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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Header Image Info..

Reader "M" sends:

Sir,
I have noted exactly this sort of thing on many occasions…. where you find an old picture of some sort of engineering operation, and wonder how the hell this was accomplished without OSHA rules or paid vacation????

For example, if you regard images of the construction of the Firth of Forth bridge…. what an undertaking. All by hand, or mostly so. With such precision and real craftsmanship. Taken for granted by those who were there, an everyday thing that was done to great acclaim. Still in use to this day.

These sorts of things bring home what has been lost. -M-  

/reply

M

WOW... I spent some time googling info about that bridge. It's amazing the engineering feats that were accomplished as you noted.  The specification list and logistics of all the materials and manpower.

Truly awe inspiring.

Thanks M!!


Now I have to go on a google mission, "what is the Firth of Forth bridge?"

 

 

 Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and it was opened on 4 March 1890 by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. The bridge spans the Forth between the villages of South Queensferry and North Queensferry and has a total length of 8,094 feet (2,467 m). It was the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world until 1917 when the Quebec Bridge in Canada was completed. It continues to be the world’s second-longest single cantilever span. The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure is owned by Network Rail Infrastructure Limited. It is sometimes referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge, though this has never been its official name. 


/snip

The bridge uses 55,000 tonnes (54,000 long tons; 61,000 short tons) of steel and 140,000 cubic yards (110,000 m3) of masonry. Many materials, including granite from Aberdeen, Arbroath rubble, sand, timber, and sometimes coke and coal, could be taken straight to the centre where they were required. Steel was delivered by train and prepared at the yard at South Queensferry before being painted with boiled linseed oil before being taken to where it was needed by barge. 


Above info from here <<< 

 

18 Tons of paint are used annually... < what??

 

 

 

 

 

Header image from this posting here<<<<

 

  These guys probably didn't complain like my crew nowadays:






 

Go spend some time reading about that engineering marvel.








 





 

24 comments:

  1. I can see it from my front door ...

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  2. Simultaneous reactions of wonder and embarrassment: Amazing work and the contrast to today is clear.

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  3. The first Quebec bridge fell down during construction, killing over 100 workers. It turned out there were design errors. Once result was the formation of The Order of the Engineer. Members take an oath to do their best. The original Order is Canadian, and there is a separate order in the US. The American Society of Civil Engineers supports the Order and encourages all its members to take the oath.

    Members of both the Canadian and America societies wear a stainless steel ring on the pinky finger of their off hand. Originally the rings were made of wrought iron, the material of the Quebec bridge, but it tends to rust.

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  4. Buildings, bridges, ships, trains, the men in that generation didn't have cad/cam, they had their brains.

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  5. Those guys were fearless, worked in what I would consider "working suits". I'm sure the shoes weren't leather soles, but rubber. Which would be rather stiff in cold weather, and still slippery when the weather was bad or fog descended on the structure.
    An amazing construction! Still.

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  6. In re: paint -- the Golden Gate bridge gets 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of paint put on it every year to prevent corrosion. At 8-ish pounds per gallon that'd be 40,000 to 80,000 pounds, or 20 to 40 tons. So the amount on this Forth bridge doesn't seem out of line at all.

    https://www.sftravel.com/golden-gate-bridge#:~:text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%205%2C000%20-%2010%2C000%20gallons,into%20San%20Francisco%20Bay%20from%20the%20Pacific%20Ocean.

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  7. Absolutely outstanding and could never be built today.

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    Replies
    1. Sure it could! However, with modern metallurgy, CAD, stress analysis, etc. it would be thinner and use less material. If you mean would it be built by steam-powered engines, of course not.

      Technology marches on.

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    2. Part of the disbelief that such projects can't be accomplished today is not technology but the shallowness of our populations' spirit and individualism. Another part is the nattering from the "leaders" about irreparable damage to our increasingly fragile environment. How did we ever survive without constant nagging from the scolding class?

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  8. Hell of a thing. Now those are the jobs Americans just wouldn't do anymore.

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  9. Hey Irish;

    Very impressive, and you are right, makes me wonder what was lost by our society that we can't build such things any more but we can churn out gender studies assholes by the bushels though....

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  10. Please stop using and promoting use of G000gleplex search. There are other good options that are not EVIL. Thank you.

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  11. One thing to be aware of with this bridge is that it was one of the first big ones made with steel. There had been recent several disasters with cast iron bridges, and a few smart engineers had found that cast iron could be used for the compression parts of a truss (squeezing), with wrought iron for the parts under tension (stretching). This worked, but public confidence in iron bridges was low. Steel, even mild steel, is stronger in both compression and tension than any kind of iron, but it needs nearly constant care; iron rusts on the surface but then seals itself off, whereas steel rusts all the way through. So steel bridges had to be painted, or made from galvanized steel, etc.

    The most efficient truss bridge, called a Warren truss, cannot be made with iron, as each part of the truss switches from being under tension to being under compression as the load moves across the bridge.

    The Eiffel Tower, built a few years later, is wrought iron. It just sits there, so the load is always static and entirely under compression. Cast iron would have been stronger, but much harder to create the large pieces needed. And cast iron tends to be more fragile than wrought, so a bit of bending in high winds could have been a disaster. France did not have the ability to make that much steel then either.

