More Reuse

Changes in technology and society have orphaned newspaper boxes. You remember them? Twenty years ago there was discussion about how we could best organize and standardize them to deal with the proliferation of steel boxes on street corners; now they’re almost extinct because people have stopped buying newspapers on the street. Enter up-cycling newspaper boxes. …

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Learning The Hard Way

That beauty in the photo is the 1883 Smithfield Street Bridge over the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. The crenelated steel castle in the foreground is the end portal for the bridge; the actual bridge structure is a set of lenticular trusses visible above and the left of that green streetcar. The designer was Gustav Lindenthal, …

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38 Years And I Haven’t Forgotten

My latest look at the HABS/HAER index turned up “steel I-beams” as a category, and I obviously had no choice but to take a look. Most of the surveys with that tag were truss bridges. I’m interested in trusses, but I wanted something different. The photo above is from the HABS survey of the Raritan …

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A Well-Pedigreed Oddity

The cute little suspension bridge in the postcard above – one of the Detroit Publishing Company’s cards, titled “Connecticut River and Suspension Bridge, Brattleboro, Vt.” – is unfortunately gone. It opened in 1889 and was destroyed by a flood in 1936. In a few years it will have been gone for twice as long as …

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Follow-up, Rotated

I talked about the New Haven railroad’s Fort Point Bridge in Boston a little over a year ago. It’s an 1898 rolling lift bridge with three separate lift segments (each carrying two railroad tracks), on a skew because the rail line doesn’t cross Fort Point Channel at right angles. The 1904 picture above (from the …

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