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Guide to the Allin Brothers Field Books Collection, 1887-1940
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Allin Brothers Field Books Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1940
    Origination: City of Pasadena Department of Public Works
    Extent: 4 boxes
    Repository: Pasadena Museum of History
    Pasadena, California 91103-3594
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of City of Pasadena Department of Public Works.


    Collection is open to the public for research. Use is restricted by rules intended to protect and preserve the materials in good condition for the future. For additional information please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Publication Rights

    Use of the materials is governed by all applicable copyright law. The Pasadena Museum of History reserves the right to restrict any materials from reproduction at any time. Property rights reside with the Pasadena Museum of History. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. The Museum's physical ownership of the materials in its collection does not imply ownership of copyright. It is the user's responibility to reslove any copyright issues related to the use and distribution of reproduced materials. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Preferred Citation

    Suggested citation of these records: [Identification of item], Allin Brothers Field Books Collection, Research Library and Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

    Historical Note

    Brothers Thomas David Allin (1864-1942) and Charles Arthur Allin (1867-1940) founded the Allin Brothers civil engineering firm, which was located in the Boston Building in Pasadena, California. The Allin Brothers civil engineering firm was responsible for first laying out and building many of Pasadena's streets, sewers, parks, bridges, and other civic structures.
    The brothers moved with their family to Pasadena in 1882 from Centerdale, Iowa. Both brothers attended the University of California. Thomas studied engineering and Charles studied law and engineering.
    Thomas served as Engineer for South Pasadena from 1895-1905; City Engineer of Pasadena from 1901-1905; and the first City Engineer of Alhambra from 1904-1908. Thomas was Commissioner of Public Works for Pasadena from 1913-1919. He also served as Engineer of the North Pasadena Land and Water Company and Chairman of the Pasadena City Planning Commission. As City Commissioner he supervised the building of the Colorado Street Bridge in 1912-1913 and as a member of the Planning Commission he helped plan the layout of the Civic Center in the 1920s.

    Scope and Content

    The Allin Brothers Field Books Collection (1887-1940) is part of the Field Books Collection, which comprises about 400 small leather-bound notebooks, which contain field records of the Pasadena City Engineer. This supplements a smaller collection of field books received earlier from the Public Works Department, which relate mostly to Pasadena's parks.
    These books run from 1886 into the 1940s. They contain survey information for streets, sewers, parks, bridges and other Public Works projects for the City. In addition to the survey numbers, many small maps, some in great detail, show boundary lines, street routes, building outlines, property lines, names and location of trees, etc.
    A group of books dating from about 1900 shows the location of wells and springs in the Pasadena area. Another book contains a series of sketch maps of the route of the Dobbins Cycleway through the Arroyo Seco from Pasadena to Los Angeles.
    Ann Scheid, 1981