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Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials

 Collection — oversize: 1
Identifier: MSS 5946

Scope and Contents note

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.


  • circa 1960-1975


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

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.

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.


1 carton (1 linear ft.)




Ariel R. Davis' copies of the Kinderhook Plates and related materials, and other papers, dated circa 1960-1975.

Custodial History note

Donated by Ariel R. Davis in 1987.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Ariel R. Davis; 1987.

Appraisal note

LDS scholarship (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).

Processing Information note

Processed; Melissa Cowles; 1 October 2007.
Register of Ariel R. Davis papers and Kinderhook Plates materials
In Progress
Karen Glenn and Melissa Cowles, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States