Seattle City Light albums, circa 1919-1940  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle City Light
Title
Seattle City Light albums
Dates
circa 1919-1940 (inclusive)
Quantity
188 photographic prints (2 albums) ; sizes vary
Collection Number
PH0045
Summary
Photographs of construction projects of Seattle City Light
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was partially provided through grants awarded by Seattle City Light and IBEW Local 77.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Seattle's first hydroelectric project was on Cedar River, and the plant first generated power for the city in 1905, under the supervision of the City Water Department. By 1910, however, the City Council declared the need for a department solely focused on electricity, and Seattle City Light was created on April 1, 1910. The department's second superintendent, James Delmage Ross, is known as the "Father of City Light." Ross spearheaded the complex effort to build the three dams on the Skagit River which provide much of Seattle's electricity.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Skagit Hydroelectric Project was a series of dam and power house construction projects along the Skagit River in northern Washington State which began in 1918 and continued until the early 1960s. The Skagit River begins in the Canadian Cascade Range and flows over the border into the North Cascades in Washington State. Construction began with Gorge Dam near Newhalem, the furthest downstream of the Skagit Hydroelectric Project dams; Gorge Dam was dedicated in 1924. The next dam built was Diablo Dam; construction was completed in 1930, and power generation began in 1936. The furthest upstream dam, originally named Ruby Dam but renamed Ross Dam after the death of James D. Ross, was the final dam constructed; the dam was completed in 1943, and first power generation occurred in 1949. These dams currently create electricity and provide water storage for the city of Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Album 1: Contains 132 photographs documenting the construction of the Gorge Powerhouse, railway, company town, and power substations for the Seattle City Light Skagit River Hydroelectric Project.

Album 2: Contains 56 photographs documenting the construction of the Diablo Dam by Winston Brothers and additional scenes of the Skagit River and Valley.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Album 1 - Gorge DamReturn to Top

Photographs of Seattle City Light North Substation and construction of the Gorge Dam and Gorge Power House on the Skagit River.

