Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Largely self-educated, Bollman acquired his engineering knowledge and experience at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Under the tutelage of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the railroad's chief engineer, Bollman worked his way up from apprentice to "Master of the Road."
In 1852, Bollman patented his iron suspension truss bridge. The B&O immediately began replacing its wooden spans with Bollman's bridges, and Latrobe hailed him as the "first successful iron bridge builder in this country." This successful use of iron by the country's most eminent railroad, and its endorsement by Latrobe spurred the adoption of iron as a primary bridge building material. By the late 1850's, iron bridge-building was well established throughout the world.
In 1858, Bollman formed his own company, pioneering in the design and construction of iron bridges throughout the United States, as well as in Mexico, Cuba, and Chile.
In his native town, Bollman's major surviving work is, ironically, not a bridge, but the cast iron dome atop City Hall.
Erected by the City of Baltimore, Shamrock Associates, sponsor and William Donald Schaefer, mayor
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers marker series.
Location. 39° 17.307′ N, 76° 36.739′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on South Calvert Street (Maryland Route 2), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lovely Lane Meeting House (within shouting distance of this marker); Continental Trust Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alex. Brown & Sons Company Building (about 400 feet away); The Garrett Building (about 400 feet away); Alex Brown Investment Banking Company (about 400 feet away); The Munsey Building (about 600 feet away); The Equitable Building (about 700 feet away); The Battle Monument (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
Also see . . . The only surviving Bollman Truss Bridge, now a National Historic Landmark.
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Notable Persons • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,086 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.