1917 was early in the history of oil export from Alaska, but I'll bet this wasn't the first oil spill. Alva Day documented the cleanup after the oil loading dock collapsed. This image also explains why they measure quantity of oil in barrels.
Wonder where those doors lead to??
l.e. on 20th June 2014 @ 7:06am
Taken from a boat ? Hanging drum top center it appears ... being loaded ? Is the person on the right with gloves the "roper" ? Interesting how big the "rings" are around the barrels.
Steve r on 20th June 2014 @ 7:17am
Would guess these barrels of oil were being shipped "into" Southeast Alaska. The standard unit of measurement of oil--as in an oil tanker--is 42 gallons per barrel. Most barrels of oil are 50 or 55 gallon drums. Appears they overestimated how much weight the piling could withstand.
Buzz on 20th June 2014 @ 8:21am
Is there a chance these could be barrels of salted fish?
l.e. on 20th June 2014 @ 10:26am
Guess not, if Alva documented the oil clean up.
In 1917, it looks like the main oil exporting was in Cordova with a well at Katallah.
l.e. on 20th June 2014 @ 10:30am
Was this at the HR docks? Have we seen this dock before?
nels on 20th June 2014 @ 10:45am
One of the images in the series has a note something like "oil and water don't mix" which is why I conclude these are oil barrels.
If I spent some more time researching the dates I could tell you where in Alaska or Canada this was taken, but that will have to wait. I haven't spent nearly as much time studying Day's Alaska images, but it's fun to throw them in for some variety.
Arthur on 20th June 2014 @ 11:03am
Drums of oil are 55 gallons, while barrels of oil are 42 gallons. It really looks like many of the deck boards where not nailed in place. Maybe a shortage of nails when the dock was being built, a fact that was forgotten about when the dock was put into service?
longshot on 20th June 2014 @ 9:34pm
A photo of an Alaska cannery dock with barrels.
I also came across 1913 photos of the dock at Nome, which had been totally destroyed by a storm. So, I suppose the damaged dock could be the result of a storm. Or earthquake.
l.e. on 21st June 2014 @ 11:38pm
In the Oct 6, 1904 Glacier, William Langille writes home to his father in HR about his visit to the oil area in Alaska.
l.e. on 25th September 2014 @ 12:17pm