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Claud R. Erickson Papers

Identifier: UA-10.3.425

Scope and Contents

The Claud R. Erickson papers span the years 1943 to 1969 and contain correspondence, clippings, brochures, articles, publications, and photographs documenting Erickson's interest in electric vehicles. Where possible, folder headings assigned by Erickson have been maintained.

The Correspondence Series, 1958-1969, contains primarily mailings that Erickson sent to the electric vehicles committee of the American Public Power Association. These mailings include clippings and notes from Erickson on particular points of interest. These files have been arranged chronologically. Additional correspondence in the series is directed to specific persons or companies. All correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by recipient name.

The Conferences and Speeches Series, 1959-1967, is comprised of notes, drafts, and final speeches prepared and delivered by Erickson at various conferences and groups. The series also contains a brief article about Erickson, published in the January 16, 1967 issue of Life magazine.

The Writings Series, 1958-1967, consists of draft chapters Erickson wrote on different aspects of the electric car. Topics of these chapters include air pollution, safety features, fuel cells, and the history of the electric car. The arrangement of the files is alphabetical.

The Subject Files Series, 1943-1969, is the largest series in the collection. This series contains articles, brochures, publications, and charts on topics related to electric cars and companies that produced electric vehicles. Erickson kept these materials arranged alphabetically by subject and that order has been maintained, along with his subject headings.

The Photographs Series document different electric cars and vehicles as well as models from specific companies. These materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. Two folders of slides are also included in the collection. These slides were used by Erickson during his speeches on the history of the electric car.


  • Creation: 1943-1969, Undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Claud R. Erickson worked for the Lansing Board of Water and Light for 53 years.

Erickson received his B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1922 from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). He earned professional degrees in electrical engineering in 1933 and in civil engineering in 1934, also from Michigan State. He started working for the Lansing Board of Water and Light in 1920 when he was a junior at M.A.C. Erickson wanted to quit school and work full-time, but his boss warned him that he would not have a job if he did not finish his degrees.

Because of his work for the power company, Erickson developed an interest in electric cars which continued throughout his life. He tried to bring electric vehicles to the power company though his efforts were unsuccessful. Erickson worked for the Board of Water and Light for his entire professional career leaving the company when he was 73 years old. The split was not amicable; Erickson claimed he was not yet ready to retire. When the Delta Power Station was completed in 1973 it was named for Claud Erickson.


5.75 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into five series: correspondence, conferences and speeches, writings, subject files, and photographs.

Custodial History

Transferred by the MSU Department of Engineering

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Processing Information

Changed record group from 00194 to UA 10.3.425 to reflect Erickson's connection to MSU. M. Badgley Malone, November 2019.

Claud R. Erickson Papers
3 Ready For Cataloging
P. Vescio
April 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US