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Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Water Era: 1870-1879 DateCreated: 1871 Harmony Mill No. 3 Cohoes State: NY Zip: 12047 Country: USA Website:, Creator: Boyden, Uriah Atherton
These two water turbines were probably the largest and nearly the most powerful ever built in the United States, supplying direct mechanical power to a manufacturing plant. Their installation between 1871 and 1873 makes them among the oldest surviving water turbines. A dam at Cohoes diverted water to mills and factories along a power canal system. The vertical-shaft turbines at the mill were said to run at 800 horsepower (600 kilowatt) under a head of 20 feet and were connected to an overhead shaft by bevel gearing.
Image Credit: Public Domain; Produced prior to 1/1/1923 Image Caption: An 1879 sketch of the Boyden Hydraulic Turbine, drawn by James Emerson for his book "Treatise relative to the testing of water-wheels and machinery" Era_date_from: 1871
Saugus Ironworks
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Minerals Extraction & Refining Era: 1600s DateCreated: 1647 Ironworks National Historic Site Saugus State: MA Zip: 01906 Country: USA Website:, Creator: Winthrop the Younger, John

The Saugus Ironworks, the first commercial ironworks in North America, was an impressive technological achievement for an early colony. The same basic processes are used today: reducing iron oxide with carbon to produce metallic iron that can be cast in a mold, producing wrought iron by puddling cast iron, and fabricating wrought iron with power hammer and rolls.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Kristin Shoemaker (CC BY-ND 2.0) Image Caption: One of the Saugus Ironworks' water wheels in motion Era_date_from: 1647
Marlette Lake Water System
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Water Supply & Control Era: 1870-1879 DateCreated: 1873-1887 Lake Tahoe–Nevada State Park Carson City State: NV Zip: 89703 Country: USA Website: Creator: Schussler, Hermann

In the mid-1800s Virginia City was America's greatest producer of high-grade silver and gold ore. When mining activities began, natural springs provided water to the camps. As the population grew, the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company was formed to address the need for more water. The company first drew water from tunnels that had been driven into the mountains by prospectors. Water was stored in wooden tanks and sent through pipes into the town. 

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Jeff Moser (CC BY-ND 2.0) Image Caption: Marlette Lake Water System Era_date_from: 1873
Mount Washington Cog Railway
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Rail Transportation Era: 1860-1869 DateCreated: 1869 Mt. Washington Coos County State: NH Zip: 03589 Country: USA Website: Creator: Aiken, Walter, Marsh, Sylvester

People thought inventor Walter Aiken was crazy when he proposed a railway to the top of Mt. Washington.  Aiken built a model of the roadbed and track with a cog rail system, but entrepreneur Sylvester Marsh is credited for launching the Cog Railway and bringing Aiken's ideas to fruition.

In 1858 Marsh applied to the New Hampshire Legislature for a charter to build and operate the steam railway and was granted permission in 1859.  Legend has it that an amendment was added offering permission to extend the railway to the moon.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Mount Washington Cog Railway Era_date_from: 1869
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