Alaska Highway construction photograph collection, 1942-1943  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Title
Alaska Highway construction photograph collection
Dates
1942-1943 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 album with 183 black and white photographic prints (1 box)
Collection Number
PH0651
Summary
Photograph album documenting the construction of the Alaska Highway from 1942 to 1943
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

Selected images can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Languages
English


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

On February 11, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized construction of the Alaska Highway as a land transport route in the event that the Japanese seized shipping lines in the Pacific. On March 8, 1942, construction of the Alaska Highway officially began. Trailblazing was primarily completed by the U.S. Army, while civilian contractors (via the Public Roads Administration or PRA) followed them to widen and straighten the road.

On September 24, 1942, highway crews from the north and south met at Contact Creek, and the highway was officially dedicated in November 1942. Through most of 1943, the PRA developed the pioneer road into a standard highway; workers rebuilt bridges, shored up roads, and cut 200 miles from the highway's total length in the process. In October 1943, the PRA released the final contractors and sent workers home.

Still traveled today, the Alaska Highway measures 1,520 miles in length; 298 of its miles are in the United States, and 1,190 are in Canada.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of an album containing images of workers (civilian contractors), roads, bridges, camps, and wildlife made during the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942-1943. All photographs are assumed to depict sites in British Columbia, Canada. The worker identified as "Harold" in various images appears to be the person who wrote captions on the reverse of the photographs.

