LA’s own Willy Mulholland is numero uno in this list of stupid engineer tricks

The “self taught” engineer part is classic.

1. St. Francis Dam, 1928
Self-taught engineer William Mulholland built this LA dam on a defective foundation and ignored the geology of the surrounding canyon. He also dismissed cracks that formed as soon as the reservoir behind it was filled. Five days later, it ruptured, killing 450 people and destroying entire towns (along with Mulholland’s career).

Note, however, that he had one of the most famous streets in Los Angeles named after him.

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