Author: Ruthen, Sir Charles T
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Ruthen, Sir Charles T
The discussion was opened by MR. H.J. DEANE, B.E., M.Inst.C.E., etc ., Vice-President of the Institution of Structural Engineers, who said :-You are no doubt aware that the late Mr. H.G. Bamber was to have opened the discussion this evening, but his untimely death necessitated other arrangements being made. Mr. Bamber, I believe, had already made some notes on the subject, and there are few who were in a better position to deal with a matter in which intimate knowledge plays so important a part. His untimely death will be wry much regretted by all those who knew him, none of whom can have failed to appreciate his keenness in all he undertook, his never-failing courtesy, and his cheerful disposition. I am sure that all will agree that we have sustained a great loss.
0F all structures which man has made to satisfy his needs, the bridge is that in which he has been aesthetically most successful, and, perhaps, structurally least. From the beginning of recorded history, you have in long succession the tale of bridges breaking down and swept away, till the accident becomes a commonplace compared with the failure of other structures. You have further a limit to effort, very clearly marked; the effort to obtain height or majesty through width or length of unbroken emptiness in other forms of structure, has been an effort successfully progressive and often rapidly progressive. But bridges, even for the overcoming of comparatively small obstacles, were felt to be a special triumph. There was a temptation to make them do more than the art of the time allowed. One can point to a score of places in Western Europe (Avignon is the most famous) where th3 effort was vanquished, and to hundreds where what looks to-day like the surmounting ot but a trifling span or height was looked on as a marvel, and carries to this day some nickname connoting astonishment.
Many structural engineers have for a long time been convinced that the effect of casing steel beams in concrete in the manner which has obtained for many years with the filler-joist floor, has a strengthening effect upon the floor and that it is safe to design the steelwork in such floors upon higher stresses than the extreme fibre stress of 7.5 tons per square inch which is usually specified.
Ewart S. Andrews