National Geographic : 1956 Sep
376 BY DAVID S. BOYER Foreign Editorial Staff, National Geographic Magazine With Illustrations from Photographs by the Author " E" E admire the Americans for the way they shovel up mountains and shift river courses and throw the map all around the place," Canada's famous Stephen Leacock wrote 20 years ago. Yankees even talk lightly, the humorist said, of damming rivers to make them run back wards over the mountains. Canadians, he noted proudly, were cut of the same cloth. I could vouch for that. Flying high above the fiords and forest-covered ranges of frontier British Columbia in a Mallard seaplane, I was looking down on Kitimat for the first time. Kitimat! Canadians were actually doing what Lea cock had joked about! They had dammed a river, run it backwards through a moun tain, dropped it down a man-made waterfall 16 times higher than Niagara, and then re leased it into the Pacific. Why? To produce electricity to make aluminum. For aluminum requires cheap power, in steady, enormous quantities.