John A. Roebling Reconsidered

John Roebling, the engineer who designed some of the most important US bridges of the middle third of the nineteenth century, is today somewhat overshadowed by his oldest son, Washington Roebling. After John’s death by accident during the earliest stages of the work on the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington became the chief engineer for that project. …

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Getting an accurate photo of a large structure can be difficult. With skyscrapers, for example, you have to get far away to reduce the effect of perspective, and that means you lose detail and likely have other structures blocking part of your view. With bridges, it’s a bit easier, as you can use the river …

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Extremes And Norms

Another view of lower Manhattan, again from a slightly odd angle. We’re looking north from the west side of the very southern tip of the island – most likely from the roof of the Whitehall Building. The Library of Congress says 1900 to 1915, but the Woolworth Building and Equitable Buildings are complete, so circa …

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Technology Transfer

The close-up above shows a critical element in the development of skyscrapers and, non-coincidently, one of the reasons I keep talking about late 1800s truss bridges. Tall buildings were largely responsible for the creation of my profession, structural engineering for buildings. Prior to the the construction of large numbers of tall buildings in the 1880s …

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