Consists of seventeen photographs
documenting the destructive effects of hydraulic mining. Includes images of washed-over
roads, ruined orchards, broken dams, riverbank gravel deposits, and working hydraulic hoses.
Photos were taken in Nevada, Sutter, and Yuba counties and feature the Yuba and Feather
Rivers. Two other photographs depict waterfront and shipping scenes in unidentified
location, probably San Francisco. One photograph shows a dredge docked near an unidentified
waterfront. J.A. Todd created the photographs between 1883-1899, the bulk created between
1882-1883. Each photograph was created for use as evidence in United States court cases.
Each photograph is labeled with the court case it was used as evidence in and many include a
brief description of what is depicted.
J.A. Todd was active as a photographer in California between 1863-1897. "In 1882, Todd was
commissioned to take a series of photographs illustrating the deleterious effects of
hydraulic mining for presentation in the case of Edwards Woodruff v. the North Bloomfield
Gravel Mining Company. He photographed a debris dam in Sucker Flat Ravine at Smartsville,
Yuba County. A month later he traveled to North Bloomfield Mine in Nevada County to
photograph general views of the hydraulic monitors at work. Todd was called into the Ninth
Circuit Court in Sacramento on June 4, 1883, to testify to seven of his photographs which
were introduced as evidence in the Woodruff case"--Pioneer Photographers of the West / Peter
E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn.
2.06 Linear Feet
1 flat box
Materials in this collection, which were created in 1882-1900, are in the public domain in
the United States. Permission to publish or reproduce is not required.
CHS is not taking appointments for research at this time. Please check the Library's website updates: https://californiahistoricalsociety.org/collections/north-baker-research-library/