Scope and Content
Indexing Terms: Added Entries
Indexing Terms: Subjects
Title: Southern California Edison Company
Bulk Dates: 1911-1965
Collection Call Number: mssSouthern California Edison records
Southern California Edison Company
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Abstract: A selection of corporate records created by Southern California Edison (SCE), an electric utility founded in 1886. The collection
also includes smaller collections created by employees of SCE and materials used in the process of writing the official history
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please go to following
The Huntington Library has the right to authorize the non-commercial reproduction, publication, or similar uses of the material.
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials for non-commercial purposes, researchers must obtain formal
permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights
gives permission. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information. In addition, researchers and others
can contact the appropriate curator to obtain information regarding the commercial reproduction, publication, or similar uses
of the material. Authorization for commercial uses must be obtained from Southern California Edison through the EIX (Edison
International) Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.
[Identification of item], Southern California Edison Records, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The collection was donated by Edison International in August 2005.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is the largest electric utility in California and one of the nation’s largest investor-owned
electric utilities, serving more than 13 million people in 15 counties of central, coastal and southern California. Based
in Rosemead, California, the utility has been providing electric service in the region for more than 120 years. SCE is a subsidiary
of Edison International, which also is headquartered in Rosemead. The SCE service territory includes approximately 430 cities
and communities with a total customer base of approximately 4.8 million residential and business accounts. SCE is regulated
by the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
SCE’s earliest predecessor was Holt and Knupps which in 1886 installed street lights in Visalia, California. In 1894, a group
including Elmer Peck and George Baker organized West Side Lighting to provide electricity in Los Angeles. The next year the
company merged with Los Angeles Edison Electric, which owned the rights to the Edison name and patents in the region, and
Baker became president. Edison Electric installed the first DC-power underground conduits in the Southwest. In 1899, Edison's
Santa Ana River No. 1 hydroelectric plant began operation, transmitting power to Los Angeles over the world's longest power
line (83 miles). In 1907, Edison's Kern River-Los Angeles Transmission Line began operation. At 118 miles and 75 kV, it was
the world's longest and highest voltage power line, and the first line in the nation to be entirely supported by steel towers.
John Barnes Miller began his 31 year service as company president in 1901, the same year that the Edison Electric Company
of Los Angeles recapitalized as a $10 million corporation. In 1909 after another recapitalization the corporate name was
changed to the present Southern California Edison Company (SCE). Under Miller’s leadership, the firm bought many neighboring
utilities and built several power plants. In 1917, SCE doubled its assets through a merger with Henry E. Huntington’s Pacific
Light and Power Corporation. The centerpiece of the merger transferred ownership of the Big Creek hydroelectric project to
SCE – Big Creek eventually became one of the world’s largest hydroelectric projects.
At the same time SCE increased its generation and transmission assets through the merger with Pacific Light and Power, it
also was losing a major customer in the city of Los Angeles. Beginning in 1912, the city of Los Angeles began developing its
own city-owned power department and conflict with SCE ensued. In 1917, SCE and the city of Los Angeles reached a settlement
under which SCE sold its combined distribution system within Los Angeles to the city for $12 million. SCE continued to operate
the system under lease until 1922, since the city of Los Angeles required that time to develop the generating capacity to
serve its new system.
During the middle years of the twentieth century, SCE faced a number of natural and economic challenges. A 1925 earthquake
and the 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam severely damaged SCE's facilities. The Great Depression and World War II had
a significant effect on SCE’s continued growth and access to economic and natural resources. Human resources also proved to
be an issue in these years as World War II constricted SCE’s access to workers and in 1953 SCE faced a major employee strike.
SCE survived these difficult decades and in 1964 consolidated its eastern service area by merging with the California Electric
Power Company (also known as Calectric). Through this merger, SCE gained access to Calectric’s 450,000 customers and 41,500-square-mile
territory. A second significant mid-1960s event for SCE was the 1963 initiation of construction of the San Onofre Nuclear
Generating Station (SONGS). SONGS Unit 1 began operation in 1968. In addition to nuclear energy, SCE has also supported the
development of renewable and alternative energy resources such as wind, solar and geothermal. Today's Southern California
Edison is the product of more than a century of providing reliable electric service to central, coastal and southern California.
