Skagit Corporation records, circa 1923-1983  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Skagit Corporation
Skagit Corporation records
circa 1923-1983 (inclusive)
50 boxes, (36 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1991.101 (accession)
Materials, largely films and photographs, related to the Skagit Corporation in Sedro Woolley, which developed and manufactured machinery for the logging, construction and other industries
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Additional Reference Guides

A complete handwritten inventory of the films is available in the library.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1901, John Anderson came to Sedro-Woolley and founded a machine shop and foundry, naming it the Sedro-Woolley Iron Works. In its early years, most of its business was repair work for the mill and logging camps, but the company also manufactured metal parts, expanding to the manufacture of complete machinery in 1908, with the production of hoists and rotary pumps used in Alaska. By 1913, the company was designing and manufacturing machinery, and had purchased a steel furnace; the following year, the expanded plant was renamed Skagit Steel and Iron Works. During World War I, the plant also filled contracts from Seattle’s and Bellingham’s shipbuilding companies, as well as its usual work for logging camps, saw mills and other local industries.

The company grew throughout the 1920s, designing machinery such as the gasoline-powered hoist, which revolutionized the logging industry. Skagit also manufactured gasoline-powered rail cars for the logging industry, and in 1923, the company built its first passenger rail car. By 1929, Skagit had 30 standard models of hoists, donkey engines, speeders, railcars, locomotives and coaches in production.

Business slowed during the years of the Great Depression and as a result of mill strikes, but by the late 1930s, things began to look up. Skagit Steel & Iron Works contributed to war efforts during World War II by producing hoists, winches and cranes for used at the front and on Navy vessels. After the war, Skagit expanded its manufacturing facilities, though production slowed as a result of the postwar economy slump. By the early 1950s, business had picked up, and in 1953 Skagit won a contract to produce rifle shells for the Army, resulting in another expansion of its facility in Sedro-Woolley.

In 1962, the company reorganized and changed its named to Skagit Corporation. The company continued to expand, developing, designing and producing logging, marine deck and construction equipment. In 1969, the long-time family owned business became a subsidiary of the Bendix Corporation.

Bendix/Skagit Steel closed around 1990.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Materials, largely films and photographs (including prints, slides and negatives), related to Skagit Corporation in Sedro Woolley, which developed and manufactured machinery for the logging, construction and other industries.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Skagit Corporation Records, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Photographs
Logging photographs by Darius Kinsey and lightbox transparencies for display
circa 1923-1983
2-3 Photographs
Historical photographs
circa 1923-1983
4 Photographs
Mostly G series hoists, circa 1960s; also foundry, pattern shop, Bellingham plant. Includes some negatives.
circa 1923-1983
5 Photographs
SJ series equipment, T series equipments, grapple loaders. Includes some negatives.
circa 1923-1983
6 Photographs
1954 visit of Brigadier General John Medaris to Skagit plant; miscellaneous equipment including towers, yarders, winches; plant interiors including machine shop and foundry; aerial views of plant. Includes some negatives.
circa 1923-1983
7 Photographs
Prints from negatives # 3001-3117 and 10,000-12,124. Miscellaneous logging equipment; construction hoist; “capabilities book.”
circa 1923-1983
8 Photographs:
Offshore equipments; miscellaneous photos of plant and equipments; trade shows. Includes some negatives.
circa 1923-1983
9 Photographs
Contact sheets and corresponding negatives (35mm), mostly labeled with number of equipment depicted. Also foundry, tests, “unclassified machines,” “people pics” and binder “test site.”
circa 1923-1983
10 Photographs
Mostly contact sheets; also some prints and negatives. Materials removed from 7 binders and foldered. Binders titled: PR & Adv.; Shop & Newsletter; T-Z; Service Dept. & Sub Cont.; Cranes & Construction Equipment; CE Drill Equip.; Safety & Damage.
circa 1923-1983
11 Photographs
Miscellaneous 35 mm. contact sheets and negatives; “drugstore” type photo processing envelopes containing negatives and prints (color).
circa 1923-1983
12 Slides
35 mm slides in sleeves. Logging related images, towing winch, slide show, including 9 folders of slide shows with scripts, plus miscellaneous slide show scripts.
circa 1923-1983
13 Slides
35 mm in trays and boxes. Also includes some transparencies in larger formats.
circa 1923-1983
14 Negatives
35 mm negatives in binders: numbered 781201-800627
15 Negatives
35 mm negatives in binders: numbered 800701-820226
16 Negatives
35 mm negatives in binders: numbered 820301-830618. Also unnumbered personnel photographs.
17-26 Negatives
4x5 negatives numbered 001 through 12,100
circa 1923-1983
27 Negatives
5x7 negatives and prints
circa 1923-1983
28 Papers
Two Advertising and publicity scrapbooks: Volume 1, 1924-1927; Volume 2, 1928-1930
circa 1923-1983
29 Papers
Purchased Components list; serial number record; project list; oversize advertisements.
circa 1923-1983
30 Papers
Two “description of manufacture” book for metal parts, October 1957 and February 1969.
circa 1923-1983
31 Papers
Sales brochures, advertisements
circa 1923-1983
32 Papers
circa 1923-1983
33-50 Films
Approximately 350 films related to equipment and plant operations. See inventory in library for item level listing.
circa 1923-1983

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Construction equipment industry--Washington (State)--Sedro Woolley
  • Lumbering--Machinery--Washington (State)--Sedro Woolley
  • Machinery industry--Washington (State)--Sedro Woolley
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States--Washington (State)--Sedro Woolley
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Film negatives
  • Motion pictures
  • Photographs