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David Munson papers

Identifier: L114

Scope and Contents

This collection includes autographed and signed correspondence, newspaper advertising, newspaper articles, photographs, invoices, and award ribbons from David Munson in Indiana and elsewhere ranging from 1838 to 1913 regarding the Munson Lightning Rod, advertising, the Munson family and business accounts.


  • 1838-1913


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

David R. Munson was born in New Jersey in 1820 [1828?]. He was married to Isabella Ralston Johnston in Marion, Indiana on February 6, 1849, shortly after he moved to Indiana. They had four sons: William G., David R., Alvin J. and Samuel A. Munson invented the Munson lightning conductor (an improvement over Benjamin Franklin's original lightning rod), patenting more than 100 different rods and fixtures, and founded the Munson Lightning Conductor Company in 1850 in Indianapolis, Indiana. At one time the company was located at 220 E. Washington St. Munson died at the age of 87 after a fall during the installation of a lightning rod in Curtisville, Indiana. He is buried next to his wife, who died in 1901, in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.


Information found within the collection. "David Munson." 1880 United States Federal Census. Accessed December 31, 2015. "David Munson." Indiana, Index to Select Marriages, 1780-1992. Accessed December 31, 2015. "Munson, David." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed December 31, 2015. "Munson, Isabella Ralston." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed December 31, 2015.

"Inventor Munson Dead." Indianapolis Sun, April 4, 1907, 10. Accessed December 31, 2015.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Gladys Munson Wurzburg on 1941/08/15 and 1942/08/06.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/12/31 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2015/12/31 by Edythe Huffman.
David Munson papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.