Lecture offers pictorial look at ISU, Ames in the 1890s


A "dinky" scale model of the Dinkey, the steam engine that trekked ISU students and staff between campus and Ames from 1891 to 1907, is on display at Parks Library (first floor, east side) through May. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Ames native and ISU alum Douglas Biggs loves history. That's fitting, since he is associate dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences and an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska, Kearney.

Though he teaches in Nebraska, Biggs maintains a strong affinity for his hometown and alma mater. And he returns often since his wife, adjunct associate professor of English Gloria Betcher, calls Ames home.

Biggs will share his penchant for Ames and Iowa State history during a lecture on March 11 (8 p.m., Memorial Union, Sun Room) called "Iowa State in the 1890s: A Visual History."


The Dinkey provided students and faculty transportation between campus and Ames from 1891 to 1907. Special Collections Department/Iowa State University Library.

His talk will feature a slide show of photographs depicting life in Ames and at Iowa State in the late 19th century. A highlight of the talk will be a discussion of the Dinkey, a steam engine that ran between campus and downtown Ames between 1891 and 1907.  

A scale model of the Dinkey, including tracks, is on display through May on the east side (first floor) of Parks Library. The model and accompanying information panels are on loan from the Ames Historical Society.