The Niagara Telecolorimeter

Authors

  • Daniel Macfarlane Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University, USA

Abstract

In the middle decades of the twentieth century, Niagara Falls was physically transformed by the United States and Canada. To mask the diversion of the majority of the Niagara River’s water for hydroelectric production, engineers shrank and altered the Horseshoe Falls. In order to accomplish this, they had to figure out how to maintain for tourists the “impression of volume” with less water—one important way to achieve this was by engineering the waterscape so that the water that plummeted over the precipice was of an acceptable color. The 1920s creation of the Niagara telecolorimeter was key to this process.

Author Biography

Daniel Macfarlane, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University, USA

Daniel Macfarlane is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. He is the author of Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of St. Lawrence Seaway (2014) and co-editor of Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Relationship (2016). He is currently finishing a book manuscript on the modern history of engineering Niagara Falls for hydro-electricity and beauty.

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Published

2018-11-16

Issue

Section

Autumn