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The Lancashire and Cheshire Branch
ON THE 25 November 1922, some forty local members of the Institution of Structural Engineers gathered in the Lecture Hall of the Victoria University, Manchester, to meet the President, the late Mr. E. Fiander Etchells, and to consider the formation of a Branch. A petition to this effect was drawn up and signed by sixteen members and on the 14 December the petition was granted by the Council.
STRUCTURAL STEELWORK was little used in this before the year 1900. At that time the general country practice was to construct a load-bearing shell of self supporting brickwork with some steelwork used internally and also externally at first floor
level where large shop window openings were required. Floors were mainly of timber, or of filler joist construction for fire resistance. Stanchions were almost invariably made in single storey lengths, with caps and bases, either of steel I-section or of cast iron in which case the section was usually circular. These columns were simply
placed one on top of the other with perhaps a few bolts joining them together. Frequently the beams were continuous over the stanchion caps and thus the load from the pillar above had to be transmitted by the web of the beam to the pillar below. Holding down bolts and stanchion splice plates were practically unknown. The resulting
structure approximated very closely to what is assumed in the orthodox method of design in general use today. That is, in effect, that the beams rested on simple supports and the stanchions were made up of individual single storey lengths without any attempt at continuity. The stanchions could hardly be described as pin-ended but they were very much nearer to that ideal than those found in a modern structure.
Professor J.F. Baker
IT is a curious point that the study of composite action in structures should appear to be one of the most modern of research subjects, for the best of designers have from ancient times been accustomed to look upon the structure as a whole. Bridge builders in particular, and medieval craftsmen in masonry structures, made good use of structural continuity. The advent of cast iron, and later of steel, has led to a specialization and a degree of precision in the analysis of frames that has become by now somewhat fictitious, unless of course the frame really is a bare frame. This over-concentration on frame analysis has led to a neglect of the study of the whole structure.