Amazing Photos of Los Angeles Aqueduct in Elsmere Canyon

The Los Angeles Aqueduct was started in 1908 and finished in 1913 at a cost of about $23 million. It diverts eastern Sierra mountain streams from the Owens Valley to reservoirs in the Los Angeles area. When it was completed, the Los Angeles Aqueduct was the largest single water project in the world.

The elevation at the aqueduct intake is about 3800 feet and the elevation at the Upper Van Norman Reservoir (now Lake) is about 1200 feet. Thus, the water would almost always be flowing downhill allowing gravity to power its entire 233 mile length. However, in order to flow through valleys, it would have to travel uphill. To accomplish this, the water was contained in steel pipes above ground or concrete pipes below ground. The pressure developed in the down slope forces (siphons) the water through the up slope. The aqueduct is underground in Whitney and Elsmere Canyons.

In Elsmere Canyon, construction took place in 1911 and 1912. The section of the aqueduct through Whitney and Elsmere Canyons is noteworthy for its use of concrete in the siphon rather than the more usual riveted steel construction. The Elsmere siphon connects Tunnel 103 (from Whitney Canyon) to Tunnel 104, which empties out at the “cascades” in the northern San Fernando Valley. Tunnel 104 was actually completed in 1910.

From the Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of the Los Angeles Aqueduct (July 1911):
“The Elsmere Siphon of reinforced concrete, connecting Tunnels 103 and 104, has been completed. It is 548 feet long, 10 feet in diameter, and will operate under a maximum head of 45 feet. This siphon has not yet been filled with water, as it is desirable to give the concrete two months to age before putting it to the test.

Tunnel 104, which is 9,172 feet in length, passing through the crest of the Santa Susanna Mountains near Newhall and through the Newhall oil field, was considered a very difficult piece of work, many adverse conditions such as water, gas, oil and swelling ground being encountered, but despite these obstacles, the work was completed within the estimated cost, and during the progress of the excavation, there was not a single accident that necessitated the removal of the victim to the hospital.

The Whitney Siphon is a reinforced concrete pipe 10 feet in diameter, with an 8-in shell on the top and sides, and rests on a broad concrete base. The pipe was cast in position. The reinforcing steel consists of half-inch circular iron rods so spaced as to give a factor of safety of four on the steel. It is probable, however, that the concrete alone has sufficient strength to resist the bursting pressure, as the mixture was made very rich to obtain both watertightness and strength. Two expansion joints were put in this pipe. They are of the “Z” type and coated with asphalt paint. The only apparent leakage that has occurred at any place in the pipe is at one of these joints. In the Elsmere Siphon, which was built subsequently, no expansion joints were used. As far as known, in diameter these are the largest reinforced concrete pipes in the United States, but larger ones have been built in Spain.”

The historic pictures (which are NOT in the public domain and are used by permission) were taken by Joseph Barlow Lippincott, an assistant chief engineer for the project. The chief engineer was William Mulholland.

More aqueduct information can be found at the Story of the Los Angeles Aqueduct website and on my Whitney Canyon aqueduct webpage.

Title: "Elsmere siphon, looking north" (1911). The next canyon over is Whitney Canyon. Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.
Title: “Elsmere siphon, looking north” (1911). The next canyon over is Whitney Canyon. Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives – University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.
Title: "Elsmere siphon showing blow-off trench" (1912) Looking west toward mouth of Elsmere Canyon. Blow-off trench in background. A blow-off valve was probably installed at the lowest part of the siphon to allow the water to be drained out if necessary. Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.
Title: “Elsmere siphon showing blow-off trench” (1912) Looking west toward mouth of Elsmere Canyon. Blow-off trench in background. A blow-off valve was probably installed at the lowest part of the siphon to allow the water to be drained out if necessary. Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives – University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.
Title: "Elsmere siphon, looking south" (1912) Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents
Title: “Elsmere siphon, looking south” (1912) Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives – University of California, Berkeley Copyright Note: This image is not in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents
The rains of 2010/11 have now exposed the top of the aqueduct. This can not be a good thing (4/21/11)
The rains of 2010/11 have now exposed the top of the aqueduct. This can not be a good thing (4/21/11)
Here is an oil/water separator diagram from an EPA fact sheet. Although not specifically for this type of application, it must be what is basically happening in the three tanks.
Here is an oil/water separator diagram from an EPA fact sheet. Although not specifically for this type of application, it must be what is basically happening in the three tanks.
In 2008, the DWP discovered that the legal easement for the strip of land in Elsmere Canyon that the aqueduct passed under was not correct. In June, of that year the DWP put up the above survey markers to get that problem fixed. They also wanted to purchase the land in the canyon (and some in Whitney Canyon) where the aqueduct where the aqueduct was to make it easier for them to repair the aqueduct. The MRCA refused to sell them any land, but would allow them the necessary room to do the work they need to do on the aqueduct. The DWP planned to remove the berm on the south side of the creek that has been obstructing the natural flow of the creek. Then they would remove the overburden from the part of the aqueduct in the creek bed and put some sort of support on the sides and top so that the aqueduct would not have to bear any weight. After that, they would restore the creek bed to its natural state. The final work would be done on the south face facing the San Fernando Valley where the aqueduct goes into the tunnel. The aqueduct would be realigned to make it easier for the DWP to get their equipment into the tunnel for any maintenance work. As of 2015, no work has been done so I would think that this project was killed.




(via Los Angeles Aqueduct)

Stunning Colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks

Colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks. These 10 photographs, in monochrome and then reconstructed color, are taken from the forthcoming book The Paper Time Machine, a collaboration between Retronaut and Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome. The finished book will contain 130 reconstructed color historical photographs arranged chronologically, chosen and introduced by Retronaut.

Jul. 1888
Construction of the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
IMAGE: ROGER VIOLLET/GETTY
Jul. 1888
Jordan: “The original colour of the Eiffel Tower during its construction in 1888 was called ‘Venetian Red’ as shown in the photograph, applied in the workshop before being assembled on site. The tower has been repainted over a dozen times since, in different shades ranging from a reddish brown to bronze.”
IMAGE: ROGER VIOLLET/GETTY. COLOR RECONSTRUCTION BY DYNAMICHROME.
c. 1934
The Golden Gate Bridge under construction, San Francisco, California.
IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / CHAS. M. HILLER.
c. 1934
Jordan: “The base tower in the mid ground is rendered in a red lead primer from Bethlehem steel. That became the basis for consulting architect Irving Morrow’s studies to render the bridge in the now familiar International Orange, to increase its visibility to passing ships.”
IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / CHAS. M. HILLER.
c. 1935
Officials ride in one of the penstock pipes of the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Dam, Arizona.
IMAGE: BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
c. 1935
Jordan: “Conveying the officials in the photograph is a section of 30-foot diameter steel penstock pipe nearly three inches thick. Arizona’s geology in the background remains the same as it did back in 1935.”
c. 1889
Jordan: “The 11,000 tonnes of steelwork would be eventually clad in Portland Stone and Cheesewring granite from Cornwall, which can be seen at the base of the bridge. The numerous ships and skiffs lurking in the background are all sourced from contemporaneous paintings of the era.”
HERITAGE IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES. COLOR RECONSTRUCTION BY DYNAMICHROME.
c. 1889
Tower Bridge was begun in 1881 and opened in 1894, to designs by Sir Horace Jones. It was designed so that the central section could be raised to allow the passage of ships to and from the busy wharves of London.
May 31, 1932
Gutzon Borglum and supt. inspecting work on the face of Washington, Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota.
IMAGE: LIBARY OF CONGRESS
May 31, 1932
Jordan: “Contemporary references of the granite were used to help get the colour variation correct, and the object in the top left corner is part of the hand of the photographer.”
Apr. 1844
Nelson’s Column under Construction, Trafalgar Square, London. This image suggests industrious advances in the construction of the column. However, when Talbot took this photograph the building work had actually been halted while the government took over the project from the building committee whose funds had run out. Talbot invented the negative/positive process for making photographs between 1835 and 1839. Any number of prints could be made of a single image from the negative.
IMAGE: SSPL/GETTY IMAGES.
Apr. 1844
Jordan: “Taken at the very dawn of photographic technology, the resulting process gives the image a somewhat ghostly look as the long exposure blurs people walking down Trafalgar Square. The bold colours used in the advertising were sourced from real examples and paintings from the era.”

