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A guide to the John T. Scott photograph collection, 1856-1923
P79-072a (SAFR 23362)  
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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: John T. Scott photograph collection
    Date: 1856-1923
    Date (bulk): 1890-1905
    Identifier/Call Number: P79-072a (SAFR 23362)
    Creator: Scott, John T.
    Physical Description: 795 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The John T. Scott photograph collection, 1856-1923, bulk 1890-1905 (SAFR 23362, P79-072a) is comprised of a photograph album and loose photographic prints primarily relating to the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California. The photographs show various vessels and pieces of machinery built by the company. The collection has been processed to the File Unit level, with some Items listed, and is open for use.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    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

    Each photographic image has been assigned an Item number; when there are multiple physical forms of each image (e.g. a print and a copy negative) this has been noted in the physical description field.
    In 1983, the National Maritime Museum hired a conservator to treat 187 photographs on the following album pages: flyleaf, 1-30, 93-94, 139-142, 149-152, 159-162, 181-182, and 187-188. The 187 treated photographs were removed, individually mounted, placed in polyester sleeves, and housed in archival envelopes. The original album pages from which the 187 photographs were removed are housed separately from the original album. The collection file contains the conservator's handwritten notes providing details about the condition of each photograph she treated as well as a list of specific treatments she used on each individual photograph. The collection file also includes 120 color slides photographed by the conservator showing the album pages before and after treatment.
    "Scr 50" was erroneously handwritten by previous staff members on nearly all the mounts of the treated photographs. In 2013, the mounts were changed to the correct number, scr 51. In addition, SFMNHP Classified photograph collection Item numbers were assigned to approximately 75% of the prints and written on the mounts; however, these numbers should be ignored due to the fact that they have not been cataloged in the Classified collection database.
    One of the prints removed by the conservator, Item 036 (formerly scr51: 7b), could not be located at the time of processing in February 2013. The print has been noted as missing at the Item level (Series 1.1, File Unit 12, Item 036). The conservator's slides located in the collection file show the print prior to its removal from the album page. It is a cyanotype, smaller than 8 x 10 in., showing the boilers for OLYMPIA (built 1892; cruiser: U.S. Navy) being lifted aboard the vessel in 1893.
    Several photographs in the album have "Photo # NH" and a number written next to them. For example, "Photo # NH 75254." This likely refers to the U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph number.
    SAFR staff made copy negatives of seventeen of the album's photographic prints between 1994-2001. These copies have been identified at the Item level. In addition, 14 copy negatives were made from the album's prints and cataloged as part of SFMNHP's Classified photograph collection, roughly ranging from 41357-41393 and 41426-41513. These prints have been cataloged at the Item level and the corresponding Classified number for the copy negative has been noted in the related collections field. The Classified copy negatives have not been included in the total item count for P79-072a.
    The album's original use was intended as a ledger regarding shipments of parts to UIW. This use was abandoned and the ledger was turned into a photograph album. Pages 1-4 and 6-10 have handwriting on them which was revealed when the conservator removed the photographs.
    Notes on condition: The album binding is in poor condition. Many of the sewn signatures have broken, and some folios have torn along the center fold, creating separated leaves. Some pages have multiple overlapping photographs attached in such a way that one edge of a photo must be lifted to view a photo underneath. In some cases, the photos have been damaged from folding. Care should be taken when lifting a photograph to view those below. Also take care to ensure that the photographs are lying flat before another album page is turned on top of it. Also note that the leather portions of the album covers have red rot.
    The collection file also contains photocopies of four cards with information about oil burner parts and their selling price, circa 1920-1925. The originals were evidently given to the J. Porter Shaw Library, but they could not be located in February 2013.
    In March 2013, it was discovered that an item in the field collection SAFR-00454 actually belonged in this collection. This item ("(1) 8" x 10" cyanotype - Union Iron Works May 1897") has been returned to P79-072a (SAFR 23362) and assigned Item number 764. See the collection file for more information.
    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], P79-072a (SAFR 23362), John T. Scott photograph collection, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    John T. Scott donated the photograph album to the San Francisco Maritime Museum on April 2, 1952, and it was assigned the collection number scr 51 (see SFMM Accession Ledger 101/3). On June 26, 1952, John T. Scott donated more materials to the SFMM, and it appears that some of the loose photographic prints from this donation were added to this collection (see collection file for more information). The album and loose prints were formally accessioned by the National Maritime Museum, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, on April 27, 1979 and given the collection number P79-072a.
    SAFR-00001 is a blanket accession that was transferred from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in September 1988. GGNRA had previously acquired the collection from the San Francisco Maritime Museum when it became a unit of the National Park Service in 1977.
    GOGA-00789 was transferred from the J. Porter Shaw Library to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in February 1985.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    John T. Scott (1865-1960) was a marine engineer. He was superintendent of Union Iron Works from 1895-1905 and co-owner of Moore & Scott Iron Works from 1905-1916. He also founded the Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company in 1917 with his uncle Henry T. Scott (1846-1927).
    John Thomas Scott was born in 1864 or 1865 in Maryland to Mary Hopkins Scott and George S. Scott. He had older brothers named Wakeman H. Scott (born 1861) and Irving Murray Scott Jr. (1862-1952), and younger siblings named Margaret H. Scott (born 1867), George Worthington Scott (1869 July-1941 January 31), and Henry T. Scott (1877 January 13-1949 July 15).
    John T. Scott's uncles were Irving Murray Scott (1937-1903) and Henry Tiffany Scott (1846-1927), the owners of the Union Iron Works in San Francisco's Potrero district during the 1860s-1890s. John was a marine engineer by profession, and followed his uncles into the family business, becoming a superintendent of the Union Iron Works in 1895. John T. Scott's brother Irving M. Scott, Jr. was also in the family business, and worked as a draftsman and engineer at Union Iron Works, Moore & Scott Iron Works, and Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company.
    John T. Scott managed operations at Union Iron Works until he left in 1905 to begin his own business, in partnership with Robert S. Moore and Joseph A. Moore. The Moore & Scott Iron Works started operation in 1905 in Hunter's Point neighborhood of San Francisco. In 1909, they moved to the site of W.A. Boole's old yard on the shore of Oakland Creek (Knave). Moore & Scott was a very successful operation, which continued to thrive under the name of Moore Shipbuilding Company after Scott sold his interests in 1917.
    Scott's next venture was the short-lived Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company, which he established in 1917 in partnership with his uncle Henry T. Scott (1846-1927) at Bay Point, California, (present day Port Chicago) to take advantage of the World War I shipbuilding boom.
    Scott lived in San Francisco until 1909, subsequently in Burlingame, and finally by the side of Lake Merritt in Oakland. He passed away in March of 1960 at the age of 96.

