Wrought Iron Bridge Company

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Wrought Iron Bridge Company
Industry Civil Engineering
Founded 1864
Headquarters Canton, Ohio
Key people David Hammond, founder
Products bridge building
construction

The Wrought Iron Bridge Company was a bridge fabrication and construction company based in Canton, Ohio, United States. It specialized, as the name would suggest, in the fabrication of iron truss bridges and was a prolific bridge builder in the late 19th century. It was one of the 28 firms consolidated by J. P. Morgan into the American Bridge Company in 1900.[1] Many of its bridges have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Products[edit]

The Wrought Iron Bridge Company specialized in relatively short-span iron truss bridges. Most were built for highway use, as the railroads were all privately owned at the time and employed their own engineers. The company supplied a catalog of bridge designs and mass-produced the parts to build these designs. Once a bridge was ordered, the pieces were shipped by train to the nearest station. Thus, local contractors were able to assemble a bridge very quickly, much like a model.

1882 pamphlet[edit]

Illustration of a single intersection Pratt truss

An illustrated pamphlet, dated 1882, is available online. In this pamphlet, Wrought Iron Bridge claims that "during the past 18 years this firm have erected nearly 4,300 spans, varying in length from 20 to 300 feet." At the time of publication, the company had worked in 26 US States, Canada and Mexico.

Wrought Iron Bridge were able to assemble their bridges very quickly and the pamphlet claims that they "have completed 100 to 140 foot spans at points from 100 to 300 miles distant from our works in 8 to 15 days." They were not quite as fast on larger bridges, but the "350 foot bridge, 38 foot wide, built at New Philadelphia, Ohio, was completed for travel in 40 days from the receipt of the contract," a speed unheard of for modern construction, often because of legal red tape.

Surviving bridges[edit]

[2]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Wrought Iron Bridge Co. (1882). Illustrated Pamphlet of Wrought Iron Bridges [Electronic version]. Canton, Ohio. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://digital.lib.lehigh.edu/cdm4/bridges_viewer.php?DMTHUMB=&CISOPTR=366&ptr=391&view=de
Structurae online article: http://en.structurae.de/firms/data/index.cfm?ID=f000652