Irwin Betzel Papers, 1911-1920

Overview of the Collection

Betzel, Irwin.
Irwin Betzel Papers
1911-1920 (inclusive)
1.2 cubic feet, including 385 photographs, (3 boxes including 2 oversize boxes)
Collection Number
MSS Betzel
The Irwin Betzel Papers are comprised of materials assembled and generated by Irwin Betzel during his years as an Oregon Agricultural College student and OAC Instructor of Pharmacy. Included are two scrapbooks, a photograph album, several loose photographs, three pharamcy notebooks, and a small collection of pharmacy ephemera.
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Research Center
Special Collections and Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 5417372075
Fax: 5417378674
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Irwin Leonard Betzel graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1915 with a BS degree in Pharmacy. While an OAC student, Betzel was a member of the Oxford Club, participated in intramural (class) football and drama productions, and served as business manager of the C-P Journal and as assistant manager of the 1915 Orange during 1913/14. In September 1915, he was appointed Instructor in Pharmacy, a position he held until he was excused for war duty in 1918. After World War I, he served as a drug company representative in Portland and later as a pharmacist in Eugene.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Irwin Betzel Papers are comprised of materials assembled and generated by Betzel during his tenure as an Oregon Agricultural College student (1911-1915), OAC Instructor of Pharmacy (1915-1918), and practicing pharmacist (circa 1920). The collection includes two scrapbooks and a photograph album containing photographs, newsclippings, programs, brochures, dance cards, grade reports, certificates, patches, ribbons, and other ephemera documenting Betzel's involvement in the Oxford Club, the OAC Cadets, theater productions, and various Class of 1915 social activities. Included is an extensive collection of photographs featuring Irwin Betzel; members of the Oxford Club; OAC student Florence Knight; and images of other OAC students, faculty, and events.

Also included are three notebooks generated as part of Betzel's work as a pharmacist containing handwritten formulas for an assortment of health treatments and hygiene products. The notebooks also contain recipes for a wide variety of household products including paints, photo-developing chemicals, and beer. The notebooks are accompanied by a small collection of pharmacy-related ephemera including advertisements and instructions for pharmaceuticals, bottle labels, and a certificate of membership for the C. C. Co. Spatula Club of Good Mixers.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Irwin Betzel Papers (MSS Betzel), Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The Irwin Betzel Papers are arranged into two series: Series I: Scrapbooks & Photographs, 1911-1920; Series II: Pharmacy Notebooks & Collected Ephemera, circa 1920.

Acquisition Information

The scrapbooks and photograph album were obtained by the OSU College of Pharmacy and the OSU Alumni Association in January 1998 and transferred to the OSU Archives. The notebooks and accompanying ephemera were donated to OSU by Northwest Christian University in 2013. The collection now resides in OSU's Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Related Materials

Related Materials

Other collections documenting early 20th century student life at Oregon Agricultural College include the A. Isabella Downs Scrapbook (MSS Downs), the Ruth H. Kennedy Scrapbook (MSS Kennedy), the George J. and Florence Badura Collection (MSS Badura), the Spike Sisters Scrapbooks (MSS Spike), and the Frederick V. Betts Scrapbook (MSS Betts). Materials relating to the OAC pharmacy program can be found in the College of Pharmacy Records (RG 105) and the School of Pharmacy Photograph Collection (P 166). Other photographs of the Oxford Club can be found in the Henry C. Gilbert Photograph Collection (P 158) and the J. Llewellyn Spriggs Photograph Album (P 285). SCARC also holds editions of Fusser's Guide (formerly the C-P Journal) (PUB 2-22c) and the Beaver Yearbook (formerly the Orange).

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Scrapbooks & Photographs, 1911-1920Return to Top

Series I consists of two scrapbooks, a photo album, and several loose photographs documenting Irwin Betzel's time as a student and instructor at Oregon Agricultural College. Included are photographs of OAC students, faculty, and events, newsclippings, brochures, pamphlets, grade reports, dance cards, and other ephemera often accompanied by handwritten notations.

