Tag Archive: PG&E

Mar 24

U-Boat threat World War II, week by week

May 16, 1943 Telegram-Tribune

March 16, 1943 One of the many problems to be solved during the war was that of the German U-Boats. They threatened to choke off the sea-lanes between North America and Britain. Without advances in technology and tactics the war would not be won. Germany claimed they were starting the biggest sea blitz of the …

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Dec 10

Atomic Adobe, Diablo Canyon construction site

Ruins of adobe near planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant from March 2, 1968. ©The Tribune

The nuclear age dawned almost exactly 70 years ago under an abandoned University of Chicago football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. Physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi conducted the first nuclear chain reaction. America and Great Britain provided home for many scientists fleeing Fascist oppression. Science thrives with the unfettered exchange of ideas. Ideology is …

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Nov 26

Diablo Canyon adobe and cattle, before construction of the atomic plant

Ruins of an adobe near the planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in 1968 before construction licenses were approved. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune 3-2-1968

Over forty years ago an adobe ruin was the biggest structure at Diablo Canyon. At the time every major California utility was in pursuit of a nuclear option to serve California’s expanding population. In March of 1968 the construction permits had not yet been issued by the Atomic Energy Commission. By June archeology was underway …

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Aug 26

Dimout ordered for the West Coast, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune August 18, 1942.

A county-wide dimout was ordered for the county as part of a West Coast program to limit navigation aids for enemy aircraft and ships. Barbecue fires were also restricted at night. American bombers flew in force over enemy territory in Europe as a new front was opened in the war against Germany. Bombing would now …

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Apr 09

Morro Bay Power Plant parts on parade

INCHING THROUGH MORRO BAY... The huge generator stator, aboard its 82-tire trailer, touched state highway 1 for the last time as it crossed the coast route at Sixth street in Morro Bay yesterday afternoon. As workmen tediously continued to pick up and put down planks under the 220-ton load, Beyla Truck company's big truck tractor inched the steel giant closer to its destination, the PG&E power plant opposite Morro rock. Curious groups of Morro Bay residents lined the path of the heavy equipment as it approached a short but steep hill leading down to the waterfront level where Bechtel corporation is building the power plant. Three large trucks and a heavy winch unit later were used to anchor and ease the load down the grade. It was delivered safely, without mishap last night after an eight-day move from Camp San Luis Obispo's railroad siding. (©T-T photo) published December 24, 1954

Happy Jack’s bar is at the left as workers use poles to keep the equipment from snagging on utility lines. The explosive growth in California after World War II put a strain on utilities to keep up with demand. The power plant in Morro Bay was one of several new electric generation facilities that PG&E …

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Mar 20

Reddy Kilowatt, at your service

Advertisement for PG&E from June 12, 1965 with a good looking stove and a good cooking woman. Better living through technology.

This July 12, 1965 advertisement shows Pacific Gas and Electric still more comfortable in the Eisenhower Age of the previous decade rather than the soon to be psydellic 1960s. But then again this ad wasn’t aimed at Jerry Garcia or John Lennon. I have written about the culture gap sometimes seen in ads of the …

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Feb 14

Morro Bay Power Plant

PG&E's Morro Bay Powerplant. The first smokestack. From 7-7-1955 dedication edition of the Telegram-Tribune

When the Morro Bay Power Plant generated its first kilowatt it was an engineering marvel, even if it had only one smokestack. The special section published July 7, 1955 as the plant built by PG&E plant opened contains a lot of eye openers. According to the Bechtel advertisement the plant’s desalting component was believed to …

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Jan 28

Japanese internment resolutions, Baywood Park gets electricity-World War II week by week

The 70th anniversary of Baywood Park getting electricity. World War II headlines from January 28, 1942.

The United States had been fighting for seven weeks and the news was bad everywhere in the Pacific and in much of Europe and Africa. The plain facts were that America was woefully under-prepared and losing. In a misguided attempt to focus rage, governments from the local to national level were lashing out at the …

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Dec 21

War declared on Germany, Japanese internment, World War II week by week

America declares war with Germany as World War II headline fill the Telegram-Tribune December 11, 1941.

December 11, 1941 Two days after war was declared with Japan the European Axis powers declared war on America. Congress responded. President Roosevelt called for a declaration of war and within 34 minutes the legislative branch acted. Fast bipartisan action is possible. Congress also had to speed through legislation that removed restrictions against sending citizen-soldiers …

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Jun 08

Morro Bay Aerial circa 1963

Aerial of Morro Rock, power plant and harbor from August 29, 1963.© The Tribune Conspiracy theories. I recall fielding a call several years back from a subscriber who insisted that the newspaper had run a doctored photo. This was way back in the film days, when photoshop included chemicals and a darkroom. She insisted that …

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