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Guide to the Archives of the City of Seattle

Record Group 1200
City Light

City Light provides electricity and electrical and conservation services to its public and private customers. It is the largest public utility in the Pacific Northwest. Public responsibility for electrical energy dates back to 1890 with creation of the Department of Lighting and Water Works. The formulation of this public utility stemmed from fear of monopolization by private companies and was reinforced by the inadequacy of those companies during the Great Fire of 1889. Unable to gain access to private water, much of the business district was burned to the ground. Citizens responded eagerly to the idea of publicly owned water and electricity, which was later encouraged as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s.

In 1902, Seattle voters passed a bond issue to develop hydroelectric power on the Cedar River under the administration of the Water Department. This was the nation's first municipally owned hydroelectric project. Electricity from this development began to serve customers in Seattle in 1905. A City Charter amendment in 1910 created the Lighting Department, making it a full member of the City's Board of Public Works. Under the leadership of Superintendent James D. Ross, the department developed the Skagit River hydroelectric project which began supplying power in 1924 with the completion of the Gorge Dam.

Both public and private power was supplied to Seattle until 1951 when the City purchased the local private electrical power company, the Puget Sound Power and Light Company, making the Lighting Department the sole supplier. The Boundary Project in northeastern Washington began operations in 1967 and supplied over half of City Light's power generation. By the early 21st century, approximately ten percent of City Light's income came from the sale of surplus energy to customers in the Northwest and Southwest with the remainder of City Light's financial support coming from customer revenue.

The current name of the agency was adopted in 1978 when the department was reorganized. As a municipally owned public power system, Seattle City Light is governed by elected Seattle officials. Administrative authority rests with the Superintendent and an executive team that includes the department's Chief of Staff, Service and Energy Delivery Officer, Human Resources Officer, Power Supply and Environmental Affairs Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. City Light is responsible for electrical service and streetlight service, streetlight problems, and also conservation, both residential and commercial/industrial.

City Light provides low-cost, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power to approximately 395,000 customers in Seattle and neighboring areas, including Burien, Lake Forest Park, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, Shoreline, Tukwila, and unincorporated King County. It is the ninth-largest public power system in the United States and has the lowest rates among comparably sized cities in the United States.


1200-01
Seattle Lighting Department Records

1902-1960
220 cubic feet

The Seattle Lighting Department records document the agency's history and public power activities from its genesis in 1902 through 1960. The collection includes the files of John D. Ross who served as superintendent for over 30 years. In addition, the records include legal and legislative files, business and financial records, press releases, newsletters, electrical statistics, and scrapbooks. Also contained in the collection are records related to the acquisition of the Puget Sound Power and Light Company, the City Light Employees Association, the 1936 World Power Conference held in Seattle, hydroelectric development along the Skagit River, recreation development on the Skagit, and some of Ross' personal papers. Of particular interest is material relating to public ownership of utilities and the administration of Depression era projects. These records are housed at the University of Washington. They were acquired prior to creation of the Seattle Municipal Archives. They are identified at the University of Washington as Accessions 33-1, 33-2, 33-3, 33-4, and 2246.

UW
Inventory


1200-04
Incoming Correspondence

1903-1938
20.0 cubic feet

Correspondence received by the Lighting Department from City departments, federal regulatory agencies, other utilities, contractors, railroad companies, and vendors. Of particular interest is material relating to public ownership of utilities and Depression era projects. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

UW
Inventory


1200-08
Annual Reports

1911-2003
1.4 cubic foot

Narrative and statistical reports detailing the activities, projects, and programs of Seattle's public power utility. The reports provide broad outlines of the development of hydroelectric power systems and the extension of lighting services in the City.

SMA


1200-11
Department History File

1894-1972
1.2 cubic feet

Correspondence, news clippings, brochures and pamphlets, reports, typescript histories, and photographs relating to departmental history. The major topics include Superintendent John D. Ross, the Cedar Falls power plant, public power, energy in the Pacific Northwest, and the Skagit River power project. Histories include timelines detailing the department's history, biographies of superintendents, and discussions of hydroelectric power. Speech transcripts are also included, and some material appears to have been prepared for a 1946 "publicity book," which was to include information on specific dams and power plants, statistics and financial data, maps, employee information, and feature stories. Histories and publicity materials stress the low power rates enjoyed by Seattle's citizens. References to the agency as "Your City Light" also appear frequently; one history states, "...it all belongs to the people of Seattle! You, as a Seattle citizen, are one of the owners of City Light. You may well be proud of this progressive, flourishing enterprise built from its own earnings, to bring the many benefits of low cost hydroelectric power to a great city."

