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Niagara Falls is a group of large waterfalls that are located in the Niagara river on the eastern coast of the United States and Canada. They are located on the border between the two countries, and are composed of three waterfalls. These three waterfalls are the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls. While these waterfalls are not very high, they are quite wide. Over 5 million cubic feet of water will fall down in a single minute. It is one of the most popular waterfalls in the world, and is the most powerful in the North American continent.
Niagara Falls is a well known site that is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to this, Niagara Falls is known for the hydroelectric power it provides, and the spot was chosen as potential source of power by Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor. A memorial has also been built for him at the site. The three waterfalls are shared by three cities, and these are Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the dual cities of Niagara Falls, New York. It is believed that Niagara Falls formed during a period that is called the Wisconsin glaciation, a period that ended over 9,000 years ago. The Wisconsin glaciation was a large glacier that connected the area with Canada.
The glacier would have moved through the area, crushing surfaces in order to form lakes or rivers. Niagara Falls has a height of about 170 feet, though the American Falls is only about 70 feet. The Canadian Falls are much larger, and have a height of about 2,600 feet. During the best seasons, the amount of water flow will be well over 200,000 cubic feet per second. The word "Niagara" was taken from the Iroquois language, and it can be translated into "strait." The Ongiara were the natives in the area, and were known for settling disputes among the various tribes in the region. Niagara Falls has been visited by a number of historical figures, and one of them was Jerome Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Niagara Falls became a popular tourist attraction during the 19th century. Because people need to cross over the falls, the Niagara suspension bridge was built. The steel bridge that was originally constructed in 1886 is still used for railroad cars today. Another bridge that was built during this time that is still being used today is the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge. While Niagara Falls is beautiful to look at, it is also an important source of energy. Efforts to tap into the energy of Niagara has existed since the 18th century. It was Daniel Joncairs who first built a canal near the falls to power his sawmill.
Despite, it was Nikola Tesla who worked extensively to tap into the power of the waterfalls. His three phase system for AC current made it possible to transfer electricity from the waterfalls to distant locations. With financial assistance from the Morgan and Vanderbilt family, it was possible to create underground turbines that could generate hundreds of thousands of horsepower. In addition to this, a number of Canadian companies begin harnessing the power of the falls as well.
About the Author: Michael Colucci is a writer for Niagara Falls which is part of the Knowledge Search network