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Thursday, June 3, 2010

What Do the Hoover Dam and the Wedding at Cana Have in Common?

In my previous blog, I promised to write about Dr. Richard Eby's father, who worked for G.E.'s High Voltage Bushing Department. The company's president told Mr. Eby that bushings were an essential part of America's future. The lack of bushing technology was holding back progress in the electrification of the country. What was needed was some type of porcelain or material that could withstand millions of volts of electricity, not only from the electricity generated but from the lightning storms that hit the wires. When Hoover Dam was being built, the issue of bushings became critical.

After many years, four labs were getting nowhere. Finally Eby Sr. gave up and asked for God's help. The next morning, his Bible fell open to John 2, the story of the Wedding at Cana where Jesus Christ turned the water in six large ceramic pots into wine. Suddenly he felt God speaking directly to his mind. Six large ceramic pots that withstood the energy or power it would take to rearrange the molecules of water. They also withstood the pressure needed to hold about 25 gallons of water. That morning Eby Sr. came down to breakfast happy that he now had confidence that the problem would be solved and it would have something to do blast-proof pottery.

Eby closed down his whole division for a month so everyone could rest. When they all returned, he encouraged people to tell stories about their time away. Nothing turned up immediately, but pressure was rising because cement was being poured into Boulder Dam and the bushing problem was holding things up. In desperation, Eby called up the ceramic expert at another plant and asked him what he did on his time off. The man went traveling all through Europe, wound up at the royal tombs in Egypt, and bribed a guard for a souvenir. At 4 am, Eby called him again and asked him what the souvenir was that he brought home. Turned out to be a piece of pottery from Tut's tomb that still looked to be in good shape. Eby was ecstatic. He knew this would be the answer. He ordered Cermak to examine and make a bushing out of whatever it was. Two weeks later the new bushing was ready for testing. They sent enough electricity through it to shake the building, but it didn't explode. An hour later President Hoover was notified that the bushing problem was solved at last.

As stated in my earlier post, this story is found in Dr. Richard Eby's 1978 book called "Caught Up Into Paradise."