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-12
Electric Home and Farm Authority Contract Records

1939-1943
0.4 cubic foot

The Authority, through Seattle City Light, subsidized the purchase of electrical appliances by those families that demonstrated need based on finances. Records include log books containing contract information such as date of contract, customer name, dealer/vendor number, and contract number. Also includes monthly payment charts, balance and finance charges for appliances, delinquent payment lists, customer correspondence, correspondence with dealers, and form samples.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-13
Superintendents' Records

1918-2006
40 cubic feet

Correspondence, interdepartmental memos, reports, financial records and subject files of City Light Superintendents concerning City Light power projects and administration. Topics include acquisition of Puget Sound Power and Light Company properties in Seattle; Skagit River Projects, especially the raising of Ross Dam and flooding of Canadian land in the Skagit River basin; Boundary and Box Canyon dams; Creston coal power plant; Bonneville Power Administration; strategic plans; electric rates; labor relations and affirmative action. Early Superintendents’ files also include personal correspondence. Superintendents’ records for 1984-1987 are missing. Superintendents’ records for 1988-1992 are included in Central Files, series 1200-16.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-14
James D. Ross Reference Material

1911-1996
0.2 cubic foot

Miscellaneous writings and publications related to the career of James D. Ross, former superintendent of Seattle City Light. Items include biographical materials compiled by third parties, writings by Ross related to public ownership of utilities, transcripts of radio talks by Ross, and an obituary for Ross published in the Bonneville Spark. Also included are four photographs. This small body of material was created as a reference collection in the City Light Superintendent's office.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-15
Regional Power Planning Records

1948-2003
7.4 cubic feet

Records of the Superintendent of City Light relating to electric power organizations and regional power planning. Included are correspondence, minutes, reports and related material of the American Public Power Association, Puget Sound Utilities Council, Public Generating Pool, Steering Committee of the Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System, Washington Public Power Supply System Executive Board, Western Interconnected Electric Systems, and Western Systems Coordinating Council. Also included are records regarding planning for and purchase of power from the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project. All are organizations in which City Light participated or played a leadership role.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-16
Central Files

1988-1992
10 cubic feet

Correspondence, memoranda, reports, hydrological and load data, surveys and agreements relating to Seattle City Light activities and power projects. Includes material on Lake Union Steam Plant, Boundary Dam, Cedar Falls Dam, Skagit operations, facility maintenance and construction, health and safety issues, power generation, regulation, licensing, energy conservation, public relations, appliance service, research, electrical rates, environmental issues, substations, electrical transmission and distribution..

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1200-17
Accountability Reports

1996-2006
1.2 cubic feet

Quarterly reports from branches and divisions to the Superintendent regarding work plans, goals, priorities, projects, actions and accomplishments. Reports include budgets, staffing information, and performance data. Also included are meeting files and accountability agreements.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1201-03
Advertising Scrapbooks

1954-1974
4 volumes

The collection consists of five scrapbooks of newspaper, magazine, and other advertisements publicizing Seattle City Light, products and appliances, developments in hydroelectric power, and the city of Seattle itself. Products and services advertised include electric stoves, water heaters, air conditioning, and heat; dishwashers and dryers, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, appear frequently in advertisements. Ads for the "Medallion Home Symbol" are also common. The symbol indicated that a home had been inspected by Seattle City Light and met certain standards for lighting and appliances. City Light advertised its 24-hour repair service and even its Home Economics Department, intended to "help customers realize the full benefits of modern electric living." Local businesses were often spotlighted to display the advantages of electric kitchens or outdoor lighting. Special events, such as the Century 21 Exposition, the opening of the Gorge Dam on the Skagit River, and the Seattle Home Show, also figure prominently in City Light advertisements.

While advertisements in the 1950s and 1960s focus on the low rates and high power consumption enjoyed by Seattle citizens, rate increases, warnings about over-consumption, and energy conservation tips appear more frequently in later advertisements. 1970s advertisements reflect growing awareness of diversity and include sponsored ads for Black History Month (detailing the lives of prominent African-American leaders) and promoting City Light's equal opportunity hiring practices.

SMA
Finding Aid


1201-04
News Clippings Scrapbooks

1924-1970
2 volumes

These scrapbooks are a collection of newspaper clippings in date order about Seattle City Light as well as national and international news regarding hydroelectric power and electricity. Some repeated topics include: City Light rates, wages, Works Progress Administration funding, advertisements, the proposed consolidation of City Light and Puget Sound Power and Light, promotions, retirements, and the Skagit River Project. Volume 1 contains clippings from 1935 to 1936. Volume 2 contains clippings from 1943-1949.

