Documentation and cataloging of contractor sidewalk stamps

I decided to begin shooting these stamps in the winter of 2001. I have been amazed at the incredible variety and density of these stamps - virtually every city block has some. Most of these are located on driveways or at the ends of completed work. The images in this website are only a portion of the expanding collection. I am currently trying to develop this catalog of "best examples" of each stamp and known variants, which include date ranges and changes in text. I scout neighborhoods, shoot photos, take field notes, scan the images, and add them to a digital database. Almost all of these are from Berkeley, Oakland, and Albany, California.

The data I have gathered on most of these items includes:
-Date shot
-Location, City
-Location, street address
-Microlocation of stamp (curb front, curb top, sidewalk, driveway, walkway, other)
-Contractor name
-Contractor location (city)
-Date of stamp
-Full text of stamp
-Comments (includes union stamp, note variation from X)

Topics for expanded research could include:
-research in city records to establish date ranges for each business
-comparison of stamp usage practices between cities
-outreach to the building and construction trades, architects, and city agencies to encourage documentation, if not preservation, of stamps.
Some communities have appreciated the value of these artifacts and have cut out and re-set them in new work - see this example from Normal Heights, a neighborhood in San Diego, and this planning document from El Segundo, CA describing conservation steps ("Diagram 4, item iii").

If you have knowledge about these stamps, or would like to help contribute documented evidence, please contact Lincoln Cushing, (510) 643-2886.

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