Industrial Sights and Wonders

Credit for this information and the photos goes to Wikipedia.  Many lists have been made of modern day wonders.

British author Deborah Cadbury wrote Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, a book telling the stories of seven great feats of engineering of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 2003 the BBC made a seven-part documentary series on the book, with each episode dramatising the construction of one of the wonders. The seven industrial wonders are:

SS Great Eastern

The SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built on the River Thames, England. She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refuelling. Her length of 692 feet (211 m) was only surpassed in 1899 by the 705 feet (215 m) 17,274 gross ton RMS Oceanic, and her gross tonnage of 18,915 was only surpassed in 1901 by the 700 feet (210 m) and 21,035 gross ton RMS Celtic.

Bell Rock Lighthouse

Bell Rock Lighthouse is the world’s second oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse and was built on Bell Rock (also known as Inchcape) in the North Sea, 12 miles (18 km) off the coast of Angus, Scotland, east of the Firth of Tay. Standing at 35 m high, the light is visible from 35 statute miles (55 km) inland.

The masonry work on which the light house rests was constructed to such a high standard that it has not been replaced or adapted in almost 200 years. The lamps and reflectors were replaced in 1843, with the original equipment being used in the lighthouse at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland where they are currently on display. The working of the lighthouse has been automated since 1988.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. At 5,989 feet (1825 m), it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening to 1903, the first steel-wire suspension bridge.

Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge in an 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York skyline.

London sewerage system

The London sewerage system is part of the water infrastructure serving London. The modern system was developed during the late 19th century, but as London has grown the system has been expanded and needs further investment.

During the early 19th century the River Thames was an open sewer, with disastrous consequences for public health in London, including numerous cholera epidemics. Proposals to modernise the sewerage system had been made during 1856, but were neglected due to lack of funds. However, after The Great Stink of 1858, Parliament realised the urgency of the problem and resolved to create a modern sewerage system.

Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer and Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works, was given responsibility for the work. He designed an extensive underground sewerage system that diverted waste to the Thames Estuary, downstream of the main centre of population. Six main interceptory sewers, totalling almost 100 miles (160 km) in length, were constructed, some incorporating stretches of London’s ‘lost’ rivers. Three of these sewers were north of the river, the southernmost, low-level one being incorporated in the Thames Embankment. The Embankment also allowed new roads to reduce traffic congestion, new public gardens, and the Circle Line of the London Underground.

The intercepting sewers, constructed between 1859 and 1865, were fed by 450 miles (720 km) of main sewers that, in turn, conveyed the contents of some 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of smaller local sewers. Construction of the interceptor system required 318 million bricks, 2.7 million cubic metres of excavated earth and 670,000 cubic metres of concrete.

Gravity allows the sewage to flow eastwards, but in places such as Chelsea, Deptford and Abbey Mills, pumping stations were built to raise the water and provide sufficient flow. Sewers north of the Thames feed into the Northern Outfall Sewer, which feeds into a major treatment works at Beckton. South of the river, the Southern Outfall Sewer extends to a similar facility at Crossness.

During the 20th century, major improvements were made to the sewerage system and to the sewage treatment provision to substantially reduce pollution of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea.

First Transcontinental Railroad

The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the Pacific Railroad and later as the Overland Route), built in the United States between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and Union Pacific Railroad, connected Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska (via Ogden, Utah and Sacramento, California) to Alameda, California. By linking with the existing railway network of the Eastern United States, the road thus connected the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States by rail for the first time. Opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869, with the driving of the “Last Spike” at Promontory Summit, Utah, the road established a mechanized transcontinental transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West.

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a 77 km (48 mi) ship canal that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific ocean and a key conduit for international maritime trade. Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in the canal’s early days to 14,702 vessels in 2008, displacing a total 309.6 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons.

One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 miles) route around Cape Horn.

Hoover Dam

  

Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. When completed in 1936, it was both the world’s largest hydroelectric power generating station and the world’s largest concrete structure. It was surpassed in both these respects by the Grand Coulee Dam in 1945. It is currently the world’s 38th-largest hydroelectric generating station.

This dam, located 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, is named after Herbert Hoover, who played an instrumental role in its construction, first as the Secretary of Commerce, and then later, as the President of the United States. Construction began in 1931, and was completed in 1936, a little more than two years ahead of schedule.
Lake Mead is the reservoir created by the dam, named after Elwood Mead, who oversaw the construction of the dam.

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