Also included in Volume 1 are a number of newspaper special editions regarding topics related to trade and industry in Washington State, dated 1959 - 1970, and a small number of photographs of Ross Dam, some pamphlets and a few other miscellaneous items. Volume 2 includes a small collection of correspondence, pamphlets, and news clippings about the Skagit River Project Railway and Tours, dated 1935-1969.

SMA


1201-06
Personnel Cards

1904-1938
3.4 cubic feet

Summary personnel information for City Light employees. Includes name, job title, pay rate, dates of job changes or personnel action, and address. Arranged alphabetically.

SMA


1201-07
Seattle City Light Newsletter

1942-1973
0.8 cubic foot

Internal weekly publication containing project and personnel news. Also included are weekly electricity generation and usage statistics.

SMA


1201-08
Employee Scrapbooks

1874-1959
3 volumes

Three scrapbooks assembled by City Light employee Thomas Park. They contain photographs, employee newsletters,correspondence, clippings, brochures, departmental memoranda, and other material. The majority of the items are related to Seattle City Light activities and employees, although some seem to relate to Mr. Park’s personal interests. There is a fair amount of material relating to J.D. Ross, especially from around the time of his death in 1939. A large portion of the third volume contains individual and group portraits of City Light employees with their names. While there are a few early items, the bulk of the material is from the late 1930s through the 1950s.

SMA
Finding Aid


1201-09
CLEA Newsletter

1938-2009
0.8 cubic foot

Monthly publication published by City Light and the Employee Association with departmental and employee news.

SMA


1201-10
Network (Newsletter)

1976-2010
0.4 cubic foot

Monthly publication for City Light employees.

SMA


1201-11
Miscellaneous Newsletters

1965-2006
0.2 cubic foot

Various publications produced by City Light.

SMA
Folder List


1201-12
Brochures

1913-2005
0.4 cubic foot

Brochures, flyers, and other publications published by City Light. Also includes ephemera and Skagit postcards.

SMA
Folder List


1201-13
Video Program Records

1977-1995
2.2 cubic feet

Subject files and production files concerning employee training, public service and promotional slide shows and videos. Files include scripts, directions, memos and consent forms. Video topics include a biomass project, asbestos, home weatherization and new employee orientation.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1201-14
Public Power Speeches and Radio Presentations

1932-1938
0.4 cubic foot

The series consists of radio talks and public presentations related to the benefits of public power and the merger of Seattle City Light with a private power company, Puget Sound Power and Light.

Approximately half of the series is comprised of transcripts from a regular radio program sponsored by the Friends of City Light during 1936-1937. City Light Superintendent J.D. Ross was a principal speaker on these programs. From July through September 1936, the show was broadcast Monday through Friday; beginning in October, it changed to a weekly program. Ross' early presentations generally were given over to explaining the work of New Deal programs and agencies such as the Bonneville Power Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Rural Electrification Administration. He also extolled the virtues of publicly owned power. In 1937 most of the programs were focused on explaining the benefits of the proposed merger with PSPL. In those presentations, the speakers were generally City Light managers or citizens sympathetic to public power - all representing Ross' viewpoint. In these programs, the speakers never used the name of the PSPL, but rather referred to it simply as the Company.

The second part of the series is comprised of speeches that Ross gave throughout the country. The subject matter is almost exclusively about the financial benefits of public power and the close relationship between City Light and the Bonneville Power Administration.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1201-15
Community Relations Records

1982-1994
0.8 cubic foot

Correspondence, memoranda, presentations, scripts, and speeches relating to community outreach conducted by City Light. The series is divided into two subseries: records relating to Network on Television (NTV), City Light's monthly news video, and records relating to the Speakers Bureau, a group of City Light employees trained to educate the public about electric safety and conservation. The NTV records consist of ideas for and scripts of episodes. The Speakers Bureau records consist of drafts and final product presentations geared towards schools, various ethnic groups within the community, and the general public.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1202-03
General and Plant Ledgers

1908-1982
1.2 cubic feet

General ledger, 1908-1915. Microfilm copies of City Light's general and plant ledgers, 1935-1982. Primarily microfilm copies; only eight folders of ledger in paper form.

SMA
Microfilm Container List
Finding Aid


1202-05
Annual Reports of Public Electric Utilities

1967-1997
0.4 cubic foot

Federal regulations require City Light to file annual reports to the United States Department of Energy. The reports include income and sales statements, utility plant valuations, bonded debt, taxes and tax equivalents, electrical generation statistics by type of utility plant (steam, hydroelectric, etc.), transmission line statistics, power purchases and sales, and power exchanges. Prior to 1982, public electrical utilities that generated annual revenues of $250,000 or more were required to file reports. After that, the requirement was based on the generation of 120,000 or more megawatt hours.

