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Russel Kirkhof papers

Russel Kirkhof papers

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Open Finding Aid

Russel Kirkhof papers RHC-05

Grand Valley State University Special Collections & University Archives
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49503

2010



Repository: Grand Valley State University Special Collections & University Archives
creatorKirkhof, Russel H., 1896-1979
Title: Russel Kirkhof papers
Dates: 1900-1979
Quantity: 25.27 Linear feet(3 cartons, 91 boxes, 6 map files)
AbstractRussel Kirkhof was an inventor, mechanic, businessman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The collection includes diaries, patents, personal correspondence, legal correspondence, business ledgers, and records of his philanthropy.
Identification: RHC-05
Language:

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 series: 1) Personal records, 2) Business records

Collection Description

The collection documents the personal life and career of Russel Kirkhof. Personal materials include correspondence, diaries, interviews, photographs, materials related to Kirkhof's relationship with Grand Valley, and the Kirkhof residence. Business records include patents, investments, personal correspondence, legal correspondence, tax records, business ledgers, real estate speculation, and philanthropy.


Biography

Russel Kirkhof (1896-1979) inventor, mechanic, businessman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kirkhof began his career as an errand boy in a small electrical repair shop in Grand Rapids, and completed that career as a multi-millionaire head of Kirkhof Manufacturing Corporation. At first, prospering in electrical repair, Kirkhof assured his business success when he invented the resistance welding transformer.

His company became the world's largest producer of the transformer, and the invention led to numerous applications to automate assembly lines where welding was used – especially the automotive industry. Kirkhof continued inventing until late in life. He re-invested his profits in stocks and real estate and became one of Grand Valley State Colleges' major donors. Kirkhof School of Nursing and the Kirkhof Center (formerly the Campus Center) were named after him. Kirkhof died in 1979.


Businesspeople
Grand Rapids (Mich.)
Grand Valley State College.
Grand Valley State Colleges.
Grand Valley State University.
Michigan

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Russel Kirkhof papers (RHC-5). Special Collections & University Archives, Grand Valley State University Libraries.

Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Kirkhof family in 1982.


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