Electric Generators, Power Plant, Keokuk, Iowa

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
On August 26, 1913, the great power plant of Keokuk, Iowa, was dedicated to the services of mankind. This great plant was built to furnish electric power for the people of the upper Mississippi Valley. It was constructed and is owned by the Mississippi River Power Company. It is one of the greatest power plants in the country. To constructed it, a dam had first to be built across the Mississippi. This dam is 4,649 feet long; 29 feet wide at the top and 42 feet at the bottom; and 53 feet high. It has 119 arched spans. It is built of concrete. Ships pass up or down the river through a large lock. The dam holds a body of water that turns great turbine wheels. These turn the shafts on which the electric generators set, and in this way electric power is developed. The view here shows one of the two rows of great generators, of which there are 30 in all. The revolving part of each of these units weights 550,000 pounds. Half of the turbines were shipped whole from Akron, Ohio. To carry them a special steel car had to be built. This car had to be sent to Keokuk over railroad lines that had no overhead bridges, else it could not pass through with its load. Water spouts had to be taken down even then to let it through. Each turbine wheel weighs 130,000 pounds. Each generator is 31 feet 5 inches in diameter, and 11 feet 3 inches high in the middle. Each generator can produce enough electricity to run 225,000 ordinary Mazda lights such as are used in private homes. These generators that you see could light a highway twice around the world through Keokuk. All 30 generators could light a pathway almost to the moon. Find Keokuk on your map. Keystone ID: 16701 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.