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calendar   Sunday - November 11, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DREW

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Now ain’t she pretty?  Is that eye candy er what?  And how many friends you got give you a bridge for your birthday? I ask you.
If you ever visit this place and go there, just tell em that I gave it to you when they question the toll you might set up. LOL!

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THE IRON BRIDGE AT TELFORD
was built by Abraham Darby over the river Severn. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made out of cast iron, a material which was previously far too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost and so encouraged local engineers and architects to solve a long-standing problem of a crossing over the river.
In the early eighteenth century, the only way to cross the Severn Gorge was by ferry. However, the industries that were growing in the area of Coalbrookdale and Broseley needed a more reliable crossing.
In 1773, Thomas Farnolls Pritchard wrote to a local ironmaster, John Wilkinson of Broseley, to suggest building a bridge out of cast iron. By 1775, Pritchard had finalised the plans, but he died in December 1777, only a month after work had begun.
Abraham Darby III, who was the grandson of the first foundry owner and an ironmaster working at Coalbrookdale in the gorge, was commissioned to cast and build the bridge. The iron for the new bridge was cast at his foundry.
Shares were issued to raise the £3,200 required, and Darby agreed to fund any excess. Although it had been predicted that 300 tons of iron would be needed (costing £7 a ton), in the end 379 tons were used, costing Darby and his company nearly £3,000. There would be many other costs to bear (masonry abutments, assembly, etc.), so that the project was far more expensive than first envisaged. Darby bore most of the cost overrun, and was in debt for the rest of his life.
Being the first of its sort, the construction had no precedent; the method chosen to create the structure was therefore based on carpentry. Each member of the frame was cast separately, and fastenings followed those used in woodworking, such as the mortise and tenon and blind dovetail joints, adapted as necessary to the different properties of cast iron. Bolts were used to fasten the half-ribs together at the crown of the arch. Very large parts were needed to create a structure to span 100 feet rising to 60 feet above the river. The largest parts were the half-ribs, each about 70 ft long and weighing 5.25 tons. The bridge comprises more than 800 castings of 12 basic types.
The bridge was raised in the summer of 1779, and it was opened on New Year’s Day 1781.

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Erm .... Drew.  I am having second thoughts about something.  You may NOT want to tell anyone that I actually gave you this bridge should you ever make it over here. You know, it might cause some bad feelings what with another foreigner buying or receiving another bit of their history. We’ll just keep it between us. Okay?  Be our secret, you’ll know it’s yours, but nobody else will.  Be safer that way.  (coughs)

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Posted by peiper   United States  on 11/11/2012 at 06:39 AM   
Filed Under: • BIRTHDAYBridges •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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