Marvellous Concrete Constructions The Hoover Dam

Concrete: a versatile material, used for thousands of years throughout human history. By harbouring and processing naturally occurring material, we are able to create super-strong superstructures as well as beautiful sculptures and creative designs through the use of this magnificent substance.

The history of concrete

Before we look at one of the most wondrous concrete creations in history, let’s take a delve into the history of concrete. Even though concrete like structures were created before ancient Rome, The ancient Roman’s used a form of concrete, very similar to the concrete we know today; before this we know the ancient Egyptians used a mixture of lime, mud, straw and other natural material to create the pyramids. Before that, there was little to no use of concrete like substances that we know of. The earliest known occurrence of concrete dates back to around 12 million years ago, where a natural combustion caused by a bed of limestone and oil shale resulted in deposit of cement. From ancient Rome we then take a leap to the middle ages where concrete begun to take off again, after becoming very redundant in use between 500A.D to the 14th century. Concrete was improved and modernised, with more variations on the substance becoming available throughout the 18 and 19 hundreds.

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam Originally named ‘Boulder Dam’, the Hoover Dam stands between the two U.S states: Nevada and Arizona. This massive concrete structure took just five years to complete and cost the US government around 49 million dollars - that’s the equivalent to 700 million dollars today! The structure didn’t just come at the cost of money, but lives too. Without the saviour of modern safety equipment and regulations, this marvellous construction unfortunately resulted in the loss of over 100 worker’s lives. Around 21000 men worked to create the dam with around 3,500 men working on the dam on one day. The construction of the damn began during the great depression, where 42,000 men took to looking for work on the construction of the damn, 5000 men were employed. The creation of the dam caused the creation of a new lake: Lake Mead, which meant communities living nearby had to evacuate, as their homes were flooded. The dam provides enough electricity and drinking water for around 8 million people in the states of California, Arizona and Nevada. The dam also provides flood control and irrigation. With 6,000 tonnes of concrete we certainly want to give some credit to the Hoover Dam, as one of the most magnificent concrete structures created throughout history.

Concrete hoover dam