Hoover DamBack to Places Main > Hoover Dam
Real Identity: Not Applicable
Appearances (SS): Blast from the Past
Voiced By: Not Applicable
As development of the American southwest went ahead, sources of irrigation water became an important task. The Colorado River was viewed as a viable source. In the 1890's, William Beatty built the Imperial Canal but it later breached and became too expensive to maintain. In 1902, advances in the transmission of electric power led to a greater desire to create a dam. The Edison Electric Company of Los Angeles began conducting surveys and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation considered Lower Colorado as the site. In 1922, the Fall-Davis Report cited a federal concern as the basin covered several states and part of the Colorado River fed into Mexico. Ultimately, a site was chosen for its ease in connecting with the railway system. An agreement called the Colorado River Impact was drawn up for the seven states involved-Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming-with Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover.
On December 21, 1928, President Coolidge signed the bill that authorized the dam, the Boulder Canyon Project Act. $165 million was set aside to finance the dam and the All-American Canal downstream to replace the Imperial. Only six of the seven states needed to approve of it. Arizona was the last, in 1944. It was decided the dam would be a concrete arched-gravity type, thick at the bottom and thin at the top, and reflect an art deco design. A joint venture called the Six Companies, Inc. made the winning bid. Construction began in September 1930 but actual work wasn't allowed until March 1931. The land was heavily modified, the foundation reinforced, and 3.25 million cubic yards of cement were used. However, there were 112 deaths and 58 holes still remained a problem. A formal ceremony was held on September 30, 1935 for the Boulder Dam. But its previous unoffical name of Hoover stuck. It wasn't until 1947 when the dam was officially named the Hoover Dam. The dam has a height of 726.4 feet, length of 1244 feet, and contains 17 electric generators.
Hoover Dam was opened in 1936 and also became a tourist destination. In the 1960's, Morris Grant visited the site. He was caught in a transformer explosion. Instead of suffering fatal injury, Grant survived and now had electrical powers. He went on to become the superhero Soul Power.