Formation of Six Companies

A group of men posing at the dam site, sometime in the early 1930s. Frank Crowe, third from the left, was the Supt. of Construction for the Six Companies on the Hoover Dam

The construction of a dam, already an expensive undertaking, during the middle of an economic depression was simply too costly for a company to take on single-handedly. The executives of Utah Construction Company came up with a plan that would bring together enough capital to win the bid for the construction of the dam at Black Canyon. Combining forces and checkbooks, 8 different corporations were convinced to act together as "Six Companies" (3 of the firms joined as one unit) to bid on the contract for the Boulder Canyon Project.

Perhaps the most influential figure in the dam's construction was Frank T. Crowe. Of the many personalities involved in the project, all members voted on Crowe to be the foreman of the dam. An experienced engineer who had worked for the Bureau of Reclamation since 1905, Crowe was perfect for the job. Work on landmark projects such as the Arrowrock Dam on the Boise River in Idaho and the earthen dam in Tieton, Washingon had prepared Crowe for large-scale construction. Yet even before Six Companies won the Boulder Canyon project, Frank Crowe had his eye on the area. As a consultant called in by the Bureau of Reclamation, he had helped with the initial planning of the dam and firmly entrenched himself in the project, making it known to everyone involved that he was the man for the job.