SMA
Finding Aid


1202-06
Capital Improvement Project Management Team Records

1996-2000
0.6 cubic foot

Reports, memoranda and budgets received by the management team responsible for reviewing City Light’s Capital Improvement Program.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1202-07
Property Management Records

1910-1992
6.8 cubic feet

Subject files, correspondence, photographs, maps and property records, including title information, agreements, leases, appraisals, and photographs, regarding City Light power sites and other properties. Sites include Boundary Dam, Cedar Falls hydroelectric project and transmission lines; Kiket Island in Skagit County, the site for a proposed, but not built, nuclear power plant; a Tukwila site for a proposed, but not built, substation to serve the Southcenter shopping mall; the Lake Union Steam plant and its cleanup; Skagit River projects, and Samish Island.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1203-01
Toxics Advisory Group Records

1991-1992
0.4 cubic foot

Minutes, agendas, reports, memoranda, budget materials, and distribution lists for group established to discuss environmental hazards. The group compiled and disseminated information on hazards, such as electromagnetic field radiation, and generated reports on its findings.

SMA
Folder List


1203-02
Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission

1985-1998
2.6 cubic feet

Records of an endowment that funds projects proposed by US and Canadian agencies and organizations to promote environmental education and enhance recreation, wildlife and land management. Records include project proposals, monitoring documents and project studies, as well as Commission correspondence and minutes. Projects include trail and campground improvements; wildlife and habitat studies; environmental education institutes; and land acquisition.

The Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission (SEEC) was established by a 1984 Treaty between Canada and the U.S. It is based on an agreement between the City of Seattle and the Province of British Columbia to settle the controversy over the High Ross Dam proposal

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1204-01
Negatives

1914-1995
150,000 images

Photographic negatives documenting the development of Seattle's public electric utility. Includes photos of dam construction in the Cedar River Watershed and the Skagit, and the Boundary Project; transmission lines, substations; City Light facilities; and employees. The largest groups of images relate to Boundary Dam, Gorge High Dam, and Ross Dam. Other generating facilities depicted are Cedar Falls, Diablo Dam, Lake Union and Georgetown Steam plants, and the Newhalem hydroelectric plant. Negatives available as digital images can be found on the Photograph Index by using the link below. Only a small percentage of City Light negatives are available digitally.

SMA
1204-01 in the Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-02
Photographic Prints

1914-1995
12,500 images

This series is comprised primarily of prints of City Light negatives (1204-01) and documents the development and growth of the City's public electric utility. Also included are unidentified images without corresponding negatives.

SMA


1204-03
Glass Lantern Slides

1903-1945
220 images

Slides related to the development of public power in Seattle. Includes landscapes at Cedar Falls and the Skagit; promotional materials comparing City Light facilities to private companies; examples of electrical appliances and applications of electricity; and views of Diablo Dam, the Skagit River Railway, Cedar Falls Power Plant, and the Denny Hill Regrade. A selection of 39 slides have been scanned and are available in the Photograph Index.  Included in this selection
are images of electrical displays and demonstrations in home interiors; Skagit project
locations; municipal buildings; flood damage scenes; and the Denny Hill Regrade.

SMA
1204-03 in the Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-04
Slides

1920-1975
20,000 images

Slides documenting the development of City Light's power infrastructure, public policy initiatives, and general administrative history. Types of facilities covered include dams, power houses, transmission lines, substations, and sites associated with the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, such as Diablo Dam, Ross Dam, Gorge Dam, and Newhalem. Also included are graphics, exhibits, and slide presentations (with and without scripts) concerning conservation, energy issues, safety, and institutional history. A wide range of slides documenting Seattle’s physical development including Elliott Bay, Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, and surrounding areas.
Box 5 includes slides scanned as part of ImageBank (0207-01) and have original numbers beginning with SCL_.

SMA
1204-04 in the Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-05
Moving Images

1937-1995
Over 300 items

Film, primarily 16mm, and a variety of tape formats, including VHS, Umatic, and BetacamSP, depict various activities and facilities at Seattle City Light. The footage includes finished productions, raw footage, outtakes, training, and public service announcements. Most of the content was created by Seattle City Light, but some productions were created by other producers for City Light. Finished productions by Seattle City Light include "Million Horsepower Skagit" (1941) about the Skagit dam and power system, and "More Power to You" (1950) about the Skagit and the making of hydroelectric power. Several films document annual golfing outings of the Electric Golf League (1952 to 1978). An outside production entitled "How will you Rate in ’58 on the 'Live Better Electrically' Selling Scale?" (1957) is by Jack DeNove Productions and stars Ronald Reagan. Other footage documents substations being moved, the construction of transmission towers, and linemen working. Item-level description is available for some items in the motion picture database and new content is being added. Access copies, where they exist, are noted in the datab ase.

