Skip to Main Content

OH220 Ralph Smith Oral History

Ralph Smith Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project

Series Number: OH220

Interviewee: Smith, Ralph

Interviewer: Hosking, Michael

Date interviewed: November 30, 1995

Processed by: Dieter C. Ullrich on November 19, 2013.

Date processed: November 19, 2013.

Description: 1 sound disc (37 minutes)

Abstract: Ralph Smith describes working the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He recalls the region prior to the construction of the dam and being hired by the TVA. He describes pouring concrete, working twelve hour shifts, the construction of concrete barges, safety procedures and other duties he performed while employed for the TVA. He concludes with a description of the many changes which occurred after the completion of the dam.

Biographical / Historical note: Ralph Smith was born in Marshall County, Kentucky on August 11, 1926. He grew up and attended local public schools in Marshall County. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the fall of 1943 as a laborer. He was drafted in the United States military in 1944. Smith served in the South Pacific and saw action at Peleliu and was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war, he worked as a carpenter and maintenance man for Airco Carbide for twenty years and later for the GAF Corporation. Smith retired in 1993 and died on May 9, 2012 at Calvert City, Kentucky.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Smith, Ralph, 1926-2012

Kentucky Dam (Ky.)

Marshall County (Ky.) – History.

Tennessee Valley Authority.

Dams – Kentucky.

Land Between the Lakes (Ky. And Tenn.) – History.

Calvert City (Ky.)