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Author Haw, Richard, 1968- author.

Title Engineering America : the life and times of John A. Roebling / Richard Haw
Published New York : Oxford University Press, [2020]


Description 1 online resource (xi, 628 pages) : illustrations
Contents Introduction : "Fitting one's self for the New World" -- Part 1. Novice (1806-1831) -- In Napoleon's shadow (1806-1824) -- Berlin and the culture of revolution (1824-1825) -- Building roads, designing bridges (1825-1829) -- Johann Etzler and the Mühlhausen Emigration Society (1829-1831) -- Across the Atlantic (1831) -- Part 2. Apprentice (1831-1847) -- And out to Western Pennsylvania (1831-1832) -- Establishing Saxonburg (1832-1837) -- Internal improvements (1838-1841) -- Making wire rope and the wire rope industry (1840-1848) -- Private life, public works (1844-1845) -- Rebuilding Pittsburgh (1845-1846) -- Setting the future (1846-1847) -- Part 3. Master (1848-69) -- Economies of scale (1848-1852) -- Crossing Niagara (1846-48) -- Securing Niagara (1852-55) -- The Kentucky, Ohio, and Allegheny (1856-1860) -- And the war came (1861-1865) -- Unfinished business (1863-1869) -- Epilogue: "I am my own judge."
Summary "John Roebling was one of the nineteenth century's most brilliant engineers, ingenious inventors, successful manufacturers, and fascinating personalities. Raised in a German backwater amid the war-torn chaos of the Napoleonic Wars, he immigrated to the US in 1831, where he became wealthy and acclaimed, eventually receiving a carte-blanche contract to build one of the nineteenth century's most stupendous and daring works of engineering: a gigantic suspension bridge to span the East River between New York and Brooklyn. In between, he thought, wrote, and worked tirelessly. He dug canals and surveyed railroads; he planned communities and founded new industries. Horace Greeley called him "a model immigrant;" generations later, F. Scott Fitzgerald worked on a script for the movie version of his life. Like his finest creations, Roebling was held together by the delicate balance of countervailing forces. On the surface, his life was exemplary and his accomplishments legion. As an immigrant and employer, he was respected throughout the world. As an engineer, his works profoundly altered the physical landscape of America. He was a voracious reader, a fervent abolitionist, and an engaged social commentator. His understanding of the natural world however bordered on the occult and his opinions about medicine are best described as medieval. For a man of science and great self-certainty, he was also remarkably quick to seize on a whole host of fads and foolish trends. Yet Roebling held these strands together. Throughout his life, he believed in the moral application of science and technology, that bridges-along with other great works of connection, the Atlantic Cable, the Transcontinental Railroad-could help bring people together, erase divisions, and heal wounds. Like Walt Whitman, Roebling was deeply committed to the creation of a more perfect union, forged from the raw materials of the continent. John Roebling was a complex, deeply divided yet undoubtedly influential figure, and his biography illuminates not only his works but also the world of nineteenth-century America. Roebling's engineering feats are well known, but the man himself is not; for alongside the drama of large scale construction lies an equally rich drama of intellectual and social development and crisis, one that mirrored and reflected the great forces, trials and failures of the American nineteenth century"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (Oxford Scholarship Online, viewed on June 10, 2020)
Subject Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869.
SUBJECT Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869 fast
Subject Civil engineers -- United States -- Biography
Civil engineers -- Germany -- Biography
Suspension bridges -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Railroad bridges -- United States -- History -- 19th century
German Americans -- Biography
Immigrants -- United States -- Biography
Civil engineers
German Americans
Railroad bridges
Suspension bridges
SUBJECT Mühlhausen (Thuringia, Germany) -- Biography
Subject Germany
Germany -- Mühlhausen (Thuringia)
United States
Genre/Form Electronic books
collective biographies.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2019026181
ISBN 0190663928
Other Titles Life and times of John A. Roebling