« PreviousContinue »
the heavy machinery. In the alley nearest the river will be ten ton cranes for lifting the heavy screens guarding the entrances to the turbines and for the handling of the headgates for shutting off the water. There will be forty-seven immense generators of 4,500 horsepower each, working on a vertical shaft like the generators at Niagara. These generators will be twelve feet in diameter. On the same vertical shaft will be three different turbines, one over the other, about nine feet in diameter, all working together to drive the generator. Besides the big 4,500 horse-power generators, provision is made for three exciter generators, which are intended to furnish current to excite the magnets of
front of each turbine opening, to prevent the entrance of sticks and stones, which would injure the blade of the turbines. The maximum head of water on the wheels will be at low water and will amount to thirty feet. At extreme high water the head is expected to be twentyone feet. At high water, therefore, the plan is to use all three turbines to drive the generator, when the head is least, but the flow is abundant; at low water, when the head is large, two, or even one, of the turbines in action will be sufficient. The turbines will be made so they can be discontinued when not in use.
The dam will impound the waters until a lake will be formed which will overflow the lowlands along the Iowa and Illinois shores for a distance of approximately forty miles above Keokuk. Immediately adjacent to Keokuk the river is lined with high, limestone bluffs so that there will be little change in the contour thereabouts, the main alteration being the submerging of the narrow lowland shelf now occupied by the tracks of the Burlington railroad and their removal to a ledge of the bluffs or cliffs. On the Illinois shore, however, immediately adjacent to Hamilton, there will be hundreds of acres of lowlands, now annually planted to grain, which will be submerged. The Keokuk and Hamilton Water Power Company, which is building the dam, has already purchased three-fourths of the property which will be submerged and has options on practically all the rest. It is estimated that approximately $1,500,000 has been or will be paid out for riparian rights before the dam is completed.
THIS NINE-MILE CANAL. BUILT AT A COST OF J8.000.000. WILL. WITH ITS LOCKS. BE SUBMERGED TWENTY FEET BY THE BACK WATER OF THE DAM.
The initial installation is expected to be 100,000 horse-power, of which 60,000 has already been contracted for by the Union Electric Light and Power, the Laclede Gas, and the United Railways companies of St. Louis, leaving only 40,000 to be disposed of in and around
Keokuk. When entirely completed the project calls for 25O,O0O horse-power, although it is expected that 200,000 will be nearer the amount developed for some years to come. St. Louis, 167 miles distant, is in the market for a large share of the power, which can be sold there at $18 per horse-power per year. Steam power within 250 miles of Keokuk now averages about $55 a horse-power per •year, so that the saving from the electric power is going to be great.
But Keokuk is not expecting to build this immense engineering project and then transmit the power to other cities, to grow at its expense. Known in the old historic trail and waterways days as the Gate City of the West, Keokuk lies at the convergence of three great states: Iowa—which leads the nation in the production of oats—Illinois—which leads in corn—and Missouri—which leads in hogs. Iowa has never figured very prominently as a manufacturing state, being content to rest on its laurels as an agricultural state. The same is true of Missouri and western Illinois. But the awakening has come and now these three states are looking forward to a time in the near future when their home-grown raw materials shall he converted into the. finished products of commerce and when they shall dominate the manufacturing world as they long have the agricultural. Iowa has numerous cereal mills, one of the largest being located in Keokuk. But its farmers have been obliged to send to Ohio and Indiana for their implements and machines. With cheap power available in immense quantities and with the Mississippi flowing unchecked at its feet, furnishing a cheap means of transportation to the north and south and east, Keokuk looks forward to the day when factories will line the bluffs and the city
THE BEGINNING OF THE DAM ON THE ILLINOIS SHORE A FEW MONTHS AGO.
become a rival to Niagara Falls in very truth. Already plans arc being laid to divert to Keokuk the shipments of bauxite, the clay used in the manufacture of aluminum, from Niagara Falls, where it is shipped by rail from Arkansas. Keokuk argues, and with apparent reason, that bauxite might far better come to a cheap water power by a cheap water route. Negotiations are also in progress for the establishment of a factory for the conversion of the limestone, with which the community abounds, into commercial fertilizer by electrolysis.
The man who is building the dam, Mr. Hugh L. Cooper, engineered the work on the wing1 dam in the Horseshoe rapids of Niagara, building out 800 feet into a millrace moving seventeen miles an hour and ranging from twenty-two to twenty-six feet in depth. Another feat of Mr. Cooper's was putting in the McCall Ferry dam in the Susquehanna river, 3,100 feet long, sixty feet high, and developing 135.000 water-power. The Keokuk dam presents no new or difficult engineering problems, immense as it is. One of the things which makes the herculean task easier is the fact that the building materials exist in almost limitless quantity right at hand. The Mississippi is lined for more miles than any man knows with bed upon bed of limestone. It is necessary only to uncover the surface strata of dirt and blast the rock into movable chunks for the huge crushers. Sand, also, is there in limitless quantity. Before the work was many months under way two rock crush
HAULING ROCK FROM THE QUARRY TO THE CRUSHERS FOR THE ILLINOIS END OF THE DAM. A Sea Song
ers were at work, each of them capable of crushing 130 tons an hour into threeinch stone. A sand pump brought 15,000 yards of sand from the river bottom every ten hours. The cement fixers fell on this material and fed it into the mixing machines, capable of producing 1,200 cubic yards a day. With the concrete ready for the piers and abutments, the carriers, shovels, and miscellaneous equipment went chugging back and forth over the improvised track and the great dam began to appear; slowly, it is true, but surely, which is the main thing. After a year's work on the Illinois shore, a new gang of men was brought over to the Iowa shore. The cement storehouse on the Illinois shore, holding 10.000 barrels, gave up 2,000 barrels of its stock daily, while train loads of new cement kept the stock replenished day after day. During the first year of construction the daily demand was for ten carloads of cement and three carloads of coal.
Oh, for a soft and gentle wind!
I heard a fair one cry;
And white waves heaving high.
The good ship tight and free;
And merry men are we.
And lightning in yon cloud;
The wind is piping loud;
The lightning flashing free
Our heritage the sea.
RAILWAY PROBLEM OF TOMORROW
A MERICAN electrical engineers i\ must study in the immediate / % future as vast and vital a railfmm"^L way problem as any which has .X A. taxed the abilities of experts in the whole history of the development of the transportation system of the United States. "Electrification is bound to come"—that is the w:ell-considered opinion of the president of one of the great railroad systems of the country, a man who in a statesmanlike way is leading the railway development of the time. Indeed, electrification is coming and it is coming fast. But the fact that various railways are employing various systems of electrification brings a danger and
with the danger a problem, a danger which the men in control of the roads must very soon consider, and a problem which they must hand over to the very best engineers for solution.
There are in the world today about 1,300 miles of railroads upon which electricity is used for heavy service. Far the greater part of this mileage is in the United States. In addition there are 435 miles of electric elevated and subway lines in the cities of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. But the systems of electrification which are used upon these lines are not uniform.
For example, the New York, New Haven and Hartford has twenty-one