In January of 1933 Kenneth R. Kingsbury, President of Standard Oil of California (now known as Chevron), sent the company’s Public Relations representative, Ted Huggins, to take photographs of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunately for us, Ted Huggins was a gifted amateur photographer as well as an enthusiastic PR man.
Mr. Kingsbury told Ted to document construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and for the next three and a half years he did just that. Ted used innovative techniques including experimenting with black and white infrared film to darken the sky. One of those photos made the May 31, 1937 cover of Life magazine.
Ted also photographed the bridge from blimps, airplanes, ferry boats, from inside caissons and from the tops of the towers. In spite of great personal risk, Ted Huggins made split-second decisions on point-of-view, exposure and composition to capture iconic photographs every week, almost every day. His support team often worked nights and weekends to keep up with the media’s demand for construction photos of the bridge.
Here is a great video that will introduce you to Ted Huggins. At the end of this article is a link to an offer from Chevron for some free, limited edition posters celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Enjoy.
I would like to express my thanks to Chevron for the free posters that they have made available and for keeping alive the story of Ted Huggins and his legacy of photographs. It is a moment in time that we can all enjoy and experience through his lens.