The B type star 53 Persei was discovered in 1977 by Smith (1977) as the prototype of a separate group of B-type variables showing light and line profile variability. The physical cause of the variability was thought to be nonradial pulsation (NRP) (see, e.g. Smith et al. 1984). However, the NRP model for this star has been questioned by Balona (1986) who suggested the rotational modulation (RM) model to explain the variability. In order to resolve the long lasting debate about 53 Persei, a campaign was initiated to organize coordinated optical photometry and spectroscopy from the ground, and Far-UV photometry from Voyager in 1991 January. This paper presents the results of period analysis on the groundbased UBV data. In another paper, Smith & Huang (1994) report the new identification of pulsation modes using Voyager Far-UV photometry combined with the results from optical observations. Some preliminary results from APT uvby observations taken at a single site are also cited for comparison.