Building The Ultimate Dam: John S. Eastwood And The Control Of Water In The West

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Most water control projects in the American West depend on huge gravity dams, whose stability lies in massive quantities of concrete and earth or rock fill. In the early twentieth century, John S. Eastwood designed novel dams that minimized the concrete necessary for construction.

Eastwood’s multiple-arch designs proved less expensive than comparable gravity dams. Yet he faced the opposition of a powerful cadre of engineers, financiers, and politicians who believed the distinctive appearance of multiple-arch dams did not inspire public confidence. Donald C. Jackson offers compelling insight into the world of America’s dam-building elite and describes how proponents of “bigger is better” dams won out over Eastwood’s competing idea that “bulk does not mean strength.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806137339
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald C. Jackson is Professor of History at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, and is the author of Great American Bridges and Dams.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Oklahoma Edition vii
Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
1 Dams, Water, and the West 1
2 Dams: A Technical and Historical Review 13
3 Early Years in Fresno: Rise and Fall of the San Joaquin Electric Company 41
4 Big Creek, Henry Huntington, and the Origins of the Multiple Arch Dam (1900-1907) 59
5 Success at Hume Lake and Big Bear Valley (1908-1911) 85
6 Confrontation at Big Meadows: John R. Freeman and the "Psychology" of Dam Design (1911-1913) 109
7 In Search of Patronage: The Business of a Dam Design Specialist (1913-1918) 135
8 Theory and Practice in Dam Design 169
9 Evolution of a Structural Artist (1918-1924) 193
10 The Multiple Arch Dam After Eastwood
Sources 255
Notes 259
Glossary 317
List of Illustrations of Dams 323
Index 325
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