Guide to the Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album
NMAH.AC.1030

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History 2011

Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
Email: archivescenter@si.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History note

Transferred to the Archives Center in 2007 from the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, now called the Division of Work and Industry.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Collection donated by Carter Rila, 1976.

Processing Information note

Processed by Kristin Davidson (intern), April, 2011; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.

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Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator
Ainsworth Bridge Company.
Creator
Rila, Carter
Title
Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album
ID
NMAH.AC.1030
Date
1883-1884
Extent
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Language
English
Abstract
The collection consists of one bound photograph album, 1883-1884, documenting the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Snake River. The images depict machinery, piers, boats, and construction workers.

Preferred Citation note

[Title and date of item], Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album, 1883-1884, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXX

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Biographical/Historical note

Built from 1883-1884 by the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge crosses the Snake River just above the Columbia River, between Ainsworth, Washington and Burbank (also known as South Ainsworth), in Walla Walla County, Washington.

The bridge was made of iron and consisted of a 146-foot Pratt through-truss span, a 346-foot swinging drawspan, four 248-foot Pratt through-truss spans, and a 65-foot deck girder span. The first train crossed the Snake River in 1884 on the Northern Pacific Railroad's bridge at Ainsworth, a railroad construction town located at the junction of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. The completion of the bridge linked the Northern Pacific's transcontinental line directly to the Oregon Railway & Navigation track down the Columbia River to Portland, and ultimately to Puget Sound. The Northern Pacific reported the total cost of the bridge to be $1,135,743.

Reference

Peter J. Lewty, To the Columbia Gateway (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1987), 48-49, 113-16.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of one bound album of photographs, documenting the construction of the Snake River Bridge from November, 1883 to December, 1883. The images depict machinery, piers, boats, and construction workers.

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Arrangement note

The collection consists of one series.

Series 1, Photograph Album

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Photograph albums--19th century
  • Photographs--19th century

Geographic Name(s)

  • Snake River
  • Washington (State)

Subject(s)

  • Bridges--Design and construction
  • Bridges--Washington
  • Railroad bridges

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. The front cover of the album is not attached.

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Collection Inventory

Photograph Album, 1883-1884 

Box
1

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