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 the repository for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Container(s) Description Dates
Page item
1 1a  Camp 5, 160 miles north of Dawson Creek, home of the Voick Construction Company men between 1942 and 1943
1 1b  Lower Post from center of frozen Liard River between 1942 and 1943
1 1c  Two young natives of the Yukon Territory near Watson Lake between 1942 and 1943
2 2a  Man standing next to four-way signpost, 352 miles west of Fort Nelson, near Watson Lake
Sign reads: "New York 3600 mi / Chicago 2700 miles / Edmonton 1215 miles / Lower post 15 1/2 miles / Watson lake / Liard River 8 miles / Whitehorse 322 / Teslin 172 miles / Tokyo 4000."
between 1942 and 1943
2 2b   Snow-covered Army road alongside Toad River, 142.5 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
2 2c  Army road 147 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
3 3a  Army bridge on Toad River, 154.7 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
3-4 3b-4a  Army road and new crossing being built across the Sikanni Chief River with view of Camp 6 between 1942 and 1943
4 4b  Army bridge across frozen Muskwa River, 253 miles north of Fort St. John between 1942 and 1943
5 5a  Junction of the Tetsa and Muskwa Rivers, 53 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
5 5b  Steamboat Mountain, 55.2 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
6 6a  Truck on Army road through Mill Creek Valley approaching Canadian Rockies, 66 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
6 6b  Army bridge near Tetsa River Valley between 1942 and 1943
7 7a  Army road entering the Tetsa River Valley, 97 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
7 7b  Army road with icy spring, 100 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
8 8a  "Looking west at Summit Lake," view of mountains with trucks on roads, 102 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
8 8b  Road through McDonald Creek Valley, 106 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
9 9a  Ice on McDonald Creek, 119 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
9 9b  Toad River Valley, 156 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
10 10a Muncho Lake, 172 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
10 10b  Army road and mountain, 172 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
11 11a Muncho Lake and Army road, 173 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
11 11b  Muncho Lake and Army road, 176.5 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
12 12a Trout River Valley and Army road, 163 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
12 12b  Trout River Valley and Army road, 191 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
13 13a  Army bridge across Liard River, 209.5 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
13 13b  Man standing by sign, "the point where the northern and southern crews come together," 305 miles west of Fort Nelson
Sign reads: "Golden Spike Bridge, Contact Creek, and Speed Limit 25."
between 1942 and 1943
14 14a  Army bridge across Hyland River, 322.5 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
14 14b  Man entering Hudson's Bay Company building at Lower Post, 336 miles west of Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
15 15a  Dawson Creek street with trucks and buildings
Signs on buildings: "Dawson Hotel, Royal First, the Imperial."
between 1942 and 1943
15 15b  Dawson Creek between 1942 and 1943
16 16a  Men viewing smoking ruins after a fire, Dawson Creek between 1942 and 1943
16 16b  Men viewing smoking ruins after a fire, Dawson Creek
Sign on building reads: "Carlsons."
between 1942 and 1943
17 17a-f  Mountains and snow-covered road between 1942 and 1943
18 18a  Road winding through mountains between 1942 and 1943
18 18b-d  Road scenes between 1942 and 1943
19 19a-b  Camp 6 at Sikanni Chief River bridge between 1942 and 1943
19 19c-d  Buildings, truck, and workers at camp at Sikanni Chief River bridge between 1942 and 1943
20 20a  Camp 6 at Sikanni Chief River bridge between 1942 and 1943
20 20b  Camp with workers and trucks between 1942 and 1943
20 20c  Camp 3 between 1942 and 1943
20 20d Workers and trucks in Camp 3
21 21a  Trucks and men in Fort St. John between 1942 and 1943
21 21b-c  Trucks on road between 1942 and 1943
21 21d  Photographer and camera on tripod between 1942 and 1943
21 21e-f Truck and men on road between 1942 and 1943
22 22a-f  Workers, trucks, and construction machinery between 1942 and 1943
23 23a  Workers, trucks, and crane between 1942 and 1943
23 23b  Camp buildings with smoking chimneys between 1942 and 1943
23 23c  Construction vehicle between 1942 and 1943
23 23d-e  Chartered bus, trucks, and equipment between 1942 and 1943
24 24a  Trucks at Camp 3 between 1942 and 1943
24 24b-c  Trucks on ferry at Peace River between 1942 and 1943
24 24d Trucks at Camp 3 between 1942 and 1943
24 24e Trucks and equipment on dirt road between 1942 and 1943
25 25a  Crane pulling truck out of snowy ditch between 1942 and 1943
25 25b  Workers around overturned truck in road between 1942 and 1943
25 25c  Large cylinders [possibly gasoline tanks] between 1942 and 1943
25 25d  Overturned truck in snow between 1942 and 1943
25 25e-f  Workers and truck piled with bedding between 1942 and 1943
26 26a  Clotheslines with laundry strung between trees at Camp 3 between 1942 and 1943
26 26b Workers on road between 1942 and 1943
26 26c Workers near forest between 1942 and 1943
27 27a  Painted advertisement
Text of advertisement reads: "Central Livery Barn, Rickety Rigs Runaway horses Reckless drivers, and T. Krysko."
between 1942 and 1943
27 27b  Workers resting on road between 1942 and 1943
27 27c  Workers standing amid felled lumber between 1942 and 1943
27 27d  Workers watching cloud of smoke/dust [dynamite blast?] between 1942 and 1943
28 28a  Icy river between 1942 and 1943
28 28b  Snowy drift between trees, workers, and tractor between 1942 and 1943
28 28c-d  Boats on an icy river between 1942 and 1943
29 29a  Men looking at harnessed sled dogs between 1942 and 1943
29 29b  Sleds with harnessed dogs between 1942 and 1943
29 29c  Highway and landscape between 1942 and 1943
29 29d  Men entering boat on ice-covered river between 1942 and 1943
30 30a  Trailer-truck carrying bulldozer between 1942 and 1943
30 30b  Tractor and trucks working on rocky shoulder between 1942 and 1943
30 30c  Snow-covered camp with trucks and buildings between 1942 and 1943
31 31a  Truck on dusty road between 1942 and 1943
31 31b  Worker in tractor between 1942 and 1943
31 31c-d  Crane working on bridge between 1942 and 1943
32 32a-c  Workers by trucks between 1942 and 1943
33 33a  Curving roadway with parked trucks between 1942 and 1943
33 33b  Worker on tractor between 1942 and 1943
33 33c-d  Harold leaning against tractor between 1942 and 1943
34 34a  Tractor and trucks by roadway with felled trees between 1942 and 1943
34 34b Worker on tractor between 1942 and 1943
34 34c Workers between 1942 and 1943
35 35a-b  Workers entertaining themselves at camp between 1942 and 1943
35 35c  Workers reclined and kneeling
Handwritten on verso: "Paul Hudick."
between 1942 and 1943
36 36a  Larry Rhoda reclining between 1942 and 1943
36 36b  Paul Hudick, Earl Scott between 1942 and 1943
36 36c  Earl Scott, [Larry Rhoda?], Paul Hudick between 1942 and 1943
36 36d Worker between 1942 and 1943
37 37a  Leonard and Harold between 1942 and 1943
37 37b  Leonard and Ted Thorson
Handwritten on verso: "Leonard, the machiner. Ted Thorson, bulldozer operator."
between 1942 and 1943
37 37c  Harold and Ted Thorson between 1942 and 1943
37 37d  Harold and Leonard
Handwritten on verso: "My mechanic partner Leonard and I in front of our bunk house."
between 1942 and 1943
38 38a  Workers on road beside checkpoint
Stop sign on checkpoint reads: "Alcan Highway Control Station."
between 1942 and 1943
38 38a  Workers on road beside sign
Stop sign reads: "Alcan Highway Control Station, mile 53."
between 1942 and 1943
38 38c Worker in snowy forest between 1942 and 1943
38 38d  Workers in front of building under construction
Street signs read: "Alaska Blvd., Arctic Ave."
between 1942 and 1943
39 39a  Worker in camp
Handwritten on verso: "Kentucky the 'grease monkey.'"
between 1942 and 1943
39 39b  Workers in front of van
Handwritten on verso: "Harold / Paul / Red / John / Scotty."
between 1942 and 1943
39 39c  Workers in front of tractor holding toilet paper between 1942 and 1943
39 39d  Workers in camp
Handwritten on verso: "'Kentucky' the grease monkey."
between 1942 and 1943
39 39e  Workers in front of van between 1942 and 1943
39 39f  Workers in front of truck between 1942 and 1943
40 40a-c  Men and bears between 1942 and 1943
41 41a-e  Men, bears, and wolves between 1942 and 1943
42 42a-b  Bear in front of lumber between 1942 and 1943
43 43a  Horses drinking from a puddle by the road between 1942 and 1943
43 43b-h  Men and horses in pack train between 1942 and 1943
44 44a  Street in Fort Nelson between 1942 and 1943
44 44b  Moose on road between 1942 and 1943
45 45a  Tractor among rocks between 1942 and 1943
45 45b-c  Truck on road between 1942 and 1943
45 45d  Worker in front of truck between 1942 and 1943
45 45e  Workers gassing up tractor between 1942 and 1943
45 45f Workers walking between 1942 and 1943
46 46a-e  Workers between 1942 and 1943
47 47a  Mel Anderson between 1942 and 1943
47 47b  Harold in front of trees between 1942 and 1943
47 47c  Harold among gas heaters
Handwritten on verso: "Me at the Pit."
between 1942 and 1943
48 48a-b  Man posing with dead wolf between 1942 and 1943
49 49a-b Man posing with dead wolf between 1942 and 1943
50 50a-b Men posing with dead wolf between 1942 and 1943
51 51a-b  Men posing with dead wolf between 1942 and 1943
52 52a-b  Man posing with dead wolf between 1942 and 1943
53 53a-b  Cook and bears in camp between 1942 and 1943
54 54a-b  Cook, bear, and cubs between 1942 and 1943
55 55a-b Bears between 1942 and 1943
56 56  Card with political map of Alaska Highway between 1942 and 1943

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Animals--British Columbia--Photographs
  • Labor camps--British Columbia--Photographs
  • Road construction workers--British Columbia--Photographs
  • Road machinery--British Columbia--Photographs
  • Roads--British Columbia--Design and construction--Photographs
  • Trucks--British Columbia--Photographs
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Public Roads Administration
  • Geographical Names :
  • Alaska Highway--Photographs
  • British Columbia--Photographs