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Lionel K. Arnold papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 11/4/51

Scope and Content

This collection (1926-1980, undated) consists of biographical information and professional writings of Lionel K. Arnold. The bulk of the collection is dedicated to research papers authored or co-authored by Arnold. The research papers include information on extraction of vegetable and soybean oils, industrial uses for cornstalks and other agricultural byproducts, and chemical hazards faced by firefighters. The collection also contains lists of his publications and patents and some humorous writings regarding ongoing activities of the University and staff. Also included in the collection is a copy of History of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University.


  • 1926-1980, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Lionel Kenneth Arnold was born to Arthur A. and Caroline Jakeway Arnold on December 30, 1895, in Bristow, Iowa. He graduated from Hampton High School and received his A.B. (1920) from Ellsworth (Community) College. Arnold received his B.S. (1921) in chemical engineering and his M.S. (1926) and Ph.D. (1930) in chemistry from Iowa State College (University).

Arnold joined the staff of Iowa State University in 1926 as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He was promoted to Assistant Chemical Engineer (1926-1933) and Associate Chemical Engineer (1933-1939) in the Engineering Experiment Station and to Research Associate Professor (1939-1948) and Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He officially retired in 1966, but continued to work on campus until 1973.

As a researcher, Arnold was noted for his work in plastics technology, solvent extraction of soybean oil, and the utilization of agricultural byproducts such as cornstalks and corncobs. He worked with O. R. Sweeney to develop a cornstalk insulating board and on a new process for soybean oil extraction. Arnold secured six patents, contributed to over 150 research papers, and authored two books: Introduction to Plastics (call no. TP1120 Ar64i) and History of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University (call no. LD2543 A75x). He was also widely recognized as a consultant and expert witness in fire, explosion, and poisoning cases.

Arnold married Lora Killius of Iowa Falls, Iowa, in 1923. Together they had two children: Lionel Charles and Charlotte Jean. Lionel K. Arnold died on July 5, 1986.


0.84 Linear Feet (2 document boxes, 1 half-document box, and 1 map case folder)


The collection is listed alphabetically.

Items in related collections

RS 11/4. Iowa State University. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering records, 1900-2013

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 11/4/51. Lionel K. Arnold papers, 1926-1980, 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