By Mr. Donald Wolf
Fog, tide, ice, and human error--before the yankee Revolution those that ventured to move the enormous Hudson Valley waterway did so on ferryboats powered by way of people, animals, or even fierce winds. ahead of that struggle, now not a unmarried Hudson River bridge or tunnel were outfitted. It wasn't until eventually american citizens regarded to the land within the struggle for independence that the significance of crossing the river successfully turned a subject matter of significant curiosity, particularly militarily. Later, the wishes of a brand new transportation procedure grew to become critical--when steam railroads first rolled alongside there has been no functional option to get them around the water with out bridges.Crossing the Hudson maintains this tale quickly after the tip of the warfare, in 1805, whilst the 1st bridge used to be accomplished. Donald E. Wolf at the same time tracks the founding of the cities and villages alongside the water's aspect and the improvement of applied sciences reminiscent of steam and inner combustion that demanded new how one can move the river. therefore, leading edge engineering was once created to supply for those resources.From hybrid, bushes arch, and truss bridges on stone piers to long-span suspension and cantilevered bridges, railroad tunnels, and enhancements in iron and metal know-how, the development feats that go the Hudson characterize technical attractiveness and actual attractiveness. Crossing the Hudson unearths their usually multileveled stories--a background of the place, why, while, and the way those buildings have been equipped; the social, political, and advertisement forces that motivated judgements to erect them; the personalities of the planners and developers; the original connection among a builder and his bridge; and the layout and building suggestions that became legendary pursuits into constructions of application and wonder. (20090323)
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Extra info for Crossing the Hudson: Historic Bridges and Tunnels of the River
What had come to be known as the Green Island Bridge (it had originally been called simply the Rensselaer and Saratoga Bridge) became a modern wrought-iron structure. The railroad systems that relied on the Green Island Bridge would later be absorbed into the Delaware and Hudson Railroad system, and not long after the turn of the twentieth century, as rail traªc declined and automobile 01chap1_Layout 1 1/14/2010 3:00 PM Page 29 Steam and a Bridge at Troy 29 traªc increased, the future of the bridge as a rail crossing became increasingly tenuous.
That very large and prestigious ﬁrm had since 1790 been producing and fabricating a wide variety of iron products that reﬂected the ebb and ﬂow of the company’s ownership and of the changing American culture itself. Unlike later ﬁrms that would concentrate exclusively on designing or fabricating or erecting ironwork, Phoenix Iron (and a small number of similar ﬁrms of the time) did the designing and fabricating in its own shops or in the shops of wholly owned subsidiaries, and then went out and erected the work with its own forces.
The Hudson River Bridge Company had avoided providing construction details in advance, and under the circumstances most people had expected that the new bridge would reﬂect “state of the art” technology. What they got was a bridge made of wood. The main superstructure employed a system of Howe trusses made of heavy timber, with top and bottom chords and diagonals rarely smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches and with iron verticals and a deck framed in heavy timber. 12 01chap1_Layout 1 1/14/2010 3:00 PM Page 38 38 c ros s ing t he hud son The use of wood instead of iron as the principal building material wasn’t the only surprise.