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James O. Perrine. Papers, 1907-1972


Title: James O. Perrine. Papers, 1907-1972.

Archives Record Series: 15/07/10

Creator: James Owen Perrine

Date: 1907-1972

Extent: 1.51 linear feet, 3 boxes, 19 folders

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Northern Iowa

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Access and Use: No restrictions. Materials are open for research. Some material is fragile.

Technical access: “The Voder” is recorded on magnetic audiotape and requires special playback equipment for access and use.

Scope and Content: Papers, bound books and journals, photos, magnetic audiotape, ca. 1907-1972. The J. O. Perrine papers primarily cover Dr. Perrine’s work in the physics aspect of electrical communication. However, he also wrote a booklet about money and compound interest from a mathematician's point of view. It is uncertain who his intended audience was with this booklet.

Preferred citation:  [Identification of item], in the James O. Perrine Papers, 1907-1972, Archives Record Series 15/07/10, [folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Historical Note:

J. O. Perrine

     J.O. Perrine

James Owen Perrine (1886-1974), who went by J. O. or J. Owen, was born to Peter and Elizabeth Rockefeller Perrine. He was a physics professor at Iowa State Teachers College. He also twice served as the school’s football coach, in 1910 and again in 1917.

He married Blanche Albright in Burlington, Iowa in 1910. She died in 1960. They had one son, James Perrine, Jr., who died in 1984.

A veteran, he was a captain in the U.S. Army and during World War I headed the officers candidate school for the Army Signal Corps at Yale University.

He earned a doctorate's degree in physics from Cornell University and as an executive at AT&T advised the U.S. Navy on submarine detection during World War II. In 1963 he wrote The Slide Rule Handbook. A noted physicist, he lectured at 173 colleges in the United States and Canada.

It is unknown when or by whom these papers were donated to Special Collections and University Archives, although the last dated item in the collection is 1972. The original order of the papers has been retained.



Folder A:

  • Correspondence
  • Booklets
  • Brochures,
  • Photographs
  • News clippings
  • Folder

Folder B: Book by Dr. Perrine, How Money Grows at Compound Interest, Upper Iowa University, 1970

Folder C: “Basic Mathematics in Electrical Communication” (manuscript treatise), 1956

Folder D: Correspondence, memorandum, miscellaneous

Folder E: Memoranda

Folder F: Paper: “Graphical Portrayal of Square Root of the Mean Square of Effective Value of Alternating Electrical Current.”

Folder G: Handwritten math notes

Folder H:

  • Correspondence
  • Publications
  • Addresses
  • News clippings,
  • Magnetic audiotape: “The Voder”


Folder A: Miscellaneous correspondence

Folder B: Publications

Folder C: List of Dr. Perrine’s publications

Folder D: Notes


Folder A:

  • Publications
  • Notes
  • Correspondence

Folder B: Paper, “Determination and Graphical Portrayal of Equivalent Amounts of Energy in Direct and Alternating Electrical Currents”

Folder C: Publications

Folder D: Class notes when Dr. Perrine was a student, 1907

Folder E: Notes and research for compound interest papers

Folder F:

  • Publications
  • Obituary of Dr. Perrine

Folder G: Book, Basic Physics and Mathematics in Electrical Communications, 2 volumes, pre-publication copy, 1958

Collection processed by Library Associate Dave Hoing, September 2017


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675 
Telephone: (319)-273-7295
Fax: (319)-273-2913 


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