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Wonders of World Engineering

Part 5

Part 5 of Wonders of World Engineering was published on Tuesday 30th March 1937, price 7d.

Part 5 includes a central photogravure supplement illustrating the article on The Nile Under Control.

The Cover

The cover shows the Battersea Power Station illuminated at night.

Battersea Power Station

Contents of Part 5

Lapland’s Arctic Railway (Part 2)

The Story of Oil

The Electric Excavator

The Nile Under Control

The Nile Under Control (photogravure supplement)

Sir Henry Bessemer

Battersea Power Station (Part 1)

The Story of Oil

Vast organizations, which make use of all the resources of engineering and science, have been built up to extract oil from the depths of the earth and to convert it for its many uses. This chapter was written by Dr Malcolm Burr. Dr Burr has considerable practical experience of the engineering side of the oilfields. Oil plays, and is going to play, a vital part in modern civilization. The control of the world’s oil supplies may easily change the course of history. Meanwhile the engineer in the oilfields does his work.

(Pages 137-144)

Lapland’s Arctic Railway (Part 2)

The story of the Lapland Iron Ore railway, concluded from part 4.

(Pages 133-136)

This railway is also described in Railway Wonders of the World.

The Electric Excavator

IN the early days of canal and railway engineering, the only implements available were the navvy's spade and barrow, and progress was slow. Later, man was relieved of this uninspiring toil by the invention of steam-operated shovels. Nowadays it is one of the occupations of the engineer to design and manufacture excavators to handle any kind of material. The mechanical excavator digs canals and pipe trenches, tears out clay or gravel, smooths away hills and fills in valleys so as to level roads, or perhaps mines such materials as ironstone. The giant modern excavator described in this article is one of a number engaged in mining operations in various parts of Great Britain.

This is the second article in the series Modern Engineering Practice.

(Page 145)

The Nile Under Control: Photogravure Supplement

“THE PROBLEM OF A WATER SUPPLY in the Sudan is met in a variety of ways. In addition to building barrages across the Blue Nile near Sennar and across the White Nile at Gebel Aulia, the Anglo-Egyptian Government has sunk numerous wells. The photograph shows a well and a pipe line trench at Khor-ar-Baat, near Port Sudan, on the Red Sea. The two wells which have been sunk have a yield of 3,000,000 gallons above present-day requirements.”

(Page 147)

The Nile Under Control

The flood waters of the River Nile regularly irrigate the parched lands through which the great river flows on its long descent to the Mediterranean. Having built enormous barrages, engineers have now solved the ancient problem of controlling these waters. The Nile has provided us with one of the greatest triumphs of irrigation. To make full use of the annual flooding of the Nile engineers built an elaborate system of dams and barrages, some of them - such as the Aswan Dam - being amongst the most famous engineering feats in the world. These dams and barrages enable the flood water to be stored up and distributed when there is a scarcity of water. In this chapter C. Hamilton Ellis describes the damming of the Nile waters. It is the third article in the series Triumphs of Irrigation.

(Pages 146-155)

Part of the Lock System at Aswan

“PART OF THE LOCK SYSTEM at the Aswan Dam.  Men are working on Gate No. 2 and are preparing to lay the invert in the lock floor. There were four locks, and each was 263 feet long. The lock gates, of the Stoney type, were suspended from rollers by which they could be run into recesses at the sides of the lock.”


(Page 150)

Battersea Power Station (Part 1)

Electric power for the many purposes of a modern city is generated in the enormous power station at Battersea, London. The power station is one of the most advanced of the great generating centres now in the service of the electrical engineer. The great power station at Battersea has become one of the landmarks of London. Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station, whether seen by day - when the tall, severely-designed chimneys dominate the river - or by night when the station is floodlighted, is among the finest of the many fine buildings that have been built on the banks of the Thames in recent years. The interior of the station is no less imposing. The turbine hall is 475 feet long and 80 feet wide. Down its centre are arranged the three giant turbines that spin ceaselessly day and night. This chapter is by David Masters and is concluded in part 6.

(Pages 157-164)

Sir Henry BessemerSir Henry Bessemer

The invention of the Bessemer process for converting cast iron into steel had a revolutionizing effect on engineering. A man of imagination and great versatility, Bessemer applied himself successfully to many branches of science and engineering. It must be an unusual distinction for a British engineer to have his name given to several towns in the United States, yet the name of Sir Henry Bessemer is thus perpetuated.

This is the first article in a series of one-page articles on Modern Engineering Practice.

(Page 156)

At Work on the Second Rebuilding of the Aswan Dam

“AT WORK ON THE SECOND REBUILDING of the Aswan Dam. The original work on the dam lasted from February 1899 to June 1902, when the contractors finished the masonry work, about a year ahead of schedule. On December 10, 1902, the dam was formerly declared complete. The ever-increasing demand for more water in Egypt caused the Irrigation Department to enlarge the dam in 1902-7 and again in 1929-33.”

(Pages 148-149)

A well and a pipe line trench at Khor-ar-Baat, near Port SudanThe Aswan DamThe Aswan DamPart of the Lock System at Aswan