Book ID: CBB247740357

Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall (2020)


Macfarlane, Daniel (Author)

University of British Columbia Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 274
Language: English

Since the late nineteenth century, Niagara Falls has been heavily engineered to generate energy behind a flowing facade designed to appeal to tourists. Essentially, this natural wonder is now a tap: huge tunnels channel the waters of the Niagara River around the Falls, which ebb and flow according to the tourism calendar.Fixing Niagara Falls reveals the technological feats and cross-border politics that facilitated the transformation of one of the most important natural sites in North America. Daniel Macfarlane details how engineers, bureaucrats, and politicians conspired to manipulate the world’s most famous waterfall. During the first half of the twentieth century, the United States and Canada explored various ways to maximize hydropower from the Niagara River while “preserving” the falls. Decades of environmental diplomacy and transborder studies led to a 1950 treaty that allowed new hydro-electric stations to funnel most of the river’s water to generate power. To facilitate these diversions and lessen the visual impact of redirecting so much water, the two nations cooperated to install a range of control works while reshaping and shrinking the Horseshoe Falls. This book offers a unique perspective on how the Niagara landscape embodies both the power of technology and the power of nature.

Reviewed By

Review Petra Dolata (2022) Review of "Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall". Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine (pp. 143-144). unapi

Review Donald C. Jackson (2023) Review of "Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall". Technology and Culture (pp. 288-290). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Daniel Macfarlane; (2019)
As nearly as may be: estimating ice and water on the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers (/isis/citation/CBB009474339/)

Book Macfarlane; (2014)
Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (/isis/citation/CBB979810114/)

Article Vincent Lagendijk; Frank Schipper; (2016)
East, West, Home's Best: The Material Links of Cold War Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 (/isis/citation/CBB650744971/)

Article Daniel Macfarlane; (January 2020)
Nature Empowered: Hydraulic Models and the Engineering of Niagara Falls (/isis/citation/CBB743954854/)

Article Dennis E. Howe; (1994)
The Maintenance of New Hampshire's First Polyphase Hydroelectric Station (Photo Essay) (/isis/citation/CBB218176472/)

Article Gilbert Shama; (2017)
Miracle near 34th street: Wartime Penicillin Research at St John’s University, NY (/isis/citation/CBB340910009/)

Book David Schuyler; (2018)
Embattled river: the Hudson and modern American environmentalism (/isis/citation/CBB706851116/)

Article David R. Starbuck; (1994)
The Cog Railway on Mount Washington (Photo Essay) (/isis/citation/CBB102288586/)

Book Frank, Jerry J.; (2013)
Making Rocky Mountain National Park: The environmental history of an American treasure (/isis/citation/CBB001420363/)

Book Waite, Thornton; (2006)
Yellowstone by Train: A History of Rail Travel to America's First National Park (/isis/citation/CBB363393227/)

Book Harvey, Thomas J.; (2011)
Rainbow Bridge to Monument Valley: Making the Modern Old West (/isis/citation/CBB001212482/)

Book David J. Nelson; (2019)
How the New Deal built Florida tourism : The Civilian Conservation Corps and state parks (/isis/citation/CBB393196795/)

Article David R. Starbuck; (1990)
The Timber Crib Dam at Sewall's Falls (/isis/citation/CBB719441112/)

Article Christopher W. Merritt; Jacob N. Pollock; (2010)
Electrifying Independence Valley: Mining and Hydroelectricity in Nevada's Northeastern Frontier (1896-1920) (/isis/citation/CBB543290271/)

Book John Williams; Andrew Sansom; (2016)
The Untold Story of the Lower Colorado River Authority (/isis/citation/CBB248036903/)

Authors & Contributors
Macfarlane, Daniel
David R. Starbuck
Waite, Thornton
Christopher W. Merritt
Williams, John
Gray Fitzsimons
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Environmental History
Technology and Culture
Journal of Historical Geography
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Pictorial Histories Publishing Co.
University Press of Kansas
University Press of Florida
University of Oklahoma Press
UBC Press
Texas A&M University Press
Hydroelectric power
Industrial archaeology
Environmental history
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
United States
Niagara Falls
New York (U.S.)
New Hampshire (U.S.)
Concord, New Hampshire
St. John's University (New York)
World Bank
Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.)
Yellowstone National Park
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment