Power of water
The Power behind the Engine
Small boys soon learn the power of running water; swimming or rowing downstream is easy, while swimming or rowing against the current is difficult, and the swifter the water, the easier the one and the more difficult the other; the river assists or opposes us as we go with it or against it. The water of a quiet pool or of a gentle stream cannot do work, but water which is plunging over a precipice or dam, or is flowing down steep slopes, may be made to saw wood, grind our corn, light our streets, run our electric cars, etc. A waterfall, or a rapid stream, is a great asset to any community, and for this reason should be carefully guarded. Water power is as great a source of wealth as a coal bed or a gold mine.
The most tremendous waterfall in our country is Niagara Falls, which every minute hurls millions of gallons of water down a 163-foot precipice. The energy possessed by such an enormous quantity of water flowing at such a tremendous speed is almost beyond everyday comprehension, and would suffice to run the engines of many cities far and near. Numerous attempts to buy from the United States the right to utilize some of this apparently wasted energy have been made by various commercial companies. It is fortunate that these negotiations have been largely fruitless, because much deviation of the water for commercial uses and the installation of machinery in the vicinity of the famous falls would greatly detract from the beauty of this world-known scene, and would rob our country of a natural beauty unequaled elsewhere.