Talk:Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 7, 2008.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 26, 2008 Peer review Reviewed
October 5, 2008 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 26, 2008.
Current status: Featured article

2008 re-write[edit]

Seeing as this is just a stub, I am going to write a full article on this bridge in the next few days. I think I have pretty much everything I need from McCullough, Trachtenberg, Griggs, and many more. I would be writing up how the bridge was conceived, how it was built, and its impact. Target is for this article to be featured. Help and suggestions are welcome. Jappalang (talk) 07:22, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Okay, first draft in place. Moving on. Jappalang (talk) 00:13, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Reassessed for WP Trains as B-class mid-importance. I suggest that once you have a stable article (if its stable now, then thats fine) that you submit it for WP:GAN; its probably good enough for WP:FAC. You don't need a Peer Review for GAN, but it's recommended for FAC. I don't have time at the moment to do a Peer Review for you, but if no one else does it in the next week I have a go; but I'm not that good at US spelling and grammar.Pyrotec (talk) 10:45, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Did you know...[edit]

Niagara rail 2.jpg

Colony then country[edit]

When the bridge was built, it connected the United States with the province of Canada, British North America. In 1867, Canada became part of the Dominion of Canada, and was subdivided, with Canada West becoming Ontario. GBC (talk) 07:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

In regards to this, what would be the problematic areas of this article? Could you point out the portions where they need correction? Jappalang (talk) 08:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the reference to the collapse of Broughton Suspension bridge, the Designer is given as Samuel Brown, yet this bridge is not listed amongst his acheivements elsewhere and there is a suggestion that it was designed by Hewes. JDN —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.31.202.145 (talk) 08:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Per Richard Scott, "Other English spans failed under load, including Brown's 1829 Broughton Bridge. Its 1831 collapse from marching soldiers setting up rhythmic vibrations resonant with the natural period of vibration of the bridge is said to have led to the rule to break step over bridges, although a French and Austrian span later collapsed for the same reason." What are the sources that state otherwise? Jappalang (talk) 08:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
[1] has flagged the attribution as questionable, and the WP article on Brown does not include it among bridges built by him. I have just created a stub for Broughton Suspension Bridge FWIW --Yendor1958 (talk) 07:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I have added a footnote in respect to this. I hope this is a satisfactory measure. Jappalang (talk) 08:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Dismantling[edit]

It'd be nice if a couple of sentences discussed how the bridge was dismantled; "a piece at a time" is begging for more detail. Tempshill (talk) 15:55, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the details of the dismantlement of the bridge are more pertinent to the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge as a construction section—the whole process is mostly intermixed, i.e. as one part is dismantled, it is replaced in function by a constructed item (technical details from Richard Buck's report, a primary source). I failed to find much secondary sources which delved into the details of the dismantlement (most just emphasized that the Suspension Bridge remained operational while it was being dismantled). Jappalang (talk) 01:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Well deserved FA[edit]

Glad to see this is now featured. One remaining question. How was the footbridge related to Ellet's final plan for the bridge? Was it going to be incorporated into the final structure? Was it planned to be part of Ellet's final structure? Was it intended to be used as scaffolding by Ellet or was that Roebling's idea? -- SamuelWantman 18:30, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Several sources mentioned (as per the article) that the footbridge would support the construction of Ellet's final bridge. I believe only Irwin's book and Benson John Lossing's pictorial field-book stated that it would be used as scaffolding (which Roebling did as well). Roebling might or might not have taken the idea from Ellet, so the present text seems to be fine. Jappalang (talk) 02:03, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't see where in the text it says that Ellet built the footbridge to support the construction of the final bridge, whether it was intended to be temporary or permanent, etc. Perhaps I missed it. -- SamuelWantman 10:39, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake... I overlooked this. I have inserted it in. Jappalang (talk) 11:07, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Can you find a few bigger pictures? I noticed that most of those black and white pictures in the second half are all the same size- which is really small. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.70.94.164 (talkcontribs) 19:14, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi, you can click on the pictures to view larger versions (I believe 750 × 758 pixels for Maria is quite big). The 356 × 229 pixels Image:Renovated Suspension Bridge.jpg might be considered small, but it is the only public domain image that I can find (we need confirmed dates or authors to prove the image is in public domain). You can go to the Commons link (in the External links section) to view other public domain pictures of the bridge. Jappalang (talk) 02:03, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Just an update that I managed to replace those small images with larger versions. Jappalang (talk) 02:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Roebling's educational credentials[edit]

