Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Bend in the River

With most all of the home state wooden bridge connections in some measure explored, I thought it time we round a bend –

This subject is a wide and long river, with many tributaries. There are other State’s with other stories, and at times we have let the current find for us a far flung stream to explore. It is time to again toss a pebble into the waters and see where the concentric ripples might take us.

McCullam's Patent Timber Bridge 1852 - Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

McCullam’s Patent Timber Bridge 1852 – Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

And while history is one of the deeper channels, it is not all there is to churn up in the waters, and not all I hope to find with the exploration that is this weblog. Contrarily, though forever tied to their common era of construction, I do not see such constructions as solely a part of the past, my intent is also to explore their future.

So with this entry I thought we might examine why so many see their time as as having passed into the past. The natural assumption of many seems to be that old technology is best left to that past, that this technology was superseded with reason.

I would contend that the time proven superior service lives of this technology proves otherwise, and should earn Joined Timber Wooden Through Truss Bridges a second look. Likewise, the load carrying capacities of common era railroad examples, should also derail another common misconception, as do the 20th century examples built in Oregon and British Columbia. These built to carry log trucks. Big Timber carrying big timber into the present day.

So I ask that you ponder what influences drove this change, is it a matter of superior methods and materials, or could it in part be that it is an almost natural inclination in human nature which has most of us (particularly those now tasked with designing the bridges that will carry us into the future) seeing new/er technology as necessarily better.

Just as a Plumb will always be one of the finest methods in describing the out of square relationships between two pieces of timber being joined - Joined Timber Wooden Bridges new & old, will always be a time proven way to the other side

Just as a Plumb will always be the finest in methods for describing the out of square relationships between two pieces of timber being joined – Joined Timber Wooden Bridges new & old, will always be a time proven way to the other side

So just around the bend these pages will explore both more of method, more of the practice of this nearly abandoned trade of wooden bridgewrighting, and why the trade is seen as a lost art. And why proven method, and a fine eminently available highly workable and renewable resource material is for this purpose now all but abandoned.