feed and the anabolic effects of estrogens in beef cattle. He developed an artificial multi-tube rumen called Diethylstilbestrol which allowed greater efficiency of converting food-stuffs into high quality proteins. His research focused on ruminant nutrition and he received four U.S. patents for his discoveries in feeding rations for sheep and cattle.

Dr. Burroughs received numerous awards for his work, which included American Feed Manufactures’ Award (1954); John Scott Medal Award (1958); Ford Foundation Agricultural Efficiency Award (1960); and the Morrison Award for Research in Animal Production (1966). He also received the Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science (1976); the Distinguished Service Award from the First National Bank of Robinson, Ill., (1978); the Inventor of the Year Award and was inducted into the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame, (1978).

The University of Illinois awarded Dr. Burroughs with the Alumni Award of Merit (1969) and the Hoff and Horn Award for Most Outstanding Alumni (1974). He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Blackburn College (1981).

Dr. Burroughs was honored at the dedication of the Iowa State University Cattle Feeders Day (1981) and recognized as a Special Friend of the Beef Industry (1982) by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Dr. Burroughs was a member of several professional organizations including the American Dairy Science Association, the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Society of Animal Science, the Iowa Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. He was also a charter member of the Iowa Beef Industry Council where he served as secretary. He also was a member of various honor societies such as, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Zeta and Sigma Xi.

Dr. Wise Burroughs passed away on December 16, 1987.


3.78 Linear Feet (9 document boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into five series:

Series 1, Biographical Information, 1911-1994, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2, Publications and Presentations, 1952-1971, undated (alphabetical)

Series 3, Research, 1954-1982, undated (chronological)

Series 4, Trial Transcripts Concerning Diethylstilbestrol, 1956-1960 (chronological)

Series 5, Research on Diethylstilbestrol by Others, 1938-1993, undated (alphabetical)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/11/54. Wise Burroughs papers, 1911-1994, undated
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