Seattle City Light Glass Lantern Slides, 1903-1945

Overview of the Collection

Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light Glass Lantern Slides
1903-1945 (inclusive)
60 slides
Collection Number
Slides related to the development of public power in Seattle.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

City Light provides electricity and electrical and conservation services to its public and private customers. It is the largest public utility in the Pacific Northwest. Public responsibility for electrical energy dates to 1890 with creation of the Department of Lighting and Water Works. In 1902, Seattle voters passed a bond inssue to develop hydroelectric power on the Cedar River under the administration of the Water Department. Electricity from this department began to serve Seattle in 1905. A City Charter amendment in 1910 created the Lighting Department. Under the leadership of Superintendent James D. Ross, the department developed the Skagit River hydroelectric project which began supplying power in 1924. Both public and private power was supplied to Seattle in 1951 when the City purchased the private electrical power supply operations, making the Lighting Department the sole supplier. The Boundary Project in northeastern Washington began operations in 1967 and supplied over half of City Light's power generation. By the early 21st century, approximately ten percent of City Light's income came from the sale of surplus energy to customers in the Northwest and Southwest with the remainder of City Light's financial support coming from customer revenue. The current name of the agency was adopted in 1973 when the Department was reorganized.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Slides related to the development of public power in Seattle. Includes landscapes at Cedar Falls and the Skagit; promotional materials comparing City Light facilities to private companies; examples of electrical appliances and applications of electricity; and views of Diablo Dam; the Skagit River Railway, Cedar Falls Power Plant, and the Denny Hill Regrade. Slides have been digitized and are available for download on our digital platform at the link below. View 1204-03 online

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item number.], Seattle City Light Glass Plate Slides, Record Series 1204-03. Box [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Cedar Falls Power Plant (Wash.)
  • Cedar River Watershed (King County, Wash.)
  • Denny Regrade
  • Diablo Dam (Wash.)
  • Electric heating--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Electric lighting--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Electric utilities--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Electric meters
  • Electric power--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Electricity
  • Electricity Consumption
  • Exhibitions
  • Floods
  • Gorge Dam (Wash.)
  • Hydroelectric power plants
  • Interiors
  • Landslides
  • Residential Buildings
  • Rivers and streams
  • Ross Dam (Wash.)
  • Skagit Hydroelectric Project --Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Utility poles
  • Vessels
  • Water-power--Washington (State)--Seattle

Corporate Names

  • Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Lighting
  • Seattle City Light

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Skagit River (B.C. and Wash)