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Engineering Achievements of 1929

Posted December 7, 2013 by admin with No Comments in 1920's


Source: Popular Science Monthly – January 1930


Professor of Mechanical Engineering,
New York University

FORMAL opening of the eight-mile Cascade Tunnel, the longest railroad tunnel in the United States, ushered in the engineering year of 1929.

Outstanding engineering projects of the year include the great International Bridge at Detroit, longest suspension bridge in the world; the Hud-son River Bridge at New York City; the Pacoima Dam in southern California, 385 feet high, and the even higher Diablo and Owyhee dams in Washington and Oregon, respectively. Preparations are going forward for the monster of them all, Boulder Dam in Colorado, a power and flood control project at last assured.

Completion of the great waterway lock system on the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Cairo adds another link to America’s inland waterway system.  Mississippi flood control, called the world’s largest dirt-moving job, is well under way.

The Woolworth Building’s long-standing supremacy among skyscrapers passes at last with the erection of two even higher buildings in New York City, expected to be nearly or entirely completed this year. Another skyscraper planned for Chicago is to dwarf even the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Two-hundred-story buildings are foreseen.

Progress in electrical engineering is typified by such huge electrical machines as the two monster 160,000-kilowatt generators installed early this year at the Hell Gate power station in New York. An innovation in the field of mechanical engineering are the new steelless alloys of extraordinary hardness for machine tools. Novel forms of power, jet and rocket propulsion, have been tried out in experiments, notably in Germany, for automobiles and airplanes. Here and abroad electric power continues to furnish the driving force in factory machinery. The ubiquitous Diesel engine is finding such new uses as supplying power in office buildings and in railroad locomotives.

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