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1931 - mighty spider-legs of steel weighs forty-five tons, overall diameter is 26 feet


CD 1963043 E&MP 21.031

Electric Generators

June 8, 1931

These mighty spider-legs of steel being built in the East Pittsburgh Works, Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. are part of the rotor for the waterwheel generator which will help harness the waters of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Pickwick Landing Dam on the Tennessee River in Hardin County, Tennessee.

The nearest large cities are Memphis, 100 miles west; Birmingham, 130 miles southeast, and Nashville, 110 miles northeast from the Dam.

Located about 8 miles from the famous Shiloh Battlefield, Pickwick Landing Dam is 207 river miles above the mouth of the Tennessee where it joins the Ohio.

The spider weighs forty-five tons.

Its overall diameter is 26 feet. The complete generator will be 45 feet in diameter and 16 feet in height above the floor.

The rotor will turn at the rate of nearly 90 miles an hour or 81.8 revolutions per minute.

It is a part of the vertical waterwheel generator which will generate 40,000 kilovolt amperes or roughly 54,000 electrical horsepower.

This spider will be driven by a waterwheel at the bottom and will generate electricity as it whirls about inside the stator. 

Original Caption by Science Service

National Museum of American History


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