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Descartes Pascal papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0091

Scope and Content

The collection (1890-1937, undated) includes a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and memorabilia related to Pascal's achievements in corn breeding, and corn breeding in Iowa generally. Also included are 180 glass plate negatives and two tintypes made by Pascal, documenting rural Iowa from the 1890s through the 1910s. Included are family portraits (interior and exterior), family groups, school children, men and women with guns, acrobats, tight rope walkers, several people reenacting a duel, windmills, haystacks, barns, livestock, farmhouses, fields, small town streets, and construction of a school. Use copies are available in box 19. The 1907 Reid's Yellow Dent ear of corn, along with its display case, is included.


  • 1890-1937, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Original materials are restricted. Use copies (box 19) are available for researcher use.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Descartes Pascal (1870-1937) was a photographer, farmer, and pioneer seed corn breeder. Pascal was born in De Witt, Clinton County, Iowa, where he raised corn, shorthorn cattle, and Berkshire hogs. Pascal became interested in corn breeding after 1900 and developed the Grand Champion ear of pure bred Reid's Yellow Dent corn in 1907. He also wrote and published articles on corn breeding; spoke at colleges, farmers' institutes, and chautauquas; judged corn breeding contests in Iowa; and served as secretary to the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Pascal was also a practicing photographer.


12.04 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 half-document box, 16 glass plate negative boxes, and 1 oversize box)


The collection is arranged in two series:

Series 1, Scrapbook and 1907 ear of corn, 1905-1937, undated

Series 2, Glass plate negatives and tintypes, 1890-1910, undated


Digital reproductions of a selection of materials from the Descartes Pascal papers are available electronically. Please see the Electronic Resources section for a link.

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0091. Descartes Pascal papers, 1890-1937, undated
December 7, 2020
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