The Hoover Dam under construction in 1934.

The Hoover Dam under construction in 1934.


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The first person who died during construction was a land surveyor. The last person who died during construction was also a land surveyor. The first one who died was the father of the last one who died. Weird. Source: A tour guide me this on a tour of the dam. Fun fact: I am a land surveyor as well. I hope not to die at work.


That photo is a great way to show why there are no bodies of workers in the dam, as is often claimed. The dam was poured in small, 5 foot lifts. Anyone that fell in would just get up and climb out.


Huh, I never thought about that. I knew it was done piecemeal like this, but the contradiction never occurred to me when I thought there were bodies in there.


They did it piecemeal like this for engineering reasons. Concrete heats up as it dries (part of the chemical process that is occurring). If it was one, continuous pour the dam would have gotten so hot it would take [125 years to cool off](https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/history/essays/concrete.html) (and that would cause cracking and compromise the dam's structure). It'd still be hot today if they did it that way. Instead, they poured in the columns which could cool more quickly. Indeed, even as it was this was such a big deal they used cooling pipes from a refrigeration plant to help the concrete cool properly. Likewise, no one is buried in the dam if, for no other reason, leaving a person in there would compromise the dam's structure. No matter what, they would fish out anyone who fell in whether they were dead or alive.


If it was one continuous pour the concrete truck would have had to be pretty large…


They had a concrete manufacturing plant on site. But you're right, even then a continuous pour would be very difficult (they'd need a bigger manufacturing plant).


I’ve heard that some of the concrete in the middle is t 100% dry and won’t be for a long time .


the sectioned overlapped design was very deliberate


I know right? As if they formed the who thing, began pouring and random people just happened to fall in. The concrete would never be fully compacted and there would be so many air pockets. It would've deteriorated long ago.


You mean anyone that fell was entombed and is now part of the foundation.


Five feet is still high enough to drown someone if they fell on their back.




How was the dam tour?


Pretty good. It was over 10 years ago so I don't remember everything but I liked the tour guide. They were enthusiastic and you got a few good anecdotes as well.


Sounds like a good dam time.


It was a DAM good time!




You can buy "Dam Good Mints" in the gift shop as well.


Too much


Except you can. I still have my tin and I refill it. 😁


Also, Lincoln had a horse named Richard, and Nixon had a car named Lincoln.


JFK and Lincoln had the same golf handicap as well


Dam interesting!


Easy - just don’t go near that dam


Watched a documentary on this, absolutely brilliant feat of engineering.


Me too. It was a really good doc. I recall something about how they diverted water during the process and the amount of people who died. I’d actually love to see it again but can’t remember the title


Name of doc?


Emmett Brown


Seven wonders of the industrial world is a great one.


That's the one. Great documentary.


Seventh wonder of the industrial world I believe.


I also want to know


Seventh wonder of the industrial world.


Thank you!


And a beautiful piece of art. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark.


Reminds me of the town in "castle in the sky"


During the last 2 years of construction UP built tracks right up to the dam and ran trains there for people to look at it https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Another-view-of-the-M10000-Streamliner-visit-in-1934-on-the-wooden-trestle-of-Six_fig9_269084654


And now, slightly less than 100 years later, Lake Mead is running out of water. Soon it won't be enough to power the dam. The last time its massive spillways were open was in 1983. About 20 - 25% of our power here in NV & a good percentage of our tap water comes from that artificial lake. It also provides power & water to several other western states.


very depressing and hoping for the mother of all miracles to start filling it up again.


Hey maybe stop wasting so much. Or maybe stop populating deserts. “But land is so cheap” … yes, for good reason. So many of you don’t belong there


i feel the same way about florida.


