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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Oakland container terminal at night

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Oakland container terminal at night
Matson Navigation Company


This object appears in the following sections:

Making the Exhibition
Container Back Story — Creating the Scene

Port of Oakland aerial, 1968

Oakland container terminal at night
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This photograph shows the Matson container storage yard at the Port of Oakland, about 1970. Containers of the type used in the "Transforming the Waterfront" section of "America on the Move" are seen in the foreground stacked two high. A ship is docked beneath the crane in the distance. A night-time scene, this image inspired the mural in the exhbition.
Physical Description
Date Made:
Dates Used:
about 1970 - about 1970
Port of Oakland
Matson Navigation Company
The 140-acre peninsula of the Port of Oakland that extends into San Francisco Bay is called the Seventh Street Terminal Area. It was constructed between 1965 and 1971 by extending a dike from the former terminus of the Southern Pacific Mole and filling it with dredged material. This project was something of a risk; it was undertaken when container operations had not yet proven to be the wave of the future in terms of global commerce. The Port's executive director, Ben E. Nutter, persuaded the Port Commissioners to build the facilities, despite a lack of tenants ready to lease the new space. When the area was completed, however, it was the largest facility for containerized shipping on the West Coast and housed three major terminals, including one for the Matson Navigation Company.

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