Armand William Forstall, S.J. Papers

Arrangement and Description

Armand William Forstall, S.J. Papers

Scope and Content

   The papers of Father Armand William Forstall, S.J. contain only a small amount of personal information about his family, childhood, and friends. Instead, the materials in this collection largely concern his academic life as both a student and as a teacher. There is also information about the assaying work he did in Colorado, and the correspondence he received from seismographic stations around the world detailing their measurements. There is correspondence about a patent to handle fabric, and the equations he supplied the Keuffel and Esser Company which enabled them to manufacture a log slide rule in 1908. The collection includes many of his academic notebooks which he created during his schooling, as well as those he created while teaching mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

   Some of his notebooks, photographs, letters, and memorabilia refer to his life in Europe and the early days of teaching in New Mexico, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. The bulk of the collection, however, comes from 1904 –1948 when he lived in Denver, CO. These notebooks are written in English, as are the newspaper clippings about his work, and the scientific articles on engineering devices that Fr. Forstall collected.

Series Listing and Description

Series 1 – Biographical – Carton 1

            This series includes biographical papers belonging to Fr. Forstall, certificates of education, an honorary Doctorate from Denver University, family documents, clippings, and memorabilia. Memorabilia items includes a signature book, and Fr. Forstall’s own duplex slide rule.

Series 2 – Correspondence - Carton 1  

There is extensive correspondence between Fr. Forstall and members of his family. A few letters document his instructions connected with Jesuit assignments. The folder of general correspondence includes letters connected with various mining, assaying, and scientific projects he undertook. The greatest number of letters concern his successful efforts to obtain a patent for a device to handle fabric. The patent itself is included.  

              Three letters discuss payment for the equations he submitted to the Keuffel & Esser Company enabling them to manufacture a log log slide rule and letters containing seismographic measurements from around the world.   

Series 3 – Manuscripts - Carton 1

One manuscript is by Fr. Forstall on the History and Theory of the slide rule. It is accompanied by his note stating that it was never published. The other manuscript is by Conrad Bilgery, S.J. who taught at Regis University. Originally from Germany, he became a U.S. citizen in 1939. Other items include Jubilee speeches and an entry for the A.W. Forstall Analytical Chemistry Contest.

Series 4 - Photographs - Carton 2  

Photographic images are sorted into 3 groups: 1) prints of Fr. Forstall, 2) prints of family, friends and places that are identified, 3) prints of people and places that are not identified,

Series 5 – Clippings - Carton 2  

Newspaper clippings [and correspondence] are the main source of information about Fr. Forstall’s early background and of his later professional life working with the seismograph, with geology, and his application for patents. The clippings include information about Fr. Forstall as well as clippings collected by Fr. Forstall on various scientific topics.

Series 6 - Pamphlets and Research - Carton 2

This series contains pamphlets from the early 1900s describing scientific apparatus and topics that Fr. Forstall collected. The topics include earthquakes, geology, chemistry, physics, the log log vector slide rule, radium, scientific tools, and other topics.

Series 7 – Scrapbooks – Carton 2

This series is composed of four scrapbooks. The scrapbooks cover topics such as chemistry, earthquakes, and personal interest.

Series 8 – Notebooks - Carton 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  

            The notebooks within this collection cover topics such as algebra, calculus, catalogs, chemistry, lectures, astronomy, theology, and other topics. The notebooks include teachings, research, personal address books, logs, and notes. The notebooks are separated into three subseries, notebooks, Denver notebooks, and early notebooks. The notebooks vary in language including French and Latin.

 Series 9 - Oversize [OV] items  

            The oversized items within this collection include a certificate, seismographs of a Japanese Earthquake in 1968, and a framed award from the Ministere de L’Education Nationale.

Related Collections

While teaching in Denver, CO at The College of the Sacred Heart , [which became Regis College in 1920 and Regis University after 1992,] Fr. Forstall collected a large display of rock samples. This geological collection was given to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, in 2009.

Other related collections stored within the Regis University Archives and Special Collections include;