Joe Kline, model for the High Scaler
maonument at Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam Architectural Plans
230 individual gigantic blocks of concrete. Five-foot tall blocks of varying width,
ranging from 25 square feet on the downstream face to 60 square feet on the upstream
face. Columns were linked together like a giant Lego set with a system of alternating
vertical and horizontal schemes.

It is interesting to note that it would have taken about 100 years for the concrete to cool
and properly cure without engineering intervention. The chemical heat generated by
concrete setting was dissipated by imbedding over 582 miles of one-inch steel pipe
through the interconnecting concrete blocks that circulated ice water. Its own ammonia
refrigeration plant that cooled the water was capable of creating a gigantic 1000 pound
ice block every day.

The cooling pipes were subsequently back-filled with concrete to create added strength.

The base of Hoover Dam alone required
230 individual gigantic blocks of concrete.
Five-foot tall blocks of varying width,
ranging from 25 square feet on the
downstream face to 60 square feet on the
upstream face. Columns were linked
together like a giant Lego set with a
system of alternating vertical and
horizontal schemes.

The base of Hoover Dam alone required
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black
Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and
Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and
was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt. Its
construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and
cost over one hundred lives. The dam was controversially named in honor of President
Herbert Hoover.
Further Analysis by Peter Norton

It looked like the same, or nearly the
same, state of progress to me.

Quiz photo.
Note the condition of pier 7.
View of the CO River Bridge (Mike
O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge)
as seen from Arizona, looking towards

Left side of the picture – The pier cap
falsework is erected on top of Piers 8, 9,
and 10. Olsen Beal crews continue erecting
As seen from the existing US93 Hairpin in
Nevada, the completed Arch spans across
the Colorado River.

From right to left side of the picture –
Spandrel Pier 6-right is erected to segment
18, Pier 6-left to segment 16. Pier 7 is
completed with the falsework and
formwork for the pier cap in place. Caps at
Piers 8, 9, 10 and 11 are completed with
their formwork stripped. Falsework and
formwork for Pier 12’s cap is set.

Spanning the canyon above the bridge are
the twin cables of the highline crane
Inscription. The man depicted on this monument
is performing one of the most dangerous yet
essential jobs in the construction of the (Boulder)
Hoover Dam. Sitting in a bosun’s chair, hundreds
of feet in the air, his job was to set charges and
clear the loose rock from the face of the canyon

This statue depicts Joe Kine, who performed the
work of a high scaler at Boulder Dam, Glen
Canyon Dam and other reclamation projects in the
1930’s and 1940’s. Joe was given the first artist’s
proof several years before his death in 1998.

This monument is dedicated to all of the men who
labored to build Hoover Dam, 98 of whom lost
their lives during various phases of the project. J.
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Quiz #346 Results
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1.  A high scaler.
Men who worked as high scalers removed rock and rubble
from the face of Hoover Dam during its construction during the Depression.

2.  Near the foot of the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, NV

3.  October 2010, when the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge was completed.
More specifically October 2009,
judging by the degree of completion shown in the photo.

According to Sally, the photo was taken in September 2009.
Answers to Quiz #346
March 11, 2012
Submitted by Quizmaster Sally Garrison.
1. What is the occupation of the man in the statue?
2.  Where is it located?
3.  What is the latest date the photo could have been taken?
Congratulations to Our Winners

Donna Jolley                Daniel Jolley
Margie O'Donnell         Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.     
Steve Jolley                Elaine C. Hebert
Claudio Trapote                Margaret Paxton
Tim Bailey                Grace Hertz
Betty Chambers                Judy Bradley
Jim Baker                Mike Dalton
Shirley Hamblin                Arthur Hartwell
Michaela Montano                Richard Wakeham
Peter Christener                Perry Lamy
Debbie Sterbinsky                Joyce Veness
Angela         Peter Norton      Fiona Brooker
Evan Hindman                Debbie Sterbinsky
Ann Giordano                Alex Sissoev
Ben Hollister                Marcia Rothman
Martin Earl                Diane Scannell
Flo Boccella                Kate Shaffer
Dawn Newman      Janice Kent-Mackenzie
Alison Anderson                Marilyn Hamill

Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
The latest date can be determined by comparing the state of construction of the Pat
Tillman Memorial Bridge in the background of the quiz photo to photos of the bridge on

www. and
Comments from Our Readers
The latest date would be October 16, 2011 around 11:30 am.  I measured the height of
the woman and length of her shadow and also for the statue and its shadow.  In both
cases the H/L equalled 1. The arctangent of 1 is 45 degrees.  At the latitude and
longitude of Hoover Dam (36 deg 0.929' N, 114 deg 44.456' W), the sun's altitude was
approximately 45 degrees on May 8 at 8:30 am and on October 16 at 11:30 am.  The
temperature at Boulder, NV (the town closest to the dam) on October 16 was 84.2
degrees F at 11:30 am which would make it reasonable that the woman would be
wearing shorts.

