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A Narrow Window of Opportunity: The Rise and Fall of the Fixed Steel Dam

Terry S. Reynolds
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Vol. 15, No. 1 (1989), pp. 1-20
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40968160
Page Count: 20
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A Narrow Window of Opportunity: The Rise and Fall of the Fixed Steel Dam
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Abstract

Between 1890 and 1910 a few dam designers seriously considered steel as an alternative to such traditional dam-building materials as masonry, earth, rock, and concrete. Three fixed steel dams were constructed; two still survive. Using evidence from the two surviving structures, especially the steel dam at Redridge, Michigan, as well as written records, this article challenges previous explanations for the demise of the steel dam and suggests that the neglect of steel construction is better explained by perception and personal factors than by objective, scientific factors.

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