- Seattle City Light
- Seattle City Light Superintendent James D. Ross Reference Material
- 1911-1996 (inclusive)19111996
- .2 cubic foot, (1 box)
- Collection Number
- Writings and publications regarding J. D. Ross
- Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
- Access Restrictions
Records are open to the public.
- Funding for processing this record series was provided through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
James Delmage (J. D.) Ross, known as the Father of Seattle City Light, was Born in Chatham, Ontario in 1872. Ross left for the Northwest in 1898, became an assistant city engineer for the City of Seattle in 1902 and designed the City’s first hydroelectric dam on the Cedar River. In 1911 Ross was appointed Superintendent of the newly-created City Light department, a post he held for the rest of his life. Although he was fired by Mayor Edwards in 1931, Ross was rehired the same year following Edwards’ recall. A tireless advocate of municipal ownership of public utilities, Ross won the rights to develop hydroelectric projects on the Skagit River. Under his leadership, the Gorge Dam and powerhouse were completed, as well as the Diablo Dam project. In 1937 President Roosevelt appointed Ross a commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission and shortly thereafter named him as the first administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. Ross continued to serve as Superintendent of City Light during this time and initiated a third power project on the Skagit, Ruby Dam, before his death in 1939.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
Miscellaneous writings and publications related to the career of James D. Ross, former superintendent of Seattle City Light. Items include biographical materials compiled by third parties, writings by Ross related to public ownership of utilities, transcripts of radio talks by Ross, and an obituary for Ross published in the Bonneville Spark. Also included are four photographs. This small body of material was created as a reference collection in the City Light Superintendent's office.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
[Item and date], Seattle City Light Superintendent James D. Ross Reference Material , Record Series 1200-14. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Arranged into three series: J. D. Ross Writings, Writings about J. D. Ross and Photographs
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
J. D. Ross Writings, 1928-1996Return to Top
City Light: The Municipal Light and Power System of Seattle, Washington. By J.D. Ross. Public Ownership (vol. X, no. 10)
Educational Radio Talks. By J.D. Ross.
Public Power: Its Financing and Its Advantages, From "Investment Banking"
Law of Simplicity (With Cover Letter)
History of Lamps
Writings About J. D. Ross, 1923-1982Return to Top
J.D. Ross (Entry in Seattle Leaders by E.M. Desmond)
A Far-Seeing Battler for Plentiful Power, Historical Vignettes
The Romance of City Light. By Gilbert Brown.
J.D. Ross. Digest of Article in Encyclopedia of American Biography
In Memoriam. James Delmage Ross. The Bonneville Spark (vol. 1, no. 3)
J.D. Ross, Public Power Magnate. By Carl Dreher. Harper's Magazine
Greatness of J.D. Ross is Recalled. By P.C. Spowart. The Pacific Northwest Power Bulletin
J.D. Ross' Vision. The New Yorker
Correspondence from President Franklin D. Roosevelt (copies)
Photographs of Ross and Others, 1911-1937Return to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Electric utilities--Washington--Seattle
- Public utilities--Washington--Seattle
- Ross, J. D. (James Delmage), 1872-1939
- Seattle City Light
- Seattle (Wash.). Lighting Dept.
- Seattle (Wash.)
Form or Genre Terms
- Photographic prints