Portal:Bridges/Selected biography/3

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Albert Fink

Albert Fink (October 27, 1827 – April 3, 1897) was a German civil engineer. He is best known for his railroad bridge designs, and devising the Fink truss.

Born in Lauterbach, Hesse, Germany, he studied architecture and engineering at the Polytechnic school in Darmstadt, and graduated in 1848. In 1849 he emigrated to the United States. He soon found work with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a draftsman, and became chief office assistant to Benjamin H. Latrobe. In this position he oversaw the design and construction of buildings and bridges. With the construction of the road between Cumberland, Maryland and Wheeling, West Virginia (then in the state of Virginia). Fink supervised much of the design, and oversaw the building of some of the first iron bridges in the nation, including that over the Monongahela River in Fairmont, West Virginia. It was this bridge that first implemented his design of the Fink truss, and was in fact in its time the longest iron railroad bridge. With the completion of this portion of road, the section between Grafton and Parkersburg, West Virginia was commenced, and many of the bridges and tunnels of this route were also supervised by him. He was also during this time a consulting engineer of the Norfolk and Petersburg railway, which was at the time building the bridge at Norfolk, Virginia. He left the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in 1857 to become the assistant of George McLeod, chief engineer of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Under them he built numerous bridges, including the Green River Bridge in Kentucky, then the longest iron bridge in the nation, a bridge in Nashville, Tennessee over the Cumberland, and one over the Ohio at Louisville, Kentucky, which at one mile in length was the longest truss bridge of its time.

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