Roebling was an engineering graduate from the Royal University of Berlin. This is as referenced from p. 74 of Billington. It is also stated in John A. Roebling: An Account of the Ceremonies at the Unveiling of a Monument to His Memory (1908, p. 26, Harvard University): "Thus it was that John Roebling was enabled to graduate from the Royal University of Berlin after a course at the Pedagogium of Erfurt, ...".[2] David Nye also said so in his American Technological Sublime (1996, p. 78, MIT): "John A. Roebling, an engineering graduate of the University of Berlin who had emigrated to the United States, ...".[3] Again his status as an engineer graduate is stated on p. 100 of 1955's Reader Digest: "John Roebling, graduate of the Royal Polytechnic School of Berlin, experimented with wire rope and made possible the modern suspension bridge." .[4]

Grigg's statement that "[Roebling] apparently never took the final exam to become a Baumeister (Building Master)" is also true. A Baumeister is a professional architect degree (status). Roebling is an engineering graduate, but never qualified (by not taking the exam) for Baumeister status. Engineers those days are involved in building structures, but they need not be architects (most American bridge builders before Ellet and Roeblings were not graduates of engineering or architecture even). Jappalang (talk) 05:40, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

First - This article is one of the best I have ever seen on Wikipedia. My posture is that it ought to be perfect rather than semiperfect.
Second - I am unfamilar with wikipedia's rules and methods and I don't have a clue how to fix the inaccurate parts of the article in the correct manner. I have tried several times. I have noted perhaps a dozen errors, all of which seem to derive from errors made by others long ago. I do have a lot of experience with encyclopaedia work.
Third - The article was vastly improved by Jappalang in 2008 but from what I can tell he/she was totally unaware of the extensive research on John A Roebling and on this specific bridge that was published in 2006 at the time of the bicentennial JAR symposia in Potsdam (German and English) and in Brooklyn (English only). All of the comments directly above by Jappalang indicate to me that Jappalang is serious about this article, but unaware of the scholarly studies by E. Grunsky, A. Kahlow, N. Güntheroth, and G. Werner published in 2006 (and unaware of some other subsequent work on the subject published by others) due to relying on the web.
Fourth - since I have not made any progress so far in my attempt to inject accuracy I am about to give up, but if using this talk page is an appropriate channel, perhaps Jappalang would be willing to make the changes - which would be OK with me. My intent is accuracy.
Fifth - Hoping this approach will work let's begin with one small point: there was no school in Berlin called Royal University of Berlin, or anything with a similar name, at the time JAR attended lectures at the Bauakademie in 1924. There is no way to be a graduate of a school that doesn't exist. He was not enrolled at the school established by Humboldt. Having attained his Feldmesser certificate via studies at Erfurt, and as a preliminary to gaining Baumeister status, he attended lectures for two semesters in Berlin and then worked four years on the job in Westfalen building roads. A baumeister was more than an architect - it was a combination of the discipline of architecture and civil engineering (we don't have anything like it today) and it was a status very difficult to attain in Prussia in the 1820s. The fact that Roebling himself had documented all this was unknown in the USA prior to 2006. Earlier writers (and there were plenty of them) including Henry Estabrook, David Steinman, David Billington, etc. all based their statements on data and information furnished by the John A Roebling's Sons company of Trenton NJ, which is now known to have been inaccurate. Griggs did his best in a small space to make an attempt to clean up the mess.
If we can get past this one small point, we can move on to the other inaccuracies, tackling them one at a time, with a proper citation for each, if Jappalang will do it for us. The Griggs statement and cite ought to be OK as is with the year corrected to 1824. Remove the sentence and Billington cite that follows it. Jaxmrclean (talk) 15:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I have not read any of the materials presented at the bicentennial of Roebling's birth in Potsdam. This is intriguing but I cannot find any English versions of what is presented there. What I found are only German: two summaries[5][6] and a longer exposition, both of which did not state what Roebling's credentials are (apparently Andreas Kahlow would be the one who detailed this aspect of the man). One aspect of Wikipedia is the reliance on reliable sources ("The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth" as stated in WP:V); if we are going to discount the information reported by Billington and the rest, we would need sources to counter their assertions. I would like to read the English versions of Kahlow's report, which seems to be his only published work[7] and requires purchase.[8] Can you provide me with them (either through online links, or email me scans of the report)?
Regardless, it seems the mystery is solved in the latest authorative source Washington Roebling's Father (2008) published by ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), Donald Sayenga reprints Washington Roebling's notes and added notes from the materials presented at the bicentennial. Sayenga states that Washington was the source for Roebling's biography (McCullough, Billington, and others) before 2006, and that Washington was ignorant of his father's background and had to do his own research, which resulted in perpetuated errors. I have added Sayenga's research and corrected Roebling's credentials. Therefore, thanks to Sagenya and you, we have an article based on the latest research. Note that I left out Roebling's non-qualification as a "Bumeister" as that would be more pertinent in his article (Roebling's background here is a summarized version). I would be happy to address your further concerns. Jappalang (talk) 02:10, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