    So 140 years later, after countless coats of paint, the Firth of Forth still works just fine.

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  12. One thing to be aware of with this bridge is that it was one of the first big ones made with steel. There had been recent several disasters with cast iron bridges, and a few smart engineers had found that cast iron could be used for the compression parts of a truss (squeezing), with wrought iron for the parts under tension (stretching). This worked, but public confidence in iron bridges was low. Steel, even mild steel, is stronger in both compression and tension than any kind of iron, but it needs nearly constant care; iron rusts on the surface but then seals itself off, whereas steel rusts all the way through. So steel bridges had to be painted, or made from galvanized steel, etc.

    The most efficient truss bridge, called a Warren truss, cannot be made with iron, as each part of the truss switches from being under tension to being under compression as the load moves across the bridge.

    The Eiffel Tower, built a few years later, is wrought iron. It just sits there, so the load is always static and entirely under compression. Cast iron would have been stronger, but much harder to create the large pieces needed. And cast iron tends to be more fragile than wrought, so a bit of bending in high winds could have been a disaster. France did not have the ability to make that much steel then either.

    So 140 years later, after countless coats of paint, the Firth of Forth still works just fine.

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  13. From the days when men were men,days long gone

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  14. A very stark, ironic and sad reminder of what our society was once capable of. From the Forth bridge, Brooklyn bridge, Golden Gate bridge, to Saturn 5 and many other great engineering/construction endevours to current time. We "Woke" up alright and went to sleep for ever.

    Vermillion

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  15. I'm going to the links and read this up. Thanks

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  16. I was Senior Bridge engineer for a really large city in So Cal. This gives me a chubby. Great pics. What hey did with their available technology is awesome

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  17. That was an astounding feat for it's time. Mind boggling actually.
    Think steam shovel technology.

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  18. Great stuff. Youngest son saw it: "Whoa, way more impressive than the Golden Gate."

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  19. I somwe what recall a Kipling poem written about a bridge that fell. Is this the 2nd bridge over the Fourth?

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  20. The designers had to do this with nothing but pencil, paper, and perhaps a slide rule. No computers for them. Just like any of the technology up until the mid to late 1950's. There is more computer power in a musical greeting card than existed in the entire world in the early 1950's.
    But don't think that technology is a bad thing. For those of us who are gun owners, and shoot them for pleasure or for hunting, etc. the gun that you might own, like me, that you paid 300$ for, like a Taurus G3, would have cost probably 1k$ to be made by a craftsman and designed by an engineer with pencil and paper. It might have been even more, given the wages of today.
    And for bridges, with computers have made them safer, using less materials, and built in a faster time, requiring fewer workers, than those of old. Of course, there is no comparison to the bridges like the Firth of Forth or a Colt Peacemaker,made by hand,as compared to a CAD designed and machine build gun. Of course some of the guns of today can be quite beautiful, but just knowing the man hours, and the skill and the soul that the gunsmith that are behind the gun, only adds to the mystique of the gun, and in some ways, makes you see it in a different light.
    I live in Michigan, and met the guy who used to change the light bulbs on the Mackinac bridge. And no matter how many times I head up there, and visit that might bridge, it still takes my breath away, when I first spot it. It is like a competition, in the car, to see who can spot it first. And just knowing that it was built so long ago, when much of the labor was done, not by machines, but with a lot of man power and determination, only adds to it's beauty. Driving across the bridge often makes some people scared, but I just love doing it. Knowing that I am going to the upper Peninsula, where Father Marquette walked, and driving some of the back roads with their wilderness feel, changes you, and feeds your soul.
    Driving across the bottom of the upper Peninsula, on US 2, has been called one of the most beautiful road trips in the nation. I have only been around 100 miles away from the bridge that way, but it the spring, and while there was still some snow in the woods,the day time temps were in the low 60's, and myself and a few friends were there to net smelt, from one of the small creeks that flowed into Lake Michigan. That was around 30 years ago, and was one of my favorite outdoor memories of living my entire life in Michigan. And we not only got a lot of smelt, maybe 40 gallons or so, but we also got a bunch of suckers, another so called " trash" fish that when cared and cooked correctly, rivals trout for flavor and mouth feel. Right now, in late Sept. and early Oct. the big fish run in the rivers and streams is Coho salmon, Chinook Salmon, and King Salmon, planted in lake Michigan back in the late 60's and early 70's. In the mid 70's, my twin brother and I used to catch them in the river that ran through the middle of our home town,by the name of Hesperia. Hesperia, Michigan, not California. We had a family of 7, so we ate and froze them, gave them away, sold them, and never wasted a single fish. The fish, by the way, spawned, and then died. So if we happened to foul hook one, we didn't throw it back, but kept it. Ok, so we used weighted treble hooks to fish with and foul hooked them on purpose. We were 13-15, and were helping to feed our family. Plus, a 25 pound fish, on a rod and reel in a river that was less than 50 yards across, and in many places 4-5 feet deep, was a rush.

    Be well, and stay safe.
    pigpen51

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