J.B. Harper photograph album

Guide to the J.B. Harper photograph album
circa 1944-1945

Collection number: HMC-0592.
Creator: Harper, J.B.
Title: J.B. Harper photograph album.
Dates: circa 1944-1945.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Photograph album of a man who worked as an asphalt technician for an engineering firm at Galena Army Airbase during World War II.

Biographical note:
J.B. “Georgia” Harper was an asphalt technician with Baker Engineers, a surveying and engineering design firm founded by Michael Baker, Jr., in 1940. The firm is currently known as Michael Baker Corporation. The firm completed many military engineering contracts in Alaska and elsewhere during World War II. In 1944 to 1945, while Harper was employed by the firm, it was under contract with the United States Army to construct a runway at Galena Army Air Base.

Collection description:
The collection consists of J.B. Harper’s photograph album concerning the construction of an aircraft runway at Galena Army Airbase during World War II. The collection contains: photographs; a certificate of Harper’s membership in the Mystic and Auroral Order of Alaska Cheechakos; Harper’s visitor’s certificate from the Tanana Lodge No. 162, Free and Accepted Masons, Fairbanks ; a poem entitled, “Guy McGee,” about a Morrison-Knudsen project engineer; a poem entitled, “The Georgia Gobbler,” about Harper by fellow Baker Engineers employees W.E. Sturgess and W.S. Peterson; a notice of classification for James Murray Baker, Jr., of Hopeville, Georgia, from the local selective service board; two service cards from the Atlanta Motor Club made out to J.M. Baker; and a Baker Engineers Alaska embroidered cloth patch. Subjects of the photographs include J.B. Harper and fellow Baker Engineers employees (Last names identified: Schaeffer, Bright, Glenn, Inman, Bennett, Knighton, McBride, Allison, O’Mallion, Warmington, Laucus, Chance, Chapman, Grogan, Smith, Underwood, and Walsh); the Bishop Mountain Trading Company (store and post office); the native cemetery with spirit houses; the construction camp mess hall, tent camp, and prefabricated wood buildings; the steamboat Alice (a river barge), and riverside facilities and scenery on the Yukon River; surveying transits, bulldozers, a portable asphalt paving plant, and other equipment and machinery used in constructing the runway; bridges built over a creek bed; and Galena area people, buildings, and scenery.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type. The photographs are arranged by size.

Alternative formats: The collection includes a xerographic copy of the original photograph album. Copy negatives were made from select images in the collection.

Digitized copies: Select photographs have been digitized and can be viewed on Alaska’s Digital Archives by searching for “J.B. Harper.” For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives does not hold copyright to materials in this collection.

Preferred citation: J.B. Harper photograph album, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was purchased via eBay in 2002.

Processing information: The photo album was dismantled, photographs rearranged by size, and the collection described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2002. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2015.

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