Author: Richardson, A E
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Richardson, A E
The Annual Dinner of the Institution of Structural Engineers was held at the Piccadilly Hotel on Monday, April 12th, 1926, when there were 50 members and guests present.
THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. J. Mitchell Moncrieff, M.Inst.C.E., Vice-president) said that members would agree with him that Mr. Andrews had furnished an interesting paper of an extremely practical kind, and he was now looking forward to seeing a kinematograph film which, he understood, would be projected to illustrate some of the things that had been said. The paper carried his mind back for thirty-five years, to the time when, as a young man, he designed a bridge in wrought iron, and it was put out to tender. The managing director of one of the tendering firms, an old friend of his, said, “Why did you design it in wrought iron?" He replied that he did so because more was known about wrought iron than anything else. His friend then said, “You should design it in steel.” He thereupon said that he would re-design it in steel, and he did so, on which his friend said, “But we have a lot of trouble in steel. Why, some of the bars we had in our yard last week cracked right across.” “In that case,” was his reply, "we had better go back to wrought iron.” The bridge, however, was built in steel.
When the historians of a thousand years hence come to the review of the progress of civilisation they will probably regard as of fundamental importance during the past fifty years the amazing developments which have taken place in the production and development of steel. The romance of steel is being unfolded before our eyes, yet few of us realise how important and far-reaching are the effects of this upon human progress. Ewart S. Andrews