[Between 2009 and 2011, I maintained a TypePad blog, “More Fiends,” intended to update my book Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines. Those posts can still be found in the archive.org Wayback Machine, but I stopped updating that site in 2011. Because this WordPress site promotes and updates all my books, I’d like to republish some of those earlier posts.]
One of the more interesting pieces of A. W. Lawson ephemera that I picked up on Ebay was 1953 Des Moines University of Lawsonomy “Student Survey.” By 1953, only a few handful of students resided on the campus in Des Moines, and the University had already come under fire by local tax officials. It is more than likely that this survey was sent out in an attempt to inflate the documented enrollment figures that the school was being asked to produce.
Here’s the cover letter that accompanied the survey:
The survey itself was printed on a folding envelope. Students were asked to record their progress towards earning the only degree the school offered, the Knowledgian degree. Obtaining the degree was measured by the number of books written by Lawson that had been studied, and the number of years, months, and hours each text had been reviewed. For all texts combined, the starting point had to be at least 30 years in the past. So, if you want to be a Knowledgian, just fill out this “My Record” form. See ya in three decades!