SMA


1204-06
Aerial Thermal Study Photographs

1977
4.0 cubic feet

Prints of infrared aerial photographic survey showing heat and energy loss throughout Seattle. The flight includes 1250 images.

SMA


1204-10
Newhalem and Diablo Dams Construction Photograph Albums

1919-1936
514 digital images

The collection consists of fourteen photograph albums illustrating the planning and construction of Gorge and Diablo Dams and their respective power houses on the Skagit River in the North Cascades. In addition to the dam construction, photos include images of machinery, laborers, engineers, housing for contractors and workers' camps, recreational activities, Skagit Railroad, tourists, nature, and scenic views. Of note are the images detailing construction technology and innovations of the time period such as penstock tunnels, coffer dams, valves, turbines, cement panels, and the incline hoist.

SMA
Volume List
1204-10 in the Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-11
Gorge Dam Development Project Photograph Albums

1948 -1962
1.6 cubic feet

Photographs in this series document the Gorge Dam development on the Skagit River, including construction of the Gorge Diversion Dam, Gorge Tunnel and Intake, Gorge Surge Tank, Gorge Powerhouse, the Newhalem Creek Intake, Ladder Creek Settling Tank, and Gorge High Dam. The project was designed to make more efficient hydroelectric use of the water flowing down from Diablo Dam. The project culminated with the completion of the Gorge High Dam in 1962. Photographs include images of construction workers, equipment, and working conditions.

SMA
Volume List
Finding Aid


1204-12
Ross Dam Construction Photograph Albums

1938-1948
1.8 cubic feet

Nine photograph albums illustrating the construction of the first three steps of Ross Dam on the Skagit River. They include images of dam construction, construction materials and equipment, people working, the various stages of dam construction, and the surrounding terrain. Particularly interesting is the album compiled by William B. Wolfendale, principal engineer on the project. The album contains colorized photographs of step one construction and group portraits of the people involved in the project. Also included are images of interiors and exteriors of the visitor cottages at Ross Dam.

SMA
Container List
Finding Aid


1204-13
Skagit River Aerial Photographs

1949
0.2 cubic foot

Aerial photographs of the Skagit River in British Columbia taken prior to increasing the water height of Ross Lake Reservoir which resulted from completing step 3 construction of Ross Dam. The 70 exposures were shot from 12,000 feet by Aero Surveys, Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C. The photographs document the course of the river, topography of the area, and vegetation adjacent to the river.

SMA


1204-14
Masonry Dam Construction Photograph Album

1912-1915
0.4 cubic foot

Black and white photographs of the construction of Masonry Dam, 1912-1915. The album includes images of construction workers, the dam site covered in snow, clear cutting, trains and railroads, and bridges. Many, but not all, of the images are in the online photograph database (http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/phot1.htm). A 1.4 million dollar bond issue for construction of the dam was approved by the voters in November 1910. Masonry Dam construction was started in 1912 and finished in 1914. The dam was designed to raise the level of Cedar Lake to supply increasing demands for power. After completion and water collection in basin behind the dam, water seeped through the north bank of the reservoir. The bank could not be sealed because of the existence of a glacial moraine. Because of the leak, the dam was not used to supply power to Seattle.

SMA
Finding Aid


1204-15
Columbia Basin "Z" Canyon Photograph Album

1933
1 volume

The photograph album and accompanying map show proposed dam sites on the Columbia River and other areas in the Columbia basin. Pictured are valleys, plains, rivers, and gorges, an underground tunnel, and a footbridge across a gorge; men appear in some photographs. Included are photographs of proposed sites for Grand Coulee and "Z" Canyon dams, as well as "Z" Canyon, Latah Creek Valley, the city of Spokane, the Spokane River, and the Clark Fork of the Pend Oreille River. Several of the photographs are panoramas, and a detailed caption accompanies each photograph.

A set of images at the end of the album are copies of photographs made for Col. Hugh L. Cooper, circa 1916; many show the same or similar scenes as the 1933 photographs. The album appears to have been prepared for J.D. Ross.

SMA
Finding Aid


1204-16
2006 Windstorm Damage Digital Photographs

2006
111 digital image files

Also known as the Hanukkah Eve Windstorm, this weather event caused wide-spread power outages and significant damage throughout the City of Seattle and the surrounding areas. These images document Seattle City Light's response to the emergency and depict the extent of the damage to private and public property.

