'North side of dam', Aswan, Egypt, January 1901.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by D S George, one of a series showing the building of the Aswan Dam. In the late 19th century, the growth of population and agricultural production in the lower Nile Valley led to the decision to build a dam acros the river at Aswan. This would both improve control of the masive annual Nile floods for agriculture and provide hydro-electric power for industry. The dam was built by the British who employed some of their foremost engineers, including Willcocks, Baker and Aird. Construction was completed in 1902, with modifications to its height made in 1907-1912 and 1929-1934. Even after this the dam ultimately proved inadequate for its purpose, leading to the building of the much larger Aswan High Dam in the 1960s.