Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
2 documents - page 1 of 1

Boston Water Works Collection

Vogel, Robert M.  Search this
Boston Water Works  Search this
0.3 Cubic feet (5 Boxes)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Later prints
Boston (Mass.)
The collection consists of cyanotype and silver gelatin photographs, print negatives, publications, stamps, and a glass plate negative, documenting the Metropolitan Water Works during its construction.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of four series. Series 1,Cyanotype photographs and Series 2,Cyanotype photographs contain a total 877 cyanotype photographs.

Series 3, contains 128 silver gelatin photographs, 14 print negatives.

Series 4, contains one glass plate negative, two stamps and two publications.

The material's from 1895 to 1919. The material is arranged by number.

Overall the cyanotype photographs are in good condition while some show signs of water damage. Images depict different installations of the Boston Waterworks system, views of pumping stations being installed and in operation as well as views of water mains. The first publication relates to the Metropolitan District Water supply tunnel from the Ware River to the Wachusett Reservoir and the second publication relates to the Boston Society of Civil Engineers excursion to water supply from the Metropolitan District, October 22, 1932. The stamps were used to label the cyanotype photographs with the name of the collection, date it was received, and the museum division name.
The Collection is organized into three series.

Series 1: Cyanotype Photographs, 1897-1919

Series 2: Silver Gelatin Photographs, 1896-1921

Series 3: Glass Plate Negative, Stamps, and Publications, 1932
In 1846, the city of Boston established the first municipal water utility in order to maintain and operate the Cochituate Water Works, known as the Boston Water Commissioners. In 1850, the Cochituate Water Board is established.In 1865, the Mystic Water Board was established. In 1875 the Cochituate Water Board and Mystic Water Board merge to create the Boston Water Board. Later in 1895, the Boston Water Board was abolished, which lead to the establishment of the Metropolitan Water Board, resulting in the transfer of maintenances and operations of the Boston Water Board to the Metropolitan Water Board as well as the Spot Pond Water Works of the towns of Melrose, Malden and Medford. The Boston Water Board then became known as the Boston Water Department. In 1901, the Metropolitan Water Board merged with the Board of Metropolitan Sewerage Commissioners to form the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board. In 1919, the Metropolitan Park Commission merges with the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board to form the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC).


Historical note was provided courtesy of: Sean M. Fisher, Archivist, DCR Archives, Office of Cultural Resources, Bureau of Planning and Resource Protection, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, 251 Causeway St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114-2119
Related Materials:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Archives

Metropolitan Water Works photograph collection, 1876-1930 (bulk 1895-1921)

Series includes photographic documentation of the Boston Water Board's construction between 1890 and 1895, representing the Hopkinton Reservoir and Dam, and Sudbury Reservoir and Dam; and the photographic documentation of the Metropolitan Water Works system through three successive state agencies between 1895 and 1926.
The collection was acquired by Curator Robert Vogel, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History, 1964-1965.
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Water utilities -- Massachusetts  Search this
Water tunnels -- Massachusetts  Search this
Water supply -- Massachusetts  Search this
Tunnels -- Massachusetts  Search this
Pumping stations  Search this
Dams -- Massachusetts  Search this
Waterworks -- Massachusetts  Search this
Water-supply engineers -- Massachusetts  Search this
Water-supply engineering -- Massachusetts  Search this
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1900-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1890-1900
Later prints
Boston Water Works Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Boston Water Works Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Boston's water resource development : past, present, and future : proceedings of a session / sponsored by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section in conjunction with the ASCE National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, October 29, 1986 ; edited by Jonathan A. French

French, Jonathan A  Search this
American Society of Civil Engineers Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section  Search this
ASCE National Convention (1986 : Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Physical description:
v, 46 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Water resources development  Search this
Water-supply engineering--History  Search this
Call number:
TC425.B6B67 1986X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

Modify Your Search


Narrow By