GERMAN AMERICAN HISTORY
ENGINEERS OF DISTINCTION - PART III
Among prominent builders of bridges was CONRAD SCHNEIDER, born 1843 in Apolda, Thuringia. While he was not the first man to build a cantilever bridge in the United States, he, however, developed this system to perfection. His most remarkable work is the Niagara Cantilever Bridge, two miles below the Niagara Falls. Spanning the chasm of 850 feet in with, the main body is 210 feet above the surface of the roaring river. The structure has a double track. It consists of two cantilevers, each 395 feet, resting on the towers, the shore end being anchored to the anchorage piers, and the river ends connected by an intermediate span. The work was begun in 1882, but so vigorously pushed, that the bridge was completed and opened for traffic December 20, 1883.
Schneider also constructed the cantilever bridges crossing the Fraser River in British Columbia. Furthermore he designed the plans for the Washington Bridge over the Harlem River at 181st Street, New York City.
Among the most efficient bridge builders is counted EDUARD HEMBERLE, who constructed several railroad bridges across the Hudson, the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri; furthermore PAUL L.WOLFEL, chief engineer of the American Bridge Company.
A worthy successor of Roebling appeared in 1874 in the person of GUSTAV LINDENTHAL, born 1850 in Brunn, Austria, and a student of colleges in Brunn and Vienna. Having been employed on survey and construction of railroads and bridges in Austria, Switzerland and some Western railroads, he moved in 1892 to New York, where he was appointed bridge commissioner during the administration of Seth Low. He completed the construction of the so-called Williamsburg Bridge, a suspension bridge over the East River between New York and Long Island, a short distance north of Roebling's bridge. He also made the original plans for the Blackwells Island Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge.
Of electrical engineers, a great number of whom are Germans, EMIL BERLINER should be mentioned, the inventor of the gramophone. Furthermore F. B. HERZOG, inventor of automatic switchboards, elevator signals, police calls, and telephone devices; so also BERNHARD ARTHUR BEHREND, advisory engineer of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company and inventor of electrical machines, which received a grand prize at St. Louis in 1904.
FRANK KOESTER in New York is known as creator of great electric power stations, among them those of the Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, D.C., and of the Delaware & Hudson Company in Mechanicsville, N.Y.
Most famed of electrical engineers is KARL P. STEINMETZ, born at Breslau in 1865. Since his arrival in the United States he became one of the most successful investigators of electricity whose discoveries and brilliant inventions are too numerous and complicated for description in any but a professional work.
Engineers of Distinction presented by
GERMAN-AMERICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
Philadelphia Chapter (Published DSB 11/2001)