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A Guide to the American Photo Company Photographs of the Port of Havana Construction

Finding aid created by Wondy Joseph

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

December 2015

Descriptive Summary

Creator: American Photo Co.
Title: American Photo Company Photographs of the Port of Havana Construction
Dates: 1910-1912
Abstract: This collection includes 25 duotone photographs of the construction of the Port of Havana in Cuba.
Extent: 0.1 Linear feet. 25 photographs.
Identification: MSS 0347
Language(s): Includes materials written in Spanish and English.
Note: This guide is available in Spanish at
Online ContentItems from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

For 400 years, the port of Havana, sitting in the fan-shaped bay Bahia de La Habana, had been one of the most important ports in the world. The Spanish used this port to assemble their large convoys and to ship the riches of the Americas to Spain. In 1898, as a prelude to the United States' war with Spain, the USS Maine was sunk in Havana Harbor. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the Cubans and their American business partner wanted to rebuild and expand the harbor and the sunken American battleship remained a hazard that they wanted removed.

The U.S. government agreed to remove the sunken ship on May 9, 1910. Much of the harbor work was carried out by The Snare & Triest Company (of New York and Havana), which was founded in 1898 by Frederick Snare and W. G. Triest and became one of the largest contracting engineering firms working in Latin America.

Scope and Content

This collection houses photoprints that were taken by the American Photo Company, formed in 1912, and which established a commercial network in Havana that became responsible for distributing images of Cuba on a worldwide scale. Of the enclosed 25 photographs, eight are captioned in Spanish and sixteen are captioned in English; two are stamped by the American Photo Company. This collection, which dates from September 1910-June 1912, shows the progress of the construction of the Port of Havana and shows views of the loading docks, the piers, and the San Francisco de Paula Church in the background of some of the pictures.


The photographs are arranged in chronological order.

Access or Use Restrictions


This collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Historia Grafica de la Maritima Parreno Scrapbook

Administrative Information

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of items in the American Photo Company Photographs of the Port of Havana Construction are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], American Photo Company Photographs of the Port of Havana Construction, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased in 2013.

Contents List

Box Folder
11 Start of the construction. 1910 September 2
12 Havana Central construction, with San Francisco de Paula Church in the background. 1910 October 3
13 San Francisco de Paula Church seen from the docks. 1910 October 3
14 Construction of the new ferry berths. 1910 November 2
15 Snare & Triest Company crane boat at Havana Central. 1910 November 2
16 Warehouse and San Francisco de Paula Church seen from the docks. 1910 November 3
17 Passenger loading dock at Regla and Casablanca. 1910 December 3
18 Construction of a light loading dock at Havana Bay. 1911 January 2
19 Paula Piers - material for cast iron screw piles. 1911 January 31
110 Front view of Havana Central - new landing stage at Casa Blanca. 1911 March 1
111 Front view of Landing Stage at "Emboque de Regla" - Havana Central. 1911 March 1
112 Paula Piers - view of piers 1 and 2. 1911 May 3
113 Havana Terminal - steel pier 1 being constructed for Government at Paula. 1911 June 1
114 View of pier 1 showing work on pier 2 in the distance - taken from end of Paula Wharf, Havana Central. 1911 July 1
115 View of pier 1 and derricks working at end of pier 2 - taken from roof of old Paula Hospital, Havana Central. 1911 July 1
116 Paula Pier 2, view taken from pier 1. 1911 September 1
117 Arsenal - view of entrance to Station Yard at Tallapiedra. 1911 September 1
118 Paula Piers - view of pier 1 and shore end of pier 2. 1911 September 1
119 Paula Pier 1 - view of end of pier taken from Paula Wharf, Havana Central. 1911 September 1
120 Arsenal - the third pier being constructed for the Government at Paula. 1911 November 1
121 Government Piers - pier 3 at Paula. 1911 December 1
122 Havana Terminal - approaches to the Government Piers - tracks being laid in the streets. 1912 April 1
123 Havana Terminal - Paula Pier 3 ready to be handed over to the government. 1912 May 1
124 Arsenal - government officials receiving Paula Piers. 1912 June 8
125 Ships in Havana Harbor, including the SS Bornu. circa 1912

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Cuba -- Havana.
Harbors -- Design and construction.
Havana Bay (Cuba).
United States.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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