Thursday, July 17, 2014

John Muir in Yosemite Valley


John Muir (21 April 1838 – 24 December 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite ValleySequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. One of the most well-known hiking trails in the U.S., the 211-mile John Muir Trail, was named in his honor.[1] Other places named in his honor are Muir Woods National MonumentMuir Beach and Muir Glacier.


Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite Park c1900

“Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man! —John Muir

Hetch Hetchy Valley The floor of Hetch Hetchy Valley as it appeared in 1919, before the construction of O’Shaughnessy Dam was breathtaking. Note the tracks of the Hetch Hetchy Railroad. Before the dam could be built, access and transportation to the valley floor had to be established. Begun in 1914, the 68-mile railway was completed in 1917. Fed by a perpetual underground glacier, Hetch Hetchy offered a single source of water for the City of San Francisco.


O'Shaughnessy Dam under construction, and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

This aerial shows the construction progress of the dam that many claim 'broke John Muir's heart'.

The initial 30 foot depth of the foundation for O’Shagunessy Dam increased to over 100 feet due to the dislodging of large boulders from the ancient glacier beneath the Valley floor. Two Cyclopean concrete blocks of stone measuring from one cubic foot to six cubic yards imbedded in plain concrete create the arch-style dam that counter-balances the pressure of the water. Physical construction of O’Shaugnessy Dam began in 1919 and was completed in 1923. Preparations, however, began as early as 1914 with construction of the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, a 68 mile standard gauge railway completed in 1917 for $3 million. The railroad operated around the clock during four years of construction, hauling cement, supplies and men. Clearing of timber from the Valley floor began in 1915, removing 21 million board feet by 1924. When completed, O’Shaugnessy Dam stood 226.5 feet high from the Valley floor with a storage capacity of 206,000 acre feet of water.

The first Hetch Hetchy drinking water arrived in San Francisco on October 28, 1934, two decades after initial construction began. In 1938, the dam was raised 85.5 feet enabling it to impound 360,000 acre feet of water. The total cost for the Dam, including the subsequent enlargement was $12.6 million. Fed by a perpetual glacier deep in the Sierra range, Hetch Hetchy water is the purest source of drinking water in the state of California. Today, the Alameda County Water District purchases nearly 40% of the county’s water from Hetch Hetchy.

On display as part of an exhibit on water rights on the 2nd floor of 2500 Mowry Street, Fremont, Washington Hospital, and published in rhe book Washington Township published by the Washington Hospital Medical Foundation

source file Public Utilities Commission

hand-tinted © Bennett Hall 2014

Background from Wikipedia

Favorite images of California History-black and white, sepia and hand-tinted, convenient and economical web galleries - full custom framing services - shipping everywhere
WORLDWIDE Archive : California-History

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween is a time for reading? WPA posters remind us how things were in another time of economic struggle


Back during the last Great Depression, the U.S. Government funded artists around the country to create artwork, posters and murals to enrich the culture experience of the day.

The primary goals were to employ out-of-work artists and to provide art for non-federal government buildings: schools, hospitals, libraries, etc. We are patiently waiting for a similar recognition and funded initiative by our current Government, thinking that we should not hold our breath, but maybe, there will come a time soon when the arts could get a break.

Agree?  Speak out.  This would not cost more than a few minutes of the Pentagon's budget and what a difference it would make to thousands of struggling artist around the country.

We are restoring many of these images and making them available at a nomial cost through our web galleries- They are beautiful, timely, and poignant reminders of spirit of America.

World Wide Archive Galleries
from WIKI - full story

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was the visual arts arm of the Great Depression-era New Deal Works Progress Administration Federal One program in the United States. It operated from August 29, 1935, until June 30, 1943. Reputed to have created more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, murals and paintings. Some works still stand among the most-significant pieces of public art in the country.[1]

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Web Galleries offer interesting images from everywhere

Looking at this view, it makes you wonder whether anything has really changed

WorldWide Archive Galleries

Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Steps on the Moon, 40 years gone by

This enhanced footage is a must see, a historical and awe inspiring reminder of where we have been, what we could be and, that if our collective spirit by some stroke of luck could find a few resolve toward the positive, and with this force retake our planet, maybe, we will work out the problems that currently appear so insurmountable.

As the astronaut so prophetically stated during his first few steps on the moon, "We come in Peace"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spacecraft on Martian landspape

I find it is rather amazing that I could download this image, transmitted from Mars, refine it on the desktop and then create this image all without leaving the studio.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Milea Milea falls, Northern Queensland
this may be such a place, unspoiled and unchanged by the efforts of man to civilize everything - today, really wanting to back here again