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Part 1

Part 1 of Wonders of World Engineering was published on Tuesday 2nd March 1937, price 7d.

It was a bumper issue of 36 pages, all other issues being 32 pages. The issue included a superb folding colour plate showing a cutaway drawing of an Empire Flying Boat which accompanied an article with the same title. There was also a central photogravure supplement illustrating the article on Harnessing Niagara. All these are illustrated below.

The Cover

The cover shows the Oakland Bay suspension bridge under construction. At this time it was the world’s longest bridge. Its construction is described in the article on San Francisco's Great Bridges.

The Oakland Bay suspension bridge under construction

Contents of Part 1


San Francisco's Great Bridges

A Giant of the Air (colour plate)

Empire Flying Boats

Harnessing Niagara

Harnessing Niagara (photogravure supplement)

Giant of the Ether

The Oil Route from the East (Part 1)

San Francisco's Great Bridges

A ferry service that carried 45,000,000 people across San Francisco Bay every year has been superseded by two of the biggest bridges in the world. Built at a cost of nearly £24,000,000, they are among the most spectacular bridge-building achievements ever undertaken. This chapter is by Harold Shepstone and is the first article in the series on Linking the World’s Highways. The article covers the construction of the Oakland Bay and Golden Gate bridges.

(Pages 3-8)

You can read E. Cromwell Mensch’s books on the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (1936) and The Golden Gate Bridge (1936).

Click on the tv icon to see a fifteen minute documentary on the construction of the Oakland Bay bridges.

Click on the tv icon to see a documentary on the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.


By the Editor

All material progress would be impossible but for the imaginative genius

and practical skill of the engineer. Life might be more simple without his attainments, but it would certainly be less stimulating and less interesting. Furthermore, much that is genuinely romantic in the world to-day

would not exist if the versatile minds of inventive men, supported by the courage

of pioneers, had not grappled with problems that seemed insuperable. You have

but to look around you to see their monuments-the great bridge, the railway,

the aeroplane, the steelworks, the wireless station, tire wonderful dam, the powerful

generating station; and a thousand other things which are milestones on the never-

ending highway of human achievement.

The engineer who sees no romance in his work and the romanticist who regards

with indifference the astonishing conquests of the engineer, both fail to grasp the

significance of engineering. It is because this

thought had long been established in my mind that I decided to place before the reader these volumes, volumes which reveal the significant story of world engineering to the informed and layman alike.  I believe such a work, comprehensive and accurate, is needed; and, with Mr.

Thomas Walley, M.I.Mech.E., etc., as Consulting Editor, I have marshalled contributors who are familiar with their various subjects and have gathered the most remarkable collection of engineering pictures that has ever been brought together within such a compass. My main considerations have been to make this work as comprehensive as possible and to give to it that quality of sincerity which I have always regarded as a very important feature of publications of this kind. That you will find Wonders of World Engineering both comprehensive and not lacking in sincerity I have no doubt. Neither do I doubt that you will find the contents of these volumes more than a fascinating story of man's victory over what must always seem to be insurmountable odds.

Cutaway drawing of the Empire flying boat "Canopus"

A Giant of the Air

The “wonderful 3 colour folding plate” issued with part 1.

A GIANT OF THE AIR, the new Empire flying boat Canopus is one of the twenty-eight craft designed for service on Empire air routes. The flying boat has a length of 88 feet from nose to tail and a wing span of 114 feet. She has a maximum speed of 200 miles an hour and a ceiling of 20,000 feet. Navigation and wireless transmission and reception are carried out on the upper deck, where the mail compartments are also situated. The lower deck is mainly occupied by passenger accommodation. The Canopus is driven by four Bristol “Pegasus” engines, each developing 920 horse-power. Fuel tanks with a standard capacity of 600 gallons are embodied in the wings.

(Attached to page 9)

Empire Flying Boats

Twenty-eight flying boats of advanced design, each weighing 18 tons and having a speed of 200 miles an hour, have been designed for use on important overseas air routes in the British Empire. This chapter was written by Grenville Manton.

(Pages 9-14)

Click on the icon to watch a video about the Short Empire flying boats.

You can read about the Short-Mayo Composite Aircraft in Wonders of World Aviation.

Harnessing Niagara

Twenty million tons of water flow hourly over Niagara Falls. The utilization of this latent power is a supreme example of mastery over Nature and an engineering feat which has made Niagara River the source of the world's greatest water-power system. This chapter is by F E Dean and is the first article in the series on the Wonders of Water Power.

(Pages 15-24)

THE CONCRETE-LINED CANAL through which water is diverted from Chippawa to Queenston

Harnessing Niagara: Photogravure Supplement

THE CONCRETE-LINED CANAL through which water is diverted from Chippawa to Queenston. The section illustrated was cut through solid rock with an over-layer of earth, and the bottom of the canal is, in places, 143 feet below ground level. More than four million cubic yards of rock were blasted and thirty million cubic yards of earth were excavated during the building of this canal.

(Page 17)

THE POWER-HOUSE AT QUEENSTON, on the lower reaches of Niagara River

Harnessing Niagara - 2

THE POWER-HOUSE AT QUEENSTON, on the lower reaches of Niagara River, stands at the foot of a cliff 300 feet high. A waterway nearly 13 miles long brings water from Chippawa, above the Canadian Falls. The great screenhouse at the top of the cliffs at Queenston contains the entrances to ten penstocks or pipes through which the water passes down to the hydraulic turbines in the generating station. The Queenston-Chippawa scheme is the most modern and the most powerful of the hydro-electric undertakings at Niagara.

(Page 18)

Niagara's scenic beauty

Harnessing Niagara - 3

NIAGARA'S SCENIC BEAUTY has not been marred by the huge generating stations that have been built near the Falls. Opposite Goat Island, which separates the American and Canadian Falls, is the Ontario Power Company's Station, built at the base of the cliffs. Above the Canadian Falls, near the centre of the illustration, is the Toronto Power Company's station, which overlooks the upper rapids. The road bridge in the foreground connects Canada (right) with the United States of America.

(Page 19)

Harnessing Niagara - 4

IN THE GREAT GENERATING STATION at Queenston - built for the co-operating municipalities of Ontario by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission - ten giant turbines develop a total output of more than 550,000 horse-power. Only the upper frames of the units are visible, the alternators and turbines being encased in concrete below the floor level. The power generated in this station, transformed up to 110,000 volts, is transmitted over distances of more than 250 miles.

(Page 20)

Giant of the Ether

A group of twelve towering masts at Rugby is the outward sign of a modern engineering marvel and a vast radio organization that links Great Britain with ships on the high seas and with every corner of the world. This is the story of the General Post Office’s Radio Station at Rugby. The article is by L H Thomas.

(Pages 25-30)

The Oil Route from the East (Part 1)

Crude oil is transported directly from its source to the consumer through 1,150 miles of pipe line, the laying of which across the desert involved an expense of £10,000,000 and the employment of 10,000 men. This chapter describes the construction of the pipe line from Kirkuk in Northern Iraq to the ports of Haifa and Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast. The work was undertaken by engineers of the Iraq Petroleum Company. The article is concluded

in part 2.

(Pages 31-36)