Engineering

Modeling and Understanding, Part 4

Part 1, part 2, and part 3 give the context. Also, it occurs to me that my illustrations in this series have gone from an entire structure to a piece of a structure, to a drawing of a structure, to an analysis diagram. I’m sure that progression means something, but I’m not sure what. If …

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Modeling and Understanding, Part 2

Part 1 is here and provides some context. There’s also a good Twitter thread starting here. There is, for me, no such thing as a blank slate when I investigate an existing structure. It’s not possible for me to start without some kind of assumption about how a building works because I have, over the …

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Why The Past Tense?

See here for part 1 and here for part 2 of this bridge. Why don’t we build bridges like Nevius Street any more? The answer is definitely not because they are functionally obsolete: any individual example might be, but there’s no reason we couldn’t design truss bridges with more clearance and higher load capacities for modern traffic. …

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Interesting Because It Is Ordinary

Today’s post and a few more to follow are going to focus on the Nevius Street Bridge in Raritan, New Jersey. It’s simultaneously historic and interesting, and utterly common and boring. It was built in 1886 during an era when thousands of similar truss bridges were constructed across the United States. There is nothing in …

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