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The Hoover Dam Essay

1331 words - 5 pages

The Hoover Dam

Out in the middle of no where, an hour drive away from Las Vegas, NV lies one of the biggest dams and power plants in the world. Built in the heart of the depression, it serves as more than just a barrier from water to pass through. The concrete poured into the walls of Hoover Dam, are made by the sweat and blood of hundreds of Americans who were looking to save themselves, and their families.

Residing on the Colorado River, the Hoover dam rises out of no where. Downstream from the Grand Canyon, this structure is almost as impressive as the Grand Canyon. With its towering height, and awesome power output, it is almost inconceivable that the technology required to build such a structure would have been around in the 1930’s.

In the 1930’s in America, you were lucky if you had a job. Jobs were few and far between, and the money that you would make wouldn’t go very far. An ingenious plan to get workers to come out to the desert to work was already in the makes. Letters were posted in major cities, and soon everyone knew about the Dam project that was going to be undertaken in the middle of the desert. People came out in droves to want to work on this project. With the pay being moderately good, and it being a couple thousand more jobs for unemployed America, this was perfect to try and upstart the economy.

As soon as construction was started in 1931, a bunch of the workers had already started to move to sites closer to the dam construction site. Soon, all of the workers had settled in a spot, not too far from the construction site called Boulder City. Boulder City was a very impressive town. The people who lived there quickly formed bonds with each other, and started to build public houses such as churches. The towns people started a news paper, and soon without much at all, the town turned into the only town where everyone had an income in America. The biggest problem with the town was that there was complete chaos with the finances and the economic startup in the town. There was one company, who until 1933 when scrip payments were made illegal, was the only company where dam workers could go to cash their paychecks and spend them. This forced all of the entrepreneurs who were trying to sell items that people need, but were being forced to buy at the other store to lose money. Soon, a police department was created, and some kind of democracy slipped in and helped the city stay alive.

The engineering design that went behind building such a massive barrier is unbelievable. While building started in 1931, it is clear that there was a huge push to make this structure even decades before the first shovel pierced the earth. The American agriculture in the southwest, was going through a cycle of floods and droughts, this would make for very harsh growing conditions. Engineers felt that it was possible to block the Colorado River, which would allow for regulation...

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