7 thoughts on “Reservoir 1, 1894

  1. Extremely tough working conditions. The manual laborers on their hands and knees for hours, bending at the waist working on steep slopes with their knees bent against a board. Of course it was no picnic for the heavy equipment operators up top, either. The two men standing upright facing the camera on the rim endured less physical burden and more mental burden and responsibility in directing the work. Their efforts have endured for 125 years, which is quite a chunk of time.

  2. The use of reinforced concrete with steel bars was an extremely new building technique at that date. Portland was very lucky to have selected a structural engineer who was a cutting edge practitioner. This construction technique was still in its infancy and at least 10 years ahead of what other engineers were practicing at that date.

  3. A French gardener by name Joseph Monier first invented the reinforced concrete in the year 1849. If not for this reinforced concrete most of the modern buildings would not have been standing today.
    The practice of adding certain fibers to construction material dates back to the ancient times. When horse hair, straws were used to strengthen the bricks. Construction material is continuously evolving. The demand for high strength, crack, resistant and lighter concrete resulted in development of fiber reinforced concrete. Fibers that are used are steel, nylon, asbestos, glass, carbon, sisal, jute, coir, polypropylene, kenaf. In 1950 fiber reinforced concrete was becoming a field of interest as asbestos being a health risk was discovered. In 1963 Romualdi and Batson published their classic paper on FRC. Since then there was no looking back, glass, steel, polypropylene fiber were used in concrete. Asbestos fiber shows very good resistance to heat, electrical, chemical damage and fire. It has average tensile strength. Hence it became very popular is the late 19th century. Asbestos is a combination of six naturally occurring silicates. They were originally used in building insulation electrical insulation for hot plate curing. More water is required when asbestos fiber is mixed with cement due to high absorption. But later it was discovered that asbestos was carcinogenic in nature, hence very likely to human health that it was totally banned.

  4. As Lon L-P stated this type of construction work is very physically demanding. I worked as a rebar ironworker for a while working 10 hrs a day in the early 1990’s’. It was basically the same hard physically demanding job using the same techniques as 100 years earlier. And being soaked to the bone all day long. It paid good money(about $30.00 hr in today’s money) but it takes it’s toll on your body which is why at 68 I am riddled with arthritis and using a walker to get around.

  5. Greg: Where did you do your rebar work and did you help build any unusual projects or anything of historical significance?

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