WIT Press


Covered Bridges Speak To A Careful Observer: Insight Into The Geometry And Manufacture Of Smith Trusses

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/STR030041

Volume

66

Pages

10

Published

2003

Size

677.04 kb

Author(s)

M. Reckurd

Abstract

Covered bridges speak to a careful observer: insight into the geometry and manufacture of Smith trusses M. Reckard J.A. Barker Engineering, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana, USA Abstract Wooden covered bridges using patented Smith trusses were widely built in the American Midwest during the 25 years following the US Civil War (1865- 1890). The geometry and construction of these bridges has proven puzzling to modern observers. The author, engaged in designing repairs to a Smith truss bridge at Cataract, Indiana, examined scribe marks, remnants of painted numbers and similar evidence left by the builders. This showed that some geometric complexities were a result of simple patterns used during layout and construction of the bridge. This was confirmed by inspection of seven other Smith trusses in Indiana and Ohlo. The evidence left by the builders also sheds light on the design and manufactwe of these bridges, illustrating how their inventor attempted to bring wooden bridge construction, with its roots

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