Margaret Paxton

N.B. - There are probably some corrections that ought to be factored in, like the
angle of the camera with respect to the shadows, but forget those.  One thing that is
important is the angle east-west of the sun. It seems that the sun could be 45 deg
high many times during the year.  If you could pin down the east-west direction of
the shadow, then you'd be sure about the dates, having not only the elevation (45
degrees) but also the azimuth.

In the famous dead horse picture, the shadows were pointing exactly east-west, so we
could use the length of the shadow of the man on the horse to get how high the sun
was, and we knew it was directly west in the sky.  So we could get the elevation and
the azimuth (270).  With the GPS coordinates of his position, we could look up the
dates in an ephermis.

But you forgot one other important thing - that the sun is in that position on those
dates EVERY year.

The latest date is Oct 2012, you are correct because that's when the bridge officially
opened, and in the picture the traffic is still driving along the dam road. But
technically, the latest date can be moved to the Fall of 2009, judging from the state
of construction (the vertical columns and the roadway are not yet in place). If you
look at the pics on you can see pictures taken in Oct 2009 that
show more progress than that seen in the picture.

- Q. Gen.
Just thinking about the heights that these brave men encountered working on the
construction of the Hoover Dam makes me shudder! These men were to remove the
loose rock on the canyon walls before any construction could begin on the dam.

What kind of life insurance do you think these high scalers had????????  What would it
have cost?                                                                                         
Grace Hertz

We are going to Las Vegas next week and I have been debating whether or not to go to
the Hoover Dam. We haven't been there for about 19 years. So the first thing I thought
of was this had something to do with a dam.I googled 'dam monument bronze man' and
found the image.
                                                                                         Gary Sterne
The Hoover Dam and the bridge immediately came to mind, but it took me several
searches to pin it down.                                                                          
Jim Baker

There was a PBS documentary on building of Hoover Dam that showed the high
Mike Dalton

I had an unfair advantage on this photo because I recall the statue from my last visit to
Hoover Dam in 2007 and also recognize the bridge from its dedication about a year ago
and all the fascinating pictures that appeared on line and in the news.        
Perry Lamy

Looks like they've made progress, since I was there in mid November last year.
Ann Giordano
For some reason, whoever visits us wants to go there after Vegas...       
Alex Sissoev
The Tillman Bridge is a sight to behold,
Either as a picture or in real life;
Try to imagine the amount of work,
The high scalers had to strife.

Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna

High scalers took the dive every day
Down the rock face with great leaps and bounds
The pay was good and the risk very high
And it sure had its great ups and downs.

Colleen Fitzpatrick
Understudy to Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
<iframe width="420" height="315"
src="" frameborder="0"

YouTube Video
The Latest Date
Technically, the bridge opened in October 2012,
making this the latest date the photo could have
been taken.  However, the vertical supports shown
in the October 2010 photo of the bridge facing
south are not yet in place in the quiz photo. The
quiz photo had to have been taken no later than
October 2010. See
(Top) Location of High Scaler Plaque.
(Bottom) Direction of camera.
October 2009
November 2009
The High Scalers
Some would call these guys crazy or at least driven
by the adrenaline rush of exposure to extreme danger,
or motivated by money. They were paid about 75
cents per hour versus the average of 50 cents for
regular Hoover Dam construction.

They were called “High Scalers” and carefully
selected with consideration given to fitting
backgrounds. Each had to be fearless, agile and
extremely physically fit. Some were former sailors
and even circus acrobats. And many were Native
American Indians that lived in harsh terrains.

The job was to climb down canyon walls on ropes to
remove loose and weakened rocks along the canyon
Plaque to High Scalers
at Hoover Dam
G. Tierney, a U.S.B.R. employee, was the final fatality.

Steven Liguori, the artist of the High Scaler, was commissioned to do the original
bronze statue by Bert Hansen. This statue was made possible through donations to the
Nevada Business Enterprise Program for the Blind.

September 2000
Hoover Dam
View of the CO River Bridge (Mike
O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge)
as seen from Arizona, looking towards

Left side of the picture – The pier cap
falsework is erected on top of Piers 8, 9,
and 10. Olsen Beal crews continue erecting
precast concrete spandrel pier column
segments at Pier 7.
October 2009
More Detailed Analysis
November 2009
Facing north
September 2009
precast concrete spandrel pier column segments at Pier 7.
walls where the dam walls would join. Descending down the cliffs with the weight of
tools, water and food, others would lower jackhammers to drill powder holes. The High
Scalers would fill the holes with dynamite and after hand maneuvering out of the way
of explosives, they went to work with crowbars to remove loosened rock.