    Written by Amy Croft, 2013.

    • Sources:
    • San Francisco Maritime staff. Front matter in finding aid for the John T. Scott papers, (HDC 126).
    • Unknown author. "Knave" section of the Oakland Tribune. Sunday December 3, 1961.
    • The Bay of San Francisco: the metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its suburban cities: a history. 1892. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The John T. Scott photograph collection, 1856-1923, bulk 1890-1905 (SAFR 23362, P79-072a) is comprised of a photograph album and loose photographic prints primarily relating to the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California. The photographs show various vessels and pieces of machinery built by the company. The collection has been processed to the File Unit level, with some Items listed, and is open for use.
    Contains photographs of machinery and vessels at Union Iron Works and Moore & Scott Iron Works, primarily from 1890-1905. There are 754 photographic images, in 795 physical forms (cyanotypes, black-and-white photographic prints, photomechanical prints, and copy negatives), and 10 textual items (newspaper clippings).
    The photograph album contains 705 items (695 photographic prints and 10 newspaper clippings), along with 17 copy negatives made from the album prints, relating to Union Iron Works (UIW), in San Francisco, California, mostly circa 1890-1905. The album prints consist of cyanotypes and black-and-white photographic prints.
    The photographs show various vessels built and repaired by UIW, including CHITOSE (built 1898; cruiser: Imperial Japanese Navy), FARRAGUT (built 1898; torpedo boat: U.S. Navy), MONTEREY (built 1891; monitor: U.S. Navy), OLYMPIA (built 1892; cruiser: U.S. Navy), OREGON (built 1893; battleship: U.S. Navy), TACOMA (built 1903; cruiser: U.S. Navy), and WISCONSIN (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy), among others. Mostly views of U.S. government vessels as well as some ferries, lightships, merchant vessels, tugboats, and a yacht. The photographs also show various parts and machinery built by Union Iron Works such as engines, boilers, hoists, pumps and more. Some photographs show interior and exterior views of the UIW shipyard.
    The collection also contains 59 images in 73 physical forms (cyanotypes, black-and-white photographic prints, and photomechanical prints), showing various pieces of machinery and vessels built by both Union Iron Works and Moore & Scott Iron Works, circa 1880-1923.

