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A guide to the Dwight R. Messimer photograph collection, circa 1900s-1920s
P01-030 (SAFR 23343)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: Dwight R. Messimer photograph collection
    Date: circa 1900s-1920s
    Collection No. (Catalog No.): P01-030 (SAFR 23343)
    Creator: Messimer, Dwight R.
    Physical Description: 51 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Dwight R. Messimer photograph collection, circa 1900s-1920s, (SAFR 23343, P01-030) is comprised of 1 booklet and 50 photographs relating to the Port of San Francisco. The collection has been processed to the item level.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Information about numeric stamps on the back of the photographs has been included in the physical description notes, because in the early 20th century the stamp often signified the customer number. This might help to identify which photographs came from particular people.
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P01-030 (SAFR 23343), Dwight R. Messimer photograph collection, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-01593
    In 1995, Dwight R. Messimer donated 50 photographs of maritime activity, circa 1900-1920, and 1 volume from the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, circa 1920-1922, to the San Francisco Maritime NHP. It was formally accessioned in April 2001.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Dwight R. Messimer is a military historian, specializing in World War I and early U.S. aviation. Messimer is the author of eight books on military history, many of which involve U.S. Navy ships and submarines. He worked for the San Jose Police Department from 1966-1989 and was a lecturer in military history at San Jose State University from 1988-2002.
    Dwight R. Messimer (April 30, 1937-) was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma to Richard C. Messimer (an engineer) and Snow C. Messimer (a homemaker). He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1962 as a tank commander, and was stationed in Berlin from 1957 to 1959. On January 26, 1959, Messimer married Renate Irmgard Charlotte Messimer (born December 20, 1940; a homemaker), and they had one son named Dale. They lived in Mountain View, California, for many years.
    Messimer worked for the San Jose Police Department as a police officer, detective, and administrator from 1966-1989. He received his bachelor's degree in history (unknown year) and M.A. in history (in 1979) from San Jose State University in California. Messimer was a lecturer in military history at San Jose State University from 1988-2002, where he specialized in World War I and early U.S. aviation. He is the author of eight books on military history, which were published between the years 1981 and 2003.
    In an interview for his biography in Contemporary Authors Online, Gale Biography In Context, Messimer was asked about his writing. He said:
    "I write because I enjoy writing and because I want to inform my readers on historical subjects about which little or nothing has been written. The motive to write came from within--it was simply something that I had wanted to do since I was a teenager. I have always been an avid reader of military history, and the historians who most influenced me were Walter Lord, Cornelius Ryan, John Terraine, and John Toland."
    "Why write about military history? Because it interests me and it involves human experience. I have written about sinking ships, survival at sea, and escapes. The drama that occurs on a sinking ship is captivating because so many people are involved in so many different situations over a fairly long period of time. Prison camp escapes provide similar drama and human experience for many of the same reasons. There is also high drama in military trials because they too involve human experience. And it is the human experience that interests me as a writer and you as a reader." (Gale, 2003).

    Books that Messimer authored:

    • "No Margin for Error: The U.S. Navy's Transpacific Flight of 1925," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1981
    • "Paws of War: The Loss of the U.S.S. Langley and the U.S.S. Pecos," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1983
    • "In the Hands of Fate: The Story of Patrol Wing Ten, 8 December 1941-11 May 1942," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1985
    • "The Merchant U-Boat: Adventures of the Deutschland, 1916-1918," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1988
    • "Escape," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1994
    • "Escape from Villingen, 1918," Texas A & M University Press (College Station, TX), 2000
    • "Find and Destroy: Antisubmarine Warfare in World War I," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2001
    • "Verschollen: German U-Boat Losses in World War I," Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2002
    Dwight was also a contributor to many books, including "War, Revolution, and Peace: Essays in Honor of Charles B. Burdick," edited by Joachim Remak, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1987; "The U-Boat War in the Caribbean," edited by Gaylord T. M. Kelshall, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1994; "Silent Hunters: German U-Boat Commanders of World War II," edited by Theodore Savas, Savas Publishing, 1997; and "Voyage of the Deutschland," edited by Paul Konig, Naval Institute Press, 2001.

    Sources:

    • Gale. 2003. "Dwight R. Messimer." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context.
    • Messimer, Dwight R. 1988. Author Biography on book jacket. The merchant U-boat : adventures of the Deutschland, 1916-1918. (Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press).
    • Messimer, Dwight R. 2001. Author Biography on book jacket. Find and Destroy: Antisubmarine Warfare in World War I. Retrieved on September 10, 2012, from http://www.submarinebooks.com/FindDestroy.htm

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Dwight R. Messimer photograph collection, circa 1900s-1920s, (SAFR 23343, P01-030) is comprised of 1 booklet and 50 photographs relating to the Port of San Francisco. The collection has been processed to the item level.
    The collection contains the publication "Board of State Harbor Commissioners' tariff no. 2 : naming rates, rules and regulations governing the Port of San Francisco" and photographic prints of images used in the publication, with original printer's marks on them, circa 1920-1922. It also includes photographs of vessels in San Francisco during the 1900s-1920s and piers and maritime activity in San Francisco between 1913 and the 1920s.
    The photographic prints were taken by a variety of photographers, some of whom are identified. Known photographers include: Cardinell Vincent Co.; Lothers & Young Studios; Morton & Co.; Gabriel Moulin; Swadley; Taylor Photo-Publicity Service; Toyo Kisen Kaisha, Oriental S.S. Co., Advertising Department; and Walter A. Scott.

    Collection Arrangement

    The photographs were in no discernible order, so they have been arranged into two series:
    Series 1: Board of State Harbor Commissioners' tariff no. 2 : naming rates, rules and regulations governing the Port of San Francisco, circa 1920-1922
    Series 2: Photographs of vessels, piers and maritime activity along the San Francisco waterfront, circa 1900s-1920s

    Related Materials

    Healy-Tibbits Company photographs, circa 1910-1917. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, (SAFR 17935, P77-011). Construction of the piers by Healy-Tibbits in San Francisco, with views of the northern and southern waterfront, including Pier 39 construction progress.
    Warren E. Miller photograph collection, 1893-1974. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, (SAFR 21874, P90-020). The collection covers the San Francisco waterfront including the State Belt Railroad, piers, Ferry Building, China Basin, Mission Rock, State Products Terminal, Grain Wharf, Hyde Street, Fisherman's Wharf, Embarcadero, and Islais Creek. There are glass plate negatives which document the construction of San Francisco piers, warehouses, and the seawall from 1910-1920. These photographs document the transformation of the waterfront after the 1906 earthquake and fire. The glass plate series includes views of ships docked, at anchor and underway on San Francisco Bay as well as a few views of the Ferry Building and San Francisco.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Marine photography
    Merchant ships--United States
    Coastwise shipping--Pacific Coast (U.S.)
    Shipping--Pacific Coast (North America)--History--Pictorial works
    Ships--California--San Francisco--Pictorial works
    Piers & wharves--California--San Francisco--1910-1920
    Piers & wharves--California--San Francisco--1920-1930
    Piers--California--Design and construction
    Passenger ships
    Cargo ships
    Merchant ships
    California. Board of State Harbor Commissioners for San Francisco Harbor
    San Francisco Bay (Calif.)--Harbor
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    Port of San Francisco (Calif.)
    Harbors--California--San Francisco
    Black-and-white prints
    Gelatin silver prints
    Volumes (documents by form)