M15934.53 | Proposed tubular bridge for crossing the Niagara Gorge

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Proposed tubular bridge for crossing the Niagara Gorge
S. Russel
1860, 19th century
Coloured ink on paper
42.6 x 58.6 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , bridge (558) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The 1850s were a period of experimentation for railway bridge engineers, who lined up to defend either of two predominant theories: that of the suspension bridge favoured by the American John A. Roebling (1806-1867) and that of the tubular bridge defended by the Englishman Robert Stephenson (1803-1859). In the eyes of its detractors, the suspension bridge's key defect lay in its great susceptibility to damage from vibrations. This print shows a tubular bridge as it was envisioned next to the one that was actually built above the Niagara Gorge in 1855.