This is the story of a nearly bankrupt young man who makes good and founds
a family dynasty. It is recounted in an online book that chronicles the people
and projects that have combined to make the Bechtel company a global leader in
engineering and construction. The occasion of online publication, 2008, celebrates
the company's 110th anniversary and starts out as follows.
"Like many great American entrepreneurs, Warren A. Bechtel would take
a few frightening steps toward failure before he found the path to success. In
1898 cattle farming had fallen on hard times because of collapsing beef and corn
prices. So, the nearly bankrupt 25-year-old Bechtel and his pregnant wife, Clara,
left their farm and headed 100 miles south to the dusty expanses of Oklahoma
Territory in search of construction work and new opportunity. Thus began an epic
journey that would span a century of building, four generations of his family,
and eventually much of the globe."
This online version includes profiles of four generations of family leadership,
links to project profiles, and more than 200 photos in easy-to-view galleries.
You can read each chapter by clicking on the links that follow.
Chapter 1 - The Formative Years, 1898 - 1940
Chapter 2 - Bechtel Goes to War, 1940 - 1945
Chapter 3 - Bringing Energy to the World, 1945 - 1959
Chapter 4 - Structuring for a New Era, 1960 - 1969
Chapter 5 - A Decade of Megaprojects, 1970 - 1979
Chapter 6 - Surviving a Global Downturn, 1980 - 1989
Chapter 7 - Leading the Way to Change, 1990 - 1998
Chapter 8 - Building a New Century, 1999 - 2008
1. See Chapter 1 [www.bechtel.com/BAC-Chapter-1.html]
2. See Building-a-Century [www.bechtel.com/Building-a-Century.html]