1204-16 in Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-17
Lake Union Steam Plant Construction Photograph Album

1914
1 volume
11 digital image files

Black and white photographs of the construction of City Light's steam plant on Lake Union, 1914. Eleven images can be seen online here. The City approved purchase of the land and money for construction of the plant in 1913 and construction began in 1914, finishing in 1917. Additions were made in 1918 and 1921. The plant was decommissioned in 1987 and sold in 1990. This album only covers 1914 construction. The album includes construction, people working, machinery, and Lake Union and the surrounding area, including houseboats.

SMA
Finding Aid


1204-18
Field System Operations Digital Photographs
2005-2007
166 digital image files

Features images of damage to transmission poles and transformers caused by auto accidents and weather-related incidents. Also includes images of damage caused by high winds in November 2006 (Hanukkah Eve windstorm).

1204-18 in Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1204-19
Communications and Public Affairs Digital Photographs

1998-2011
1,886 digital image files

Content includes images of Seattle City Light personnel; elected as well as appointed officials; and advisory board meetings. Also included are hydroelectric facilities including Diablo, Boundary, and Ross Dams; City Light assets such as transformers, utility poles, and cables included in annual reports; scenic images of the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, and the Skagit area; and wildlife in the Skagit area.

Images also depict the City Light Centennial Celebration at City Hall; an awards celebration for "Climate Wise" (an industry partnership climate protection initiative); and a celebration of students who participated in "Utility U", a partnership between the City of Seattle (City Light and Seattle Public Utilities) and Seattle Public Schools that teaches utility operations to alternative high-school students and provides them an opportunity to explore different career paths.

1204-19 in Photograph Index
Finding Aid


1205-01
Large Industrial Customers Survey

1984
0.4 cubic foot

The survey was conducted by Seattle City Light in 1984 to gather economic and energy use characteristics of large industrial customers in the Seattle area. The survey, carried out by the Load Forecasting Section, covered two concerns: energy costs and plant characteristics, and economic characteristics. Among the customers surveyed were Bethlehem Steel, Olympic Foundry, Seattle Times, Rainier Brewery, Aitron, and Darigold.

SMA


1205-02
Customer Service Administration Records

1982-2001
8.0 cubic feet

Records of the Deputy Superintendent for Customer Services and deputies of the branch’s predecessor units. Included are administrative records regarding the customer relations and account services division, and energy management services division. Topics include customer service, appliance repair, billing, collections, and accounts of several large commercial/industrial customers. Also included are City Light management and executive team distributions and work product, as well as records of the Large Public Power Council, kept by Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lofton, who served on the Council’s Competition Task Force.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-03
Power Development Data

1909-1940
0.6 cubic foot

Charts, figures, statistics, performance curves, schematics, diagrams, cost estimates, computations, graphs, property agreements, and reservoir capacity figures on the Skagit River Power Development Project and the Cedar Falls Power Plant. Includes data for the Gorge Powerhouse and Diablo Dam.

SMA
Folder List


1206-04
Power Management Records

1908-1986
6.8 cubic feet

Records of the Power Management Division/Branch including correspondence, memos, reports, statistics, agreements, subject files, legal files and technical data concerning the production, sale and delivery of electric power to customers in Seattle. Subjects include promotion of electricity for industrial, commercial and residential use; electric rates; development of sources of energy, including hydro-electric generating facilities on the Columbia River; transmission and distribution systems; power contracts, World War II-related restrictions and defense plans; the Bonneville Power Administration and power exchanges. Also included are correspondence with the City Law Department, copies of early Superintendents of Lighting correspondence and early records of other divisions.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-05
Operating Revenue Account Books

1935-1964
3 volumes

Financial account books showing monthly sales of electric energy, annual statistics of residential energy consumption and breakdowns used for annual report to the Federal Power Commission.

SMA
Finding Aid


1206-06
Biomass Project Records

1978-1985
0.4 cubic foot

Records of a US Department of Energy-funded research project to determine the feasibility of growing trees for the purpose of fueling power plants. Seattle City Light subcontracted with the University of Washington College of Forest Resources to conduct research on the cultivation of selected tree species. Records include grant and contract documents, correspondence regarding requests for documents by UW Professor, George McFadden, and travel logs, including trip reports.

Files regarding a biomass promotional video may be found in City Light Video Program Records (record series 1201-13).

