Register of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Collection MSS 722

Finding aid prepared by Mandeville Special Collections Library
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
858-534-2533
spcoll@ucsd.edu
Copyright 2011


Descriptive Summary

Title: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 722
Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.8 Linear feet 2 archives boxes
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1932-1936
Date (inclusive): 1930-1968
Abstract: The collection documents the planning and structural engineering of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from the project binders of junior bridge engineer, Nathan Davis Whitman, Jr., who worked for the State of California Department of Public Works, Division of Highways from 1932 until 1935. Materials range in date from 1930-1968, with the bulk of the materials from 1932-1936, and include blueprints, calculations, design specifications, plans and elevations, reports, and articles about the bridge.
creator: Whitman, Nathan Davis, 1909-1966

Scope and Contents of Collection

Materials from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Collection include primarily structural design blueprints, handwritten calculations on tracing paper and graph paper, State of California Department of Public Works design specifications and reports, and historical background on the plans and construction of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. The bulk of the materials are from the project binders of junior bridge engineer on the project, Nathan Davis Whitman, Jr. and range in date from 1932-1936. Also included are two photographs showing an incomplete bridge with pylons and suspension cables before roadway construction (dated Oct. 7, 1935), a list of contractors awarded for construction, graphs of other bridges for comparison, and biographical information on Nathan Davis Whitman, Jr.

Historical Background

Construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge began in 1933 and the bridge opened to traffic on November 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge opening, and prior to San Francisco’s hosting of the World’s Fair in 1939. The bridge was an engineering marvel as well as a political achievement. Several design and structural elements were used in the plans to help span the deep waters of the Bay and the distance between the two cities. The design was a double decked suspension, cantilever bridge with truss causeway and tunnel. The bridge had the deepest bridge pier of its time on the existing East Span and still holds the world record for the widest single-bore tunnel, which passes through Yerba Buena Island.

Acquisition Information

Not Available

Preferred Citation

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Collection, MSS 722. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

Publication Rights

Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bridges--California--San Francisco--Design and construction
Bridges--Design and construction
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Oakland and San Francisco, Calif.)
Structural engineering--California--San Francisco

 

Collection

 

[Project binder I]

Box 1, Folder 1

Magazine articles, historic background information, photographs 1932-1940

Box 1, Folder 2-3, Oversize FB-490-04

Blueprints, calculations, design specifications 1932-1936

Box 1, Folder 4-7

[Project binder II] - Blueprints, calculations, design specifications 1930-1936

Box 2, Folder 1

"Effect of earthquake on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge" - Report ca. 1933

Box 2, Folder 2

"Specifications, proposal and contract - Contract No. 15 & No. 15A - San Francisco section and approaches" - Report 1934

Box 2, Folder 3

Whitman, Nathan Davis, Jr. (structural engineer) - Biographical information 1957-1968

Box 2, Folder 4

First Annual Progress Report San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, 1934-1938