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San Gabriel Dam from above
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Circa 1937
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for Fantasia, is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
San Gabriel Dam construction began in 1932 and was completed in 1939. The dedication ceremonies in 1937 were broadcast nationwide and 2500 people came to witness the event. The dam, located on the San Gabriel river nine miles north of the city of Azusa in the San Gabriel Mountains, was the largest engineering project in Los Angeles County at that time, took 17 million depression era dollars to complete, and was as high as a 27 story building and the length of four city blocks. At the time of the dedication, the spillway at the west end of the dam had not yet been built.
The terraced San Gabriel Dam No. 1 is almost invisible behind the fog in this image that captures the river below.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-007-448 8x10
Dams--California--San Gabriel Canyon
Flood control--California--Los Angeles County
Canyons--California--Los Angeles County
Mountains--California, Southern
San Gabriel Dam (Calif.)
San Gabriel Canyon (Calif.)
Angeles National Forest (Calif.)
San Gabriel Mountains (Calif.)
Landscape photographs
Panoramic views
Schultheis Collection photographs
Time Period

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