Download E-books Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America PDF

By Henry Petroski

Petroski finds the technology and engineering--not to say the politics, egotism, and sheer magic--behind America's nice bridges, really these developed in the course of the nice bridge-building period beginning within the 1870s and carrying on with throughout the Thirties. it's the tale of the boys and ladies who equipped the St. Louis, the George Washington, and the Golden Gate bridges, drawing not just on their mastery of numbers yet on their presents for persuasion and self-promotion. it really is an account of triumphs and ignominious failures (including the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which accurately twisted itself aside in a excessive wind). And all through this grandly attractive publication, Petroski we could us see how bridges grew to become the "symbols and souls" of our civilization, in addition to testaments to their developers' imaginative and prescient, ingenuity, and perseverance.

"Seamlessly linked...With brilliant scope and generosity of view, Mr. Petroski areas the culture of yank bridge-building in perspective."--New York occasions ebook assessment

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He will be remembered in heritage now not for his legacy of 3 hundred miles of railway functioning competently in England and Scotland yet for the failure of his Tay Bridge. not just a winning bridge around the Tay, but additionally one around the Firth of Forth have been the legacies Bouch should have dreamed approximately. certainly, his layout for a bridge around the deeper Firth of Forth have been below development for over a 12 months whilst the Tay fell. Bouch’s scheme for a suspension bridge of 2 nice spans of 16 hundred ft every one may have led to an accomplishment that may have overshadowed the Brooklyn Bridge, then below development in long island. With the catastrophe on the Tay, notwithstanding, paintings on the Firth of Forth used to be suspended, and there has been a normal lack of self assurance within the venture, specifically while it got here out that Bouch had designed his bridges, on general, for under ten kilos of wind strain. Even then, Bouch’s layout was once now not officially deserted through the Railway Board until eventually an entire 12 months after the Tay catastrophe, and 6 months after the courtroom of inquiry’s document, partly simply because there has been nonetheless an exceptional wish for bridges around the Scottish firths. The Tay Bridge had, in any case, operated effectively for greater than a 12 months, and it had validated the good fiscal price of bridges around the firths. it may now not be stunning, then, new Tay Bridge, which might have tracks instead of one and could therefore be wider and extra enormous, used to be quickly proposed. below eighteen months after the 1st Tay Bridge collapsed, plans for a brand new one have been submitted for parliamentary approval, which was once required for all civil-engineering works. the hot project used to be overseen by means of the company of Barlow, Son & Baker, and the engineer used to be to be William H. Barlow himself, along with his son, Crawford Barlow, as his assistant. the second one Tay Bridge was once to be developed sixty toes upstream from the 1st, with piers spaced an identical distance aside in order that the sound girders, which didn't fall, should be simply reused. The excessive girders have been redesigned to even more big criteria than Bouch’s, together with the facility to withstand a wind strain of fifty-six kilos on each sq. foot, and all cylinders of the aiding piers have been to be demonstrated way past the burden they have been anticipated to hold. there has been clearly nice neighborhood curiosity within the layout of the alternative constitution, and the piers of the “New Viaduct” and the “Old Bridge” have been contrasted within the October 18, 1881, factor of the Dundee Advertiser as follows: the large personality of the recent constitution in comparison with the outdated is apparent at a look, specifically (1) the higher lateral balance from the substitution of dual piers for the one pier under, and the elevated width for the double line of rails above; and (2) the better vertical balance from the lowered top of the superstructure and the arched formation on the higher junction of the piers. As within the wake of all significant disasters, the layout of the hot constitution had greater gains that a ways surpassed correcting the deficiencies of the previous.

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