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 photographic prints (1 box) : b&w ; various sizes
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

The collection is open to the public.

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

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

 

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

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