Dams have been used to control water for thousands of years, with the oldest known dam being a small earthen structure in present-day Jordan dating to c.4000 BCE. Since then, cultures throughout the world have practised the art of dam-building and the technology has evolved in myriad ways. The papers selected here examine the key technical issues influencing dam construction from ancient times to the early 20th century. In addition they illustrate why various human societies have built dams and how ’social’ (or seemingly ’non-technical’) factors have influenced the process of dam design. Though hydraulic engineering is the primary focus of the book, it also reveals a keen interest in questions of water resources and environmental history.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Sadd-el-Kafara, the world’s oldest large dam, G.Garbrecht; The Roman dams of Subiaco, Norman A.F.Smith; The chapter on weirs in the Codex of Juanelo Turriano: a question of authorship, J.A.Garcia-Diego; Architecture for fish: the Sienese dam on the Bruna River-structures and designs, ca. 1468-1530, Nicholas Adams; The evolution of the arch dam, N.J.Schnitter; The evolution of buttress dams, N.J.Schnitter; The evolution of British dams, Geoffrey Binnie; The Jones Falls Dam on the Rideau Canal, Ontario, Canada, Robert F.Legget; 19th-century hydropower: design and construction of the Lawrence Dam, 1845-1848, Peter M. Molloy; The failure of the Bouzey Dam in 1895, Norman A.F.Smith; George Deacon (1843-1909) and the Vyrnwy works, I.Davidson; Engineering in the progressive era: a new look at Frederick Haynes Newell and the U.S. Reclamation Service, Donald C. Jackson; A narrow window of opportunity: the rise and fall of the fixed steel dam, Terry S. Reynolds; Considering the multiple arch dam: theory, practice and the ethics of safety in a case of innovative hydraulic engineering, Donald C. Jackson; Historical developent of British embankment dams to 1960, A.W.Skempton; Machine-age iconography in the American West: the design of Hoover Dam, Richard Guy Wilson; Hoover Dam: a study in domination, Donald Worster, Index.
'The aim of Ashgate's twelve volume series is to bring together collections of important papers on particular topics from scholarly journals, conference proceedings and other hard-to-access sources. This is a wholly laudable objective. Some of the papers in the volume under review [The Civil Engineering of Canals and Railways before 1850] cannot be found even in abundantly-resourced academic libraries. The series opens up, directly or indirectly, debates over the nature of historical evidence which arise from the profoundly different approaches to the past of historians of technology, whose works are principally represented in these volumes, industrial archaeologists and social and economic historians.' Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol. XXI, No. 1 '...the book should take a complementary place alongside...existing texts on the history of dams....' Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol. XXI, No. 2 ' The depth and range of the papers presented will ensure that this book is of interest to both the professional engineer and to the general reader.... The technical content of the individual papers is high and reflects the careful research undertaken by the different authors.' International Water Power& Dams Construction