Guide to the Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1030
Creators:
Rila, Carter
Ainsworth Bridge Company
Dates:
1883-1884
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.15 Cubic feet
(1 box)
Repository:
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.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection consists of one series.
Series 1, Photograph Album

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
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.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Kristin Davidson (intern), April, 2011; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Kristin Davidson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Carter Rila, 1976.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album, 1883-1884, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. The front cover of the album is not attached.

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

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Washington (State) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Snake River Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad bridges Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges -- Washington Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges -- Design and construction Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives