Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Nov. 5, 1913: More than 40,000 people gathered at the north end of the San Fernando Valley to watch the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The Times headline the next day: “Silver Torrent Crowns the City’s Mighty Achievement.”

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Nov. 13, 1913: A crowd of over 40,000 attends the opening ceremonies. Gen. Adna Chaffee, president of the Water Board, turned the wheel that allowed the Owens River water to flow into the Los Angeles mains through the aqueduct built by William Mulholland. Photo from Historical Collection-Security First National Bank of Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: File Photo

Oct. 16, 1913: Water is allowed to cascade down above the San Fernando dam during a dual test and photo opportunity for the new Los Angeles Aqueduct 19 days before the opening ceremonies. Photo was credited to "Bledsoe" and ran in the L.A. Times on October 17, 1913.

1911: An aqueduct section is dug and prepared for cement during construction between Owens Valley and Los Angeles. Photo was published in the L.A. Times on June 11, 1911, with an aqueduct update story. Photo credited to West Coast Art Co.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: File Photo / LAT Library

1911: A work crew poses with Steam Shovel No 10, Olancha division, during construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Photo was published in the L.A. Times on June 11, 1911, with an aqueduct update story. Photo credited to West Coast Art Co.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: File Photo

1911: Workers pose with ditch lined with "false work" lumber during construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Once cement was poured, the lumber was removed. Photo was published in the L.A. Times on June 11, 1911, with an aqueduct update story. Photo credited to West Coast Art Co.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: File Photo / LAT Library

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Los Angeles Aqueduct: 'Mighty achievement'

Pictures in the News | December 7, 2011

Wednesday's Pictures in the News begins in China, where a bust of the Chinese philosopher Confucius lies on the ground in an abandoned stone-carving workshop southwest of...   View Post»

   

South Sudan gains independence

Independence for South Sudan

The city of  Juba is bustling with jubilant citizens and dignitaries as they celebrate the independence of the Republic of South Sudan after a generations-long war that left...   View Post»

   

Libyan uprising retakes Ajdabiya

Libyan uprising retakes Ajdabiya

By Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times The rebel forces of the Libyan uprising retook Ajdabiya today after a week of largely waiting for somebody else to do the dirty work. For...   View Post»

   

Los Angeles Aqueduct: 'Mighty achievement'

Time off to teach a passion

Four years ago, The Times generously donated some used equipment to Foundation University, a nonprofit college in the Philippines founded by my grandfather.  The gift included...   View Post»

Los Angeles Aqueduct: ‘Mighty achievement’

Nov. 5, 1913: More than 40,000 people gathered at the north end of the San Fernando Valley to watch the opening of the Los Angeles  Aqueduct. The Times headline the next day: “Silver Torrent Crowns the City’s Mighty Achievement.”

Under that headline, the Times reported: “From the mountain fastnesses of the snow-capped Sierras, through the world’s longest man-made conduit of steel, cement and solid granite, sparkling water poured in a mighty torrent from the aqueduct’s mouth…

…It gurgled and splashed its cheerful message of good health, great wealth, long life and plenteous prosperity to Los Angeles and her people.”

The five-year, 230-mile-long project diverted water from the Owens Valley. The project cost $23 million and stayed within  budget.

The city of Los Angeles shared the water with its neighbors, as long as they agreed to be annexed to L.A. In 1915 major sections of the San Fernando Valley did just that, doubling the size of Los Angeles.

The photo gallery’s opening photo was lead art on the Los Angeles Times Nov. 6, 1913 Section Two front page. Four of the other images ran in the Times. Photo credits and dates of publication are included in the captions.

9 Comments

  1. November 5, 2010, 9:05 am

    The best part of this day was when William Mulholland was asked to say a few words about the moment. After spending years navigating his way through local politics, working in the arid desert, and overcoming a bevy of technical problems, he got up to the podium and said "There it is, take it." and walked off the stage.

    By: Teacher@smiley.org
  2. November 5, 2010, 9:07 am

    I love the purple prose they used back then. "From the mountain fastness of teh snow-capped Sierra…"
    Why can' t they write like that anymore?

    By: anonymouse
  3. November 5, 2010, 11:54 am

    At the turn of the century it takes 5 years to build a 230 mile long Aqueduct. In 2010, it takes a proposed 30 years to complete a 9 mile subway extension. Whats wrong with this picture? We just dont get stuff DONE anymore. We do know how to flush millions of dollars down the toilet though.

    By: Hambone
  4. November 5, 2010, 12:17 pm

    The California of today prohibits men and women of vision from accomplishing such feats. Think of what we could be if we were not so strangled by our own government.

    By: TimBowman
  5. November 5, 2010, 12:34 pm

    But what a cost to the Owens Valley!

    By: mazdagal@hotmail.com
  6. November 5, 2010, 10:57 pm

    I remember a picture of a sign in Lee Vining, the northernmost intake for Mulholland's aquaduct, there was a sign that said "Property: LADWP No Trespassing" Well, it used to say that, when I saw the sign it was riddled with bullet holes. The Owens Valley got hosed. meanwhile the Chandler family (of LA Times ownership) made their fortune buying up land in the SFV knowing that the aquaduct was about to be approved. I believe some city councilmen were eventually indicted for leaking the info.

    By: Teacher@Smiley.Org
  7. November 8, 2010, 7:16 am

    it's about the future, mister gidds!

    By: chinatown
  8. March 11, 2011, 1:22 am

    Yeah, driving through the Owen Valley does not say much for the legacy of this project.

    By: desmonddes
  9. September 3, 2011, 8:19 am

    Los Angeles is the 2nd largest city in America, and the third richest (by GDP) in the world. In terms of the environmental impact on the Owens Valley, was it worth it? Well, I'll just have to think about that !

    By: astam

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published