Epic Achievements Against Incredible Odds

Epic Achievements Against Incredible Odds : How America's Greatest Engineering Marvels Were Built During Her Darkest Days

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This is the fascinating the story of how a few great Americans, between 1930 and 1952, overcame incredible challenges to build some of the world's most remarkable architectural wonders. Drawing upon his impressive knowledge of American history, the author chronicles the country's emergence in the Roaring Twenties as the world's pre-eminent builder of great dams, bridges, and skyscrapers. He skillfully combines little-known back stories with vintage photographs to show how America's architects, engineers and contractors, working with arcane technologies and slide rules, used innovation, ingenuity, and inspiration to build some of the world's most extraordinary structures faster and better than they have been built before or since. Mr. McCurdy's narrative includes: - Hoover Dam In the depths of the Great Depression, a man from Maine named Frank Crowe assembled a rag-tag army of 5,000 unemployed men in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Working in conditions that were sometimes brutal, without the benefit of modern technologies, Crowe and his men not only built the world's greatest dam, but they finished it under budget two years ahead of schedule. - The Golden Gate Bridge In his account of the building of this celebrated bridge, McCurdy tells the little-known back story of Charles Ellis. Fired by a boss jealous of his engineering genius, Ellis worked tirelessly behind the scenes, without pay or acknowledgement, to write the bid specifications for every single component of the bridge. Although he is now regarded as the father of the bridge, Ellis received no recognition during his lifetime. - The Empire State Building Paul Starrett was an organizational genius, and is often referred to as the father of the American skyscraper. McCurdy tells the remarkable story of how, in 1931, Starrett built the Empire State Building from ribbon cutting to completion in the astonishing time of 391 days, a record which has never been challenged and which amazes structural engineers to this day. - The Pentagon Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, 40,000 War Department personnel in Washington DC were spread out among 22 separate buildings. One man was given the task of bringing them all together under one roof. Less than eight months after he broke ground, Brehon Burke Somervell was moving employees into the world's largest building, the 6.6 million square foot Pentagon. - The SS United States When he was eight years old, William Francis Gibbs began dreaming of building the world's greatest ocean liner. Fifty-eight years later, on May 14, 1952, Gibbs guided his thousand foot long dream ship into open waters. With the greatest power to weight ratio ever achieved in any passenger vessel, the SS United States broke the transatlantic crossing speed record by 10 hours on her maiden voyage. In the second half of Epic Achievements Against Incredible Odds, the author carefully traces the country's post-war decline as the world's great builder, and identifies and analyzes the causes of its slide. McCurdy ends his book with a frank and compelling assessment of how, when and whether, the United States will ever bounce back and re-establish its supremacy as the world's master builder of architectural icons. Order this book now to enjoy the unforgettable stories of the men behind of some of history's most enduring engineering accomplishments.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 174 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 10mm | 245g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514746867
  • 9781514746868