- About Us
GUIDE TO THE SOUTHWEST ONYX AND MARBLE COMPANY COLLECTION
Southwest Onyx and Marble Company Collection.
Southwest Onyx and Marble Company.
DATES OF MATERIAL:
260 photographic prints: gelatin silver, b&w; 8 x 10 in. or smaller.
LOCAL CONTROL NUMBERS:
Photographic prints: OP12844/0-255.
San Diego History Center
Booth Historical Photograph Archives
P.O. Box 81825
San Diego, CA 92138
Gift of John Y. Mills (past president of Southwest Onyx and Marble Company), 1986 (595-D).
Open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, contact the curator of the Booth Historical Photograph Archives of the San Diego Historical Society. Reproduction or publication of any part of this collection must include the following information next to the image(s) or in a special section of credits: Southwest Onyx and Marble Company Collection, San Diego Historical Society, Booth Historical Photograph Archives.
Arrangement: (1) 37 loose photographic prints; (2) 73 photographic prints from disbound album with no title or statement of responsibility; (3-4) 64 linen-backed photographic prints from disbound sample book with "Photograph by Herbert R. Fitch" stamped on the verso of each print; (5-6) 48 photographic prints from disbound sample book with no title or statement of responsibility; and (7) 38 photographic prints from disbound sample book, "Pedrara Onyx: Nature's Most Beautiful Product, New Pedrara Onyx Co., San Diego, Cal., W.P. Tupper." Title from: Guide to the Photograph Collections of the San Diego History Center / Gregory L. Williams. Most photographic prints removed from sample books. Related materials: Southwest Onyx and Marble Company Collection (MS87) in the Research Archives. Forms part of: San Diego Historical Society Original Print Collection.
BIOGRAPHICAL OR HISTORICAL NOTE:
Established in San Diego under the direction of Leslie B. Mills and later operated by his son John Y. Mills, the Lyman-Mills Onyx and Marble Company became the Southwest Onyx and Marble Company in 1921. It specialized in the fabrication of building fixtures and novelty works made of onyx from its Pedrara Onyx Company quarry in Baja California, Mexico. After the quarry closed in the late 1970s and John Y. Mills retired in 1992, the Southwest Onyx and Marble Company ceased operation.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:
This collection documents the Southwest Onyx and Marble Company in San Diego and its Pedrara Onyx Company quarry in Baja California. It contains photographs by Herbert R. Fitch and others showing products made of finished onyx. Work samples include bank and office building fixtures in San Diego and other cities on the West Coast; the lobby of Spreckels Theater; soda fountain counters in cafes and drugstores; and novelty works such as burial urns, pedestals, lamps, and a punch bowl presented to the USS California by the citizens of San Diego. There are also snapshots of the desert, Mexican families, dwellings, laborers, and an onyx quarry; workers and machinery in the company's San Diego factory; and Lee Passmore photographs of the Pinole and its crew with blocks of onyx docked in San Diego harbor.
Pedrara Onyx Company (Baja California, Mexico)
Lyman-Mills Onyx and Marble Company (San Diego, Calif.)
Quarrying -- Mexico -- Baja California.
Industry -- California -- San Diego.
Snapshots from 1934-1935 of an onyx quarry (Pedrara Onyx Company) in Baja California, men, mules, blocks of onyx, and the desert. Lee Passmore photographs of the Pinole with blocks of onyx and its crew docked in San Diego harbor. Herbert R. Fitch photographs of workers and machinery in Southwest Onyx and Marble Company's factory, an onyx display at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, and samples of finished products made of onyx.
Photographs from a disbound album showing samples of finished products made of onyx, including a mantel in the home of John D. Spreckels; fixtures of San Diego Savings Bank, Elks Hall, Scripps Building; cafes in San Francisco; and buildings in Seattle. Lyman-Mills Onyx and Marble Company (i.e. Southwest Onyx and Marble Company) factory workers and machinery. Also, snapshots and some 3¼ x 11 in. panoramas of the desert, Mexican families, dwellings, laborers, and an onyx quarry in Baja California.
Linen-backed photographic prints from a disbound sample book with "Photograph by Herbert R. Fitch" stamped on the verso of each print. Samples of finished products made of onyx include interior and exterior fixtures of banks, office buildings, stores, and theaters in San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Antonio, Kansas City, and Utah; and novelty works such as burial urns, pedestals, lamps, and a punch bowl presented to the USS California by the citizens of San Diego. Also, images of workers unloading rough blocks of onyx from ship in San Diego harbor. Of special note, the entrance and lobby of Spreckels Theater.
Photographic prints from a disbound sample book showing samples of decorative and ornamental fixtures made from onyx. Includes banks, cafes, theaters, and drugstore soda fountain counters in San Diego and elsewhere.
Photographic prints from a disbound sample book. Samples of decorative and ornamental fixtures made from onyx include mantels, soda fountain counters, and building fixtures.