Historical Note

Scope and Content

Restrictions on Access

Acquisition Info

Processing Info

Related Material

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Alaska Steamship Company Photographs of Docks and Harbors



PH Collection No.: 646
Creator: Alaska Steamship Co. , creator
Title: Alaska Steamship Company Photographs of Dock and Harbors
Date Span: 1939-1971
Bulk: 1951-1966
Quantity: 978 photographic prints (2 boxes)
Location: K188 (2 boxes)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Dock at Metlakatla, Alaska, 1962. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW23965z




Historical Note

The Alaskan shipping industry began to grow in the late 1800s with the expansion of fishing and cannery activities. As a result, there was a dramatic increase in the need for transportation of other products to and from the lower 48 states. In 1894, six men, recognizing this need, incorporated; they gathered $30,000 by selling 300 shares at $100 each, and then set about scouting for a ship to begin hauling. They found and purchased the Willapa, which could carry passengers as well as freight. Their timing could not have been better; soon after the Alaska Steamship Company (ASC) opened for business, Alaska began to experience major economic benefits resulting from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. In addition to fish products, ASC began hauling mining equipment, dog sleds, cattle, and miscellaneous supplies.

The company began by servicing Southeast Alaska, running only between Skagway and Seattle. Another shipping company, the Northwest Steamship Company, had organized the northern route as a result of the Nome gold strike in 1900, servicing Valdez, Cook Inlet, and the Bering Sea ports. A third party, the Guggenheim Company, bought out both ASC and the Northern Steamship Co., keeping the ASC name. They expanded the fleet into 18 ships and expanded service to all Alaskan ports from Ketchikan to Kotzebue.

For the next quarter of a century, ASC relied on copper from the Kennecot mines, gold, and salmon for backhauls from northern cities to the lower 48 states. By 1938, the copper mine had closed and the gold rush had subsided. With backhauls now significantly reduced, the Alaskan shipping industry was severely impacted. In addition, the much relied-upon fishing industry was only seasonal. The one-way haul was one of the great problems of the Alaska run; the other problem was the weather. Ships were constantly threatened by fierce Alaskan weather patterns.

Eventually, the Kennecot Company acquired controlling interest from Guggenheim Company. In 1944, G.W. Skinner of Seattle purchased all interests and retained the management identified with the Alaska Steamship Company for the next several years.

The ASC joined the war effort in 1942, losing five ships in various campaigns. In 1953, they expanded into container service. The holds of the vessels were paved to accommodate fork lifts. New masts were engineered to lift massive vans. New generators were installed to provide power for van refers (refrigerated vans) and heater equipment. Containerization was recognized as the most significant development in ocean transport since the steam engine. There was less damage to freight, less pilfering, and labor costs were significantly reduced as there was no more piece by piece handling of cargo.

In 1954, the company ceased passenger operations due to high costs of labor and union standards. By then, ASC had established itself as a pioneer in containerization. At one point, the company pumped $11 million into the economy by employing dockworkers, ship workers, and stevedores, hauling freight, and operating ship and dock facilities. However, because of increased fuel and insurance costs, increased competition from barges, ferries, and tugboats, and continual union demands, the Alaska Steamship Company ceased operations in 1971.

Scope and Content

The collection includes 978 black-and-white photographs of docks, chiefly in cities in Alaska but also in Washington State. The photographs primarily show operational docks, newly constructed docks, damage to docks, pilings, and docked ships; also included are views of canneries, harbors, and cities.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open to the public.

Acquisition Info

Donor: Mr. McAllister, Alaska Steamship Company, 1971.

Processing Info

Processed by Elizabeth Parks, 2004.

Photographs are pasted on pages which were removed from three-ring binders; the original order of the pages was retained.

Related Material

Also available in the repository are the Alaska Steamship Company Records (Accessions 1585 and 1566), a collection of pamphlets and various maps issued by the company.


Inventory

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Adak, Alaska
1/11a-dCargo handling on dock1963-1969

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Alitak, Alaska
1/22a-dDock views and cannery, Butler warehouse, S.S. Tonsina in port1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item
Anacortes, Washington
1/37a-8cMunicipal dock

 
Box/Folder Item
Anchorage, Alaska
1/49a-13bAlaska Freight Lines operations at Anchorage
Municipal dock, discharge operations, and views of "knot" ship at dock.

 
Box/Folder Item
Bellingham, Washington
1/514a-16dBellingham South Terminal and harbor; ships and Pacific American Fisheries (PAF) building and dock

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Bethel, Alaska
1/617a-18cHarlan Eggleston's wife and barges at Bethel dock1967

 
Box/Folder Item
Blaine, Washington
1/719a-20dAlaska Packers Dock, Semiahmoo Bay

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Captain's Bay, Alaska
1/821a-27aDock damage and shipping operations1965-1969
Dock damaged by Iliamna, Fortuna in harbor, and San Juan Cannery.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Chatham, Alaska
1/928a-31bChatham Cannery and harbor1967
M.S. Susitna, new fish house, and fish elevator.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Chena, Alaska
1/1032a-cFishing vessel and dock1964

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Chignik, Alaska
1/1133a-37eAPA Dock and harbor1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Cook Inlet, Nikiski, Alaska
1/1238aNewspaper article "Pipeline Message Marks Beginning of Oil Flow" with photograph of dock built to facilitate oil transport1960

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Cold Bay, Alaska
1/1339a-41dCold Bay Dock with damage, causeway to beach1960
S.S. Chena, Iliamna.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Cordova, Alaska
1/1442a-47fHarbor views, Cordova Municipal Dock, state ferry Tustumena at dock1967-1969