Container(s) Description Dates
Page item
1 1-1 circa 1924
2 1-2 May 28, 1924
3 1-3 circa 1924
4 1-4 October 22, 1924
5 1-5
Transmission lines near North Substation
April 1, 1924
6 1-6 circa 1924
7-10 1-7 - 1-10 February 28, 1924
11 1-11
Towers and transmission line at river crossing, probably on the Skagit River
February 28, 1924
12 1-12 June 20, 1928
13 1-13
165 KV transmission line with telephone line, probably for City of Seattle
June 20, 1928
14 1-14
 Gas-operated trolley nick-named "Toonerville Trolley" en route from Rockport to Newhalem with passengers
Toonerville Folkswas a popular cartoon by Fontaine Fox that ran in newspapers from 1908 to 1955. The cartoon featured the Toonerville Trolley, and the name was used in multiple locations across the United States as a nick-name for local trolleys.
July 17, 1921
15 1-15 August 11, 1920
16-17 1-16 - 1-17
Looking along railroad line in the mountains, probably near station for Gorge Powerhouse
July 16, 1921
18 1-18 July 1, 1919
19 1-19
 Bridge across Skagit River at Gorge Powerhouse site with cleared line of forest showing where tunnel surveying took place
Caption on page: Directly under this line is a tunnel about 2 miles long - 20'6" diameter - cut thru solid granite.
July 17, 1921
20 1-20
 Newhalem Powerhouse Construction Plant
Caption on page: 3000 H.P.-Westinghouse-Pelton water supplied by 2700' tunnel from Newhalem Creek.
circa October 1924
21 1-21
Gorge Tunnel intake
April 1, 1924
22 1-22
Looking along railroad bed in mountains, probably near Skagit River
July 18, 1921
23 1-23 October 17, 1919
24 1-24 October 4, 1924
25 1-25 circa October 1924
26 1-26a December 1921
26 1-26b
Railway and Gorge Powerhouse excavation
December 1921
27 1-27
Skagit River in mountains showing downed trees
circa 1925-1926
28 1-28a
Men working in Gorge Powerhouse excavation site
April 1922
28 1-28b June 6, 1922
29 1-29a April 1922
29 1-29b
Men working in Penstock Tunnel 1 and starting work on Penstock Tunnel 2
April 1, 1922
30 1-30a February 1922
30 1-30b circa 1919-1928
31 1-31a
Draft Tube 1 partially in place
November 29, 1922
31 1-31b
Looking toward excavation and powerhouse foundation from southwest, showing Unit 1
January 12, 1923
32 1-32a January 12, 1923
32 1-32b
Looking toward excavation from the west, showing Unit 3 and sump
January 12, 1923
33 1-33a
Powerhouse foundation, viewed from southwest
January 19, 1923
33 1-33b
Clearing for town site
Caption on photo: Upriver from Dohne Cabin.
circa 1919-1928
34 1-34a
Frozen water falling from chute
February 1922
34 1-34b August 6, 1920
35 1-35a March 1921
35 1-35b April 1922
36 1-36a February 1922
36 1-36b
Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1924-1925
37 1-37 March 2, 1928
38 1-38 April 1, 1924
39 1-39 July 1, 1919
40 1-40
Mountain scene near Skagit River
circa 1926
41 1-41 July 17, 1921
42 1-42
Small waterfall in Ladder Creek
October 21, 1919
43 1-43 circa 1924-1925
44 1-44a circa 1919-1924
44 1-44b January 19, 1923
45 1-45a January 19, 1923
45 1-45b
Men placing steel in Unit 2 draft tube seen from the south
January 30, 1923
46 1-46a
Concreting Unit 1 draft tube
February 27, 1923
46 1-46b February 23, 1923
47 1-47a
Men working on steel reinforcing for Draft Tube 1
February 23, 1923
47 1-47b
Gorge Powerhouse foundation seen from the south
February 20, 1923
48 1-48a
Man working in Unit 1 waterway. looking north
April 9, 1923
48 1-48b April 15, 1923
49 1-49a May 23, 1923
49 1-49b
Gorge Powerhouse intake excavation
June 14, 1923
50 1-50 January 12, 1926
51 1-51a
Railway bridge near Gorge Powerhouse, looking east
May 23, 1923
51 1-51b
Johnson valve and scroll case of Unit 1
August 10, 1923
52 1-52a July 6, 1923
52 1-52b August 10, 1923
53 1-53a August 13, 1923
53 1-53b August 13, 1923
54 1-54a
Men working on Johnson valve and scroll case of Unit 1
August 13, 1923
54 1-54b August 13, 1923
55 1-55a August 22, 1923
55 1-55b August 22, 1923
56 1-56a
Johnson valve in Unit 3
August 25, 1923
56 1-56b November 4, 1923
57 1-57 September 21, 1923
58 1-58a
Speed ring of Unit 2
October 2, 1923
58 1-58b September 26, 1923
59 1-59a
Unit 2 scroll, seen from above
October 3, 1923
59 1-59b February 15, 1923
60 1-60a September 17, 1923
60 1-60b November 2, 1923
61 1-61a November 4, 1923
61 1-61b November 7, 1923
62 1-62a
Stator in Unit 1 seen from above
November 24, 1923
62 1-62b November 27, 1923
63 1-63a December 25, 1923
63 1-63b December 25, 1923
64 1-64a
East portal of tunnel with icicles hanging from roof
December 30, 1923
64 1-64b November 25, 1923
65 1-65a February 9, 1924
65 1-65b
Close-up of steel lining form in tunnel
December 25, 1923
66 1-66a January 9, 1924
66 1-66b January 6, 1924
67 1-67a January 12, 1924
67 1-67b
Trim Jumbo inside tunnel
December 30, 1923
68 1-68a
Generators inside powerhouse
February 10, 1924
68 1-68b February 12, 1924
69 1-69 April 1, 1924
70 1-70a February 25, 1924
70 1-70b
Great Northern excursion train at Newhalem
Caption states that this photo (photographer's number 955) was taken from "'x' of photo #952." A photograph numbered 952 is not in the album.
June 7, 1924
71 1-71 August 15, 1924
72 1-72a
 Cottages in Newhalem
Caption on photo: Permanent Cottages Looking East from #6.
June 25, 1923
72 1-72b
Two 30,000 KVA Westinghouse generators in Gorge Powerhouse generator room
September 15, 1924
73 1-73 September 15, 1924
74 1-74 circa 1924-1925
75 1-75
Suspension bridge over river in mountains, probably the Skagit River
July 18, 1921
76 1-76
Man looking at view of mountains, probably in the Cascade range
circa 1925
77 1-77a
Three men with wheel or reel, possibly for guide rope of floating platform or for diver
circa 1919-1924
77 1-77b circa 1919-1924
77 1-77c circa 1919-1924
78 1-78a
Building and equipment, possibly in Newhalem
circa 1919-1924
78 1-78b
Interior of powerhouse with transformers in crates, probably the Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1923-1924
78 1-78c circa 1923-1925
79 1-79a
Exterior of Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1924
79 1-79b
Transformers in Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1923-1925
79 1-79c
Transmission lines along ceiling, probably at Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1923-1925
80 1-80a
Reinforcing steel rods, probably near scroll case of Unit 1 or 2
circa 1923-1925
80 1-80b
Men watching pipe elbow lowered into water near Gorge Powerhouse
circa 1923-1925
80 1-80c
Men working, probably above scroll case of Unit 1 or 2
circa 1923-1925
81 1-81a - 1-81c
Raising of rotor
circa February 1924
82 1-82a - 1-82b
Raising of rotor
circa February 1924
82 1-82c
Machinery, probably interior of generator
circa 1924
83 1-83a
Generator during assembly seen from above
circa 1924
83 1-83b
Generator during assembly seen from floor level
circa 1924
84 1-84 circa 1919-1928

Album 2 - Diablo DamReturn to Top

Photographs of Diablo Canyon and Ruby Creek on the Skagit River and construction of Diablo Dam.

