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Henry Montgomery Black papers

 Collection
Identifier: RS 11/10/19

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The collection (1889-1989, undated) includes audiovisual materials, awards and certificates, calendars, clippings, correspondence, course materials, drawings, lecture notes, meeting minutes, memorandums, notes, reports, photographs, publications, subject files, and writings. The materials cover Black’s early career through his death in 1989, with the bulk of the materials dated during his professional years at ISU (1946-1972). The collection’s original order has been maintained where possible, reflecting Black’s working methods and organization. An appendix details common engineering abbreviations found in the collection, mostly those of professional organizations.



Series 1, Biographical Information, contains information regarding Black’s personal life, covering his roles as ISU engineering student and instructor, high school and ISU class representative, Harvard University and Harvard Business School graduate student, and service member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Material types include artifacts, awards, certificates, clippings, correspondence, engineering schematic drawings, membership cards, notes, photographs, speeches, and writings.



Series 2, University Records, contains materials generated during the course of Black’s professorship, headship, and related duties at Iowa State University. Topics that are addressed include fundraising for the mechanical engineering department and the Black Engineering building; College of Engineering and departmental procedures; course and lecture materials; consulting jobs undertaken while at the University; and committee memberships. Materials include artifacts, correspondence, course materials, meeting minutes, memorandums, notes, pamphlets, photographs, programs, reports, and writings.



Series 3, Professional and Civic Involvement, reflects Black’s activities in engineering professional organizations as well as local civic organizations. Material types include artifacts, correspondence, certificates, examinations, membership cards, minutes, newsletters, notes, photographs, publications, reports, and scrapbooks. Three folders in this series are closed until 2038 due to privacy concerns.

Dates

  • 1889-1989, undated

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research excluding exceptions noted. Three folders that contain legal documents are closed until 2038 to ensure that all parties are deceased.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

Henry Montgomery Black was born on May 13, 1907, to Alexander and Sarah (Montgomery) Black of Reinbeck, Iowa. He received a B.S. (1929) from Iowa State College (University) and a S.M. (1934) from Harvard University in mechanical engineering.



Black’s professional career at Iowa State began when he was hired as an Instructor (1929-1932) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. After he received his graduate degree from Harvard, Black worked in the private sector as a mechanical engineer (1934-1936) for the Chicago architectural firm of Berlin and Swern. He next worked as an engineer (1936-1941) for the Sargent and Lundy engineering firm in Chicago. After the war, Black returned to Iowa State University to serve as Professor and Head (1946-1972) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He continued teaching until 1977, when he retired with the title of Professor Emeritus. Black remained active in development efforts for the Alumni Association until his death in 1989.

Black joined the United States Army Reserve in 1929. During World War II, he served in the Army (1941-1946), including landing at Utah Beach as chief engineer during the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He served in the military campaigns in Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes, and central Europe. Black received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Croix de Guerre. After returning from the war, Black returned to the Army Reserve and retired with the rank of Colonel in 1960.



Black was an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the Iowa Engineering Society (IES). He was instrumental in establishing the Central Iowa Section of ASME in 1946. Black worked to improve the relationship between ASME and educational institutions, as reflected in his work on education-related committees. At the state level, Black served as Vice-President (1950) and President (1952) of IES and received their John Dunlap Award (1949) and their Distinguished Service Award (1972).



In addition to his professional memberships, Black was very active in civic organizations in Ames. Among other commitments, he was a member and president (1959-1960) of the Ames Rotary Club; a member of the Boy Scouts of America troop and Properties and Facilities Committee member; a member and president (1978) of the Ames Chamber of Commerce; and an advisor to chapters of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.



Iowa State University also bestowed several honors on Black. He received the Faculty Citation (1968) and in 1987, the then newly completed mechanical engineering facility was named the Henry M. Black Engineering Building.



Henry Black married Bernice Bernard of Clarion, Iowa, on October 6, 1936, and together they had two children, Bruce and Bernice. Black’s wife, Bernice, died on May 25, 1961. He married Alice Redington of Waterloo in 1969, who predeceased him in 1982. Henry Black died on October 18, 1989, and was buried in the ISU Cemetery.

Extent

18.4 Linear Feet (13 record center cartons, 1 oversize box, 1 map drawer folder)

Abstract

Henry Montgomery Black was born on May 13, 1907, to Alexander and Sarah (Montgomery) Black of Reinbeck, Iowa. He received a B.S. (1929) from Iowa State College (University) and a S.M. (1934) from Harvard University in mechanical engineering. From 1946 until 1972, he served as a professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State and, until 1977, taught courses on campus. During World War II, Black served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers (1941-1946), including landing at Utah Beach as chief engineer during the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. After the war, he served in the Army Reserve until 1960. The collection includes audiovisual materials, awards and certificates, calendars, clippings, correspondence, course materials, drawings, lecture notes, meeting minutes, memorandums, notes, reports, photographs, publications, subject files, and writings. The materials cover Black’s early career through his death in 1989, with the bulk of the materials dated during his tenure at ISU, 1946-1972.

Arrangement

The collection is comprised of three series, reflecting their original arrangement:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1929-1989, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2: University Records, 1909-1989, undated (alphabetical)

Series 3: Professional and Civic Involvement, 1889-1989, undated (alphabetical)

Physical Location

This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the Special Collections and University Archives at least 3 working days in advance.

Items in related collections

RS 11/10. Iowa State University. Department of Mechanical Engineering records, 1891-2014

Related collection materials

Related collections in the University Archives, Iowa State University Library include:

•Henry Montgomery and Bernice Bernard Black Family Papers, RS 21/8/12

•Arthur C. Bergles Papers, RS 11/10/21

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Engineering acronyms found in the collection

Acronym ANSCOL. Army-Navy Staff College

Acronym ASEE. American Society for Engineering Education.

Acronym ASME. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Acronym ASME MEDHC. ASME’s Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Committee, which was subdivided into regions.

Acronym CASE. Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Administers an annual Volunteer of the Year award.

Acronym ECPD. Engineers' Council for Professional Development. Today called ABET, Inc. An engineering professional organization and the accrediting body for engineering and engineering technology education programs.

Acronym EIT. Engineer-in-training. Frequently a step in the process of professional engineer registration that is gauged with an examination.

Acronym EJC. Engineers Joint Council. National organization that coordinated engineering organizations around the U.S.

Acronym ERI. Engineering Research Institute. The ERI in these papers refers to ISU’s.

Acronym IES. Iowa Engineering Society.

Acronym ISBEE. Iowa State Board of Engineering Examiners.

Acronym ME. Mechanical engineering.

Acronym MEDHC. see ASME MEDHC.

Acronym NCEE. National Council of Engineering Examiners. Before 1967, known as National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners (NCSBEE). As of 1989, known as National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Acronym NCEES. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Acronym NSF. National Science Foundation.

Acronym NSPE. National Society of Professional Engineers.

Acronym PE. Professional engineer, a legally defined classification. The process to become a licensed PE is governed by individual states in the U.S.

Acronym SAME. Society of American Military Engineers.

Acronym SNAME. Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Title
RS 11/10/19. Henry Montgomery Black papers, 1889-1989, undated
Date
July 1, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672