Container(s) Description Dates
Scrapbook I
This scrapbook is comprised of photographs, newsclippings, pamphlets, programs, certificates, grade reports, dance cards, and other ephemera representing OAC students, faculty, and events from 1911-1914. Photographs and ephemera document the activities of Betzel, including his participation in the Oxford Club, OAC Cadets, and various Class of 1915 social activities including class picnics, plays, dances, and bonfires. Also included are photographs of OAC football and women's tennis; the cast of A Case of Suspension; a May Day pageant; and scenes of Corvallis including campus, the Corvallis steel bridge, the Oregon Electric Station, and the surrounding countryside. Students pictured in the scrapbook include Jack and Oliver Groce, W. E. Metzger, John Wilhelm, Ann Rutledge, Florence Knight, "Tubby" Wright, "Chuck" Williamson, Ann Rutledge, Dick Case, Elvia Lagg, Charles L. Robinson, E. J. Scudder, Ralph Wright, P. J. Hennesey, Ralph Chenault, Otto Ballhorn, Tom Rice, "Ollie" Hayes, "Chet" Packey, Esther Harumg, Roy Miller, Rose Mason, Karen Hansen, "Doe" Allan, A. O. Mangold, A. Freeman Mason, Ben Culver, Henry O'Deen, and Jim Everdon, Shirley and Berry Hamilton, and others. Featured faculty members include E. T. Reed, S. H. Peterson, G. W. Peavy, W. F. Gaskins, G. F. Sykes, Ida Kidder, E. D. Ressler, H. L. Beard, A. B. Cordley, "Jim" Arbuthnot, and J.B. Horner.
Scrapbook II
This scrapbook contains photographs, newsclippings, patches, brochures, dance cards, and other ephemera representing life at OAC during the 1910s. Included are materials documenting OAC football; the 1916 prom; commencement for 1914, 1915, and 1916; OAC Glee Club, Cadet Band, and Theater productions; and various other social events. Of particular note are materials, including photographs, documenting Betzel's participation in Oxford Club, OAC Cadet Corps, Senior Class (1915), and Pharmacy events and activities. Also included are photographs of the Betzel family home in Portland, OR; his Oregon Board of Pharmacy exam results and membership card; course registration cards and grade reports; and Betzel's American Pharmaceutical Association certificate of membership. Also included are photographs of Florence Knight, Mrs. G.L. Swafford, Josephine Smith, Ernest Knight, Adolph Ziefle, and Sergeant Dugger; scenes of Corvallis after snowfall and a major flood; the Oregon State Game Farm; the Albany State Bank; storefronts in Great Britain; the Paris, France waterfront; and South Market Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Photograph Album
This photograph album is composed predominately of portraits of OAC staff and students between in the 1910s. Photographs also capture the Oxford Club members (1911-1917) and the Oxford Club house; activities of the Class of 1915; an OAC theatrical production; pharmacy students visiting Portland (1915 and 1916); and the Parke-Davis and Co. posting class (1920). The album includes photos of Irwin Betzel, Florence Knight, C. A. Dickey, W. E. Metzger, M. P. Cook, Frank W. Kehrli, Lena Godfrey, Carrie Baleom, Boyd Bridges, S.R. Brown, Connor W. Edwards, J. Wilhelm, Leo A. Shaver, Ralph Chenault, Neal C. Jamison, Dick Case, Otto Ballhorn, Earl F. Tee, Virginia Hajack, Roy Miller, Joy Scudder, James E. Norton, Ralph V. Wright, Chas J. Williamson, Hiram Currey, J.W. "Tubby" Wright, H. C. Belton, E. E. Brown, Henry C. Gilbert, Paul Harvey, G. E. Hollowell, J. H Edwards, W. J. Koenig, Clifton T. Smith, G.E. McCollum, Ernest F. Knight, Glen H. Roberts, William R. Stow, G.M. Gragg, Nick Tarter, Henry C. Richter, Roy E. Samuel, Paul M. Lewis, Helen McDonald, Florence Kopan, Charles A. McCollum, Dutch Kooreman, Herschel M. Cummings, L.J. Tolls, A. W. McComb, Levi A. Wheeler, and Ruth Jacobs. Also pictured are the 1915 pharmacy graduates (Carmin Hittson, I. L. Betzel, C. A. Fryer, Stella Dean, V. H. Leweaux, C. S. Smith, E. Tucker, J. L. Shirley, W. D. Hamilton, Beryl Camp, J. E. Chinn, N. L. Tarter, C. L. McFadden, C. C. Daylord, and E. J. Seeley) and the 1916 pharmacy graduates and faculty (I. Downs, A. D. Foster, I. L. Betzel, H. R. Shields, F. Codey, I. Codey, C. E. Storz, Prof. Ziefle, Pres. Kerr, Mr. Seeley, R. R. Palmer, F. Waterman, E. J. Scudder, K. F. Hammerly, W. E. Wright, J. L. Mackel, and N. E. Mamock); and ROTC Company H.
circa 1911-1920
Loose Photographs
Included are three portrait photographs of Betzel (two by Ball Studio and one uncredited) and a photograph of the 1914/15 Oxford Club members (as featured in the 1916 Beaver Yearbook.

