Hoover Dam – Myths and Legends

Are There Workers Still Buried in the Hoover Dam?

No, the Hoover Dam does not contain any buried human remains within the thick cement walls of the dam. Although, there were around 100 reported deaths during the construction of the Hoover Dam, no bodies are buried in the cement.

There was one reported death of a man who was crushed and killed under a falling wall of recently poured cement.  His body was quickly recovered, in a matter of hours, because leaving anything other than cement mix in the walls of the dam would greatly jeopardize the strength of the dam infrastructure and potentially cost millions of dollars in future structural damage.

Actually, cement was poured slowly and in very small portions while constructing the dam.  All a worker needed to do to escape death or injury was to simply step out of the newly poured cement.  The one reported death of the man being crushed by falling cement was a rare case of already poured and drying cement unexpectedly collapsing.

The original myths and legends of men being buried under the cement was supposedly conjured up by Hoover Dam construction workers to scare the public, and simply because it made a good story.

Were Hard Hats Invented During the Construction of the Hoover Dam?

No, hard hats were invented before the construction of the Hoover Dam had begun.  This myth is commonly mistaken for truth because the construction of the Hoover Dam was one of the first large, and public construction projects that required workers to wear hard hats.

Although it is hard to track the exact origin of the invention of the hard hat, Edward W. Bullard is commonly refereed to as creating the original hard hat in 1919.  Bullard’s original hard hat design was inspired by the helmets that he and other soldiers were required to wear during World War 1.