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Davenport Gyro Club Records

Identifier: 2023-37

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of records created by the Davenport Gyro Club and organized by Jerry Lowe, club member. Subject matter pertains to the activities and programs of the club. Types of material include informal meeting minutes, correspondence, financial documents, membership rosters and a publication called The Gyroscope. Dates vary widely and there are many gaps within each series. In general the collection dates 1923-2023. Materials were left in the order created by Lowe and rehoused in archival boxes. Lowe also digitized much of the collection and files are both jpg and pdf, some of which are searchable pdf.

Following is information provided by Lowe regarding the contents of the digital files:

July, 2023

MINUTES: The AVAILABLE MINUTES begin with January 1930 and end in 1982 all in PDF regular, searchable and jpeg formats. From 1983 to 2017, the minutes were either distributed by email or other means, but copies have not been found. From 2017 to present, most minutes via email have been saved and are available on the International website under Davenport Club. From the 30's, some copies are illegible due to mimeograph ink. Efforts were made to recapture the material by darkening duplicate copies attached to the original nearly illegible ones. File headings reflect decades and are labeled as such. Within each decade are the numbered years and finally months and days.

PHOTOGRAPHS: I have included pictures (jpeg) that were taken of a variety of events connected to Davenport Gyro over the years from 1969 to 1986. The events and years are identified. However the people remain unidentified. I asked our senior Gyro members to identify former members, but memories have failed to provide any information.

GYROSCOPE: Additonally, there are some copies of "Gyroscope," the International Gyro magazine (searchble PDF). Not all copies available to me were scanned and a box containing the locally available copies are sequestered in the Davenport library. Part of the reason for not scanning them was that the Gyro International headquarters in Painseville Ohio has complete and cleaner sets than what I had access to. However, to the best of my knowledge, they have not been scanned. PRINTING: Finally, I recommend legal sized paper, however normal 8” by 11” can be used. As a suggestion, if you decide to print just one specific document, make sure you click the “Current Page" as all pages could be printed!

In Gyro Friendship, Jerry Lowe Member since 2017


  • Creation: 1923-2023

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

The idea for the Davenport Gyro Club was born during World War I during a lecture about the properties of the gyroscope attended by E.T. Heald, general secretary of the Davenport YMCA. Heald was so impressed with the qualities of the gyroscope that he suggested it as the organization name for a group that started with 25 young men, envisioned as a junior Rotary Club with the premise summed up in the word "friendship". The name Gyro Club was adopted. By September of 1920 the roster was up to 100 names. Unknown to them, other Gyro Clubs existed, and on April 4, 1921 the Davenporters became the 11th club in Gyro International.

The Davenport Gyro Club was an active organization from its founding. Speakers appearing before them were prominent men of the day. It originally had a glee club and minstrel troupe that toured the county as was much in demand. Members participated in district and international conventions, several of which were held in Davenport. The club's Twelfth Night celebrations attracted thousands to the Davenport levee to watch the burning of Christmas trees. Numerous dinners and dances were held.

An auxiliary group composed of wives of members, the Gyrettes, was also formed.

--Information taken from 1971 50th anniversary pamphlet.


3.55 Linear Feet (in 9 boxes and 1 USB - one 2.5" letter, four 5" letter, four 5" legal manuscript boxes.)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in five series: I. Minutes II. Periodicals III. Membership Records IV. Photographic Prints V. Digital files

Physical Location

Range 22 Section 04

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States

About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902