Whether built of stone, brick, wood, iron, steel, or concrete, bridges have captivated our imaginations more than any other man-made structures.
Whether built of wood, stone, iron, steel, or concrete, bridges have captivated our imaginations more than any other man-made structures. In David Plowden's words, "there is no more overt, powerful, or rational expression of accomplishment—of man's ability to build." And Americans, in particular, have excelled in this structural art. This book explores in depth how, when, where, and by whom the most important North American bridges were built. Over 185 of Plowden's superb photographs allow us to dwell on the most important scientific and aesthetic qualities of each bridge. In addition, Plowden has included original designs and drawings of structures—some unbuilt, gone, or dramatically altered—illuminating less obvious aspects of these engineering marvels and introducing us to bridges we otherwise would never have seen. In his extensive text, Plowden vividly records the discoveries, misconceptions, struggles, failures, and triumphs of the men who dedicated their energies to bridge design and construction. In the more than twenty-five years since this classic book was first published, bridges have been lost, and others have been built; some of the best examples of new bridges are included in this new, revised edition. All the photographs have been reprinted to achieve the best duotone reproduction. With this new edition, Bridges is the most thorough and beautiful volume ever published on the subject—a passionate and powerful argument for our continued reverence of these wonderful structures.