This color educational film is about the construction of the Fontana Dam in Tennessee. In 1935, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which was concerned with the Little Tennessee's effect on flood control in the greater Tennessee Valley, began negotiating with Alcoa to assume control of the Fontana project. Although Alcoa preferred that TVA build the dam, TVA was unable to get necessary funding for the project until the outbreak of World War II in 1941, when emergency wartime initiatives called for a drastic increase in aluminum production. On August 14, 1941, TVA and ALCOA signed the "Fontana Agreement," which gave TVA possession of Fontana and control over the releases and output of Tapoco's Little Tennessee Valley dams, and in return guaranteed that Alcoa would be the primary benefactor of the dams' electrical output for at least twenty years. The U.S. Congress authorized funding on December 17, 1941, and construction of Fontana Dam began on January 1, 1942. This film is copyright 1947.
Opening titles: The Fontana Project of the Tennessee Valley Authority - a major water control project. The project was started in January 1942 and completed in March 1945 (:06-1:07). Map of the United States. Map of Tennessee. Fontana Dam. States from which supplies were received are shown on the map. A man drives a bulldozer through a forest. Workers chop at the brush (1:08-3:18). Bulldozers and cranes move rock and dirt. Smoke plumes and dust clouds. Workmen. A construction camp was set up near the project to build a dam. Crane moves dirt and rock. Men use pick axes. Tons of rock. Men set up well drill rigs. Tons of rock were then brought down with explosives (3:19-6:02). Secondary blasting was by mud capping. Cranes move heavy rock into dump trucks. Trucks dumped rock into crushers. Crushed rock moved across the river by belt conveyor. Piles or rock. Rocks on conveyor belt (6:03-7:50). A diagram shows the travels of the rock. Sides of the cavern. Concrete mixing plant. A mixer. Conveyor belt. Men set up steel trestles (7:51-9:16). Overview of the machinery set up. Men attach concrete buckets to a crane. Men make the concrete out of the mix. A railcar moves supplies. Crane, puddles of muddy water. Men at the bottom of the project. Crane moves sections around. Thin walled tubing cools the concrete (9:17-12:30). Concrete mix is placed. Brooms move excess concrete. Concrete placement. The construction of the dam is coming along. Cranes and pieces in place (12:31-14:01). Truck drives. Dismantling the trestle to move it. A crane is set up on a high level deck. Dam wall is being constructed. Concrete buckets slowly lowered. Men set up concrete. The project set up so far (14:02-16:45). Lumber is dragged by horses. Men roll logs down a hill. Lumber is moved. Rough lumber is used. This will be used for a spillway section. The powerhouse is being built. Lots of wood is used. Concrete is also used for the powerhouse (16:46-18:35). Concrete is put into tubes. The dam wall is almost complete. Bulldozers at work. Rock is craned away. Men at work. The gates are thirty five feet high and control the spill (18:36-20:50). Dirt is dumped by a truck. Bulldozers move dirt. Workmen walk nearby. Water is tested into the tunnels. A diagram shows the flow of water. The spray falls some distance downstream as originally planned
(20:51-22:07). Turbine. The dam wall. How the dam looks with its tall wall. Aerial shot of the electric towers nearby. Fontana Dam has been constructed. A sign reads 'built for the people.' The finished dam (22:08-24:04). End credits (24:005-24:11).