Scope and Content
Indexing Terms: Added Entries
Indexing Terms: Subjects
Title: Southern California Edison Company
Bulk Dates: 1911-1965
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Southern California Edison Company
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Abstract: A selection of corporate records created by
Southern California Edison (SCE), an electric utility founded in 1886. The collection also
includes smaller collections created by employees of SCE and materials used in the process
of writing the official history of SCE.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader
Services Department. For more information, please go to following
The Huntington Library has the right to authorize the non-commercial reproduction,
publication, or similar uses of the material. In order to quote from, publish, or
reproduce any of the materials for non-commercial purposes, researchers must obtain formal
permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, the Huntington as
owner of the physical property rights gives permission. Researchers may contact the
appropriate curator for further information. In addition, researchers and others can
contact the appropriate curator to obtain information regarding the commercial
reproduction, publication, or similar uses of the material. Authorization for commercial
uses must be obtained from Southern California Edison through the EIX (Edison
International) Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.
[Identification of item], Southern California Edison Records, The Huntington Library, San
The collection was donated by Edison International in August 2005.
The Southern California Edison Collection of over 70,000 photographs is available through
consultation with the Photographic Archives.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is the largest electric utility in California and one of
the nation's largest investor-owned electric utilities, serving more than 13 million people
in 15 counties of central, coastal and southern California. Based in Rosemead, California,
the utility has been providing electric service in the region for more than 120 years. SCE
is a subsidiary of Edison International, which also is headquartered in Rosemead. The SCE
service territory includes approximately 430 cities and communities with a total customer
base of approximately 4.8 million residential and business accounts. SCE is regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
SCE's earliest predecessor was Holt and Knupps which in 1886 installed street lights in
Visalia, California. In 1894, a group including Elmer Peck and George Baker organized West
Side Lighting to provide electricity in Los Angeles. The next year the company merged with
Los Angeles Edison Electric, which owned the rights to the Edison name and patents in the
region, and Baker became president. Edison Electric installed the first DC-power underground
conduits in the Southwest. In 1899, Edison's Santa Ana River No. 1 hydroelectric plant began
operation, transmitting power to Los Angeles over the world's longest power line (83 miles).
In 1907, Edison's Kern River-Los Angeles Transmission Line began operation. At 118 miles and
75 kV, it was the world's longest and highest voltage power line, and the first line in the
nation to be entirely supported by steel towers.
John Barnes Miller began his 31 year service as company president in 1901, the same year
that the Edison Electric Company of Los Angeles recapitalized as a $10 million corporation.
In 1909 after another recapitalization the corporate name was changed to the present
Southern California Edison Company (SCE). Under Miller's leadership, the firm bought many
neighboring utilities and built several power plants. In 1917, SCE doubled its assets
through a merger with Henry E. Huntington's Pacific Light and Power Corporation. The
centerpiece of the merger transferred ownership of the Big Creek hydroelectric project to
SCE - Big Creek eventually became one of the world's largest hydroelectric projects.
At the same time SCE increased its generation and transmission assets through the merger
with Pacific Light and Power, it also was losing a major customer in the city of Los
Angeles. Beginning in 1912, the city of Los Angeles began developing its own city-owned
power department and conflict with SCE ensued. In 1917, SCE and the city of Los Angeles
reached a settlement under which SCE sold its combined distribution system within Los
Angeles to the city for $12 million. SCE continued to operate the system under lease until
1922, since the city of Los Angeles required that time to develop the generating capacity to
serve its new system.
During the middle years of the twentieth century, SCE faced a number of natural and
economic challenges. A 1925 earthquake and the 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam severely
damaged SCE's facilities. The Great Depression and World War II had a significant effect on
SCE's continued growth and access to economic and natural resources. Human resources also
proved to be an issue in these years as World War II constricted SCE's access to workers and
in 1953 SCE faced a major employee strike.
SCE survived these difficult decades and in 1964 consolidated its eastern service area by
merging with the California Electric Power Company (also known as Calectric). Through this
merger, SCE gained access to Calectric's 450,000 customers and 41,500-square-mile territory.
A second significant mid-1960s event for SCE was the 1963 initiation of construction of the
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). SONGS Unit 1 began operation in 1968. In
addition to nuclear energy, SCE has also supported the development of renewable and
alternative energy resources such as wind, solar and geothermal. Today's Southern California
Edison is the product of more than a century of providing reliable electric service to
central, coastal and southern California.