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-07
Boundary Dam Project Records

1933-1983
4.5 cubic feet

Planning files of the Power Management Branch regarding Boundary Dam on the Pend Oreille River, including studies, reports, surveys, hydrological data, correspondence, subject files, maps, drawings and photographs. Subjects include a 1958 joint study by the Bonneville Power Administration and City Light of the regulation of reservoirs on the Columbia River system to meet predicted loads and establish the capability of the Boundary Project. Also included are correspondence and court documents regarding litigation with Public Utility District No.1 of Pend Oreille County and US Federal Power Commission proceedings regarding the project.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-08
Cedar River Daily Reports of Water Conditions

1920-1922
0.4 cubic foot

Statistical reports showing weather conditions, water elevations and flow data at points along the Cedar River. Additional materials relating to Cedar River hydrography can be found in City Light Load and Flow Data (record series 1206-11).

SMA
Finding Aid


1206-09
Copper Creek Dam Project Records

1974-1981
0.4 cubic foot

Power Manager’s records, including correspondence, news releases, energy estimates, stream data, and Copper Creek Citizens’ Advisory Committee minutes. Records concern a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Skagit River below Copper Creek. The dam was never built.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-10
Creston Coal Plant Project Records

1980-1984
2.2 cubic feet

Planning records of the Power Manager of City Light concerning a coal-fueled power plant Washington Water Power Company proposed to build at Creston, Washington. City Light and other utilities were invited to purchase a share of the electricity generated by the plant, but the plant was never built. Records include correspondence, draft agreements, economic analysis, financial records and reports. Also included are minutes, and other material of the Creston Steering Committee and the Creston Citizens’ Advisory Committee.

SMA
Folder List
Finding Aid


1206-11
Load and Flow Data

1905-1995
10.4 cubic feet

Records of the Power Management Branch , consisting of data on stream discharge and flows, lake and reservoir elevations, energy generation, load estimates and forecasts, and power studies on system capability. Data pertains to the Skagit Basin, Cedar River, Boundary Dam and other sources.

Flow data for Boundary Dam may also be found in Boundary Dam Project Records, series 1206-07.

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1206-12
Skagit Hydroelectric Project Records

1908-1975
2.0 cubic feet

Correspondence, reports, test data, hydrographic data, project applications, photographs, maps and related material concerning planning and construction of dams and hydroelectric generating plants on the Skagit River. Projects include Diablo, Gorge and Ross dams.

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1206-13
Regional Power Management Records

1943-1982
7.4 cubic feet

Correspondence, contracts, financial records and related material of the power management branch relating to power purchases, interchanges and regional power planning. Included are minutes, correspondence, studies and reports of regional power associations, including the Northwest Power Pool, Northwest Public Power Association, Pacific Northwest Governors’ Power Policy Committee, Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee and the Federal Power Commission Task Force on Downstream Benefits Provided by Headwater Improvements on the Columbia. Topics include an independent review of WPPSS nuclear power projects 4 and 5, wholesale electric rates, and the “Model Electric Power and Conservation Plan for the Pacific Northwest” by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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1206-14
Snow Surveys

1936-1995
1.8 cubic feet

Snow survey data regarding the depth, density and water content of the Cascades mountain snowpack. Also included are correspondence, photographs, and Skagit River runoff forecasts.

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1206-15
Flood Control Records

1917-1978
0.8 cubic foot

Records of the Power Management Branch concerning floods and flood control on the Skagit and Cedar Rivers, including correspondence, reports, hydrographic data, manuals and photographs. Also included are court papers, exhibits and correspondence regarding damage suits over flood losses on the Skagit, Cedar and Lewis Rivers.

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1206-16
Millenium Legacy Lighting Project Records

1997-2000
3.1 cubic feet

Correspondence, design documents, renderings, photographs, slides, video tape, reports, notes and fund-raising files for a project to light several Seattle bridges as part of the Seattle Millennium Project to observe the new millennium.

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1206-17
Weather Data

1931-1984
1.5 cubic feet

Climatological data for the Seattle area from the U.S. Weather Bureau and NOAA; correspondence and subject files, including files concerning a cloud seeding program for the Skagit River basin. Also included are a computer tape, printouts and notes from computer analyses of weather data.

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1206-18
Power Cost Reports

1995-1998
0.4 cubic foot

Actual and Projected Power Cost Reports from the Power Management Division. Reports detail transactions for power purchases, interchanges and other power sources, as well as load resource balances.

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1206-19
Diablo Dam Engineer's Camp Guest Register

1928-1931
1 volume

Register of guests and visitors to the Engineer's Camp during the construction of the Diablo Dam. Contains signatures, the city or country from which the guest was visiting, and the date of the visit. Most of the guests were from Seattle or Portland, but some did visit from Chicago, Washington DC, the U.S.S.R., and Japan.

SMA


1207-02
Distribution Branch Directors' Records

1997-2003
0.6 cubic foot

Project and subject files of the Director and Deputy Director of the branch of City Light responsible for operating and maintaining electrical distribution and transmission facilities. Projects include Cedar Falls fiber optic installation and new street lighting for University Way. Also includes records of Joint Labor / Management Committee Meetings.

