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Southern California Edison Records
mssSouthern California Edison records  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms: Added Entries
  • Indexing Terms: Subjects

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Southern California Edison Records
    Dates: 1848-1989
    Bulk Dates: 1911-1965
    Collection Call Number: mssSouthern California Edison records
    Creator: Southern California Edison Company
    Extent: 510 Boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    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 of SCE.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher. Authorization for commercial uses must be obtained from Southern California Edison through the EIX (Edison International) Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Southern California Edison Records, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Edison International in August 2005.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library

    Historical Note

    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 throughout.
    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 Division.
    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 Creek, California.
    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:
    1. Administrative Records, 1892-1987. 8.8 linear feet
    2. Department/Division Records, 1903-1987. 25.2 linear feet
    3. Employee Records, 1892-1977. 2.6 linear feet
    4. Financial Records, 1902-1971. 14.5 linear feet
    5. Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Records, 1899-1980. 56.5 linear feet
    6. Personal Papers, 1900-1977. 11.4 linear feet
    7. Predecessor Companies, 1890-1965. 7.5 linear feet
    8. Project Records, 1903-1985. 2.1 linear feet
    9. Publications, 1848-1989. 28.0 linear feet
    10. Publicity Records, 1914-1978. 1.4 linear feet
    11. Research Files, 1866-1987. 5.6 linear feet
    12. Topical Records, 1898-1988. 1.8 linear feet
    13. Vertical File (Edison Library), 1889-1989. 45.8 linear feet
    14. Oversize Materials, 1899-1985 1.5 linear feet

    Indexing Terms: Added Entries

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Personal Names

    Batchelder, Dean E.
    Chavannes, Albert.
    Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
    Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927.
    Edmunds, Elizabeth Erickson.
    Mullendore, William Clinton, 1892-.
    Redinger, David H.

    Geographic Areas

    Big Creek (Calif.).
    Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.).
    Shaver Lake (Calif.).

    Corporate Names

    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.
    Civil engineering.
    Electric engineering.
    Electric industry workers.
    Electric lines.
    Electric power.
    Electric power distribution.
    Electric power-plants.
    Electric properties.
    Electric substations.
    Electric transformers.
    Energy facilities.
    Geothermal power plants.
    Hydroelectric power plants.
    Nuclear energy.
    Nuclear power plants.
    Power plants.
    Power transmission.
    Public utilities.
    Shortwave radio.
    Solar energy.
    Water power.
    Water supply.