Revolutionary Machine: How Pumps Shaped Modern California

photograph of old pump house
Jun. 12, 2019

Historian Steven Usselman traces how one breakthrough technology—the deep well centrifugal pump—triggered an unfolding cascade of change that reshaped the Golden State, both literally and figuratively. Conceived for use on citrus ranches such as those owned by Henry Huntington, these intricate mechanical marvels spilled over into many domains, including water management, food processing, oil drilling, and aviation.

 

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