Washington Roebling's Father: A Memoir of John A. Roebling

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ASCE Publications, Jan 1, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 294 pages
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Even among legendary engineers, the Roebling family stands out. The brilliant and irascible patriarch John A. Roebling achieved renown as a canal engineer, bridge designer, and innovator of wire rope?a technology that makes possible modern suspension bridges, high-rise elevators, construction cranes, and cable cars. All four of John's sons inherited the family business, but only the eldest?the reserved, thoughtful Washington?staked an independent claim to fame, most notably for his work on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Between 1893 and 1907, Washington Roebling wrote about his father's life, character, career, and achievements with candor and intimate family details. Part biography, part memoir, Washington Roebling's Father makes available for the first time the text of this remarkable manuscript. Donald Sayenga, an internationally recognized authority on the history of wire rope, has pain­stakingly transcribed the original manuscript and tracked down annotations for hundreds of people, places, events, and technologies.

Washington Roebling's Father: A Memoir of John A. Roebling is both an accurate and complete biography of John and a frank narrative of Washington 's memories and inner life. As a rare glimpse into the genius and failings of two towering figures, this book is a must-read for civil engineers, bridge enthusiasts, and industrial historians.

  

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Contents

Mühlhausen
1
Paradise Envisioned
13
An American Engineer
29
Saxonburg People
53
Wire Rope
67
Pittsburgh
79
Trenton
113
The Niagara River
141
Pittsburgh and Trenton Revisited
179
The Ohio River
195
The East River
213
Mr John A Roebling
235
The Bridges of John A Roebling
241
References
249
Index
257
About the Editor
271

Troy
159
Iowa and the Panic
167

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About the author (2009)

Donald Sayenga is the historian and archivist for Wire Association International, a worldwide organization of wire industry professionals. He is a business consultant with offices in Pennsylvania and Arizona and a former sales executive for Bethlehem Steel's wire rope division. He is the author of Ellet and Roebling (Easton, 2001), as well as more than 100 articles. He is the 2010 recipient of ASCE's Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award.

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