Monday, October 5, 2009

(Those) Dam Replicas

The Hover and Bolder Dam souvenirs are replicas of the same dam, the name just changed a few times. Originally named Boulder Dam from 1930 to 1931, It was renamed Hoover Dam during the period of Feb. 1931 to May 1933. When Hoover lost his re-election, the dam returned to be called Boulder Dam during the Roosevelt era. President Truman returned it to the name Hover in 1947 to honor the president who originated the building (Hoover). This is another example of the souvenir buildings which we can date, by the named, even when no date is printed on it. Some Hover and Bolder Dam replicas are souvenirs while others are ashtrays. The real Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada. When completed in 1936, it was both the world's largest electric-power generating station and the world's largest concrete structure. It was surpassed in both these respects by the Grand Coulee Dam in 1945. This dam, located 30 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, is named after Herbert Hoover, who played an instrumental role in its construction, first as the Secretary of Commerce and then later as the President of the United States. Construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1936. Lake Mead is the reservoir created by the dam, named after Elwood Mead, who oversaw the construction of the dam. The initial plans for the finished facade of both the dam and the power plant consisted of a simple, unadorned wall of concrete topped with a Gothic-inspired balustrade and a powerhouse that looked like little more than an industrial warehouse.This initial design was criticized by many as being too plain and unremarkable for a project of such immense scale, so Los Angeles-based architect Gordon B. Kaufmann was brought in to redesign the exteriors. Kaufmann greatly streamlined the buildings, and applied an elegant Art Deco style to the entire project, with sculptured turrets rising seamlessly from the dam face and clock faces on the intake towers set for the time in Nevada and Arizona, in the Pacific Standard Time Zone or Pacific Daylight Time Zone and Mountain Standard Time Zone time zones respectively (although because Arizona does not observe daylight saving time, the two clocks show the same time during the half of the year around the northern summer). The Hover Dam offers tours of the factility. Souvenir replicas of the (Boulder) Hover Dam include metal paperweights, an ashtray and a set of ceramic salt & pepper shakers. Less-common dam replicas include the Grand Coulee Dam. While not as stylishly-designed as the Hoover Dam, the Grand Coulee Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. In the United States, it is the largest electric power producing facility and the largest concrete structure It is also the seventh largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, as of the year 2008. The reservoir is called Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake, named after the United States President who presided over the completion of the dam. Folk singer Woody Guthrie was commissioned by the Bonneville Power Administration to write songs about the Columbia Basin Project the songs Roll On Columbia and Grand Coulee Dam are part of that series.The Grand Coulee Dam is almost a mile long at 5223 feet (1586 m). The spillway is 1,650 feet (503 m) wide. At 550 feet (168 m), it is taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza and all the pyramids at Giza could fit within its base. Its hydraulic height of 380 feet (115 m) is more than twice that of Niagara Falls. The visitor center contains many historical photos, geological samples, turbine and dam models, and a well used theater. Since May 1989, on summer evenings, The laser light show at Grand Coulee Dam is projected onto the dam's wall. The show includes full-size images of battleships and the Statue of Liberty, as well as some environmental comments. Tours of the new Third Powerhouse are available to the public but have been scaled back for security reasons. Visitors are able to ride a glass elevator, on top of the forebay penstocks, 400 feet down to view the generators. Do you know of other dam souvenirs?

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