Scope and Content
The Southern California Edison Records contain books, catalogs, correspondence, journals,
ledgers, log books, meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets,
photographs, press releases, reports, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting the
history of the Southern California Edison (SCE) Company. The records cover the years 1848 to
1989 with the bulk of the material ranging from 1911 to 1965. The material is largely
textual with the exception of a few non-paper items scattered throughout.
The Southern California Edison Records consist of materials created, maintained, and
collected by the company. Series 1, Administrative Records, includes documentation of the
management of the company such as Annual Reports to the Federal Power Commission (1918-1964)
and Annual Reports to Stockholders (1914-1987). Also included are correspondence, manuals,
policy and procedure orders, and other documents. Series 2, Department/Division Records,
contains records pertaining to the Commercial Department, Communications Division,
Engineering Department, Garage Department, Shop and Test Department, and the Steam
The collection also contains Employee Records (Series 3), detailing SCE employees'
activities, benefits, and rules, as well as Financial Records (Series 4), consisting of cost
reports, valuations, and other materials. Series 9, Publications, includes items published
by SCE as well as items collected by SCE. Series 10, Publicity Records, contains mostly
newspaper clippings, press releases, and other materials documenting the 1953 Edison
Employee Strike. Project Records (Series 8), Research Files (Series 11), Topical Files
(Series 12), and the Vertical File (Edison Library) (Series 13) contain a variety of
materials on various subjects such as Big Creek, the Central Valley Water Project, the
Colorado River, energy, Hoover Dam, hydroelectric plants, public utilities, Thomas Edison,
One of the largest series, Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Records, is divided
into four subseries. Subseries 5.1, Generation (Power Plants) Records, contains an extensive
set of log books maintained by various SCE plants/stations including Big Creek, Etiwanda,
Fontana, Long Beach, Lytle Creek, Mill Creek, Ontario, and Santa Ana River. These log books
contain meter readings, statistical information, and documentation of plant/station
maintenance and operating activities. Materials in this subseries range in date from 1899 to
While the Southern California Edison Records are comprised primarily of company records,
Series 6 contains collections of personal papers donated to the company by various Edison
employees, including Dean E. Batchelder, Albert Chavannes, Elizabeth Erickson Edmunds, and
David Hubbard Redinger. Of particular historical note are a set of Redinger's journals
ranging in date from 1904 to 1976. These journals document Redinger's life, including his
time as division superintendent for SCE at Big Creek, California.
In addition to materials documenting the Southern California Edison Company, the records
also contains limited documentation pertaining to a number of SCE's predecessor companies,
such as the California Electric Power Company, the Edison Electric Company, the
Nevada-California Electric Corporation, the Pacific Light and Power Company, and the
Southern Sierras Power Company. Materials for these and other predecessor companies are
located in Series 7.
The Southern California Edison Records are arranged alphabetically by series title, with
the exception of the last series (Series 14. Oversize Materials). Folders are arranged
alphabetically by title within series. Documents within folders are arranged in
chronological order by date with undated materials residing at the end of each folder.
The collection is organized into fourteen series:
- Administrative Records, 1892-1987. 8.8 linear feet
- Department/Division Records, 1903-1987. 25.2 linear feet
- Employee Records, 1892-1977. 2.6 linear feet
- Financial Records, 1902-1971. 14.5 linear feet
- Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Records, 1899-1980. 56.5 linear
- Personal Papers, 1900-1977. 11.4 linear feet
- Predecessor Companies, 1890-1965. 7.5 linear feet
- Project Records, 1903-1985. 2.1 linear feet
- Publications, 1848-1989. 28.0 linear feet
- Publicity Records, 1914-1978. 1.4 linear feet
- Research Files, 1866-1987. 5.6 linear feet
- Topical Records, 1898-1988. 1.8 linear feet
- Vertical File (Edison Library), 1889-1989. 45.8 linear feet
- Oversize Materials, 1899-1985 1.5 linear feet
A detailed container list is available through the Manuscripts Department.
Indexing Terms: Added Entries
Batchelder, Dean E.
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927.
Edmunds, Elizabeth Erickson.
Mullendore, William Clinton, 1892-.
Redinger, David H.
Big Creek (Calif.).
Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.).
Shaver Lake (Calif.).
Boulder Canyon Project (U.S.).
California Public Utilities Commission.
Central Valley Project (Calif.).
Edison Electric Company.
Edison Electric Institute.
General Electric Company.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern
National Electric Light Association.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Railroad Commission of the State of
Southern California Edison Company.
Tennessee Valley Authority.
United States Reclamation Service.
Indexing Terms: Subjects
Air - Pollution.
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chornobyl', Ukraine,
Electric industry workers.
Electric power distribution.
Geothermal power plants.
Hydroelectric power plants.
Nuclear power plants.