Wrought Iron

An Amazing Number

The picture above shows the International Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. It’s a wrought-iron Pratt through-truss bridge constructed in 1873 and still in use for its original purpose of carrying trains. The bridge is in three sections: a series of truss spans across the main channel of the Niagara River, a …

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A Process Of Elimination

Just down the block from that Federal style house I was taking about are some fancier-than-usual tenements. (Also, in the background, you’ve got a nice view of downtown about half a mile away, but that’s incidental to my point.) I want to talk about the one on the left, on the corner of the block. …

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A Clever Detail

That little bridge from 1878, over the Roaring Run in Bedford County, Virginia, is still there and is on the National Register, so with a little luck it will stay there. It’s 55 feet long and 12 feet wide, so it’s not particularly surprising that it is a pony truss: a through truss that short …

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Half A Loaf…

“Phoenix columns” were an inspired piece of nineteenth-century design, first in wrought iron and then in steel. They were built-up riveted columns, like nearly all ductile-metal columns at that time, but rather than using the plates, angles, channels, and zees that went into most such columns, they were made of circular arc segments with projecting …

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Makers’ Marks

That’s an overall picture of a riveted connection in a wrought-iron frame, with the central rib supporting a purlin on each side. The fun starts when you look at the sides, so you can see the rivets. First the left side: Those don’t look like most people’s mental image of rivet heads. That shape was …

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