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Henry J. Kaiser Pictorial Collectionbulk 1930-1960
BANC PIC 1983.001-.075  
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The Henry J. Kaiser Pictorial Collection contains an estimated 200,000 items, chiefly photographs, documenting the activities, projects, and products of the various companies that comprised Kaiser Industries, as well as photographs of Kaiser family members and associates. Subjects pictured include the Hoover, Parker, Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta Dams; the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, California, including its products, workers and workers' housing conditions; Kaiser-Frazer automobiles, Kaiser Willys, Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Hospitals, and other Kaiser corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii, with some international content as well.
1882 Henry John Kaiser born in Sprout Brook (near Canajoharie), New York, on May 9, son of Francis J. and Mary Yops Kaiser, German immigrants. 1895 Left school at age 13, to help support his parents and three sisters, by working in a dry goods store in Utica, New York ca. 1903-1906 Became a salesman and partner in a photographic business in Lake Placid, New York; bought out his partner, and opened stores in Daytona Beach and Miami, Florida, and Nassau. 1906 Moved to Spokane, Washington, and worked as a hardware and sand and gravel salesman. 1907 Married Bessie Fosburgh on April 8 in Boston. 1912 Began a road paving business in Washington and British Columbia. The Henry J. Kaiser Company, Ltd. established in Vancouver, B.C., in 1914. 1921 Won his first California paving contract, between Redding and Red Bluff, and established headquarters in Oakland. 1923 Started sand and gravel quarry at Radum (near Livermore), to supply the Livermore-Pleasanton paving job. This was the beginning of Kaiser Sand and Gravel Company. 1927 Worked on a 200 -mile, 500 -bridge highway in Cuba. 1929 Formed a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., with Henry J. Kaiser as chairman of the executive committee, to build Hoover (Boulder) Dam on the Colorado River. Also collaborated on the building of Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta Dams, natural gas pipelines in the Southwest, Mississippi River levees, and the San Francisco -Oakland Bay Bridge underwater foundations. 1939 Built the Permanente Cement plant near Los Altos, California, in seven months, to provide cement and aggregates for the construction of Shasta Dam. 1940-1945 During World War II, coordinated production of liberty ships, "baby flat top" aircraft carriers, aircraft, cement, steel, magnesium for bombs and artillery shells, as well as laying the ground work for post war production of housing, cars and consumer goods. 1942 Granted loan by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to build a steel plant at Fontana, California, the first in the western United States. Broke ground in April, and the first blast furnace was blown in on December 30, 1942. 1944 Considered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as his fourth-term vice presidential running mate. 1944 Chairman of the Non-Partisan Association for Franchise Education, to promote voting. 1945 Kaiser-Frazer Corporation incorporated in Nevada, and produced 750,000 automobiles in its ten years of production. 1945-1946 Served as national chairman of the Victory Clothing Collection, the Civilian Production Administration Emergency Food Collection, and the United States Relief Administration. 1946 Began making aluminum at five rented plants, and showed a profit of $5.3 million in less than one year. 1951 Bessie Fosburgh Kaiser died in Oakland. A month later, on April 10, Henry J. Kaiser married Alyce Chester in Santa Barbara. 1955 Turned over day to day operation of Kaiser Industries Corporation to son Edgar F. Kaiser, and moved to Hawaii. There he developed the Hawaiian Village Hotel, and a $350 million real estate development and resort called Hawaii Kai. 1958 Opened Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Honolulu. 1961 Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. died in Oakland. 1961 Awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by University of California, Berkeley. 1963 Received the International Broadcast Free Enterprise Award. 1965 Given the AFL-CIO Murray Green Humanitarian Award, "in recognition of notable accomplishments in voluntary medical care, housing and labor-management relations." 1967 Died on August 24 in Honolulu. By the time of his death at age 85, Henry J. Kaiser had founded more than 100 companies, which operated 180 major plants in 32 states and 40 foreign countries, employing 90,000 people and making 300 products and services, with assets of $2.5 billion.
200000 photographs (approximately 200,000 items (photographic prints, negatives, and albums), some design drawings and plans, and 909 digital objects)
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Collection stored, in part, off-site. Advance notice required for use.