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.
Eastwoodâs 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 Americaâs dam-building elite and describes how proponents of Âbigger is betterâ dams won out over Eastwoodâs competing idea that Âbulk does not mean strength.â
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