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Hydroelectric generators during the reconstruction of Power House no. 2 following the failure of the Saint Francis Dam, San Francisquito Canyon (Calif.), 1928
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Los Angeles Times
Contributing Institution
UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives
Rights Information
Access to this collection is generously supported by Arcadia funds.
The St. Francis Dam was a 200-foot high concrete gravity-arch dam built between 1924 and 1926 in St. Francisquito Canyon (near present-day Castaic and Santa Clarita). The dam collapsed on March 12, 1928 at two and a half minutes before midnight. The resulting flood killed more than 600 residents plus an unknown number of itinerant farm workers camped in San Francisquito Canyon, making it the 2nd greatest loss of life in California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is considered the worst American civil engineering failure in the 20th century.
View of 2 hydroelectric generators, formerly inside Power House No. 2, located 1.5 miles downstream from the former Saint Francis Dam. The flood that followed the failure of the dam destroyed the power house, but left the generators attached to the concrete foundation. In this view, the flood debris has been removed and the ground excavated to expose the concrete base of each generator and 8 men stand on wooden scaffolding next to one of the generators. The power house was rebuilt and in operation by June 15, 1928.
Related to the article, "St. Francis Power Unit Turned On: Electric Plant Destroyed in Match Flood Rebuilt in Just Ninety Days." Los Angeles Times, 15 Jun. 1928: A8.
Text from negative sleeve: Saint Francis Dam
On the upper corner of the negative: 12
b&w nitrate negative
No linguistic content
Flood damage--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Hydroelectric generators--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Power plants--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Saint Francis Dam Failure, Calif., 1928
Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection

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