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Photograph, black and white, showing a Donnelly factory under construction.
;The Donnelly Corporation began in Holland, MI in 1905 when the Kinsella Glass Co. selected Bernard P. Donnelly (1879-1932) and his assistant John A. Kelley to operate a new mirror manufacturing plant at 50-72 River Ave. This area of River Ave and West 3rd Street would remain the Donnelly headquarters throughout the 20th century. In 1910 Kinsella sold the operation to Donnelley and Kelley and the Donnelly-Kelley Glass Company was formed. Kelley would sell his 40% of the company to Donnelly in 1924 for $72,000.
1910 saw $120,000 in sales while 1920 saw $285,000. By 1928 sales had dropped to $170,000. They dropped to $155,000 in 1930 and $80,000 by 1932, the year Bernard P. Donnelly suddenly died from a heart attack.
Bernard’s son John F. Donnelly (1912-1986) took over operation of the company in 1933. By 1938 his mother Mary C. Fenlon Donnelly (1878-1963) was in that role. Mary would serve as president of the Donnelly-Kelley Glass Company until 1960.
By 1941 sales had climbed up to $160,000, rising to $420,000 by 1946. Military contracts were largely responsible for this increase. By the 1960s Donnelly was producing automotive mirrors.
Gift of