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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wendel Bollman

 
 
Wendel Bollman Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2008
1. Wendel Bollman Marker
Inscription.  Wendel Bollman, one of a handful of men who transformed bridge-building from an art into a science, was born on this site to German parents on January 21, 1814.

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,
Marker, on the United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company building image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2008
2. Marker, on the United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company building
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.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), and the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series lists.
 
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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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); Discover Baltimore’s Changing Skyline (about 400 feet away); Canton House (about 500 feet away); The Munsey Building (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Also see . . .  The only surviving Bollman Truss Bridge, now a National Historic Landmark
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. (Submitted on April 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,437 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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Apr. 6, 2020