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Guide to the William States Lee Papers, 1911-1933

Summary

Collection contains photographs, memoranda of operations, blue prints, printed material, and volumes compiled by William States Lee in his role as consulting engineer for the construction of the Beauharnois Hydroelectric Power Station in Quebec Province, Canada. Included are over 1300 photographs which show the project's development from beginning to completion; project's weekly bound memoranda of operations from 1929-1933; and many reports, specifications, blueprints, and other plans generated from this project. Also included in this collection are some photographs, maps, and other documents related to the Duke Power Company's hydroelectric development in the Carolinas. In addition, there is a volume outlining farming problems, especially erosion, in western North Carolina and southern Appalachia, and contains pictures of these areas.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11072
Title
William States Lee papers
Date
1911-1933
Creator
Lee, William States, 1872-1934
Extent
8.5 Linear Feet, 24 boxes; 1 oversize folder
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection contains photographs, memoranda of operations, specifications, blue prints, sketches, printed material, and volumes chiefly relating to the construction of the Beauharnois Hydroelectric Power Station on the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec Province, Canada between 1930 and 1932. William States Lee served as a consulting engineer on the project. Included are 1356 "progress pictures" which show the project's development from beginning to completion; the project's weekly bound memoranda of operations from 1929-1933; and many reports, specifications, blueprints, and other plans generated from this project.

Also included in this collection is a small amount of material on the Duke Power Company: photographs of the construction of the New Catawba Station near Fort Mill, S.C.; photographs of the construction of an unidentified hydro-electric power station most likely in the Carolinas; and maps of North and South Carolina showing the Duke Power Transmission system in 1928.

One volume--An Institute of Mountain Agriculture, circa 1925--deals with farming problems, especially erosion, in western North Carolina and southern Appalachia, and contains pictures of these areas.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Organized into two series: Beauharnois Power Station and Other Materials.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], William States Lee Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Beauharnois Power Station, 1927-1933

Series includes 1356 progress pictures, weekly bound memoranda of operations, specifications, blue prints, reports, and other materials documenting almost every aspect of the construction of the Beauharnois Hydro-Electric Power Station on the Saint Lawrence River, south of Montreal, Quebec, starting in 1930 and ending in 1932. William States Lee served as the lead consulting engineer on the project, which was undertaken by the Beauharnois Construction Company.

Beauharnois Power Station Progress Pictures, 1930-1932

Included are 1356 "progress pictures" (8x10 inches) documenting construction of the Beauharnois Hydroelectric Power Station from beginning (1930) to end (1932). The photographs are bound in 14 separate albums containing 100 photographs each. The photographs are numbered and include dates and captions on the reverse. There are several panoramic photographs as well, typically 2-3 photographs stitched together.

Progress pictures, no. 1-100, 1930 January-April
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Progress pictures, no. 101-200, 1930 April-July
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 2
Progress pictures, no. 201-300, 1930 July-September
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 3
Progress pictures, no. 301-400, 1930 September-December
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 4
Progress pictures, no. 401-500, 1930 December - 1931 April
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 5
Progress pictures, no. 501-600, 1931 April-June
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 6
Progress pictures, no. 601-700, 1931 June-August
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 7
Progress pictures, no. 701-800, 1931 August-September
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 8
Progress pictures, no. 801-900, 1931 October-December
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 9
Progress pictures, no. 901-999, 1931 December - 1932 February
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 10
Progress pictures, no. 1000-1100, 1932 February-April
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 11
Progress pictures, no. 1101-1200, 1932 April-June
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 12
Progress pictures, no. 1201-1300, 1932 June-August
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 13
Progress pictures, no. 1301-1356, 1932 August-October
(1 album; 8 x 10 inches)
Box 14

Beauharnois Construction Company: Memoranda of Operations, 1929-1933

Series includes weekly bound "memoranda of operations" describing in great detail all work performed in the previous week during construction of the Beauharnois Power Station. The reports were compiled and submitted by F. H. Cothran, Vice President and General Manager of the Beauharnois Construction Company.

Memoranda of Operations, 1929 December 21 - 1931 April 25
Box 15
Memoranda of Operations, 1931 April 26 - 1931 September 26
Box 16
Memoranda of Operations, 1931 September 27 - 1931 December 26
Box 17
Memoranda of Operations, 1931 December 27 - 1932 March 19
Box 18
Memoranda of Operations, 1932 March 20 - 1932 June 25
Box 19
Memoranda of Operations, 1932 June 26 - 1932 November 26
Box 20
Memoranda of Operations, 1932 November 27 - 1933 January 14
Box 21

Beauharnois Power Station: Reports, Specifications, Plans, etc., 1930-1933

Specifications, blue prints, sketches, reports, and other documents concerning the construction of the Beauharnois Power Station.