Scope and Content
The Southern California Edison Records contain books, catalogs, correspondence, journals, ledgers, log books, meeting minutes,
newsletters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, press releases, reports, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting
the history of the Southern California Edison (SCE) Company. The records cover the years 1848 to 1989 with the bulk of the
material ranging from 1911 to 1965. The material is largely textual with the exception of a few non-paper items scattered
The Southern California Edison Records consist of materials created, maintained, and collected by the company. Series 1,
Administrative Records, includes documentation of the management of the company such as Annual Reports to the Federal Power
Commission (1918-1964) and Annual Reports to Stockholders (1914-1987). Also included are correspondence, manuals, policy
and procedure orders, and other documents. Series 2, Department/Division Records, contains records pertaining to the Commercial
Department, Communications Division, Engineering Department, Garage Department, Shop and Test Department, and the Steam Generation
The collection also contains Employee Records (Series 3), detailing SCE employees' activities, benefits, and rules, as well
as Financial Records (Series 4), consisting of cost reports, valuations, and other materials. Series 9, Publications, includes
items published by SCE as well as items collected by SCE. Series 10, Publicity Records, contains mostly newspaper clippings,
press releases, and other materials documenting the 1953 Edison Employee Strike. Project Records (Series 8), Research Files
(Series 11), Topical Files (Series 12), and the Vertical File (Edison Library) (Series 13) contain a variety of materials
on various subjects such as Big Creek, the Central Valley Water Project, the Colorado River, energy, Hoover Dam, hydroelectric
plants, public utilities, Thomas Edison, and more.
One of the largest series, Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Records, is divided into four subseries. Subseries
5.1, Generation (Power Plants) Records, contains an extensive set of log books maintained by various SCE plants/stations including
Big Creek, Etiwanda, Fontana, Long Beach, Lytle Creek, Mill Creek, Ontario, and Santa Ana River. These log books contain
meter readings, statistical information, and documentation of plant/station maintenance and operating activities. Materials
in this subseries range in date from 1899 to 1980.
While the Southern California Edison Records are comprised primarily of company records, Series 6 contains collections of
personal papers donated to the company by various Edison employees, including Dean E. Batchelder, Albert Chavannes, Elizabeth
Erickson Edmunds, and David Hubbard Redinger. Of particular historical note are a set of Redinger's journals ranging in date
from 1904 to 1976. These journals document Redinger's life, including his time as division superintendent for SCE at Big
In addition to materials documenting the Southern California Edison Company, the records also contains limited documentation
pertaining to a number of SCE's predecessor companies, such as the California Electric Power Company, the Edison Electric
Company, the Nevada-California Electric Corporation, the Pacific Light and Power Company, and the Southern Sierras Power Company.
Materials for these and other predecessor companies are located in Series 7.
The Southern California Edison Records are arranged alphabetically by series title, with the exception of the last series
(Series 14. Oversize Materials). Folders are arranged alphabetically by title within series. Documents within folders are
arranged in chronological order by date with undated materials residing at the end of each folder.
The collection is organized into fourteen series:
- Administrative Records, 1892-1987. 8.8 linear feet
- Department/Division Records, 1903-1987. 25.2 linear feet
- Employee Records, 1892-1977. 2.6 linear feet
- Financial Records, 1902-1971. 14.5 linear feet
- Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Records, 1899-1980. 56.5 linear feet
- Personal Papers, 1900-1977. 11.4 linear feet
- Predecessor Companies, 1890-1965. 7.5 linear feet
- Project Records, 1903-1985. 2.1 linear feet
- Publications, 1848-1989. 28.0 linear feet
- Publicity Records, 1914-1978. 1.4 linear feet
- Research Files, 1866-1987. 5.6 linear feet
- Topical Records, 1898-1988. 1.8 linear feet
- Vertical File (Edison Library), 1889-1989. 45.8 linear feet
- Oversize Materials, 1899-1985 1.5 linear feet
Indexing Terms: Added Entries
Batchelder, Dean E.
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927.
Edmunds, Elizabeth Erickson.
Mullendore, William Clinton, 1892-.
Redinger, David H.
Big Creek (Calif.).
Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.).
Shaver Lake (Calif.).
Boulder Canyon Project (U.S.).
California Public Utilities Commission.
Central Valley Project (Calif.).
Edison Electric Company.
Edison Electric Institute.
General Electric Company.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Calif.).
National Electric Light Association. Convention.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Railroad Commission of the State of California.
Southern California Edison Company.
Tennessee Valley Authority.
United States Reclamation Service.
Indexing Terms: Subjects
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chornobyl’, Ukraine, 1986.
Electric industry workers.
Electric power distribution.
Geothermal power plants.
Hydroelectric power plants.
Nuclear power plants.