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HistoricBridges.org Encyclopedia

HistoricBridges.org Encyclopedia

This portion of the website serves as a portal to a wide variety of media and resources relating to historic bridges. They are sorted into a couple different categories.

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HistoricBridges.org Presentations and Guides

HistoricBridges.org Presentations - HistoricBridges.org has given a number of presentations and speeches. The presentations below offer a look at the presentations that HistoricBridges.org can give, but also contain sufficient in-slide text to be effective ways for website visitors to learn about various historic bridge topics.

An Introduction to Historic Bridges - This is a crash course in the vast, rich world of historic bridges. If you are new to the world of historic bridges and are confused by any of the terms used on HistoricBridges.org and other bridge websites, these presentations are for you. If you are looking for a list of truss bridge configurations with example bridges, these presentations are for you.

Historic Bridges: General Information

 Historic Bridge Essays - HistoricBridges.org offers a selection of essays and research papers about historic bridge topics here.

Iron and Steel Brands: A Catalog of Steel Mill Marks  - A List of with numerous photos of the various iron and steel brands encountered on historic bridges.

Michigan's Signature R4 Railings: The Evolution and Design of a Railing That Defined 30 Years of Bridges - Perhaps no other single feature unites bridges built in Michigan from 1932 to the early 1960s than the beautiful R4 railings which often adorned these bridges. With a healthy combination of photos and text, this is an in-depth discussion of the development and design of the R4 railing standard in Michigan as well as an exploration of a connection to railings seen on bridges in Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

Concrete Camelback Bridges (Curved Chord Through Girder Bridges)- Learn about, take a look at, and compare the features of Michigan's unique type of historic bridge.

Historic Bridge Park - A comprehensive visitor's guide to this unique park located in Calhoun County, Michigan whose focus is the restored truss bridges within the park.

Darnell Plus - A List of Bridge Companies, Locations, and Years of Operation. List created by Victor Darnell and expanded by James Stewart.

A Study of the Groton Bridge Company - A copy of a 1985 thesis by Pamela Jo Thurber that is noteworthy for its extensive discussion of the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York

Historic Bridge Patents - A list of some of the most important/noteworthy patents relating to historic bridges. Emphasis placed upon patents associated with bridges that have been documented on HistoricBridges.org

"Bridge" In Other Languages - This is a simple table that lists translations of the word "bridge" as returned by Google Translate. All languages offered by Google Translate are shown in this list.

Bridge Databases and Inventories

Dr. James L. Cooper Historic Indiana Bridges Database - Much like a state historic bridge inventory, this is a list of information about bridges in Indiana. The portion of this database which was to include photos is currently incomplete.

National Bridge Inventory Search Tool: This is a simple search tool to review the most commonly used National Bridge Inventory data.

Ohio Historic Bridge Inventory and Assessment (Excel Spreadsheet) - This is the detailed historic bridge inventory that includes paragraphs for each bridge describing its significance and assessment, as well as structure type, etc.

Indiana Historic Bridge Inventory (Excel Spreadsheet) - This is the detailed historic bridge inventory that includes paragraphs for each bridge describing its significance and assessment, as well as structure type, etc. Note that this inventory has recieved some updates that will not be shown in this document.

Pennsylvania Historic Bridge Inventory (Excel Spreadsheet) - This is the detailed historic bridge inventory that includes paragraphs for each bridge describing its significance and assessment, as well as structure type, etc. Note that this inventory has recieved some updates that will not be shown in this document.

Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory 1995: Metal Truss Bridges - An interactive table that lists nearly every truss bridge in Michigan as of 1995.

Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory 1995: The Survey Sample - A PDF digitized version of the official 1995 Historic Bridge Inventory, which offers a listing and overview of historic bridges in Michigan. While many of the bridges have been demolished, it is still an invaluable tool in narrowing down where the interesting bridges in Michigan are. In addition the inventory features some interesting stories about Michigan's transportation history.

