Scope and Content
Title: Russell and Sigurd Varian papers
Identifier/Call Number: SC0345
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material:
26.0 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1836-1988
Varian, Russell Harrison, 1898-1959
Varian, Sigurd Fergus, 1901-1961
Varian Associates Magazine.
Scope and Content
The Varian papers span almost a hundred years of creative and independent thinking, from early manuscripts of poetry by John
O. Varian, to the creation and growth of Varian Associates. In addition to original research notebooks and correspondence
regarding the klystron, the papers of Russell and Sigurd Varian include materials on numerous other inventions and ideas from
Russell's work for Philo Farnsworth and Humble Oil as well as the brothers' years at Stanford and at Varian Associates. Unpublished
short stories by Sigurd reveal his sense of humor as well as the adventure and danger of his career as a pilot in Mexico and
The Varian Papers also contain correspondence, diaries, and writings of other family members including Dorothy Varian, Agnes
Dickson Varian, Aileen Dickson Harrison, and Eric Varian. The letters and diaries of Agnes Dickson Varian pertain to family
and community life in Palo Alto and Halcyon, California; Dorothy Varian's papers include her research files used to prepare
her biography of Russell and Sigurd Varian as well as correspondence, talks, and other papers pertaining to environmental
issues. There is also a series containing photographs documenting the family, Varian Associates, and the history of the klystron.
Russsell and Sigurd Varian were co-inventors, with William W. Hansen, of the klystron and rhumbatron and co-founders of Varian
Associates. Educated at Stanford University, physicist and inventor Russell Varian began his career with Philo Farnsworth
on early television technology and with Humble Oil on instrumentation for oil exploration. In 1935, he returned to Stanford.
Joined by his brother, Sigurd, a pilot with Pan American Airlines, he began work on microwave technology as a research assistant
with Professor William Hansen. The klystron patent brought both financial gain to the University and the attention of federal
research agencies, while leading to the formation of Varian Associates, one of California's first Silicon Valley companies.
[Identification of item], Russell and Sigurd Varian Papers (SC0345). Department of Special Collections and University Archives,
Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Gift of Dorothy Varian, 1987, 1988, and 1989.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections and University
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Cowell, Henry,, 1819-
Hansen, W. W., ((William Webster),), 1909-1949.
Humble Oil and Refining Company (Incorporated in Tex.).
Stanford University. Dept. of Physics.
Varian, Russell Harrison,, 1898-1959.
Varian, Sigurd Fergus,, 1901-1961.
American literature--20th century.
Microelectronics industry--California--Santa Clara County.
Palo Alto (Calif.)