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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Whipple Bowstring Truss

 
 
Whipple Bowstring Truss Marker - Union College Campus, Schenectady, NY image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 2, 2008
1. Whipple Bowstring Truss Marker - Union College Campus, Schenectady, NY
Inscription.
Whipple Bowstring Truss
An Example of the First Scientifically
Designed Bridge Truss
Commemorating the Contributions
to Bridge Engineering of
Squire Whipple, Class of 1830
A gift from the
City of Johnstown, New York
Reconstructed at its Present Location in 1980
by
Union College Civil Engineering Students

 
Location. 42° 49.087′ N, 73° 55.451′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker can be reached from Lenox Road. Touch for map. The marker is not seen from the roadway. It is mounted on a stone bollard in the middle of a footpath at the south end of the bridge. The bollard protects the bridge from vehicle traffic. The bridge is behind the distinctive round Achilles Rink on the Union College Campus. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12308, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of the Home of Charles Proteus Steinmetz (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nott Memorial (approx. mile away); ALCo Site (approx. half a mile away); Ignacy Jan Paderewski (approx. half a mile away); Revolutionary Hospital & Continental Barracks
Whipple Bowstring Truss Marker & Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 2, 2008
2. Whipple Bowstring Truss Marker & Bridge
(approx. 0.6 miles away); Schenectady Police Department (approx. 0.7 miles away); Schenectady's Little Italy (approx. mile away); Ellis Hospital (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
 
Additional comments.
1. Squire Whipple
Squire Whipple; Born 16 Sep 1804; died 15 Mar 1888.
Whipple was a U.S. civil engineer, inventor, and theoretician who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction. His design of the Whipple truss bridge was the model for hundreds of bridges that crossed the Erie Canal in the late 19-th century. Before developing his design, Whipple worked for several years on surveys, estimates, and reports for the enlargement of the Erie Canal, and in 1840 he patented a scale for weighing canal boats. He later built the first weighing lock scale constructed on the Erie Canal. The invention of the steam engine required bridges which could support heavy live loads and this motivated Squire to turn his attention to bridges. In 1853, he completed a 146-ft span iron railroad bridge near West Troy (now Watervliet), N.Y.
 
Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, July 3, 2009
3. Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge
  — Submitted June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.

 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesNotable BuildingsNotable PersonsRoads & VehiclesScience & MedicineWaterways & Vessels
 
Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 2, 2008
4. Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge
Whipple Bowstring Truss - Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, July 3, 2009
5. Whipple Bowstring Truss - Detail
The truss is embossed with the following:"Patented 1841 By S. Whipple, Albany, N.Y. Patent Renewed, 1855"
Whipple Bowstring Truss - Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, July 3, 2009
6. Whipple Bowstring Truss - Detail
Here the truss is embossed with, " S. WHIPPLE; PATENT. SHIPMAN & SON, BUILDERS, SPRINGFIELD CENTRE, NY."
National Civil Engineering Landmark image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 2, 2008
7. National Civil Engineering Landmark
This plaque is also mounted, on the opposite side, on the stone bollard in the center of the footpath. This marker has been defaced and vandalized.
Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, July 3, 2009
8. Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge
Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, February 8, 2008
9. Whipple Bowstring Truss Bridge
Beyond the bridge is the Achilles Rink, home to the Union College Skating Dutchmen men's and women's ice hockey teams.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 2,426 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on June 27, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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