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Seven Wonders of the Industrial World

by Sue
Views: 2117

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 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. She was
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 refueling. She would only be surpassed in length in 1899 (by the RMS Oceanic, 705 feet (215 m) and 17,274 gross tons) and in tonnage in 1901 (by the RMS Celtic, 700 feet (210 m) and 21,035 gross tons). Brunel knew her affectionately as the “great babe”. He died shortly after her launch in 1858.

Bell Rock Lighthouse

Bell Rock Lighthouse is the world’s 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 (56°26.052′N, 2°23.236′W). The
rock was the scene of many shipwrecks as it lies just below the surface of the sea
for all but a few hours at low tide.
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.
According to legend, the rock is called Bell Rock because of a 14th century attempt by the abbot from Arbroath to install a warning bell on it. The bell lasted only one year before it was removed by a Dutch pirate. This story is immortalised in The
Inchcape Rock, a famous poem by 19th century poet Robert Southey.
Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States,
tretches 5,989 feet (1825 m). Over the East River connecting the New York City
boroughs of Manhattan
and Brooklyn. On completion, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and 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. In 1964 it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

London sewerage system

In the early 19th century the River Thames was practically an open sewer,
with disastrous consequences for public health in London, including numerous
cholera epidemics. Proposals to modernise the sewerage system had been
put forward in 1856, but were shelved 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.
The London sewerage system is part of the water infrastructure serving London. The modern roots of the system were first developed during the late 19th century, but as London has grown the system has been expanded and needs further investment.
First Transcontinental Railroad

The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was built across
North America in the 1860s, linking the railway network of the Eastern
United States with California on the Pacific coast. Ceremonially completed
on May 10, 1869, at the famous “golden spike” event at Promontory Summit, Utah, it created a nation-wide mechanized transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West. This network caused the wagon trains of previous decades to become obsolete, exchanging it for a modern transportation system.
Authorized by the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 and heavily backed by the federal government, it was the culmination of a decades-long movement to build such a line and was one of the crowning achievements of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, completed four years after his death. The building of the railway
required enormous feats of engineering and labor in the crossing of plains and
high mountains by the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad, the
two privately chartered federally backed enterprises that built the line westward
and eastward respectively.
Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a man-made canal in Central America which joins the
Pacific and Atlantic oceans. One of the largest and most difficult engineering
projects ever undertaken, it 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 mi) route around Cape Horn.[1] Although the concept of a canal near Panama dates back to the early 16th century, the first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership. After this attempt failed and saw
21,900 workers die, the project of building a canal was attempted and completed by the United States
in the early 1900s, with the canal opening in1914. The building of the 77 km (51 mi) canal was plagued by problems,including disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. By the timethe canal was completed, a total of 27,500 workers are estimated to have died in the
and American efforts.
Since opening, the canal has been enormously successful, and continues to be
a key conduit for international shipping. Each year more than 14,000 ships pass
through the canal, carrying more than 205 million tons of cargo. By 2002 about
800,000 ships had used the canal altogether.
Hoover Dam

Hoover 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,also known
as Boulder Dam. It was both the world’s largest electric power producing facility
and the world’s largest concrete structure,when completed in 1935. It was
exceeded both respects by the Grand Coulee Dam in 1945. It is currently the world’s 34th largest hydroelectric generating station.

The dam, located 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, is named after Herbert Hoover, who played an instrumental role in its construction, first as Secretary of Commerce and then later as President of the United States. Construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1935, more than two years ahead of schedule. The Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of the
Interior operates the dam and the power plant.Register of Historic Places in
1981, Hoover Dam was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985

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