Jason D. Smith’s interest in historic bridges goes as far back as his days in elementary school in his hometown of Jackson, Minnesota (USA) where numerous vintage metal bridges had existed during his days. As they started dwindling rapidly, he started photgraphing and documenting them so that the public would know more about the bridges both past and present. Much of his work can be found on James Baughn’s Bridgehunter.com page (for American bridges) , Nic Janberg’s International Structure Database (for European Bridges), and Nathan Holth’s HistoricBridges.org website (facts about bridge types). This column is designed to inform the public on the bridges that he visited and photographed but also those in the news that should receive attention because of either the threat of demolition or because of their success being restored for future use. The goal is to draw as much attention and support for these vintage structures so that they can visit them before they vanish from the scene forever. Apart from this column he also runs the Flensburg Files online column, which focuses on German-American topics.
Smith holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, History and Education at the University of Jena (Germany) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, German, and Political Science at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota (USA), and has been teaching English for foreigners since 2001. He is a research assistent at the Institute of English and American Studies at the Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena but is also a freelance teacher of technical and business English He makes his home in Jena with his wife and daughter.