Fonds RBSC-ARC-1250 - Hoffmeister Electric Company fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Hoffmeister Electric Company fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Object

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1898-1959, predominant 1910-1948 (Creation)
    Hoffmeister Electric Company (Vancouver, B.C.)

Physical description area

Physical description

5.3 m of textual records
1 printing block : wood and metal ; 39 x 10 x 2 cm.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Hoffmeister Electric Company was founded in 1898 by Reinhart Hoffmeister, an electrical engineer from Wellington County, Ontario. The company, one of the first electric businesses in Vancouver, was originally located at the southwest corner of Davie Street and Howe Street. In 1912, it moved to a new location at 1271 Granville Street.

Hoffmeister Electric specialized in the design, construction, and installation of electric generators. Significant clients of the company included Canadian General Electric, B.C. Sugar Refinery, Vancouver General Hospital in Fairview, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and more. The company employed roughly half a dozen individuals throughout its lifespan.

Following Reinhart Hoffmeister’s death in 1948, Hoffmeister Electric Company was taken over by Reinhart’s son, Frank Cameron Hoffmeister, and his brother, Jacob Hoffmeister. The business was closed in 1960.

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to Rare Books and Special Collections in 1972 by Frank Cameron Hoffmeister, son of Reinhart Hoffmeister. Textual records and objects were not processed until 2017.

Scope and content

The fonds comprises the operational and accounting records of Hoffmeister Electric Company from 1898 to 1959. Records are arranged in two series: Operational records and Accounting records.

The Operational records series features the following record types: correspondence; catalogues and reference books from electrical and automotive equipment suppliers; rental contracts, requisitions, and orders from clients; ledgers recording Hoffmeister employees’ work for various clients; electrical permits from the City of Vancouver; and miscellaneous ephemera and objects, likely belonging to Reinhart Hoffmeister.

The Accounting records series includes the following record types: personal income tax records from Reinhart Hoffmeister; corporate tax records; monthly time books for employees; various bank books; samples of bills paid to maintain the company’s premises; insurance policies, leases, and deeds for various Hoffmeister properties; duplicate copies of client invoices; and ledgers.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records range from good to poor condition. See sub-series descriptions for further details.

Immediate source of acquisition


The fonds was acquired by Rare Books and Special Collections in 1972. Roughly 45 linear feet of records were donated, but archives staff removed some records. All textual records and objects remained in backlog until 2016, at which point they were sent off site to receive conservation treatment.

In July 2017, an archivist from Rare Books and Special Collections undertook the arrangement and description of the fonds. The archivist provided an intellectual order for all records to increase ease of use by researchers. The archivist then physically re-arranged records to correspond with the intellectual order outlined in this finding aid.

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Some records in the fonds are protected under copyright. Permission to reproduce copyrighted materials must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). See archivist for details.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Reinhard Hoffmeister Fonds, AM516—City of Vancouver Archives
Major Matthews Collection, AM54—City of Vancouver Archives

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Box 9, 10, 31, 34 contain oversize materials and materials that requires flat storage.


All records in the fonds were treated for mould in the year 2016. In addition, some items in the following sub-series require flattening at a later date: Ephemera; Tax records; and Insurance policies, leases, and deeds.

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Finding aid created by Gillian Dunks in August 2017.

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