Six Companies, Inc. was a joint venture of construction companies that was formed to build the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona. They went on to build Parker Dam, a portion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the Colorado River Aqueduct across the Mojave and Colorado Deserts to urban Southern California, and other large projects.
A consortium was formed by eight smaller general contractors in order to submit a bid for the Hoover Dam construction contract. (They chose to call themselves Six Companies, Inc. as an allusion to Chinese Six Companies, where Chinese tongs in California took their grievances.) Because of the immense size of the first dam on the Colorado River, no single contractor had the resources to make a qualified bid alone.
Harry W. Morrison of Morrison-Knudsen (Washington Group International, a division of URS Corporation) formed the joint venture and was elected president of it. He selected Frank Crowe, an employee of Morrison-Knudsen as the General Superintendent. Crowe was the true project manager of the undertaking. He drafted the bid, costed the project, won the project selection process, and hired each of the men who were employed during the course of the project. The Six Companies started working in about June 1931
Six Companies Inc. was composed of:
- Henry J. Kaiser Co. of Oakland, California and Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco (Bechtel-Kaiser) – 30%
- MacDonald and Kahn of Los Angeles, California – 20%
- Utah Construction Company of Ogden, Utah – 20%
- Morrison-Knudsen of Boise, Idaho – 10%,
- Pacific Bridge Company of Portland, Oregon – 10%
- J.F. Shea Co of Portland, Oregon – 10%
Six Companies and WWII
During World War II, the Six Companies built airstrips and related facilities on Pacific Islands. Also, the Six Companies held a majority ownership interest in Joshua Hendy Iron Works in Sunnyvale, California. Hendy was most known for its record-breaking assembly line production of 754 Liberty Ship EC-2 Reciprocating Steam Engines, producing one engine every 40.8 hours. They were used at the Richmond Shipyards, building the Liberty Ships.
- Read The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World
- Get: American Experience – Hoover Dam on DVD – Amazon
Resources: Wikipedia |