Floodgate Assembly at the Ķegums Hydro Power Plant Dam, November 3, 1938

Description

Eduards Kraucs (1898–1977) was a renowned Latvian photographer and cinematographer who, between 1936 and 1940, documented the construction of the Ķegums Hydro Power Plant on the Daugava River in central Latvia. This photograph, taken on November 3, 1938, shows the floodgate assembly at the power plant dam. The plant was a unique engineering structure for the Baltic countries and Northern Europe, involving a collaborative effort of Latvian and Swedish engineers. Technological solutions new to Europe were used in its construction. The plant had great importance in Latvia as a symbol of state and national identity during the first period of the history of the independent Latvian state (1918–1940). Its completion marked the beginning of a unified statewide power system and of the Latvenergo group. The plant triggered rapid economic growth, resulted in the electrification of Latvia’s regions, and improved the welfare of the Latvian population. Kraucs took images of the work once or twice a week during the period of construction. The resulting collection of 1,736 glass plate photonegatives is the only known example in Europe of such a comprehensive photographic record of a large-scale building project. The collection was inscribed on the Latvian National Memory of the World Register in 2009.

Last updated: September 29, 2014