Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Working on Wednesday Revisited (Again): Harold Delbert Currey (1902 - 1981), Electrician

Yesterday I started scanning pages from the earliest Currey family photo album and found more pictures of Harold's working life at the C.A. Smith Mill around 1918.
[C.A. Smith Mill, Marshfield, Ore. postcard]

[Photo captioned "Crane at Mill]

[Uncaptioned photo of a young Harold at work]

[]Detail of electrical panel in photo above, check out the cartridge fuses and what looks like knife switch circuit breakers.]

[Uncaptioned photo of Harold in group of fellow employees]

Dad always said he started working in the power house at the mill when he was 15 and I assumed that it generated electricity for the entire property, but power house was built specifically to run the crane used to load lumber onto ships, which is why he included a photo of the crane in his album. Here's a description of what the crane did:
"The Marshfield sawmill and the Bay Point planing-mill points are equipped with every modern device known to the industry. Mr. Smith has been a forerunner amongst the lumbermen for labor-saving devices in the manufacturing and handling of his product. Naturally the question of transporting the manufactured material from Marshfield to Bay Point necessitated the building of steamers. Of such, Mr. Smith has two in his service, the "Nann Smith" and  the "Adeline Smith," named for his daughters. These vessels were constructed on Mr. Smith's own plans, and every stick of lumber is handled by electric cranes at the Marshfield end in packages, each package averaging fifteen hundred to two thousand feet, such packages being stowed on shipboard intact, and at Bay Point being removed by electric cranes in the same manner. By this device, which has brought Mr. Smith much renown, he is able to load, transport and discharge a vessel's cargo of a million and three-quarter to two million feet of lumber every  five days, the distance traversed in that time being about eight hundred and fifty miles."*
If you missed them, the other Working on Wednesday posts featuring Harold are here and here.

*From a biographical sketch of Charles Axel Smith in The History of Contra Costa County. California,  edited by Frederick J. Hulaniski, Elms Publishing Company, 1917. pages 585-587. You can find it as a Google book here.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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