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Guide to the Eric Rath Collection MS 299
MS 299  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Eric Rath Business Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 299
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.0 Linear feet (5 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1969-1982
    Abstract: This collection contains papers related to the various business projects conducted in the San Diego area by Eric Rath.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English, German, and Spanish.
    creator: Rath, Eric, 1911-1980

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Eric Rath was born on January 23, 1911. He was president of Pacific International Hover Craft, Mexicoach, TRC Development, and Tijuana-Baja Tours. He lectured about transportation at University of California at San Diego, National University of Colombia, and at the Superior War Academy in Bogota, Colombia. He was also a transportation services advisor for the Colombian government as well as for the Department of Defense. He was awarded Putnam Food Award and several others.
    Eric Rath started Pacific International Hover Craft (PIHCo) in 1969. The company leased the hovercraft from a British hovercraft company, Seaspeed. The plan was to transport tourists between San Diego and Tijuana. The hovercraft was able to successfully make a trip down into Tijuana, but on the return trip the engines broke down and required to be towed by the Coast Guard. Eventually PIHCo went bankrupt in the fall of 1971.
    Eric Rath started another company in 1970 called Mexicoach which planned to transport tourists by bus between San Diego and Tijuana. In 1975, Mexicoach had some issues with traffic on its trips to Mexico; in 1978, Eric Rath tried to arrange an agreement with Amtrak where it would use the train to take people down into Tijuana instead. The agreement with Amtrak did not work out, but the Mexicoach business was successful and is continuing business today. In 1975, Eric Rath supported the building of a Transportation Center, which would bring together various schools in the San Diego area and focus on training students in the transportation business. Rath’s company, TRC Development, focused on the transportation of perishable goods.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains papers related to the various business projects conducted in the San Diego area by Eric Rath. The majority of the collection relates to PIHCo and consists of blueprints of the hovercraft, meeting minutes, correspondence, financial information, administrative records, informational studies, newspaper articles, reference material booklets, and publicity photos. In addition there are numerous transportation reports and studies as well as information on other projects Rath was involved with. They provide a perspective on the border situation in the 1970s.
    The Transportation Center project has information outlining the creation of a transportation center for education, but there is little information about the how successful it was. The San Diego-Tijuana Train Plan concerns the combining Mexicoach with Amtrak to alleviate traffic problems when transporting tourists between San Diego and Tijuana. Also included is a speech written by Congressmen Brock Adams about the California railroad service. The San Diego County Study that was used by TRC Development in their business of helping transport perishable goods is also included.


    Arranged by project in the following series.
    Series I: Pacific International Hover Craft Company
    Series II: Miscellaneous Projects
    Series III: Transportation Reports

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    San Diego Economic Development Research Program’s spine is taped with duct tape.

    Preferred Citation

    Eric Rath Collection, MS 299, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Bryan D. Cullen in April, 2013.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number: 831206A.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Adams, Brock, 1927-2004
    Alvarez Malo, Ignacio
    Alvarez Malo, Jose
    Pacific International Hovercraft (PIHCo).