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Keokuk Hydro-Power System

Location: Keokuk, IA, USA
Date: 1913
Creator(s): 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.

This was the largest privately-funded construction project in the world when completed, and one of only two North American sites to generate 25-cycle power at the time.

Tags: Era: 1910-1919
Innovation designated by:
Keokuk Hydro-Power System
Courtesy Flickr/Michael R. Allen (CC BY 2.0)
Mississippi River Lock and Dam number 19
Mississippi River
525 N. Water St
Keokuk, IA, USA

Mississippi River

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