Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

Otters Oddities

Aw, dam!

So, how many of you guessed yesterdays preview was this picture?

I'm actually disappointed in Kinja on this. The preview picture was supposed to be teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy. But Kinja decided I didn't want a picture that small, so it made it bigger. At least it made it blurry.


That there is the Hoover Dam. An old picture of it, as the new bridge isn't there.

Hoover Dam, or Boulder Dam, as it used to be known, sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Not only that, but a time zone runs through it. That makes it the only dam in the world that facilitates time travel. Simply by taking one step across the dam, you can go forward one hour, or backwards one hour.

It was built to help provide power for much of Southern California, and the surrounding states. Built during the great depression, it helped employ thousands of people. Not only at the dam site itself, but elsewhere, where the components were fabricated.

While it wasn't the idea of Roosevelt, he did scoop it up and made it an example of his New Deal, and what it would do for the country. So workers were sent, and from 1931 - 1936, they built the dam.


They also built the city of Boulder, because the 5,000+ workers needed a place to live and play when they weren't working.

Dam building isn't the most dangerous job in the world, but it isn't the safest either. During the course of construction, 112 men died. And that's where todays oddity lies.


On December 20, 1922, J. G. Tierney was surveying a location for the dam. He drowned when he fell into the river and was swept away. Even though he died before construction started, or congress had even approved the funding, he is considered the first to die while working on the construction of the dam.

And now for the oddity. 13 years later, the last man to die during the construction of the dam went to his maker on......December 20th. WOW! Isn't that just an amazing coincidence? I mean, what are the odds?


Oh yeah, that last workers name was Patrick W. Tierney. The son of J. G. Tierney who, as you remember, was the first person to die.

It should be noted that 42 other workers dies of pneumonia while the dam was being constructed. But they aren't counted because they didn't die as a result of the construction. Even though they did.


The 42 men all worked in the diversion tunnels. And, during the day, it got hot in the tunnels. Compounding the heat was the fact that they needed power to use their tools. Gasoline generators were used to provide that power. And, one of the wastes an internal combustion engine produces is carbon monoxide.

But if it were officially reported that they died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the companies in charge of the construction would have had to pay out money to the widows. Pneumonia was just bad luck.


Interestingly enough, during the same time period, not one single person in Boulder City died of pneumonia.

Also, if you go to Hoover Dam, show some respect. When you walk on the dam, you're walking on the grave of some of the dead. They died when they slipped and fell into the wet concrete as it was being poured. If they couldn't be fished out before going under, there was nothing that could be done and they were left where they fell. (edited to correct my factual mistake. I fell for an urban legend. My bad.)


So there you have it. One of the oddest coincidences in dam construction history.

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