Karl Kordesch (1922-2011) was a distinguished Austrian-American chemist widely recognized for his contributions to battery and fuel cell research and technology. Kordesch was jointly responsible for the invention of the alkaline primary dry cell battery, significant developments in fuel cells, and the successful creation and operation of hybrid vehicles. During his career, Kordesch was responsible for more than 100 hundred patents as well as numerous papers, articles, and books on the subject of electrochemistry, effectively revolutionized the battery industry, and pioneered electric/fuel cell vehicles. The Karl and Erna Kordesch papers contain records of much of Karl's research and publishing efforts as well as biographical records, photos, and ephemera documenting the Kordeschs' life in Nazi-occupied Austria and the United States.
Scope and Content Notes
The Karl and Erna Kordesch Papers are comprised of approximately ten linear feet of content documenting Karl's professional career from the late 1940s until his death in 2011 and an additional four linear feet of assorted personal records from both Karl and Erna. The collection contains an extensive record of Karl Kordesch's career including patent records, research notes, documentation of various business ventures, and correspondence, as well as materials regarding Karl's participation in the United States' post-World War II Operation Paperclip. The Karl and Erna Kordesch Papers also include an extensive collection of photographs documenting life in World War II-era Austria and the mid-20th century American Midwest. In addition to its physical holdings, the collection also contains more than 10 gigabytes of electronic documents including correspondence, publications, and digital photographs relating to Karl Kordesch's research.
Statement on Access:
Permission to examine the Karl and Erna Kordesch Papers will be granted to qualified researchers upon completion of an "Application for Use" form, and contingent upon the researcher's agreement to abide by the rules and policies governing collection use. See the Use of Collections
page for more information.
14 linear feet and 7.5 gigabytes of materials were accessioned from Erna Kordesch by OSU Libraries Special Collections on April 22, 2011.
3.5 gigabytes of electronic records were accessioned from Catherine Kordesch by OSU Libraries Special Collections on December 28, 2011.