Wiring diagrams and blue prints, 1930 February-April
Box 21
Heating of service building, 1930 August
Box 21
General transfer and circuit breakers, excitations systems, etc., 1930 September
Box 21
Gantry crane, collector rails, 1930 November
Box 21
Preliminary report: Electrical installation required for delivery of power to the Montreal Light, Heat and Power, Consolidated, 1930 December 11
Box 21
Correspondence re: drawings, 1930-1931
Box 21
Power house lighting fixtures, specifications, sketches, 1930-1931
Box 21
Research, 1930-1931
Box 21
Specifications for electrical equipment, 1931 May
Box 21
Preliminary specifications for electrical heater units for service building, 1931 October
Box 21
List of electrical drawings, 1932-1933
Box 21
Preliminary specifications for switchboard XIV, 1932
Box 22
Miscellaneous sketches on paper, 1929-1932
Box 22
Miscellaneous blue prints, 1928-1932
Box 22
Wire requirements for lighting circuits, 1932
Box 22
List of 'BZ' sketches, 1930-1932
Box 22
Specifications for 13,200 volt bus material, 1931 August
Box 22
Bills of material and electrical equipment, 1930
Box 22
List of electrical drawings, 1930-1932
Box 22
Report: Economic Analysis of Proposed Hydro-electric Power Development on the St. Lawrence River between Hungry Bay on Lake St. Francis and Melocheville on Lake St. Louis, by Wallace Goforth, economist., 1927 June 15
Box 22
Other reports published by the Beauharnois Power Corporation: Down the Canal, Physical Facts and Financial Figures, 1930-1933
Box 22
Minutes of proceedings of the special parliamentary committee on Beauharnois power project, 1931 June
Box 22
Minutes of proceedings of the special parliamentary committee on Beauharnois power project, 1931 July
Box 22

2. Other Materials, 1911-1933

Series includes materials related to other engineering projects undertaken by William States Lee. Materials include: photographs documenting the construction of the Coteau Control Works on the Saint Lawrence River, the New Catawba Station (Fort Mill, S.C.), and another unidentified hydro-electric power station, probably in North or South Carolina; data provided by the General Electric Company related to construction of the Isle-Maligne Power Station (Quebec); and maps of the Duke Power Transmission system in North and South Carolina in 1928.

Also included is a typescript report with illustrations, circa 1925, arguing for the establishment of an Institute for Mountain Agriculture in the Carolinas to combat erosion and promote sustainable farming techniques in southern Appalachia.

Photographs: A. O. Smith Corp., 1928
(10 photographs, 4 x 5 inches)

Promotional photographs depict machinery and manufacturing plants

Box 23
Photographs: Coteau Control Works, St. Lawrence River, 1933 September
(23 photographs, 8 x 10 inches)

Photographs depict construction and repair of dam. Photographs have captions, numbers, and dates.

Box 23
Photographs: Southern Power Company, New Catawba Station, Fort Mill, S.C., 1925-1926
(13 photographs, 8 x 10 inches)

Photographs of the construction of the New Catawba Power Station at Fort Mill, S.C. Photographs are dated and numbered but not captioned.

Box 23
Photographs: Unidentified Hydro-electric power plant, 1916
(35 photographs, 8 x 10 inches)

Photographs depict the construction of an unidentified hydroelectric power plan, most likely in the Carolinas. Some photos are dated and numbered

Box 23
Photographs: Unidentified Hydro-electric power plant, 1916
(40 photographs, 8 x 10 inches)

Photographs depict the construction of an unidentified hydroelectric power plan, most likely in the Carolinas. Some photos are dated and numbered

Box 23
Duke Power Company: Reports, specifications, plans, etc., 1927-1929

Materials related to Buck Steam Station and Riverbend Steam Station

Box 23
Miscellaneous data sheets and tracings, 1930 September
Box 23
G.E. Company prints, 1928-1929
Box 23
Data furnished by G.E. Company for Isle Maligne Station: High voltage transformers and bushings, 1916-1929
Box 23
Data furnished by G.E. Company for Isle Maligne Station: 15,000 volt oil circuit breakers, 1923
Box 23
Ulen and Company - Promotional materials, 1929

Includes resume of G. E. Hines, dated 1933 June 29

Box 24
Twentieth Annual Report of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of the Province of Ontario, 1927
Box 24
The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario: It's Origins, Administration and Achievements, 1928
Box 24
Water Powers of Canada, 1911
Box 24
An Institute of Mountain Agriculture, circa 1925

Typescript report (51 pages) arguing for the establishment of an institute of mountain agriculture in North Carolina to promote sustainable agricultural practices and to avoid erosion. The report contains about 100 photographs (pasted down) from the U.S. and abroad illustrating various erosion problems and farming techniques.

Box 24
Map: Duke Power Company Transmission System in North and South Carolina, 1928
Oversize-folder 1
Map: Transmission System of the Duke Power Company and Location of Textile Industries in North and South Carolina, 1928
Oversize-folder 1
 

Historical Note

William States Lee (1872-1934) was born in Lancaster, S.C. to William States and Jenny Lind Lee. He graduated from the Citadel with a degree in engineering in 1894 and served in the engineer corps during the Spanish-American war. In 1905 he became Chief Engineer of the Southern Power Company (later the Duke Power Company). He also operated an independent consulting firm, the William States Lee Engineering Corporation, with offices in New York and Charlotte, N.C.

Through his association with the Southern Power Company and the Duke Power Company, Lee designed and supervised construction of at least 32 hydro-electric power stations throughout the Carolinas during the 1910s and 1920s. He also designed the Isle-Maligne Station (1923-1926) on the Saguenay River, Quebec, and the Beauharnois Power Station (1930-1933) on the Saint Lawrence River south of Montreal, Quebec.

William States Lee married Mary Martin of Columbus, Ga. in 1901 and together they had three children: William States, Jr., Martha, and Martin Lee. He died in Charlotte, N.C. on March 24 1934 of a cerebral hemorrhage.


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Provenance

The William States Lee Papers were received by the William R. Perkins Library at Duke in the 1960s and then transferred to the Manuscripts Department (now the Rubenstein Library) in 1984.

Processing Information

Processed by Noah Huffman, October 2015