World's First Iron Bridge

by Marc H. Sawyer, Sen. Personnel Examiner; Dept. of Personnel, Engrg. Div., City of New York, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 12, Pg. 46-49

Document Type: Feature article


In 1779, using a new man-made material, skilled English workmen built a single-span bridge of cast iron over a steep river gorge about 140 miles northwest of London. The result was a 424-ton bridge that was the world's first iron bridge. It was a turning point in engineering history — as it changed the course of the Industrial Revolution by introducing iron as a structural material.

Subject Headings: Civil engineering landmarks | Construction materials | Span bridges | Cast iron | Rivers and streams | Bridges | Engineering education | Structural engineering | London | United Kingdom | Europe

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