SE Harrison Street, 1941

Crew and debris at SE Harrison Street at SE Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), 1941.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2000-025.1656.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

6 thoughts on “SE Harrison Street, 1941

  1. According to Polk’s 1941 City Directory. Commercial Iron Works shops were at 418 SE Harrison, corner of SE Union Ave. Johnston Propeller Works was at 423 SE Harrison, corner of SE Grand Ave. If that is helpful.
    The debris at the bottom appears to come from 1933 SE Union Ave occupied by The Peter Co. machinists.
    Just a guess.

  2. Interesting picture. Obviously an old trolleycrane.
    Is it being removed, scrapped or refurbished ?

  3. The camera is just to the east of Union Ave; the cross-street behind the crane is marked Grand Ave, thus we are looking east on SE Harrison Street. I would presume that the detritus in the foreground is probably the result of the machine shop using the public street as storage and/or dumping ground, as Union is closed at Harrison by the 99E Viaduct.

  4. Yes, it is an interesting photo.

    I agree that the object up on cribs looks like most of a trolley for an overhead shop crane. I suspect it is either being refurbished or quite possibly being manufactured by the Peter Co. Note the measuring instrument on the tripod in the street. A transit or theodolite, I can’t tell which. It was likely being used to insure that the wheels of the trolley are all at the same elevation so they share the weight evenly when the trolley is put into use. At the pictured state of assembly, it has only two wheels – there will be another truck on the side toward the cars with the other wheels like the one in the foreground. If the trolley were being scrapped, they wouldn’t need the transit to make measurements.

    It looks like the debris in the foreground is scrap and reject steel from Peter’s machine shop. The fellow with the wheelbarrow is probably the shop flunky and is headed to add more to the pile.

    It is interesting that the City allowed Peter to extend his shop floor and scrap pile into the street. Possibly Harrison wasn’t a through street even back then. Very handy for him. When the trolley was finished, they probably just backed a flat bed truck under it and let down onto the bed. Same with the scrap. It is out there handy to be thrown on a truck from Zidell’s or Schnitzer’s.

    The “Suits” over on the sidewalk are possibly a customer (with tie and his hands behind his back) and a representative of Peter’s showing him the operation.

    The area in the photo down to the 6th and Harrison intersection is now within the footprint of the Goodwill Store. At least one of the houses down by 7th St still is there.

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