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Martha Wahl papers

Identifier: IWA0090

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Scope and Contents

The Martha Stoessel Wahl papers date from 1919 to 1999 and measure 7 linear inches. The papers are arranged in two series: Personal and Professional. The scrapbook contained n the Personal series consists of newspaper clippings concerning both her private life and her professional life.

Dr. Ruth Lane was Wahl's mentor and the woman who turned her professional aspirations from history to the teaching of mathematics. Lane supervised Wahl's student teaching at University High in Iowa City, Iowa. It is to her memory that this collection is dedicated.

The Professional series includes Wahl's published articles, presentations she gave to illustrate various methods of teaching mathematics, artifacts and kits she devised to teach mathematics to children, photographs, and two films.

Wahl's two books, I Can Count the Petals of a Flower (1976), co-authored with John Wahl, and The Flavor of Our Lives: Grandma Stacey's Memoirs (1995), are shelved in the printed works collection of the Iowa Women's Archives. The Flavor of Our Lives includes sections on her experiences in Iowa City in the 1940s, when her husband was helping to develop the atom smasher at the State University of Iowa, and on her experiences teaching and raising her family.


  • Creation: 1919-1999


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Martha "Stacey" Stoessel Wahl was an educator and a self-proclaimed "gadgeter." She was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, on March 9, 1916. Wahl received her B.A. from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1938 and her M.A. from Columbia University. She taught high school mathematics for seven years and, until 1986 when she retired, she taught math at the college and university levels.

She married John Wahl, a nuclear physicist, in 1943. They had three children. After retiring as a full professor of math and computer science at Western Connecticut State University, Wahl gave regional and national workshops at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics meetings. She holds two patents for educational toys, has written several professional articles, collaborated on a book with her husband John Wahl, and created a multi-media kit for the teaching of mathematics to children.


7.00 linear inches

Artifacts in boxes 2 and 4. boxes

Language of Materials



Mathematician and teacher who patented educational toys for teaching mathematics to children.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 148) were donated by Martha Stoessel Wahl in 1993 and succeeding years.

Kristen Rassbach, 1996.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)