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Special Home > Gene Gowing, 1896-1968

Gene Gowing, 1896-1968

Papers, 1941-1957

MC 130

3 boxes

About Gene Gowing

Gene Gowing was born on March 19, 1896 in Dublin, N.H. His baptismal name was Almerin McIntosh Gowing, and this is the name that appears on his military records, but at some point he acquired the nickname “Gene” and in 1948 he formally changed his name to Gene from Almerin.

Gowing’s military career began at the Signal Corps photographic school at Columbia University. He was assigned to the 55th Service company in Vincennes, France in 1918, where he was employed in the Signal Corps photographic laboratory until March 1919, when he was transferred to an entertainment unit. He returned to the United States in June 1919.

After the war, Gowing spent some time in Hollywood as a motion picture set designer, but by the 1940s he was involved in square dancing. Gowing was the head of Gene Gowing’s Folkways, an organization that promoted and taught square and contra dancing. Gowing often worked with his contemporary Ralph Page to promote their common interest in dance. Gowing also authored three books on square dancing: Gene Gowing’s Collection of American Quadrilles, Contras and Rounds, with General Terms; The Square Dancer’s Guide; and Square Dancing for Everyone. He died on October 13, 1968 in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and is buried in Dublin.

About the Gene Gowing Collection

The Gene Gowing collection contains a small amount of manuscripts, notes and brochures on folk dancing, and scrapbooks. See also: a list of over 200 recordings in the collection.

Note: The Dublin Historical Society maintains additional Gowing material, including his military records, correspondence to his parents during 1918-1919, and photographs Gowing took in France, as well as biographical materials such as his birth certificate, resume, and certificate of change of name. A catalog of these holdings is available upon request from the Dublin Historical Society.

Folder Listing

  1. Manuscripts
  2. Notes and Brochures
  3. Miscellaneous
  4. Scrapbooks

I. Manuscripts

f.1 1956-57, Correspondence with Grosset and Dunlap regarding Gene Gowing’s Square Dancing for Everyone .
f.2 Manuscript of Square Dancing for Everyone.
f.3 "The Square Dance Structures."
f.4 Dance Instructions accompanying the manuscript of "The Square Dance Structures."
f.5 "Welcome Home."
f.6 Rambling Rhythms, a Book of Playparty Games-Singing Games-Folk Dances for Very Small Children.
f.7 English Folk Dances.

II. Notes and Brochures on English Folk Dancing

f.8 Dance Instructions for English Folk Dances.
f.9 Pamphlets/Dance Society Brochures re English Folk Dance.
f.10 "Log of Trip – Hollywood to Death Valley."

III. Miscellaneous

f.11 Miscellaneous Correspondence.
f.12 Sheet Music.
f.13 "Let’s Dance- with Marge and Gower Champion" by Bob Thomas.
f.14 Howe’s Drawing Room Dances Especially Designed for Social Evening Parties etc… by Elias Howe, 1859.

IV. Scrapbooks

Scrapbook 1939-42, Programs, announcements, clippings, photos, correspondence.

Scrapbook 1894-1947, programs, announcements, clippings etc.
Scrapbook 1939-40, magazine and newspaper clippings to show "the trend back to the old-fashioned ‘group dances’"

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