Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

REO and the Automobile Industry at MSU Archives & Historical Collections: Archival Collections - Large and Small

Archival Collections - Large and Small

Mrs. C. M. Burdick collection (c.00487), 1904 - 1957

  • 0.25 cubic feet, 10 folders
  • This collection contains diaries, correspondence, and a biographical sketch of R.E. Olds entitled "That Boy Ranney." Also included is a letter from R. Shettler explaining his unhappiness with Olds over the affairs of the REO Motor Car Company. Some material on Olds' interest in music is also included.
  • C. M. Burdick was Ransom E. Olds' personal secretary for a considerable period of time.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

Duplex Truck Company records (00108), 1909 – 1955

  • 3 cubic feet, 12 volumes
  • The records of the Duplex Truck Company, originally Duplex Power Car Company, include articles of incorporation, correspondence, patent certificates, audit reports, profit and loss statements, stock certificates, meeting minutes, records of labor, and land purchase agreements, circuit court records, and other related documents. Also in the collection are company advertisements, blueprints, and photographs of their trucks, documents on the company's merger with Warner and Swasey Company in 1955, insurance documents, issues of the magazine Sperry Scope (from Sperry Gyroscope Company, 1935-1949), specifications for other Duplex products, parts catalogs, and a notebook containing a brief company history.
  • The Duplex Power Car Company was founded in Charlotte, Michigan, in 1909. It manufactured trucks and truck-related machinery. The company was reorganized into Duplex Truck Company in 1916, and was bought out by Warner and Swasey Company in 1955. The Duplex Division of Warner and Swasey closed down in 1975.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

H. J. Karn collection (c.00184), 1910 – 1964

  • 1 folder
  • This collection contains notes kept by Bill Taylor during an interview with H. J. Karn, in which Karn describes his working experiences (1906-1916) at the Lansing plant of the REO Motor Car Company. Also included is a brochure describing a 1910 record-breaking transcontinental trip made in a REO automobile.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

Nixon and Starr Family papers (00060), 1897 – 1923

Oldsmobile Club of America publication (00183), 1971 – 1979

  • 0.3 cubic feet
  • The Oldsmobile Club of America, Inc. was founded in 1971 as a way for people interested in collecting, restoring, or researching Oldsmobile to find and share information. Journey with Olds is the monthly newsletter sent to each member of the club. The collection contains an incomplete run of the first nine volumes of the newsletter. There are also some miscellaneous pieces of correspondence.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

Oldsmobile 75th anniversary publications (c.00477), 1972

Allan S. Thompson Photographic collection (00186), 1898 – 1913

  • 16 glass plate negatives
  • The collection consists of glass plate negatives, film negatives, and contact prints of images of people, places, and events in the greater Lansing, Michigan area, 1898-1913. There are images of the companies Thompson worked for, including Oldsmobile Motor Works (slides 551-565). Also, there are images of curved-dash vehicles on Washington Avenue (slides 1136-1137).
  • Allan S. Thompson was born on May 26, 1866 in Lansing, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University from 1886 to 1890 and in 1889 worked as a machinist in the Lansing Wheelbarrow Company. In 1906 he left Lansing Wheelbarrow to become a shipping clerk in Capitol Electrical Engineering Company. In 1908 he went to work for Oldsmobile Motor Car Company as a clerk and later became a foreman. He retired in 1922 and in 1924 started an importing business, mostly importing fancy baskets from the Philippines. In 1938 he retired from his importing business. Thompson died on September 25, 1953.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

Eugene G. Wanger papers (00203), 1957 – 2003

  • 2.25 cubic feet
  • This collection contains "Discovering Ingham County: A Descriptive Bibliography" by Eugene G. Wanger, which has information about R.E. Olds.  Also in the collection are R. E. Olds Transportation Museum materials, including meeting minutes and agendas, bylaws, reports, and correspondence from the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Search Committee, and other REOM committees.
  • Eugene G. Wanger was a founding member of the Ingham County Historical Commission, and an active member of the R. E. Olds Museum Association.
  • Finding aid to the collection: