Wrought Iron

A Geometric Problem Solved

Steel framing in buildings began in the 1880s, extending technology already in use for wrought-iron framing. That included hot-driven rivets for most connections, and bolts for lightly-loaded connections that would only have load applied in one direction, like beam-to-girder connections. Rivets shrank as they cooled, creating tension in the rivet shaft that clamped the pieces …

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Craft Versus Industry

I have often defined modern structure in buildings as industrialized structure. The obsolete materials and systems we work on – cast-iron columns, wrought-iron beams, weird forms of reinforced concrete from 1910, and so on – are all based on industrial production. (I did once run into an engineer who thought that “wrought-iron beams” meant that …

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A Whole Lot Of Fame

I’ve talked about Phoenix columns several time – built-up circular or polygonal sections of wrought iron or steel – but this bridge is a spectacular use of them. The bridge actually has at least three separate claims to fame, which is impressive. It’s the 1873 Kern Truss Bridge over the Le Sueur River near Skyline, …

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One End Of A Bell Curve

I’ve shown some heavily-built truss bridges here, and some lightly-built ones. The bridge above, the Turtleville Iron Bridge over Turtle Creek in Rock County, Wisconsin, is one the very light end of the spectrum. (It also has the name most likely to be stolen from Dr. Seuss of any bridge I’ve discussed.) It’s an 1887 …

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A Trick Of Scale

That’s the North Platte River Bowstring Truss Bridge, AKA the Fort Laramie Bridge, in Wyoming. It’s a good-looking bridge in general and that photo, probably taken near sunset, makes it look especially nice. I’ve had a browser tab open to this bridge for a long time while I’ve written about other topics, and the tab …

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