America's Covered Bridges: Practical Crossings?Nostalgic Icons

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Tuttle Publishing, Mar 25, 2014 - History - 272 pages
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As many as 15,000 covered bridges were built in North America over the past 200 years. Fewer than 1,000 remain.

In America's Covered Bridges, authors Terry E. Miller and Ronald G. Knapp tell the fascinating story of these bridges, how they were built, the technological breakthroughs required to construct them and above all the dedication and skill of their builders. Each wooden bridge, whether still standing or long gone, has a story to tell about the nature of America at the time—not only about its transportational needs, but the availability of materials and the technological prowess of the people who built it.

Illustrated with some 550 historical and contemporary photos, paintings, and technical drawings of nearly 400 different covered bridges, America's Covered Bridges offers five readable chapters on the history, design and fate of America's covered bridges, plus related bridges in Canada. Most of the contemporary photography is by master photographer A. Chester Ong of Hong Kong.

55 photo essays on the most iconic bridges including:
  • Cornish-Windsor Bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire
  • Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge, Maine
  • East Paden and West Paden (Twin Bridges), Pennsylvania
  • Philippi Bridge, West Virginia
  • Hortons Mill Bridge, Alabama
  • Medora Bridge, Indiana
  • Rock Mill Bridge, Ohio
  • Knight's Ferry Bridge, California
  • Perrault Bridge, Quebec, Canada
  • Hartland Bridge, New Brunswick, Canada
Over time, wooden bridges eventually gave way to ones made of iron, steel and concrete. An American icon, many covered bridges became obsolete and were replaced—others simply decayed and collapsed. Many more were swept away by natural disasters and fires. America's Covered Bridges is absolutely packed with fascinating stories and information passionately told by two leading experts on this subject. The book will be of tremendous interest to anyone interested in American history, carpentry and technological change.
 

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About the author (2014)

Terry E. Miller began visiting covered bridges with his father, Max T. Miller, in 1953 and has since visited more than 1,000 in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China, and researched the bridges of two Ohio counties from dusty handwritten journals. Miller spent his career teaching Ethnomusicology at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, retiring in 2005. In addition to his research and writings on the music of mainland Southeast Asia, he is the coauthor of the popular textbook "World Music: A Global Journey."
Ronald G. Knapp is a historical-cultural geographer at State University of New York at New Paltz, where he taught from 1968 to 2001. For the past forty-five years his research has focused on China's frontier history and Chinese vernacular architecture, with many books that celebrate these traditions. His book, "Chinese Bridges: Living Architecture from China's Pas"t introduced China's covered bridges to Western readers and has served as the model for "America's Covered Bridges: Practical Crossings--Nostalgic Icons.

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