Non-Fiction Books:

Building the Ultimate Dam

John S. Eastwood and the Control of Water in the West


Paperback / softback

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Building the Ultimate Dam by Donald C Jackson

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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."

Author Biography

Donald C. Jackson, Cornelia F. Hugel Professor of History at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, is the author of Great American Bridges and Dams.
Release date NZ
November 22nd, 2005
Country of Publication
United States
New edition
115 b&w illustrations, 41 line drawings, 5 maps
University of Oklahoma Press
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