Transitions in Engineering: Guillaume Henri Dufour and the by Tom F. Peters

By Tom F. Peters

Ci . . . . il engineering has yet few admirers. Its works individual groped and battled with particular difficulties, are considered as feats of prowess and are both he rediscovers and in a undeniable feel accomplishes favourite or abnarred. they're thought of to be an -archeological"' survey of his topic for the except common issues and incomprehen first time. A Dufour arises from those pages who sible. like works of structure and town making plans, is not any longer the overall in response to Swiss they're absent from our basic cultural conscious legend, yet who's shaped throughout the fluctuating ness. nevertheless, engineering doesn't procedures of mirrored image and experimentation attrad popularizers (in the main lofty experience of the ahead of our . . . . ery eyes, through the transformation of time period) both, so probably the 2 observations are notion into adion. Dufour hence attains a surpris actually jointly explicatory. ing modemity and resembles these between us who And but, at times a person seems who're no longer sotisfied via pat solutions and who, as a substitute can lead the layman in the course of the maze of con of warding off the questions they come across, use cepts and objeds, can clarify them with no them as a way to provide novel instruments."

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Additional resources for Transitions in Engineering: Guillaume Henri Dufour and the Early 19th Century Cable Suspension Bridges

Sample text

The so-called wire used here was probably rolled, as that of the Schuylkill Bridge had presumably been. Stevenson specifically called the material of the main stays 'wire',l 04 and, although the term was often used loosely at the time, he differentiated between this material and that of the 19 mm thick rods of the backstays, which he called 'bolt iron', perhaps steel? The bridge had the first iron deck structure ever to be built on a suspension bridge. 105 It was erected by the Edinburgh firm of Redpath and Brown which still survives under the name of Redpath Dorman Long Ltd.

84 Telford was working along similar lines at the time and finally adopted the flat eyebar system with punched holes which was to become standard for a full century, starting with his own Conway and Menai Bridges of 1826 to David Barnard Steinman's Florianopolis Bridge of 1926 in Brazil, the last major chain bridge built to date. 85 Brown used round eyebars with welded eyes, very similar to those used in China. With these he built the first British suspension bridge to take vehicular traffic, the unstiffened Union Bridge over the Tweed at New Waterford in 1820, connecting England and Scotland with a single span of 133 m.

Both were proposed in wire and chain variants, and in both cases the wire versions were abandoned for financial reasons. 55 mm) wire to simulate the cables, and load tests, including dynamic loading, were carried out presumably on this model. 86 William Alexander Provis, who had been Telford's assistant since 1805, and who was later to be resident engineer on the construction of the Menai Suspension Bridge, developed the details for both proposals and published them in 1828. Telford had found no data on the tensile strength of iron wire ready to hand and accessible in English.

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