M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
EADS BRIDGE, ST. LOUIS,
HISTORIC EADS BRIDGE, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
The Eads Bridge was built by the Illinois and St.
Louis Bridge Company, with the Keystone Bridge Company serving as
subcontractor for superstructure erection.
The domination of the river trade had become less
important than before the American Civil War, and Chicago was fast
gaining as the center of commerce in the West. The Bridge was
conceived as a solution to reverse this new found eminence.
Meanwhile in a devious attempt to secure their
future, steamboat interests successfully lobbied to place
restrictions on bridge construction, with the unproclaimed purpose
of preventing any road structure at all. The newly required spans
and heights were previously unheard of, and would demand a bridge so
grand and lofty that it would be impossible to erect by conventional
A bridge of this magnitude would require a
radical design solution. The result was the use of the ribbed arch
construction. The triple span, tubular metallic arch construction
was supported by two shore abutments and two mid-river piers. Four
pairs of arches per span (upper and lower) were set eight feet
apart, supporting an upper deck for vehicular traffic and a lower
deck for rail traffic.
Utilization of cast chromium steel components is
arguably the first use of structural alloy steel in a major building
construction. (Though the bridge as actually completed contained
large—and unknown—amounts of wrought iron.) Eads argued
that the great compressive strength of steel was ideal for use in
the upright arch design. This decision resulted from a curious
combination of chance and necessity, due to the insufficient
strength of alternative material choices.
Such a risk was involved in the construction
that when completed an elephant was forced to precede humans on the
first crossing in 1874. Elephants have quite sensitive feet, and
would have halted at any perceived instability.
The construction of the bridge was featured in
"The Men Who Made America",
Episode 2, The History Channel
Richard Hayley Lever,
“PADDLE STEAMER MARK TWAIN, MISSISSIPPI RIVER EADS BRIDGE
AT ST. LOUIS,”
New Arrival 2017 :
Richard Hayley Lever
Australian / American, 1876-1958
'St. Ives , Cornwall England 1904'
Provenance : Spanierman Gallery, bearing label verso
Listed : "Spanierman Works for Sale, Feb-April 2003, Price on Request"
Literature : Hayley Lever, Carol Lowrey. pp. 32-3, illlustrated p. 33
The brushwork, coloration and development on this painting are exceptional.
Image Size : 10.25" x 13.25"
Other Paintings by Richard Hayley Lever:
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