    Collection Arrangement

    Arranged into one Series with two Subseries. Subseries 1.1 consists of the photograph album and prints removed from the album. It is arranged into 205 File Units, one for each page of the photograph album. Series 1.2 consists of loose photographic material not originally attached to the album pages. It is arranged into five File Units by subject.

    Related Materials

    John Scott collections at SFMNHP:
    John T. Scott photographs. SFMNHP, (SAFR 18511, P78-046a). (62) cyanotypes, most 6 x 8 in., of USS OHIO, showing details of every part of the vessel including crew quarters, hospital, galley, engine room and several exterior views.
    John T. Scott photographs. SFMNHP, (SAFR 19205, P78-261a). (15) collodion(?) prints, approx. 7 x 9 in., taken as for a catalog, showing hydraulic and steam, fixed and portable riveters, manufactured by the Morgan Engineering Co., Alliance, Ohio, photog. unknown, Dec. 18, 1896.
    John T. Scott photograph collection. SFMNHP, (SAFR 23364, P78-307a). 13 photographs related to Union Iron Works and Moore & Scott Iron Works.
    John Thomas Scott photograph collection, 1903-1919. SFMNHP, (SAFR 17023, P85-057). (80) black-and-white, cyanotype, and gelatin chloride prints separated from the personal papers of John T. Scott.
    Photograph of 5 unidentified U.S. Warships 1890's, SFMNHP (SAFR 13701). 1 EA. Photosensitized linen with five photographic prints, two sketches. Cyan coloring of naval vessels built by Union Iron, all pre-dreadnought era. Separated from John T. Scott papers (SAFR 15793, HDC 126).
    John Thomas Scott papers. SFMNHP, (SAFR 15793, HDC 126). Personal papers. Includes many mechanical drawings and blueprints dating to his employment at Union Iron Works, Moore & Scott Iron Works, and Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Co.
    There are copy negatives of some of the prints in this collection cataloged in the SFMNHP Classified photograph collection; this has been noted at the Item level when applicable.
    Hanscom photograph collection, circa 1880-1910, bulk 1889-1995. SFMNHP, (SAFR 19542, P79-064a). Many of the cyanotypes in P79-072a can also be found in the photograph album in P79-064a (Hanscom photograph collection). For example, the photograph on page 201 of the album in P79-064a is the same image as P79-072a.073. The processing archivist did not try to match photographs in each collection, but it should be noted that some of the same images are in both collections.
    Irving M. Scott, Jr. photograph collection, 1898-1920. SFMNHP, (SAFR 17021, P85-068). 15 views of machinery, possibly at Union Iron Works and Moore and Scott Iron Works.
    Mrs. Irving Scott photograph collection, circa 1900-1915. SFMNHP, (SAFR 00363, P83-100). Includes a photograph of a vessel launching in San Francisco, possibly from Union Iron Works.
    Mrs. Irving Scott photographs, SFMNHP, (SAFR 19216, P78-272a). (95) black-and-white prints, primarily of Union Iron Works engines and machinery.
    Researchers should note that there are other books and archival collections with materials related to Union Iron Works and Moore and Scott Iron Works in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. They can search the Park's web catalog for more information.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    John T. Scott papers, circa 1891-1940. Bancroft Library, BANC MSS 73/199c. Correspondence, estimates, financial reports, a few records of Union Iron Works, clippings, blueprints of ships, etc. Mainly relate to his association with the Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company.
    • This material is located at University of California, Berkeley. Bancroft Library.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Shipbuilding--California--San Francisco
    Shipbuilding--History--19th century
    Shipbuilding--History--20th century
    Hoisting machinery
    Marine engines
    Marine machinery
    Pumping machinery
    Steam-boilers, Marine
    Steam engines
    Government vessels--United States
    Moore & Scott Iron Works
    Union Iron Works Co.
    Charleston (Cruiser)
    Chitose (built 1898; cruiser: Imperial Japanese Navy)
    Farragut (Torpedo boat)
    Monterey (built 1891; monitor: U.S. Navy)
    Olympia (Cruiser)
    Oregon (Battleship)
    Tacoma (built 1903; cruiser: U.S. Navy)
    Wisconsin (Battleship : BB-9)
    San Francisco (Calif.)
    Oakland (Calif.)
    Photograph albums
    Cyanotypes (photographic prints)
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Gelatin silver prints
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Photomechanical prints
    Black-and-white negatives