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Crab Bay, Alaska
1/1548aDock from approaching fishing vessel1939

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Dutch Harbor, Alaska
1/1649a-56cNorth, Ballyhoo, and Standard Oil Docks1965-1969
Views of dock damage and vessels in port: Tatalina, S.S. Chena, Iliamna.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Excursion Inlet, Alaska
1/1757a-60dAerial views of Excursion Inlet, Barge Landing, dock, and piling damage1962-1968

 
Box/Folder Item Date
False Pass, Alaska
1/1861a-66aFalse Pass: moored ships S.S.Chena and Fortuna and dock and piling damage1962-1969

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Haines, Alaska
1/1967a-81aHaines City Dock, Lutak Dock1952-1967
Aerial views and close-ups of piling damage and new dock under construction at Haines; Fortuna and M.S. Susitna in port

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Hawk Inlet, Alaska
1/20 82a-85cDock and harbor views1951-1970
Fish elevator and hoist, Coastal Rambler, Fortuna.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Homer, Alaska
1/2186a-89eHomer harbor, old pilings, new dock (1965), and S.S. Tatalina 1952-1965

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Hoonah, Alaska
1/2290a-d Nadina in port 1953

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Hydaburg, Alaska
1/2391a-92aHarbor, Coastal Rambler in port1951-1952

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Juneau, Alaska
1/2493a-100fDock views, harbor businesses1952-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Kake, Alaska
1/25101a-102eDock and pilings, M.S. Susitna 1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ketchikan, Alaska
1/26103a-121dKetchikan harbor docks and aerial views of town and docks1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
King Cove, Alaska
1/27122a-127cViews of harbor, S.S. Chena andTatalina in port1953-1970

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Kenai, Alaska
1/28128a-cKenai barge operations1955

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Klawock, Alaska
1/29129a-eKlawock harbor, dock, Coastal Rambler 1951-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Kodiak, Alaska
1/30130a-143fAerial views of city, dock, van staging area, and Coastal Monarch and Iliamna in port1947-1969

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Letnikof Cove, Alaska
1/31144a-148aHarbor views, dock and pilings1954-1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Lutak Inlet, Alaska
1/32149a-152bHarbor views in winter, ferry landing, Lutak Inlet Dock1954-1955

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Metlakatla, Alaska
1/33153a-156aAerial view of harbor and city, harbor, dock and pilings1962-1967

 
Box/Folder Item
Moser Bay, Alaska
1/34157aMoser Bay dock

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Oduna, Alaska
1/35158a-cDock views1971

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Orca, Alaska
1/36159a-dDock views1962-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ouzinkie, Alaska
1/37160a-161aOuzinkie Seafoods dock, aerial view of harbor1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Petersburg, Alaska
1/38162a-163fDock and pilings1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port Bailey, Alaska
1/39164a-166cHarbor and dock views, Tanana 1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port Nellie Juan, Alaska
1/40167aDock view1939

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port San Juan, Alaska
1/41168a-fHarbor and dock views1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port Vita, Alaska
2/1169aHarbor view1939

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port Wakefield-Raspberry Strait, Alaska
2/2170a-174cDock and harbor views, Kizhuyak Bay1939-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Port Williams, Alaska
2/3175a-176cHarbor, dock and pilings1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Pulney Point, Alaska
2/4177a-178aHarbor views, S.S. Columbia 1942

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Sand Point, Alaska
2/5179a-184dAerial view of harbor and town, harbor and dock views, and dock damage1962-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Seldovia, Alaska
2/6185a-189aDock and pilings, harbor views1947-1962
Dock damage, S.S. Tatalina, and Anderson dock.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Seward, Alaska
2/7190a-208aVarious docks, construction1951-1966

 
Box/Folder Item
Shearwater Bay, Alaska
2/8209aDock view

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Sitka, Alaska
2/9210a-215aAerial views of harbor and city, various docks1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Skookumchuck, Alaska
2/10216aBay view1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Snug Harbor, Alaska
2/11217a-bHarbor views1962

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Squaw Harbor, Alaska
2/12218a-222aAerial views of harbor and town, S.S. Chena 1964-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
St. George Island, Alaska
2/13223a-dSkinboats, S.S. Tatalina 1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
St. Paul Island, Alaska
2/14224a-225dLoading mike boats, S.S. Tatalina 1966

 
Box/Folder Item
Tenakee, Alaska
2/15226a-bDock and pilings

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Uganik, Alaska
2/16227a-228cDock and harbor views1939-1965

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Uyak, Alaska
2/17229aNew dock1965

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Valdez, Alaska
2/18230a-248cCity dock, ferry landing, ships in port1953-1969
Alaska State Ferry Bartlett, Iliamna, S.S. Nordnes, S.S. Denali.

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Ward's Cove, Alaska
2/19249a-251bDock and pilings, Fortuna 1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Wrangell Dock, Alaska
2/20252a-260dViews of dock and pilings, warehouse1951-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Waterfall, Alaska
2/21261a-265dDock views1962-1967

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Whittier, Alaska
2/22266a-269bPlowing snow off dock, unloading containers with crane1965

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Yakutat, Alaska
2/23270a-273aDock and pilings1962-1966

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Zachar Bay, Alaska
2/24274a-bShip in harbor1939

Subject Terms

Geographic Names:
Alaska--Photographs.
Washington (State)--Photographs.
Subjects:
Canneries--Alaska--Photographs.
Docks--Alaska--Photographs.
Harbors--Alaska--Photographs.
Steamboats--Alaska--Photographs.
Genre Headings:
Photographic prints.
Last modified: February 04, 2010
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