Water Resource Collections and Archives


Joseph Barlow Lippincott, 1864-1942

Joseph Barlow Lippincott, 1864-1942

Joseph Barlow Lippincott was born on October 10, 1864. He attended Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pa., from 1880 to 1882, when his family moved to Kansas. In 1887, after spending several years driving cattle in Texas, he graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. From 1889 to 1892, Lippincott was topographer for the U.S. Geological Survey in charge of making topographic maps in New Mexico and California. In 1893 he became assistant engineer for the Bear Valley Irrigation Company, on the construction of an early irrigation project on the headwaters of the Santa Ana River in Southern California.

With the organization of the U.S. Reclamation Service in 1902, Lippincott became supervising engineer of all Reclamation Service activities in the Pacific Coast region from the Klamath River in Oregon to the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California.

In 1890, Lippincott was married to Josephine P. Cook of Kansas City, Missouri. They had two children: a daughter, Rose, who died in 1919; and a son, Joseph Reading Lippincott, who was killed in the Philippines during World War II. The Lippincotts lived at on West 12th Street in Los Angeles.

Lippincott died on November 4, 1942, at the age of 78.

The Lippincott photograph collection consists of over 5,000 photographs, many taken by Lippincott himself. The photos cover the years 1895 to 1930 and visually document many of the projects in which Lippincott was involved. Of particular importance are a series of photographs which record the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

WRCA acquired the Lippincott collection in January 1967. The collection was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Q. Volk, of Los Angeles. Volk was an associate in Lippincott's engineering practice.

Portrait CollectionBack to Portrait Collections..


J. B. Lippincott Papers, 1882-1942 ca. 34 linear ft.

Articles, addresses by Hyatt, and clippings, pertaining to dams, water rights, salt water intrusion, hydroelectric power, the California Water Plan, and other aspects of water in California.

Online collection guide available via the Online Archive of California.

Call number: LIPP

Last modified: 4/29/2011 2:50 PM by S. Haren

UCR Contact Information

Water Resources Collections and Archives
Tomás Rivera Library, 4th Floor
PO Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, CA 92517-5900

Tel: 951-827-3233    Fax: 951-827-4673    email Email

CSUSB Contact Information

Water Resources Institute, CSUSB
Boykin Witherspoon III, Institute Director
California State University, San Bernardino
PL-401 5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino CA 92407-2318

Tel: 909-537-3685    email Email