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  • Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials

Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials

Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials

Dates: circa 1960-1975

Two archival series: Copies of the “Fac-Similes of the Brass Plates” (known as the Kinderhook Plates), including printing plates and printed copies; correspondence and research done by Ariel Davis concerning the plates; 1973-1975 Also, Ariel Davis Manufacturing Company papers, particularly lighting articles; circa 1960.

  • Extent: 1 carton (1 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Davis, Ariel R., 1912-1997
  • Call Number: MSS 5946
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84606; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 5946; Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials; 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 5946, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Ariel R. Davis in 1987.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Ariel R. Davis; 1987.
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History; Business, Industry, Labor, and Commerce; Literary forgeries and mystifications; Retail Trade
Genre / Form
Letters; Printing plates
Processing Information
Processed; Melissa Cowles; 1 October 2007.
Appraisal Information
LDS scholarship (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Davis (Ariel R.) papers and Kinderhook Plates materials
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Karen Glenn and Melissa Cowles, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-10-07T15:52-0600
Finding Aid Language
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Ariel Davis (1912-1977) opened his own company, Ariel Davis Manufacturing Company which manufactured his lighting inventions.

Ariel Davis was born 14 February 1912 to Rual D. and Mary Kitchen Davis in Provo, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Physics. He married Dorothy Jean Harding on 27 March 1941 in the Salt Lake Temple. He joined the US Navy in January 1944 and served in the Pacific until December 1945. He opened his own company, Ariel Davis Manufacturing Company, which manufactured his lighting inventions and sold stage and industrial lights throughout the US and Canada. He held over fifty US Patents. He used the Clyde Building on BYU campus to learn to use computers and try to attract engineering students to create inventions using computers. He died 6 February 1977 at home.

The Kinderhook Plates were discovered near Kinderhook, Pike County, Illinois, in 1843. These plates were the attempt of three men--Bridge Whitten, Robert Wiley, and Wilburn Fugate--to trick Latter-day Saints into thinking they had found another ancient record.

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John Murphy
Curator - 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts