chapter  10
22 Pages

Tennessee Valley and Reciprocal Trade

The Tennessee Valley being predominantly rural, the bringing of current to farmers and small communities was more than a legal mandate on the agency. The Trades and Labor Council wanted the closed shop, but this Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) felt itself legally forbidden to concede, for, while exempt from civil service, the agency must make appointments on the basis of merit and efficiency. The TVA addressed itself to the greatest public works project in history, with the engineer, the architect, the chemist and men of a score of other sciences commanded to lead the way. The Army Corps of Engineers had recommended low dams, but TVA was sustained by Congress in its decision for high dams as warranting the quadruple cost. A chief service of TVA has been its demonstration that, in the use of electricity, abundance is cheaper than scarcity. TVA encouraged establishment of small scattered industries, using native materials and supplying, in many cases, special local demand.