Series II:  Notebooks & Ephemera, circa 1920Return to Top

Series II contains three notebooks and several items of ephemera that appear to date from Betzel's time as a professional druggist. The notebooks include formulas for health treatments and household chemicals, chemical bottle labels, and other notes. The ephemera includes instructions and advertisements for an assortment of patent medicines.

Container(s) Description Dates
"Druggist's Formulary" Notebook
This notebook is comprised predominately of handwritten formulas for assorted treatments, hygiene products, and household chemicals. Included are recipes for cold cream, toothpaste and tooth powder, shampoo, hair tonic, washes, antiseptic powder, and Betzel's own liniment. Also included are treatments for asthma, eczema, lumbago, poison oak, gonorrhea, and other ailments. Other recipes include baking powder, rose jelly, glove cleaner, shellac varnish, gin, and oil of pines. Many recipes include measurements written in a shorthand script. Also included are pasted-in labels from various chemical bottles, instructions for examining urine specimens, several poems, and notes on U.S. state and federal political structures. The notebook is arranged alphabetically and includes a complete index of its contents.
circa 1920
Untitled Notebook I
This notebook is comprised of handwritten formulas for assorted treatments and hygiene products including treatments for rheumatism, halitosis, oily hair, sore throat, and dyspepsia. The notebook also includes recipes for flash powder for photo-taking and instructions for beer brewing. Many recipes include measurements written in a shorthand script.
circa 1920
Untitled Notebook II
This notebook is comprised of handwritten formulas for pharmaceutical goods and household chemicals. Included are treatments for chilblains, corns, delirium tremens, earaches, and freckles, among other ailments. The notebook also includes notes on poisons and "explosives in medicine" and contains recipes for pesticides, silver polish, a wide range of colored paints, and developer and fixing solutions for photography. It also includes a table containing data on radiator capacities by automobile make. The contents have been removed from their original three-ring notebook. The recipes and notes are arranged alphabetically and contain measurements written in a shorthand script.
circa 1920
This folder is comprised of loose ephemera from Betzel's notebooks. It includes advertisements and instructions for pharmaceutical treatments for rheumatism, gynecological ailments, constipation, dyspepsia, urinary tract and blood infections, sexual disorders, respiratory diseases, and parasites, and bottle labels for Marmola, Concentrated Pine Mixture, and Toris Compound Mixture. This folder also contains Betzel's certificate of membership from the C. C. Co. Spatula Club of Good Mixers, a professional organization for druggists designed to "prevent the evils of substituting and price-cutting" and promote the pharmaceutical industry.
circa 1920

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • College environment--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • College students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Men--Oregon--Corvallis--Societies and clubs.
  • Patent medicines.
  • Pharmacology.
  • Pharmacy--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.

Personal Names

  • Knight, Florence.

Corporate Names

  • Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
  • Oregon Agricultural College. School of Pharmacy.
  • Oxford Club (Oregon Agricultural College)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Dance cards.
  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.