Beryl Forbes Eddy ‘58 (left) and Mary Elizabeth Sellers '58 wait ouside the bus during the 1955 Sarah Lawrence College trip to the Tennessee Valley Authority. Courtesy of the Sarah Lawrence College Archives from the online exhibit “southern journeys: slc visits the tennessee valley."  Documentation and photographs relating to the Tennessee Valley Authority field trips taken by Sarah Lawrence students between 1941 and 1955, curated by Abby Lester with the assistance of Jessie Wilkerson MA '06

I found this rusted old sign off the beaten path while walking on the abandoned Old Citico Road this afternoon. The sign was a survey marker for the TVA, acting as an indicator of the land they had confiscated before the completion of the Tellico Dam in Lenior City. There’s no telling how long the sign had been there, but considering that the Little Tennessee River Valley was flooded in 1978, it may have very well sat there for nearly 40 years or possibly longer. I’ve done some research on this particular sign’s design and according to what I’ve found, the Tennessee Valley Authority had used these during the 1930s. They are extremely rare finds, given that they were made of porcelain. It is possible that the TVA may have already started surveying the area when the property was owned by the Carson family, who had owned and operated one of the largest dairy farms in the southeast at the time. This can be found off the abandoned Old Citico Road in Vonore, Tennessee.

Mary Utopia Rothrock

This post was written by Donald B. Reynolds, Jr., retired director of the Nolichucky (TN) Regional Library and founding director/past president of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. In my Googling, I discovered that the East Tennessee Library Association has an excellent “What Would Topie Do?” button associated with their annual Rothrock lecture.

Mary Utopia Rothrock (“Topie”) was a librarian, community activist, historian, author, editor (and some would say feminist) who, as one of her colleagues wrote, “knows all the answers and is one of the smartest persons in the library profession.”   She was active in her local community of Knoxville, Tennessee, throughout the state, the Southeastern states, and the nation with her substantial work with the American Library Association.  Her career spanned the years from 1914 through 1955, always able to think ahead of her times.

After being invited in 1916 to become the Director of the Lawson McGhee Library of Knoxville, Tennessee, she oversaw the building of a Carnegie-funded branch library for the Negro community who were not allowed by southern custom to use the main library in Knoxville (1918).

In a 24 August 1930 newspaper-covered conversational debate with the Knoxville mayor, who wanted women to quit their jobs so unemployed men could have a job, Ms Rothrock said

You assume that your jobless men could take the place of your employed woman.  But could they.  Society would be injured more by the mal-adjustment set up by men in women’s jobs, than it is by unemployed men. Women get their jobs and hold their jobs because they can do the work better than men.  …  When you deprive women of the possibility of economic independence, you have enslaved them. …   

The mayor had nothing to say, reported the paper.

In 1933 she created the idea of regional library services to help local communities establish public libraries. This idea evolved into the present-day Tennessee Regional Library System.

During this time, she accepted a position as Supervisor of Library Services with the Tennessee Valley Authority where she was responsible for building library book boxes and using bookmobiles to distribute reading materials to the workers building the TVA dams, fulfilling her slogan of “Taking the Library to the Worker.”

Keep reading

Early stages of construction work at the TVA’s Douglas Dam, Tenn. (LOC) by The Library of Congress on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Palmer, Alfred T.,, photographer.

Early stages of construction work at the TVA’s Douglas Dam, Tenn.

1942 June

1 transparency : color.

Title from FSA or OWI agency caption.
Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944.

