The Grand Canal of Alsace

Photographic album, stamped on upper cover “Kembs,” containing 40 fine black & white photographs, each measuring 163 x 218 mm. & each mounted on thick board, all with printed explanatory descriptions above & below. Oblong small folio (250 x 335 mm.), orig. half-cloth & marbled boards, sewn. Photographs dated between April 1929 and October 1933.

The construction of the “Grand Canal d’Alsace,” which channeled the hitherto unnavigable Upper Rhine River, was one of the most important civil engineering projects in France of the last century. About 50 kilometers long and running between Kembs (just below Basel) and Vogelgrun, it permits the navigation of ships and barges between Basel (a city which had long dreamed of access to the sea) and Strasbourg. The lateral canal diverted much of the water from the original bed of the fast-flowing Rhine; a dam and an important hydroelectric plant were built at Kembs (depicted in a number of the photographs) and several other cities along the canal, providing electricity to one of the most industrialized regions of France.

The construction of the first portion of the canal and the Kembs dam, locks, and hydroelectric power plant took place between 1928 and 1932. The photographs, here in rich and dark images, depict the various stages of construction: digging the canal; creating and grading the embankments; a cement factory; building the locks, including the concrete foundations and walls (one of the photographs depicts a man in the completed but as yet empty lock, dwarfed by the immensity of the walls); the locks functioning with barges passing through; the many stages of the construction of the canal and power plant; the construction of the dam; the first water to enter the canal; the turbines within the power plant; and finally, an aerial view of the entire enormous project.

In fine condition, and an important record of this enormous civil engineering project.

Price: $6,000.00

Item ID: 5578

See all items by