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1208-01
Skagit Tour Records

1911-1942
0.8 cubic foot

Records of City Light's Skagit Project Tours from Rockport to Diablo Dam including brochures, excursion reservation forms, correspondences (private, groups, and clubs), tour itineraries, tour write-ups, trip narratives, visitor's lists and impressions, tour music, Newhalem trail and list of trees and shrubs. Also includes documents also pertaining to tour accounting, classification, work orders, employee positions and duties, purchases and annual reports, and files from Edward M. Kemoe, City Light manager in charge of Skagit Tours. Of note is Superintendent J.D. Ross' essay on "Public Ownership" and Ellen Larson's Skagit poem.

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1208-02
Skagit Static (Newsletter)

1946-1951
0.4 cubic foot

Weekly newsletter serving personnel and their families at Diablo and Newhalem. Includes news of social activities, school sports and activities, cultural events, and items related to the comings and goings of employees and their families.

SMA


1208-03
Skagit Youth Camp Records
1991-1996
1.0 cubic foot

The Seattle City Light Skagit Youth Camp records include administrative records, meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, end-of-season reports, and promotional materials. Camper and counselor evaluations, parent handbooks, and correspondence from parents and campers are also included. Issues covered include program proposals and development, enrollment, fundraising, camper qualifications and recruitment, staffing and organizational structure, budgeting, the Summer Food Service Program, and the transfer of the camp to the Parks Department. The 1990 edition of the American Camping Association's Standards Organizer for Day and Resident Camps is also included; this publication serves as a tool for organizing the materials necessary to achieve camp accreditation. It covers standards for personnel, site and facilities, aqua tics, health care, and various other aspects of camp administration. Skagit Youth Camp officials' responses to the standards, as well as relevant information such as correspondence and interview questions, are included.

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1208-05
Skagit Project Scrapbooks

1929-1952
2 volumes

These scrapbooks are a collection of newspaper clippings from daily newspapers, as well as engineering and construction journals, regarding the Skagit River dam projects. They were compiled by William B. Wolfendale, the principal engineer for City Light on the dam projects. The articles are primarily about construction progress and issues, including some technical articles. Repeated topics include: Diablo Dam, Ross Dam, dam designer John Savage, Yangtze River dam, and Wolfendale's retirement in 1948. The bulk of the clippings date from 1936-1948. In addition to newspaper clippings there are a few pages of correspondence, as well as some technical reports regarding refrigeration units and concrete mixes.

SMA


1208-06
Skagit Railway Reports

1926-1943
0.4 cubic foot

Reports on the finances of the Skagit Railway, showing revenues, expenditures and redistributions. Also included are inventories of the contents of the Gorge warehouse, with valuations.

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1209-01
Skagit Management Records

1949-1997
2.8 cubic feet

Records of Director of Electrical Generation and the Director/ Superintendent of Operations at the Skagit River hydroelectric projects, including correspondence, reports, photographs and maps . Records concern the management of City Light facilities on the Skagit, including Skagit powerhouses, logging, and services for City Light employees and community at Diablo and Newhalem, including housing, water supply, schools, ambulance, fire fighting and swimming pool. Also included are files concerning the North Cascades National Park.

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1209-02
Facility Maintenance and Operations Records

1911-1984
1.0 cubic foot

Maintenance logs, equipment instructions and catalogs, photographs, and drawings related to maintenance of the Lake Union and Georgetown Steam Plants. Also included are specifications, bids and correspondence of the Chief Electrical Engineer concerning the Duwamish substation.

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1210-01
Advertising Materials

1939-1995
0.4 cubic foot

Correspondence, reports, articles, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and advertisements relating to the Skagit River, power rates, and City Light advertisements.

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1210-02
Advertising Graphics

1958-1977
0.7 cubic foot

This collection is a group of materials which appear to have come from the advertising or graphic design department. The collection consists of finished advertisements, as well as incomplete designs. Of note are a reproduction of the Seattle City Light building's frieze, titled The Evolution of Light; elevation drawings of the Yesler substation; a pen and ink drawing of a power house by City employee Walt Williams; and drawings of a Ross turbine. Also included is a scrapbook, dated 1958, created to demonstrate how Seattle City Light publicity is also publicity for Seattle, the city. Most items in the collection are undated.

SMA


1221-03
Employee Survey Records

1992-1995
0.8 cubic foot

Questionnaires, survey results, committee records, plans and memoranda relating to 1992 and 1993 surveys which sought employee feedback in order to improve City Light services and organizational development.

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