Tennessee Valley Authority
World War, 1939-1945
Construction industry
United States–Tennessee

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Part Of: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Collection 12002-36 (DLC) 93845501

General information about the FSA/OWI Color Photographs is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.fsac

Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a35271

Call Number: LC-USW36-476

English: Large electric phosphate smelting furnace used in the making of elemental phosphorus in a TVA chemical plant in the Muscle Shoals area, Alabama, June 1942 Français : Grand four électrique de fusion de phosphate, utilisé pour produire du phosphore élémentaire dans une usine chimique de la TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) dans la zone de “Muscle Shoals” en Alabama (USA), juin 1942

American ISPs Refuse to Upgrade Networks

Level 3 is what’s called a Tier 1 ISP. They provide the backbone of the internet, the connections between the ISPs you pay for internet (and the Tier 1 ISPs that compete with Level 3). They recently posted this:

A port that is on average utilised at 90 percent will be saturated, dropping packets, for several hours a day. We have congested ports saturated to those levels with 12 of our 51 peers. Six of those 12 have a single congested port, and we are both (Level 3 and our peer) in the process of making upgrades – this is business as usual and happens occasionally as traffic swings around the Internet as customers change providers.

That leaves the remaining six peers with congestion on almost all of the interconnect ports between us. Congestion that is permanent, has been in place for well over a year and where our peer refuses to augment capacity. They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers. They are not allowing us to fulfil the requests their customers make for content.

Five of those congested peers are in the United States and one is in Europe. There are none in any other part of the world. All six are large Broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.

One final point; the companies with the congested peering interconnects also happen to rank dead last in customer satisfaction across all industries in the U.S.[2] Not only dead last, but by a massive statistical margin of almost three standard deviations.

America’s internet infrastructure was largely laid down by government-enforced fiat. Private companies operating nowadays are in monopoly positions due to poor regulation and the high cost of entry. The FCC is little more than a rent-capturing agency. ISPs are now refusing to make more than slight upgrades, because the cost couldn’t be justified to shareholders looking at quarter to quarter profits. As Dan Raile has pointed out, the Tennessee Valley Authority has opened fibre-optic networks in 8 cities, providing numerous construction jobs. Government-owned ISPs may be the saving grace of the internet, if they don’t get ground into the dust by rent-seeking.

Later on this afternoon, my dad and I rode to Lenoir City to pay a visit to this infamous dam, a dam that is hated and despised by the people who once lived in the Little Tennessee River Valley prior to its flooding in 1979.

This is the Tellico Dam, which impounds the Little Tennessee River. It was built as the direct result of greed. In fact, this dam really doesn’t serve much of a purpose besides “flood control”. Unlike Calderwood and Chilhowee dams, Tellico Dam is not a hydroelectric dam. Basically, its main purpose is to regulate the lake levels throughout the year. During the summer, water is let out of the gates to allow for recreational purposes. During the colder months, the gates are shut off, leaving the water levels lower.

When I had approached the dam, I didn’t know what to expect. There was an air of silence about it. The gates had been closed off, leaving the mossy concrete exposed. When I looked at it, I kept myself composed. After all, I grew up on the stories of what the Little Tennessee River was like. It was beautiful and the land was peaceful. There were farms littering the valley that were blessed with fertile soil from the river. There were neighborhoods. There were homes that had belonged to families for generations. There were ancient historic sites that the Cherokee once lived in. The dam destroyed ecosystems. The river is gone, replaced by a polluted lake. There were memories somewhere, hidden deep below the murky waters of the lake. The dam was so small in comparison to the others I have visited, but it destroyed so much. What it didn’t destroy is now in ruins. In some of my previous posts of explorations in Vonore, Tennessee, many of these abandoned sites were supposed to be underwater. This is land that the TVA confiscated. You can imagine how people felt after these sites remained above water.

I swore that I never wanted to see it again as long as I lived.

Washday at the Stooksberry homestead near Andersonville, Tennessee. This old estate of 350 acres dates back to the Civil War. It will be submerged when the Norris Dam reservoir fills. This family is very versatile and carries on all kinds of activities and construction.”, 10/23/1933

From the series: Lewis Hine Photographs for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 1933

In October of 1933 Lewis Hine was assigned to do a photographic survey of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) projects in East Tennessee.  Among Hine’s subjects were mountaineer families forced to vacate their homes and lands because of the construction of Norris Dam.