Container(s) Description Dates
Page item
1 2-1 June 30, 1919
2 2-2 May 27, 1927
3 2-3
Skagit Canyon below what is now Ross Dam
June 28, 1919
4 2-4
Looking toward mountains near Diablo Canyon with man in stocking cap in foreground
Caption on page: Mountain view - taken below Diablo Canyon - looking upstream.
circa 1919
5 2-5
Footbridge above Diablo Canyon
May 27, 1927
6 2-6 March 12, 1928
7 2-7
Diablo Dam project diversion dam for de-watering tunnel
March 18, 1928
8 2-8
 Incline railway for carrying materials up hillside from construction camp
Caption on page: Incline for elevating materials in carload lots.
May 23, 1928
9 2-9 March 1928
10 2-10
Wooden footbridge and scaffolding at Diablo Dam site, looking upstream
1928
11 2-11
 Reflector Bar on the Skagit River
Caption on page: "Reflector Bar" - Sand and gravel supply for Diablo dam.
1928
12 2-12 March 29, 1927
13 2-13
Looking downstream at Diablo Dam site during construction
Caption on page: Diablo dam site - Looking down stream.
1928
14 2-14
 Diversion dam at Diablo Dam site
Caption on page: Diversion - up stream view.
1928
15 2-15
 Men at work on diversion dam
Caption on page: Showing progress on diversion dam.
April 25, 1928
16 2-16
Lower end of Diablo Canyon, with wooden buildings above
1928
17 2-17
Looking down on Skagit River
Caption on page: Typical mountain view - Skagit River.
July 17, 1921
18 2-18
 Gravel grading equipment on Skagit River gravel and sand bar
Caption on page: Gravel grading equipment - Reflector Bar.
March 1928
19 2-19 March 16, 1928
20 2-20
Bridge site at bend in canyon nick-named "Devil's Elbow" on the Skagit River
July 18, 1921
21 2-21 October 3, 1928
22 2-22
Lower end of Diablo Canyon
May 27, 1927
23 2-23
Davis Ranch near Diablo Canyon
Caption on page: Davis' Ranch - Below Diablo.
March 29, 1927
24 2-24 March 24, 1928
25 2-25 March 1928
26 2-26 June 30, 1919
27 2-27 May 20, 1928
28 2-28
Mouth of Diablo Canyon with man in foreground, possibly James Delmage Ross
May 27, 1927
29 2-29 March 28, 1928
30 2-30
Seattle-owned railway line over river
Caption on page: City owned railway - Rockport to Diablo. About 28 miles.
July 16, 1921
31 2-31
Man and two horses carrying packs on railroad right-of way in mountains
July 18, 1921
32 2-32
Workers in railroad car on incline railway
1928
33 2-33
River with mountains in distance
June 30, 1919
34 2-34 April 14, 1928
35 2-35
Construction equipment at Diablo Dam site above Diablo Canyon
1928
36 2-36
Mouth of tunnel during construction, seen from across river
Caption on page: Tunnel excavation - Early stage.
1928
37 2-37
Inside of diversion tunnel
1928
38 2-38
Overflow of diversion dam
1928
39 2-39
Looking up from below diversion dam
1928
40 2-40
Diversion dam, seen from above
1928
41 2-41
Rip Rapids on the Skagit River, with mountains in background
Caption on page: Where Rainbow trout abound.
June 28, 1919
42 2-42
Construction work on Diablo Dam
1929
43 2-43
Skagit River and rocky, tree-lined banks
Caption on page: Skagit River scene - Note bridge across ravine marking old trail.
circa 1919
44 2-44
Rapids on the Skagit River
Caption on page: A fisherman's paradise.
July 1, 1919
45 2-45
Water flowing over dam, probably diversion dam
Caption on page: More high water.
1928
46 2-46 May 9, 1928
47 2-47
 Construction work above Diablo Dam site
Caption on page: Scene of operations immediately above dam. 1. Gravel & sand bins. 2. Cement house. 2-a. Conveyor. 3. Where material is mixed.
May 7, 1928
48 2-48 1928
49 2-49
Men at work, probably on diversion dam
1928
50 2-50 April 12, 1928
51 2-51 circa 1928
52 2-52
Blank page
53 2-53
 Junction of Ruby Creek with Skagit River, seen from above, with two bridges visible
Caption on photo: Junction of Ruby Creek with Skagit River Mile 29. Ruby Creek Trail Bridge, Shinkle Bridge in Distance.Caption on page: Close to proposed Ruby Dam.
June 29, 1919
54 2-54
Rapids in Ruby Canyon
Caption on page: The boiling waters in Ruby Canyon.
1928
55 2-55 June 28, 1919
56 2-56
Diablo Canyon and surrounding area
June 30, 1919

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Dams--Photographs
  • Electricity generation--Photographs
  • Skagit River Hydroelectric Project--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle City Light
  • Geographical Names :
  • Skagit River (B.C. and Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photograph albums