Grand Coulee Dam


Grand Coulee Dam


The Grand Coulee Dam is the largest dam on the Columbia River. The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation constructed the dam between 1934 and 1941. It is the largest hydroelectric power producer in the United States. Images in this collection are taken from a photo album showing the construction of Grand Coulee Dam from 1933 to 1937. The album includes photographs of the site before construction, the Columbia River diversion, blasting, "jackhammer men," driving steel pilling and general construction photographs. It also includes one photograph of the builder's quarters, Franklin D. Roosevelt at the dedication in 1934, and photograph of Governor Clarence D. Martin formally placing the first concrete in the dam in 1935. The photographer of this album is unknown, but the photographs are 8x10 images taken with a large format camera. The album also includes a map of the damsite.


Collection Items

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.001
One photo album illustrating the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam from 1933 to 1937. It includes photographs of the site before construction, the Columbia River diversion, blasting, "jackhammer men," driving steel piling, and general construction…

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.002
Columbia River - Kettle Falls.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.003
Columbia River - General view in reservoir area.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.004
Grand Coulee Damsite - Looking west, December 1933.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.005
Grand Coulee Damsite - Looking west, April 1937.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.006
Grand Coulee Damsite - Looking east, December 1933.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.007
Grand Coulee Damsite - Looking east - May, 1937.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.008
East end, Grand Coulee Dam - Concrete placing trestles and bedrock foundation blocks - January, 1937.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.009
Anchoring to granite - the east abutment at Grand Coulee Dam.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.010
"Digging In" - The First shovel - December 1933.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.011
The President's Visit - August 4, 1934.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.012
Builders' Quarters - Government camp in the foreground; contractor's camp across the river - 1936.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.013
Government camp and highway bridge, 1936. Upstream is west cofferdam, concrete placing trestle, and west conveyor.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.014
West cofferdam, March 31, 1935. Length, 3000 feet, height 115 feet, over 17,000 tons steel piling, constructed in ninety days.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.015
Driving steel piling. West cofferdam.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.016
Excavation - Five-yard shovel loading ten-yard buggies - excavating overburden from dam foundation.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.017
Excavation behind west cofferdam - August, 1935.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.018
Belt conveyor - Transporting excavated material to Rattlesnake Canyon, 1 1/2 miles distant.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.019
Conveyor stacker - discharging excavated material in Rattlesnake Canyon.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.020
Governor Clarence D. Martin formally placing first concrete in dam, December 6, 1935.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.021
Concrete placing - January 1936. Top of dam 280 feet above high trestle deck.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.022
Concrete in dam. June, 1936. One millionth yard placed August 14, 1936.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.023
Concrete placing - Dumping a four-yard concrete bucket.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.024
Bedrock behind west cofferdam.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.025
A five-yard shovel loading a twenty-yard "Buggy."

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.026
Night at Grand Coulee.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.027
Jackhammer Men - with hard hats and safety belts they trim steep abutment slopes.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.028
Upstream Face Grand Coulee Dam. 1,550,000 cubic yards of concrete in place.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.029
West End Grand Coulee Dam - Concrete placing trestles and cranes.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.030
The checkerboard. The pouring of concrete into interlocking blocks permits grouting of contraction joints to form monolithic mass.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.031
A "House of Magic" - One of two concrete mixing plants, capacity 8,000 cubic yards per day each.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.032
Cooling pipe. Water will be circulated through 2000 miles of it embedded in the dam to cool and shrink the concrete and thus facilitate grouting of construction joints.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.033
Facilities for visitors. Some 200,000 visitors in 1936 inspected a model of the dam and from sheltered seats close to the work on each side of the river viewed the construction work and had it explained over a public address system.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.034
"Ice Dam" - Muck flowing into deep depression in bedrock, stopped by artificially frozen arch dam.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.035
Deepest foundation depression. Ice dam restraining the muck from flowing into pit.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.036
Gravel Pit. Deposit from which concrete aggregates are excavated by electric shovels and belt conveyors at a rate of 2500 tons per hour.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.037
Source of supply for the eleven million yards of sand and gravel required for the Grand Coulee Dam.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.038
Columbia River Diverted. Two cross-river cofferdams divert stream through low sections in west portion of dam while east portion is unwatered for preparation of foundation.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.039
Cold Concrete. Nearly 2,000,000 cubic yards of it in west end of dam with Columbia diverted through low section.

GrandCouleeDam. NWC019.040
The Bucket. Downstream face of spillway with powerhouse foundation beyond.
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