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Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album MSS.307
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Access Restrictions
  • Usage Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Related Collections
  • Arrangement note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Processing Information note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Publication Rights
  • Material Cataloged Separately

  • Title: Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.307
    Contributing Institution: California State University, Chico, Special Collections, Meriam Library
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.3 Linear feet 1 box containing 89 Photographs
    Date (inclusive): 1942-1945
    Abstract: The photo album contains 89 photographs detailing construction progress of the Shasta Dam by Pacific Constructors, Inc.
    Alternate Form of Material: No other forms of material.
    Language of Materials note: English
    creator: Pacific Constructors, Inc..

    Biographical/Historical note

    Early on during World War II, the Pentagon declared the Shasta Dam project to be an AA-1 defense related project, thereby receiving priority status in the acquisition of money, materials, and labor. While the urgency of generating electrical power for the war effort focused attention on Shasta Dam, the main purpose in its construction lay in the attempt to solve California’s historic water problems. Shasta Dam would become the “keystone” of the Central Valley Project.
    Congress gave the United States Bureau of Reclamation authority to oversee dam construction. The Bureau quickly placed the Shasta Dam project under the New Deal funding agency of the Public Works Administration (PWA) thereby assuring an ongoing funding commitment from Congress. Additionally, the Bureau decided to bid out dam construction to private companies.
    Pacific Constructors, Inc. (PCI) came into existence in 1937 when William A. Johnson, a leading southern Californian industrialist, successfully convinced other construction owners to form a joint venture and bid on the federal dam projects. Johnson brought in Steve Griffith, L. E. Dixon, Clyde Wood, Floyd Shofner, and D. W. Thurston; all experienced in completing heavy construction jobs. In preparing to bid on the Shasta job, the leadership team of Pacific Constructors decided to bring in additional construction companies. To this end, the Arundel Corporation, W.E. Callahan Construction Co., the Gunther & Shirley Company, and the Foley Brothers, Inc. all accepted the invitation to join the bid on Shasta Dam.
    Once PCI had won the bid and succeeded in acquiring the Shasta Dam contract, they hired America’s top dam builder, Frank T. Crowe as the dam construction engineer. The United States Bureau of Reclamation, given authority to oversee the work of PCI, selected Ralph Lowry as Chief Engineer. Construction started in 1938, and was completed in 1944 (6 years 9 months).

    Access Restrictions

    Collection is open for research without restriction.

    Usage Restrictions

    No restrictions.

    Preferred Citation note

    Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album, MSS 307, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

    Related Collections

    Shasta Dam construction photographs. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # BANC PIC 2001.050--PIC
    Photographs relating to the construction of Shasta Dam. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # BANC PIC 19xx.322--AX
    Inventory of the Walter L. Huber Photograph Collection, 1911-1953. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # MS 76/14
    Clair Engle Collection, MSS 177, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

    Arrangement note

    Photographs are arranged in chorological order by date and construction progress.

    Scope and Contents note

    The photo album contains 89 photographs detailing construction progress of the Shasta Dam by Pacific Constructors, Inc. The photo album cover labeled “Shasta Dam” is also included in the collection.

    Processing Information note

    Processing of the Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The [ABC repository] was awarded a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from 2010-2012, "Uncovering California's Environmental Collections," in collaboration with eight additional special collections and archival repositories throughout the state and the California Digital Library (CDL). Grant objectives included processing of over 33 hidden collections related to the state's environment and environmental history. The collections document an array of important sub-topics such as irrigation, mining, forestry, agriculture, industry, land use, activism, and research. Together they form a multifaceted picture of the natural world and the way it was probed, altered, exploited and protected in California over the twentieth century. Finding aids are made available through the Online Archive of California (OAC).

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    Source unknown.

    Publication Rights

    The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary property.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    Photographs are in Meriam Library, Special Collections Historic Photograph Collection: sc13874-sc13962

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Pacific Constructors, Inc..
    Dams--California--Shasta County--Photographs
    Dams--Design and construction--California--Shasta County--Photographs
    Shasta County (Calif.)--Photographs
    Shasta Dam (Calif.)--History
    Shasta Dam (Calif.)--Photographs
    Uncovering California's Environmental Collections Project