Skip to main content

Mississippi River

USS Cairo Engine and Boilers
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Water TransportationEra: 1860-1869DateCreated: 1862 National BattlefieldVicksburgState: MSZip: 39183Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/water-transportation/-143-uss-cairo-engine-and-boilers-%281862%29Creator: Pook, Samuel , Eads, James

The Cairo is the sole survivor of the fleet of river gunboats built by the Union during the Civil War with the object of controlling the lower Mississippi River. Designed by Samuel Pook and built by James B. Eads, it saw limited battle and was sunk on the Yazoo River in 1862 by newly developed electronically detonated mines, becoming the first craft ever sunk by this predecessor to torpedo technology. The 175-foot ironclad vessel had 13 guns.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/James Case (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: USS Cairo Engine and BoilersEra_date_from: 1862
Chain of Rocks Water Purification Plant
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Water Supply & ControlEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1903Mississippi RiverSt. LouisState: MOCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Chain-of-Rocks-Water-Purification-Plant/

Clarifying the turbid waters of the Mississippi River for use as drinking water was a formidable challenge. The Chain of Rocks Water Purification Plant provided the first application of a system of flocculation, sedimentation, and rapid sand filtration for water purification.

The system played a major role in reducing the impact of St. Louis' typhoid and cholera epidemic of 1903 that claimed 287 lives. Continued improvements to the plant reduced that number to 91 by 1914. It is estimated that 1,900 lives were likely saved between 1903 and 1915 due to the filtration system.

YearAdded:
1981
Image Credit: Public Domain (Author's Choice)Image Caption: Chain of Rocks Water Purification PlantEra_date_from: 1903
Keokuk Hydro-Power System
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Power GenerationEra: 1910-1919DateCreated: 1913Mississippi RiverKeokukState: IAZip: 52632Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/keokuk-dam---power-plant-project/Creator: Cooper, Hugh

Spearheaded by Hugh Cooper, the Keokuk Dam & Power Plant served as a prototype for many future power plants. The project harnessed the hydropower of the Mississippi River, between Keokuk, Iowa and Hamilton, Illinois.

The crest of the dam is nearly a mile long. The dam structure features 119 arch spans between six-foot-thick piers and a 110-foot-wide pneumatic lock. Combined with the lock, the dam reduced travel time for steamboats by nearly two hours.

YearAdded:
1988
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Michael R. Allen (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: Mississippi River Lock and Dam number 19Era_date_from: 1913
Subscribe to Mississippi River
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.