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Historic Bridge Essays

HistoricBridges.org offers a selection of essays and research papers about historic bridge topics below.

Historic Bridge Essays

Bridging The Generations: The Evolution of Metal Truss Bridges in Michigan

Written by Nathan Holth, this essay discusses historic bridge development with a focus on metal truss bridges and Michigan. It also discusses the rich history of one bridge, the Indian Trail Bridge in St. Clair County, Michigan. It can be accessed using two PDF versions below. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. This essay is suitable both for people interested in learning the basics about metal truss bridges, those interested in learning about how metal truss bridges changed over the decades, and those interested in learning how Michigan's bridge building decisions changed over time.

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There are two versions, both with the same content, but one has compressed photos in it to reduce the file size. These are in PDF format, and so you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free download at Adobe's website, to view them.

Compressed PDF Version - 1.9 Megabytes

Standard PDF Version - 4.4 Megabytes

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The Rise and Fall of Bowstring Arch Bridges in the USA 1850-1890

Jason D. Smith composed this short essay that discussed the history, design, and significance of the bowstring truss bridge, which is today the oldest and rarest of the general metal truss bridge types. This essay is suitable both for people interested in learning more about an uncommon, but highly significant bridge type.

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There are two versions, both with the same content, but in different file formats, so you can select which format you prefer.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Version - 31 Kilobytes

Microsoft Word Document - 55 Kilobytes

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Creating by Doing: The Invention and Innovation of Unusual Truss Bridges in the United States 1850-1930

Jason D. Smith has composed an excellent, detailed essay that unravels the mysteries surrounding some of the rare truss configurations found in the United State, such as the Pegram truss, and the Kellogg truss. This essay is suitable for people wishing to learn about an unusual truss bridge they have seen, and also for those simply interested in learning how diverse and innovative the engineers of during the truss bridge era were. It is an important essay in that it discusses an area of truss bridge not previously readily available on the Internet.

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There are two versions, both with the same content, but in different file formats, so you can select which format you prefer.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Version - 1.2 Megabytes

Microsoft Word Document - 1.4 Megabytes

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Chimney Rock Bridge, Winneshiek County, Iowa

Jason D. Smith's article on a historic pin-connected Parker truss in Iowa

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Turkey River Bowstring Bridge, Winneshiek County, Iowa

Jason D. Smith's article on a historic Wrought Iron Bridge Company bowstring truss in Iowa

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