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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cascade Locks in Hood River County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

This Old Turbine

 
 
This Old Turbine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 5, 2006
1. This Old Turbine Marker
Inscription. For nearly 60 years this turbine helped make power at Bonneville Dam. Throughout these years it has meant different things to different people at different times. During installation, it meant jobs to help people recover from the Great Depression. A few years later, it helped provide power to build aircraft and ships for World War II. After the war it helped the Northwest economy grow and prosper. This turbine was from Unit 3. While running, it continuously helped generate power for about 25,000 homes.

Fascinating facts:
In service date: 9 January 1941; Out of service for replacement: 24 July 2000; Years in service: 59.5; Rotating speed: 75 revolutions per minute; Lifetime electrical generation: 22,159,657,000-kilowatts hours; Value at $12 a megawatt hour (wholesale): $265,915,884; Water used for generation: 96,000 gallons a second; Weight: 123 tons; Horsepower: 74,000; Manufacturer: S. Morgan Smith.

Outer edges of this turbine moved 663,600 feet an hour. At an average time in service of 7,900 hours a year, they traveled over 59 million miles, more than 100 round trips to the moon.

(Inscription under the photo in the center)
Assembling turbine for unit 4, May 29, 1940.
 
Location. 45° 38.511′ N, 121° 56.572′ W. Marker is in Cascade

Entrance to the Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 5, 2006
2. Entrance to the Visitor Center
Locks, Washington, in Hood River County. Marker is on Star Route. Touch for map. This marker is on Bradford Island and the Bonneville Dam property operated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Marker is in this post office area: Cascade Locks OR 97014, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bradford Island Fishway (within shouting distance of this marker in Oregon); Sturgeon Habitat (approx. 0.8 miles away in Oregon); Beacon Rock (approx. 0.9 miles away in Oregon); The Bridge of the Gods (approx. 2.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Bridge of the Gods (approx. 2.6 miles away in Oregon); Lewis and Clark Trail (approx. 3.7 miles away); a different marker also named Beacon Rock (approx. 3.9 miles away); Oneonta Tunnel (approx. 7.4 miles away in Oregon). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cascade Locks.
 
Also see . . .
1. Bonneville Dam.
Constructed between 1933 and 1938, Bonneville Dam originally consisted of a spillway 1,450 feet long, 132 feet wide at its base, and 197 feet high above the lowest bedrock; a powerhouse 1,027 feet long and 190 feet in width and height; and a navigation lock with a chamber 500 feet long and 76 feet wide. The gravity concrete spillway contained 18 steel gates that were fifty feet wide. (Submitted on February 15, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Sign at the entrance to Bradford Island Bonneville Dam image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 5, 2006
3. Sign at the entrance to Bradford Island Bonneville Dam
 

2. Bonneville Dam.
Prior to the New Deal, development of the Columbia River with flood control, hydroelectricity, navigation and irrigation was deemed as important. In 1929, the US Army Corps of Engineers published the 308 Report that recommended 10 dams on the river but no action was taken until the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and the New Deal. During this period America was in the Great Depression, and the dam's construction provided jobs and other economic benefits to the Pacific Northwest. Inexpensive hydroelectricity gave rise to a strong aluminum industry in the area. (Submitted on February 16, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, World II
 
Marker detail: Installing turbine for unit 1, June 11, 1937 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
4. Marker detail: Installing turbine for unit 1, June 11, 1937
This turbine provided hard-earned dollars, pride in craftsmanship and a renewed sense of accomplishment for workers during the Great Depression. Many of these workers were from surrounding communities.
Marker detail: Installing new minimum gap turbine, February, 1999 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
5. Marker detail: Installing new minimum gap turbine, February, 1999
If you flex a soda pop can back and forth, it eventually breaks due to metal fatigue. After 60 years metal fatigue caused the old turbines to break too. Repairs became so freuent that replacing all of the turbines made good economic sense.

The new minimum gap runner turbines nearly eliminate gaps between the blades and the hub as the blade angles change. This reduces injuries to fish and improves power production efficiency.
This Old Turbine Marker (<i>wide view; 1937 turbine in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2015
6. This Old Turbine Marker (wide view; 1937 turbine in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 19, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 334 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   4, 5, 6. submitted on February 15, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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