You’ve fixed it, and the best article I’ve ever seen in wikipedia is now better. If you are still interested in getting more background on this small issue, I believe I can get you connected somehow with English texts of Dr. Güntheroth’s essays - she is the reigning expert on Roebling’s education. Dr. Kahlow’s essays have been published in English in several places during the last five years but all his research relates to JAR’s engineering theory and practice. Dr. Grunsky is concerned only with JAR’s 1825-1829 activity in Westfalen. Advise if you still do want to see hard copies.

The Name This approach we’re now taking seems to work, but I don’t know how to launch new subjects on this discussion page. The next subject I would like to broach, starting at the top, is the name. Until recently George Seibel of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission was more or less the designated expert for this bridge, and the NFBC had adopted the name “Lower Suspension Bridge” to distinguish it from Keefer’s 1869 suspension bridge upstream. You have not mentioned the name “Lower Suspension Bridge” and you have not cited Seibel’s 1991 book “Bridges over the Niagara Gorge”. I’m not pushing for any changes here because I don’t think it would help the story but I’m curious to know if the exclusion of Seibel’s essay was deliberate or merely just another case of something that isn’t accessible via the web. If the wikipedia philosophy is “reliance on reliable sources” it seems to me this ought to go beyond web-accessible sources – not an easy burden to bear, particularly because so much of what is already web-accessible (on any subject) is not reliable, almost by definition, and reliable non-web items are often very hard to find. You also don’t cite Göran Werner’s “Die Niagara Eisenbahn Hängebrücke” from the 2006 Potsdam Tagung although he presented a poorly-translated English version at Brooklyn. This is doubtless just another case where the 2006 JAR essays aren’t readily available. Werner did come up with some tidbits that aren’t in Seibel’s work. For some reason I think Werner is a grad student going for a doctorate and this bridge is the subject of his thesis work-in-progress but I am not sure about that. JaxmrcleanJaxmrclean (talk) 10:20, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I would be grateful to receive Kahlow's or Güntheroth's essays; however, my home location has not their works (and several other works on the bridge), thus it would be hard for me to obtain them physically. If you have scans, you can email me (go to my Talk page, then click on "E-mail this user" on the toolbox to the left—you must configure your email via your "My preferences" for the email option to appear).
As for Seibel, I must admit that I have no access to his work (online or otherwise); hence, his information was not looked at. As I cannot read German (and German works would be extremely rare over here), Werner's work was also not referred to. Jappalang (talk) 11:42, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Walsh's tombstone[edit]

