How Bridges were Constructed

Film clip

Have you ever wondered how bridges were built over a century ago? What types of tools and manpower were used to complete the crossing? And most of all, how workers took pride in their completed artwork spanning a major river?

While we’ve advanced much further in our technologies in making fancier bridges, many of the civil engineers and bridge lovers have probably come across a film clip similar to this one above.  It’s basically a clip featuring workers putting together a major crossing made of steel. It’s a silent film that was produced over a century ago and the construction of the bridge resembled a boy putting a building together- first with an Erector set when it was introduced at the beginning of the 20th Century, then later with other construction sets which require the use of steel parts, nuts and bolts  and the like, just to produce a prized work. Every engineering and bridge building great started off small with an Erector set.

Nowadays, we put our bridges together with Lego blocks, and even though the artwork looks nice, it takes away much of the fun it would be needed just to screw something together. With Legoes come the change in technological ways of building a bridge. The question is how.

Take a look at this video and ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. How were bridges built together then in comparison with today?
  2. What technologies existed between then and now?
  3. How much time do you think it took to build a bridge like in the clip? How is that in today’s world?
  4. Do you think modern bridges or “oldtimer” bridges are easier to build? What about safer?
  5. If there was an opportunity to bring back old technological tactics that worked for bridge building, what would it be and why?
  6. What lessons could we learn in bridge building from this clip?

 

And lastly, where was this bridge located? 🙂

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