K.P.F. Electric, Box 76, Dec 1948


K.P.F. Electric was a San Francisco company, founded in 1904, and August Julius Pahl was the managing president.

There’s no longer much to find about the company, and I was always wondering what type of electrical engineering they were involved in.

This box of negatives gives the answer I was looking for. K.P.F. Electric was in high voltage power distribution and underwater electrical cabling. So not small commercial or residential electrical work.

Below are excerpts of professional literature from the early 1940’s, discussing the same program, but with different details.

Contract work by A. J. Pahl, manager of K.P.F. Electric
Contract work by A. J. Pahl, manager of K.P.F. Electric

August Julius Pahl, Joel’s uncle from mother’s side, always showed signs of being upper middle class. It’s also clear that he had good technology and business insights. He patented at least two patents, one related to underwater cable installation, the other relates to a high voltage disconnect device.

In the image series that follows, Joel is photographing K.P.F. Electric products, all high voltage supports and isolators with installation bits. I should mention here that the K.P.F. Electric Company would at some point be operational from an admin perspective in Stockton after 1950. Joel possibly photographed all these parts prior to the move from San Francisco.

It took Joel a few shots to get the hang of this type of commercial presentation. Be prepared for some trial and error shots.

High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco

Same product, different perspective and foremost, the difference between a wrinkled white background versus a dark grey background.

High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco

Joel made sure he got enough material to later print the best images for print and display.

High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Suspension Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Suspension Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco

I won’t be showing all the images here in the essence of space and time. Joel photographed a number of the final print images in some sort of wooden display frame. This was clearly a commercial product shoot, serving both Joel’s portfolio and K.P.F. Electric legacy.

High Voltage Suspension Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco, Framed Print
High Voltage Suspension Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco, Framed Print
High Voltage Assembly Detail, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco
High Voltage Suspension Assembly, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco (Printed)

The above image was printed, and probably shows how this shoot all started. It’s not necessarily the most flattering image, but Joel got through it with good material to show.

High Voltage Suspension Assembly, Detail, K.P.F. Electric, Dec 1948, San Francisco (Printed)

From an abstract perspective, the above image can hold its own. Ready to hang on a wall, even if you don’t understand what it represents.

There were a total of 31 K.P.F. Electric product images in this box, in addition to 5 more images of Dr. Scott’s children photoshoot somewhere in 1949. Shoots got mixed up, and spread out, over boxes in time.

Just one kids image to close this blog post off.

Dr. Scott’s children on the landing, circa 1949, Stockton.

This material at least sheds some light on the activities of Joel’s uncle August Julius Pahl and sons.

Cheers !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: