Southern California Edison collection of negatives and photographs, approximately 1883-1989
- Southern California Edison Company.
- Publication Date:
- The Southern California Edison collection of negatives and photographs consists of approximately 80,000 images created and acquired by the company from approximately 1883–1989, with the bulk of the collection covering 1910-1960. Formats include glass and film negatives, photo cards, loose photographs, photograph albums, lantern slides, and related materials. Most of the images were produced by Edison staff and contract photographers to document Edison facilities, products, operations, activities, and employees and for the purposes of education, advertising, training, and liability. The SCE collection offers a range of subjects far broader than the company's original intent. In addition to infrastructural images of transmission lines, steam plants, substations, equipment, vehicles, and hydroelectric plants, the company captured the uses of light and electricity in its myriad capacities, including night lighting of streets, billboards, storefronts, and gas stations; electric kitchens and appliances in domestic and industrial settings such as restaurants and cafes; agricultural innovations in the dairy and poultry industries; lighting for recreational uses such as swimming pools, bathhouses, tennis courts; golf courses; office work; and accident scenes and disasters, particularly the St. Francis Dam disaster of 1928.
The construction of Big Creek hydroelectric project in the High Sierras is documented in the collection in depth, through three phases of development: 1911-1914, 1917-1929 and 1948-1960. Other historic milestones in the collection include: the 1902 survey of the Colorado River; construction and 1924 opening of Long Beach Steam Plant No. 2, the first modern steam plant on the west coast; passage of The Boulder Canyon Act of 1928, designating SCE's operation of some Hoover Dam generators; completion in 1930 of SCE's Art Deco headquarters at Fifth and Grand in Los Angeles; construction of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in 1963, with units 2 and 3 added in 1972; acquisition of California Electric Company (Cal-Electric), in 1964; and the opening of Solar One in 1982, the nation's first large-scale solar generation site.
- Companies acquired by Southern California Edison and represented in the collection are: Pacific Light & Power Company; Mount Whitney Power Company; the Nevada-Electric Corporation (which operated the Nevada-California Power Company, the Southern Sierras Power Company, the Hoton Power Company, the Imperial Ice and Development Company, the Cain Irrigation Company, and the Hillside Water Company); and the California-Electric Power Corporation (also known as Cal-Electric).
- Civil engineering
Dams -- Photographs
Department stores -- Photographs
Electric industry workers -- Photographs
Electric power production
Electric signs -- Photographs
Electric substations -- Photographs
Hydroelectric power plants -- Photographs
Municipal lighting -- Photographs
Nuclear power plants
Power-plants -- Photographs
Restaurants -- Photographs
Street lighting -- Photographs
Glass plate negatives
- Primary Source
- Physical Description:
- approximately 80,000 photographs in 822 boxes : prints, glass and film negatives, photo cards, photograph albums, lantern slides + photo log books