Accession Number: 77
Tennessee Valley Authority Papers
Bulk Dates: 1933-1983
2.8 linear ft.
Series I - Agriculture
Series II - Architecture
Series III - Economy/ Finances
Series IV - General
Series V - Health and Safety
Series VI - Industrial
Series VII - Natural
Series VIII - Power
Series IX - Recreation
Series X - Water Management
Access and Use:
Preferred citation: Tennessee Valley Authority Collection,
Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.
This collection preserves many materials relating to the development
of the Tennessee Valley Authority energy program. It contains information
on agriculture, architecture, economy and finances, natural resources,
power, recreation, and water management. The information is provided
in the form of magazines, pamphlets, photographs, case studies,
reports, and booklets.
On May 18, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act
creating a new agency owned by the federal government. It would
concentrate on developing ways to improve the Tennessee Valley
region by using resources available. It recommended that additional
measures be taken to promote "an orderly and proper physical,
economic, and social development" of the area.
When the TVA was created, there were some 230,000 residential
consumers of electricity in the area it now serves. The entire
power program was an experiment. No one could measure the effect
of a deliberate effort to provide electricity "at the lowest
possible rate," not to assure profits but to encourage use.
However, the use of electricity increased so dramatically that
eventually the TVA constructed nuclear plants to meet the normal
system load growth.
In 1933, about half the people of the Tennessee Valley lived
on farms with an average size of seventy acres. Soil depletion
became a major problem for farmers. The combination of electricity,
new plant food, and the patient application of technical knowledge
has reversed the cycle of soil depletion that threatened the Valley's
land resource in the 1930s.
Today a system of thirty-three major dams on the Tennessee and
its major tributaries control the river's flow. The major water
control projects built by TVA are multipurpose. They prevent flood
damage, generate electric energy for the region's use, and provide
a year-round navigation channel from Paducah, Kentucky, at the
river's mouth to Knoxville, where the Tennessee begins.
The TVA has contributed to reduction of pollution, designed waste
disposal systems, undertaken economic studies, demonstrated improved
methods of forest management and wood utilization, and advanced
the changes in farm practices required to restore fertility to
the soil. The TVA went beyond water control and pollution prevention
to preservation efforts focused on landmarks, buildings, and homes
along the river.
(All information above was gathered from material in the collection
or from The Tennessee Valley Authority, by Marguerite
7 Manuscript Boxes
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