Edits to Wikipedia, especially Featured Articles, must abide by its policies and guidelines that information that can be verified to reliable sources. These recent edits wrote that Walsh is 16 years old based on his "recently found" headstone. No source was given. The case is even more strange that Homan Walsh's headstone was known as early as 2005 as reported by a news source: "Cemetery clerk Linnea Barto said the site also contains the headstone of Homan Walsh".[9] The headstone is not recently found. Where does this "16 year old" bit come from? We have reliable sources that contend with "10" or "15" years. Unless a reliable source is provided, 15 stays as Walsh's age with a footnote to state the 10/15 discrepancy. Jappalang (talk) 21:09, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

The headstone may have been found in 2005 but none of the reference material was changed and no refernce made to the birth date on the stone. His birth of date based on personal observation was March 24, 1831, thus he was 16 years old at the time of the feat. This information is also recorded on http://best-breezes.squarespace.com/homan-walsh/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.49.53.248 (talk) 18:21, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
We do not allow "self-observation", especially with information that is not reported in common sources. We do not know who "Bob White" is and whether he is a "kite historian". Furthermore, we do not normally accept blogs as reliable sources (to repeat, see WP:Reliable sources). A search on Google shows nobody taking "Bob White: seriously as a notable researcher on kite history. This March 24, 1831 date is not on any source at all, and who is to say the tombstone's (the one you read) Homan Walsh is the lad who flew the kite? The project here is not to advocate anyone's personal research.
As stated, information on Wikipedia is to be sourced to reliable sources and if none of them bothers to state your new-found research, then perhaps there is good reason why they ignored it. Your edits have been controversial and per the "be bold, revert, discuss" process cycle on Wikipedia, you should not restore your controversial edits after being reverted and should have continued the discussion to find a concensus. Please stop reverting. Current policies and guidelines do not support your actions. I would suggest familiarizing yourself with Wikipedia's policy and guidelines, particularly when editing Featured Articles (which are supposed to be showcases of these rules). Jappalang (talk) 21:05, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Please provide a verifiable source for your source "25.^ a b c d Robinson (2005)." as the link is broken. If this is the same Meg Robinson-Albers, her information is also self published. A recent event at the Oakwood Cemetery confirms the age of 16. http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/07/15/1113470/drama-of-kite-flying-boy-on-tap.html The age of 16 has recently been established even though the burial location has been known. As indicated in the article, the age has not been determined until recently. The previous references are suspect and your attitude will not allow correcting the facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.70.64.21 (talk) 06:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

The link is easily found on Archive.org and the Robinson source is not self-published; the Niagara International Kite Festival published her work, which also lists the sources she used for the article. As said, the litany of works that mention Homan Walsh chronicle his age as 10 or 15, and it would not do to suddenly usurp the knowledge on the whims of recent theories. See WP:RECENTISM and WP:FRINGE. Jappalang (talk) 06:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Meg Robinson-Albers was the organiser of the Niagara International Kite Festival thus published her own article http://www.kitehistory.com/Festivals/2005NIKF.htm She also references Mr. Bob White (I am not Bob White) Bob White is a published kite historian in the major recognized kite journal (probably the only North American journal)The Drachen Foundation Kite Journal http://www.drachen.org/journals/a04/journal4.pdf, and also recognized in the journal by another published historian, Eden Maxwell http://www.drachen.org/journals/journal08/journal_8.pdf

I have no issue with the Meg Robinson-Albers article, it is one of the best and used by many, but she was also involved with event referenced at the Oakwood Cemetery where Homan Walsh is buried http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/07/15/1113470/drama-of-kite-flying-boy-on-tap.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.54.26.136 (talk) 05:50, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I am convinced that White is an authority on kite flying. He has also given the exact location of Walsh's tombstone on his blog, which helps verification in the event that someone decides to check it up him- or herself. I have updated the article accordingly,[10] and hope that satisfies all concerned. Thank you for your patience and willingness to discuss this. Jappalang (talk) 06:07, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 3 external links on Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:47, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 07:55, 21 September 2017 (UTC)