1880s
The bell-tower of the Sacre Coeur Basilica under construction on the Montmartre Hill in Paris.
IMAGE: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-KEYSTONE VIA GETTY IMAGES
1880s
Jordan: “Remarkably, many of the elements in the photograph still remain the same today, including the Réservoir de Montmartre and the Saint Pierre de Montmartre to the left of the Sacre Coeur, as well as the apartment blocks on Rue Maurice Utrillo on the right.”
1882
Workers build the Statue of Liberty inside French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s workshop in Paris. The background shows the carved arm of the statue. At the back (right) are smaller models of the arm and the head.
IMAGE: ALBERT FERNIQUE/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
1882
Jordan: “The stylised look of this workshop photograph is a result of the overexposed highlights and less mid tone definition. The huge ceiling openings provide ample light for the craftsmen to beat the copper skin over wooden and plaster formwork seen in the background.”
c. 1920
A view of a trilithon being re-erected during Lieutenant-Colonel Hawley’s excavations and renovations at Stone Henge in 1919 and 1920. The monument itself dates to circa 2000 B.C., although the site was in use much earlier than this.
GETTY IMAGES

c. 1920
Jordan: “The trilithons of Stonehenge are well documented and the site has hardly changed in the decades since the photograph was taken.”
COLOR RECONSTRUCTION BY DYNAMICHROME.

 

This is a modern interpretation of a craft that has existed since the dawn of photography. Originally, color was hand-painted on to prints by talented artisans.
JORDAN LLOYD, DYNAMICHROME 

 

c. 1942
Covered in bamboo scaffolding to disguise it from enemy bombers, the dome of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India, looks almost as if it is being built during WWII. Private First Class John C. Byrom, Jr., of Waco, Texas, trying to catch a goldfish in the marble-lined pool at the approach to the Taj Mahal. Observing are Corporal Anthony J. Scopelliti and Private First Class Ray Cherry.
IMAGE: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
c 1942
Jordan: “The lack of shadows suggest an overcast day at the Taj Mahal, softening the pink cast of the marble.”
COLOR RECONSTRUCTION BY JORDAN LLOYD.

(Via Mashable)

If you enjoyed these colorized construction photos of 10 global landmarks you might also like these photos of New York’s Flat Iron Building.

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period. It’s  not easy to remember the world before Photoshop and digital photo editing. Probably some people believe that, before the advent of technology, the photographs were simple representations of reality at the time of shooting. These statements are true, but not entirely. In Victorian times, photography was a booming sector, and photographic manipulation, towards the end of the 1800s, was a new and unknown art. The possibilities of altering the reality of a photograph were endless, but a very specific competence was needed .

Headless Photos of the Victorian Period

Creating portraits made with the combination of multiple negatives, Victorian photographers tried to conquer the public, and earn more than just a photographer’s salary, offering the opportunity to be immortalized with their heads in their lap, or floating in the air.

Creating portraits made with the combination of multiple negatives, Victorian photographers tried to conquer the public, and earn more than just a photographer's salary, offering the opportunity to be immortalized with their heads in their lap, or floating in the air.

Evidently the decapitation was a theme that particularly fascinated the people of the time, and since the world had been found to apply it without the need to cut anyone’s head, it became very popular.

Evidently the decapitation was a theme that particularly fascinated the people of the time, and since the world had been found to apply it without the need to cut anyone's head, it became very popular.

Of course we needed to spend a lot of time in the darkroom, and one can imagine that this special effect is the result of a long, boring and careful process that, as the photos below show, some photographers were more able than others to realize.

Although the men and women of the Victorian era are often regarded as sad and repressed, obsessed with death, they certainly also had a rather gruesome sense of humor.

Headless wife and husband

The fun was transversal on every social scale

In a ruined photograph

The editing of the baby’s head is quite noticeable in this photo

Group decapitation

Horror Movie Style

If you liked these freaky Headless photos of the Victorian period check out  these 15 vintage freak show photos.