Japan Historic Bridge Inventory (Google MyMaps) - In 2021, HistoricBridges.org went through an old 2002 Japanese language inventory of historic metal bridges and mapped as many as possible to Google Maps. Girder bridges (except for lattice girders) were not mappyed, nor were "modern style" largely welded/bolted truss bridges that were built in Japan starting in the 1950s and remain common today. In this sense, the map is not a "complete" listing of interesting bridges in Japan, rather it is intended to help visitors to Japan narrow down an itinerary of high significance bridges to visit. For that reason, high significance bridges are color coded in a special group. In addition, this map contains additional metal bridges of interest that were not in the inventory, as well as concrete bridges discovered by HistoricBridges.org. While none of this should be considered comprehensive, the concrete coverage is far less complete because these bridges were not inventoried by Japan. It should nevertheless be a fairly complete listing of the top historic bridges in Japan. Each bridge mapped through the inventory contains a link to the bridge's entry in the inventory. Download a KML version of this map. View a list of bridges that were unmapped, either because they were demolished or not enough information was available to locate them.

Europe Historic Bridge Map (Google MyMaps) - Originally created on Microsoft Autoroute for internal use only by HistoricBridges.org, this map has been exported to Google MyMaps and contains a large percentage of known historic metal bridges in the United Kingdom, France, and a few other places in Europe. As an exported map, a lot of data was not transfered in the export, so no comments or hyperlinks are available for each point. Also, many of the bridges are labeled using shorthand that may not make sense to the general public. Download a KML version of this map.

Canada Heritage Bridge Map (Google MyMaps) - Originally created on Microsoft Streets for internal use only by HistoricBridges.org, this map has been exported to Google MyMaps and contains a large percentage of known heritage metal bridges in Canada (some bridges already on the Bridge Browser may be excluded). As an exported map, a lot of data was not transfered in the export, so no comments or hyperlinks are available for each point. Also, many of the bridges are labeled using shorthand that may not make sense to the general public. Download a KML version of this map.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser Map (12/15/2021) (Google MyMaps) - This is a Google MyMaps map showing all bridges listed on HistoricBridges.org as of December 15, 2021. It is a static map and does NOT update with additions to the bridge browser. Due to the time required to make this map it will not be updated often. Please use the county-by-county Google Maps views within the Bridge Browser for realtime maps including all recently added bridges. Download a KML version of this map.

Old Historic Bridge Articles

Below are old features no longer maintained on this website. You may find errors, things that do not load, etc. Use at your own risk.

Historical Connections: Historic Metal Water Towers - If you like metal truss bridges, you might be interested in other structures that were built using the exact same elements as truss bridges, including structural metal (v-laced steel for example) and construction methods (pinned connections for example). This collection of photos not only represents these forgotten towers, it also serves to reveal the stunning similarities these towers have to metal truss bridges.

Photographic Detour - A Photographic Collection of the Natural World - This is a sort of mini-website. Between visiting bridges and my own general explorations, I have developed a decent collection of nature-related photos. This is a sort of mini-website. I have a lot of close-up insect photos, as well as an extensive photographic library of frogs found in Michigan.

Turning the Tide - Help an important piece of historic bridge legislation revised and passed in 2007 to increase historic bridge preservation: A guide to write letters to U.S. government officials and legislators. These proposed changes did not pass in 2006 because the government felt that not enough citizens had spoken up in favor of historic bridges. Help change that!

Nicol Road Bridge Guardrail Project - As much as I wanted to save the entire Nicol Road Bridge from the dumpster, I just didn't have the resources to do it. Thanks to the contractors who were tearing the bridge down, I was able to end up with the the lattice guardrails from the bridge. Luke Gordon is working with these railings to restore and reuse them on a private crossing. This is a discussion and gallery of the early stages of this project.

The Hall of Fame and Shame - A table discussing both places that have gone above the call of duty to preserve historic bridges, as well as those places that have committed horrible atrocities against historic bridges.

Ancient Articles - These are old articles from the earlier days of this website, when it was run by a single person and was more of a personal journal about bridges. These articles are outdated and are kept for archival purposes only.

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