*Mic Drop*


We're moving to Vermont. It's dry there, too, but not drought-dry. Yet.


u know, it never really entered my thinking when wife and i shortlisted where we wanted to live, but we get our water from the tn river. there are other utility districts that do not and rely on other water sources, and i have seen too damn many problems with even those having water supply problems. we don't tend to have super severe weather in the valley, winters are not much of a problem, and while we do have fires here (the one a few years back that burned 1/2 of gatlinburg and surrounding area to the ground - tragic for sure, but not on the scale of cali), so all in all east tn has worked well. my only small regret is not moving to nashville 15 years ago, but it is only a 3 hour drive to get world class healthcare at vandy. plus no state taxes, just sales tax. i love vermont and might move there one day should my wife psss before me, but the winters are tough as hell. once considered an IT dev job up in Caribou, Maine but passed. also took a hard pass on a job contract on GITMO.


The NV Water Authority has had residentials on a 'watering schedule' for like, the past 35 years. We're encouraged to do xeriscaping, not wash our cars, minimize our time showering, all this other water-friendly stuff. It's not like they haven't seen it coming. Meanwhile, the public landscaping has only recently gone xeri, there are still golf courses & cemeteries with lush green lawns. The casinos still have pools, fountains, & other 'water festures'. NV gets the least amount of rain of any of the states.


yup. and takes a vast amount of water to boot.


Not this weekend.


Is this the water side or the dry side?


This is looking at the dam from the south


Well it’s dry on both sides in this pic because they built a dam upriver so they could build the Hoover dam. They had to build another damn above the first one too so they could build that dam. One dam thing led to another and they ended up having to build 49 dams in total before they could start on the Hoover.


Well, god dam!


Yes, the river had been redirected into two diversion tunnels. The lower halves of said tunnels serve as the overflow spillway today.


The dam's arch curves into the river like the arch of a cathedral curves into the sky. Because both are there to resist powerful forces. Come to think of it, it's the same root force, gravity. But in the dam it's gravity pulling on a huge amount of water that's trying to flow downhill. If you're on the dry side of a dam, with water on the other side and it's bulging towards you, run!


oh, it won't bulge. it will just explode.


Dry probably since the pic shows the concave side of the dam.


This reminds me of mesoamerican civilization like mesa verde


i was one of the last people to tour the dam just before they stopped all of the behind the scenes tours. as part of the tour you got a Hoover Dam official hard hat. it was mandatory to wear when they took you into the dam where you could look out one of the two huge air vents. i did smack my hat on a low hanging piece of the tunnel and loudly yelped. Many men died building the dam, but they were intentionally dropped as being caused by building the dam.


I see they already covered the Cube and NBE1.




it has not. it will be curing for hundreds of years


I did the tour there and rode down the elevator after seeing this picture. I don't like elevators. This is solid concrete. How are they going to rescue you when you inevitably get stuck? Plus the elevator was packed full and probably also built in the 30s. I have never felt such claustrophobia! Otherwise I highly recommend the tour if it is possible.


Now this is the dam that makes me wish for a nuclear winter.


Makes you wish for a nuclear winter


This looks like the city in 'Blame!' Good manga, would recommend


This is amazing


That’s a lot of “no thanks” in one picture


This must have been when there was still water behind it.


Had a discussion a couple of days ago about which was more. A shitload or a fuckton. Now I understand. This is a fuckton of concrete.


Or as I say with a cold: HOOBAHDAB.


Looks like a chunk of the death star


Hey! Let’s invent hard hats!




Looks like they had to drain Lake Mead in order to put the dam up.




This picture as it stands looks like the sort of dam I would build.


And the concrete is still curing.


I thought it was Death Star for a sec


Soon the Hoover damn won’t be needed anymore


Did they build another dam to build this one?




Damn, that’s a dam.


I worked as a tour guide there several years ago, most people think it's a curved wall but in reality it's like a curved pyramid. Wide at the bottom, narrow at the top. It's still curing and getting stronger, it was built to last 10,000 years. It might even outlast humanity.


Looks like a cleaner version of the Kowloon walled city.