The founding father of Latvia’s sound cinema chronicle, cameraman and photographer Eduards Kraucs’ (1898 – 1977) collection of glass plate photographic negatives contains 1736 glass plate photographic negatives – the course of Kegums Power Station’s construction. The collection depicts the course of the construction of a technical-engineering facility unique in Northern Europe and the Baltic region – Kegums Power Station – during the period from 8 September 1936 until 20 July 1940. Currently, this collection of glass plate negatives documenting the course of construction of the Kegums Power Station is the only known example in Europe of such comprehensive photographic record of the development of a building project.
The Kegums Power Station is of major significance to the first period of the history of the independent Latvian state (1918 – 1940), both, as its biggest technical-engineering construction project, and as a symbol of national and public self-awareness, which showcases the ability of Latvia’s specialists to handle complicated technical challenges. The Kegums Power Station is the foundation on which Latvia’s uniform power system and construction also triggered rapid economic growth, the electrification of Latvia’s regions and increased welfare for the Latvian population. The Kegums Power Station is a symbol of Latvia’s 20th century history and the key asset in the realm of its industry and public social welfare.
The collection is unique and irreplaceable both as the chronological record of a historical event – the course of construction of the Kegums Power Station – and as a marvellous example of the professional activity of one of the 20th century’s great photographers, Eduards Kraucs. The photographer’s professionalism is evident through his exposition of the subject matter, his selection of compositions that complement their content and his consistent application of his unique style of communication. The photographs of the construction of the Kegums Power Station are an important documentary heritage of the 20th century depicting both, the construction of the power station, and the particular period in the history of Latvia.
Photographs, digital images and photo albums from Eduards Kraucs’ collection documenting the construction of the Kegums Power Station are deposed and exhibited at the Latvenergo Group’s Museum of Energy.
Visual material: Author – E. Kraucs, collection of Latvenergo Museum of Energy (1. Overview of the Ķegums Power Station, 1937; 2. Concrete mixer in the Ķegums Power Station, 1937; 3. Construction works of the ice protection wall of Ķegums power station).