Steel

Where It Comes From: Steel

The Edgar Thomson Works, seen above, was a turning point in the wrought-iron versus steel argument in the United States. In 1875, steel was stronger and had more consistent properties, but only incrementally so. It was also more expensive. People chose which metal to use, or mixed and matched within a single project, based on …

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An Extreme Rarity

That picture was taken in a theater attic. The diagonals on the upper right are portions of the timber-framed roof; the wall separates the auditorium area from the lobby. It’s the thing embedded in the wall that is rare and odd. In short, that’s the end of a long-span steel truss (over the auditorium, on …

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Not Quite Familiar

That’s the el in the Chicago Loop, looking photogenic, as it always does. There’s no great difference between the el and the elevated portions of the NYC subway, particularly since some of the elevated subways were built as els before the subways were built and later repurposed. But styles vary among engineers, and the NYC …

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