Archive for November, 2011

-Contributed by Lizette Royer Barton

In the spring of 1938, Harry and Leta Stetter Hollingworth were set to receive honorary degrees from their alma mater – The University of Nebraska. The Hollingworths packed a motion picture camera and embarked on a road trip from Montrose, New York to Lincoln, Nebraska – the place they had first met 35 years earlier.

They visited the school house where Harry first worked as a school teacher and they spent time with his maternal aunts Ella and Mattie. They visited the cemetery where his mother was buried and they bought plots for themselves. They received their ‘Doctor of Law’ degrees side by side during the University of Nebraska commencement ceremonies and later traveled to Leta’s hometown and attended a picnic with her relatives.

As Harry recalled the event and their return to New York in his memoirs he wrote, “a new turn had come in our lives and…we might well be following through another era in our joint development.” However that was not to be the case. Tragically, Leta Stetter Hollingworth died the following year.

The eight minute film presented here documents the final trip of Harry and Leta Stetter Hollingworth. The film is silent. The commentary I am reading comes from volume 2 of Harry Hollingworth’s memoir, “Years at Columbia.”

The Center for the History of Psychology is currently collaborating with The University of Akron press on the publication of Harry Hollingworth’s two volume memoir. Please look for Roots in the Great Plains: The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth (Vol. I) and From Coca-Cola to Chewing Gum: The Applied Psychology of Harry Hollingworth (Vol. II) after the first of the year.

Read Full Post »

-Contributed by Jason Gosnell

My name is Jason Gosnell and I am a student at Kent State University specializing in archives in the MLIS program. I am currently processing the Marian Breland Bailey and Bob Bailey papers, a collection dubbed the “I.Q. Zoo.” The collection, donated by Marian’s husband Robert Bailey,  contains approximately 60 linear feet of material, much of which documents the history of Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE).

ABE, a company specializing in applying psychological principles to the training of animals,  was formed by Keller and Marian Breland Bailey in 1947.  Keller and Marian, both students of B. F. Skinner, applied their skills to a variety of different pursuits, including training animals for advertising purposes, for the Defense Department, as well as for various animal acts. The types of animals they trained were also quite diverse, including porpoises, birds, rabbits, dogs, raccoons, pigs, and many others.

Within the I.Q. Zoo collection are a variety of materials relevant to the Brelands’ company and to their research into training animals with psychological principles. For their company, Animal Behavior Enterprises, Inc., they developed many different gadgets that could be used for a variety of animal performances or acts. The advertisement below illustrates some of the different “Performing Animal Displays” that they invented and patented.

ABE Flyer

A brochure for the I.Q. Zoo shows some of the diverse tasks that the Brelands trained animals to do, including training porpoises for a theme park and a cat for a television commercial.

ABE Brochure

Contained within the collection are a variety of materials, including photographs, negatives, original research by the Brelands, as well as a variety of other materials that document their research and their company, Animal Behavior Enterprises, Inc. Below are examples from the collection, including a photograph that illustrates one of the rabbit’s acts and a flyer for Larro Feeds, which featured “Popgun Pete,” the cannon-shooting chicken.

RabbitMost of the material dates from the 1950s through the 1980s, when Animal Enterprises was in its prime.  There are preservation issues that are inherent in this collection and others that date from this time period, such as acidic paper which deteriorates over time as well as mold and water damage. Processing and preserving this unique collection, however, will help to make sure it is available for years to come.

Thanks to all of Jason’s hard work, we’re happy to say that processing of the Marian Breland Bailey and Robert Bailey papers will soon be completed and this fabulous new resource will be available onsite for research!

Read Full Post »