Charles Alton Ellis

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Charles Alton Ellis (1876–1949) was a professor, structural engineer and mathematician who was chiefly responsible for the structural design of the Golden Gate Bridge. Because of a dispute with Joseph Strauss, he was not recognized for his work when the bridge opened in 1937.

Ellis was born in Parkman, Maine in 1876 and earned a degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University (where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity) and a graduate certificate in engineering (C.E.) from the University of Illinois.[1][2] During his career, he was a professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, and Purdue University.[3]

A dispute over the time it was taking to complete the design led Strauss to accuse Ellis of wasting time and money, and to dismiss him from the project.[4] The copy of the engineering drawings for the Golden Gate Bridge on file at the Library of Congress is signed by Ellis,[5] but the plaque placed on the bridge in 1937 did not give him any credit.[6]

As of May 10, 2007, Ellis was officially given recognition for his part in the designing process of the Golden Gate Bridge.[7]


  1. ^ Morris (2004), p. 4.
  2. ^ "Golden Gate Bridge" (2004).
  3. ^ Morris (2004), pp. 4–5.
  4. ^ Daniels (2004).
  5. ^ Morris (2004), p.13.
  6. ^ Morris (2004), p.5.
  7. ^ Nolte, Carl (May 11, 2007). "Golden Gate Bridge engineer finally gets recognition". The San Francisco Chronicle.