Owen Meals Collection
(15,000 Documents; 400 Objects)
Owen Meals was a prominent historical figures in Valdez’s history. He was well known for his leadership in local political, civic, and economic activities and for being an inventor and risk taker. This collection is the largest single collection the museum owns and is made up almost entirely of records, ephemera, and artifacts from Meals’ personal and professional activities. Documents include bills, receipts, and advertising materials from three of his ventures – his career as one of Alaska’s pioneer bush pilots, a Ford dealership which he ran from 1914-1935 and the Valdez Electric Light and Power Company which he built and operated from 1920-1964. These records document transportation and electricity – two key features in understanding Valdez’s development. Artifacts include gold mining implements, components of his aircraft, wall phones, and insulators.