Danger from falling rocks was extreme which was the most common cause of death
among those that died constructing Hoover Dam. Initially, hard hats were not
distributed to dam workers, but High Scalers improvised by coating soft cloth hats with
hot coal tar. This improvising undoubtedly saved many lives.

High Scalers had nerves of steel, but this is why many
thought most of them were merely thrill-crazy. When
foremen weren’t looking, they would perform death-
defying stunts as entertainment of those dam workers
below. They would compete to see who could swing
the furthest, the highest and perform the most thrilling
acts high above the canyon floor.

There was a particularly brave Scaler named Louis
Fagan who was known as the “human pendulum”. An
obstructing large boulder protruded from the cliffs on
the Arizona side. While hanging by rope, the
transferring High Scaler would wrap his legs around
Fagan’s waist, grasp the rope and together with a
mighty leap, they would swing way out and around the
boulder to reach scaling requirements on the other side.
Apache high scalers.
This acrobatic transfer took place twice daily until the job was complete.

Thrill seeking, entertaining and death defying, the High Scalers were perhaps the most
interesting of all dam workers.
October 2009
October 2009
Quiz Photo

Few know that Hoover
Dam was originally named
Boulder Dam because the
initial planned site was at
Boulder Canyon about 10
miles north upriver from
where it is now located at
Black Canyon. An
engineering reassessment
moved the location from
Boulder Canyon to its
present location. The
Herbert Hoover
administration changed the
name from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam in 1930 as a political move. In 1933, the
Franklin Roosevelt administration changed it back to Boulder Dam, and under Harry
Truman, the permanent name of Hoover Dam was restored.

Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated
for their potential to support a dam that would control
floods, provide irrigation water and produce
hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the
project. The winning bid to build the dam of
$48,890,955 was submitted by a consortium called
Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the
dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure
had never been built before, and some of the
techniques were unproven. The torrid summer
weather and the lack of facilities near the site also
presented difficulties. Six Companies was given
incentive bonuses and would be fined for each day
construction overran the assigned schedule. Thus
began a furious pace of around the clock
construction, which would result in completion of
Concrete Base
Hoover Dam almost two years ahead of schedule on March 1, 1936.

The Great Depression led to massive migration of the unemployed to Las Vegas in
hopes of landing jobs building Hoover Dam. Men came from around the country, many
bringing families and life’s possessions hoping for employment. Living conditions were
difficult and became substantially much worse when construction began, creating the
shantytown known as Ragtown. For the men,
women and children of Hoover Dam, life became a
living hell. Click
here for a description of how hard
life became for them.  Life was particularly difficult
for the few blacks that were hired as token to
government mandate.

The Colorado River had to be diverted before
construction could begin. The riverbed had to be
dredged clear of deep silt and sediment to expose a
bedrock foundation for the building of Hoover Dam.  
It was a tedious process of digging four diversion
tunnels through canyon walls that would divert river
flow around the dam site to join the Colorado River
farther downstream. Click
here to read more about
the Hoover Dam Diversion Tunnels.
Aerial view looking upstream

Hoover Dam required over 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete plus another million for
the power plant, intake towers and other support structures. Two batch plants onsite
were created to produce the concrete that was transported on railcars in large four and
eight cubic yard buckets. An overhead cableway system lifted the buckets and lowered
them to the forms. At peak production, one bucket was delivered about every 78
second. Click
here for more information.
Intake Towers
As an arch-gravity dam, the massive
water pressure of up to 45,000 pounds
per square foot at the base of Hoover
Dam, is held back by gravity. The
arch-curved structure against the lake
reservoir dissipates that pressure into the
canyon walls equally on the Arizona and
Nevada side.

It was the job of High Scalers to hang
dangerously by rope above the canyon to
blast and remove weakened and loose
rocks from the face of the Black Canyon
Intake Towers
cliffs where the ends of Hoover Dam would join. Read more about these High Scalers
that risked their lives not only performing their jobs, but also entertaining workers
below with thrill-seeking and death-defying stunts along the cliff walls.

Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, and is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a
municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 25 mi
(40 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for
public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major
tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. Heavily travelled U.S.
93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
Hoover Dam 2011 panoramic view from the Arizona side showing the penstock towers, the Nevada-
side spillway entrance and the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as
the Hoover Dam Bypass
Interest Analysis from Margaret Paxton