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A River Tunnel at Chicago

from New York Times (1869)

At a meeting of the Polytechnic Branch of the American Institute last night, Mr. Stetson exhibited a diagram of the tunnel under the river at Chicago, and gave an interesting account of its construction and present condition. He said that most persons confounded the two tunnels—the one under the lake and that under the river. The lake tunnel*, however, was filled with water and was merely a suction-pipe. The river tunnel, just completed, was 220 feet in length, and, with its approaches, 1,610 feet. It consisted of three arches, two for carriages and one for foot passengers. Each arch was thirteen feet in height and about ten feet in width. They were lighted by gas, floored with the Nicolson pavement, and presented quite a tasteful appearance. No difficulty had been experienced in regard to ventilation. In fact the draught through the tunnel was, if anything, rather too strong. The tunnel had been constructed by means of coffer dams and the open ditch plan. The top of the arches of the tunnel now formed the bottom of the river. Some difficulty had been experienced with regard to leakage, but that was gradually being overcome... In constructing the Chicago tunnel, and also the Thames tunnel in London, the workmen had only to deal with tenacious clay. The Chicago tunnel was an experiment, and, in his opinion, a successful one. Its cost he had not ascertained. The materials used in its construction were brick and stone...

[ * The lake tunnel was built to provide an intake for the city's water supply at a distance into the lake away from the sewage-polluted waters at the shore.]

Image, not in original text, shows an approach to the Washington Street Tunnel under the Chicago River, from a stereo viewer card of unknown date. Text excerpted from 'A River Tunnel at Chicago', New York Times (26 Feb 1869), 8.


Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)

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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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Pierre Laplace
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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