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Landmarks on the Iron Road: Two Centuries of North American Railroad Engineering.


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ISBN 10: 0253335590 / ISBN 13: 9780253335593
Editorial: Indiana University Press,, Bloomington:, 1999
Condición: Fine Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: Grendel Books, ABAA/ILAB (West Chesterfield, MA, Estados Unidos de America)

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Black and white photographs throughout. First printing. Fine in a fine dust jacket. N° de ref. de la librería 76454

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Landmarks on the Iron Road: Two Centuries of...

Editorial: Indiana University Press,, Bloomington:

Año de publicación: 1999

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Fine

Condición de la sobrecubierta: Fine

Edición: 1st Edition

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American civil engineers were unsurpassed in their ability to buildrailroads over great distances and across high mountain passes, to erect greatbridges, or to bore tunnels of prodigious length. This is a remarkable story of theapplication of engineering to the building of a transportation system that civilizedand settled America, and then supported an industrial revolution and created a worldpower.


England and France may have been the birthplaces of the railroad, but America was its nursery and playground. The need to link the already far-flung territory of the United States in the early 19th century spurred significant advances in civil engineering, transportation historian William Middleton writes, especially in the design and construction of railroad bridges.

These spans needed to cross great rivers and deep canyons as well as bear weights unknown to earlier bridges. Bridges until that time were built much as they had been in Roman antiquity; to develop safe load-bearing bridges required much trial and error. It also required vision and experience, and Middleton's text is populated by a cast of brilliant, practical-minded men who figure little in standard histories of westward expansion but who were as important as any explorer or military leader in uniting the country. One such man was Wendel Bollman, a carpenter who developed a patented "suspension and trussed bridge" that was widely used along the Potomac, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers; another was J. E. Schwitzer, who adapted Swiss designs to the daunting conditions of the Rocky Mountains; still another was Theodore Dehone Judah, who built the first railroad along the tortuous California coast.

Middleton celebrates these and other bridge builders and their remarkable creations, many of which are still in use today. His text, illustrated with historic photographs and drawings, will be of much interest to railroad buffs. --Gregory McNamee

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