The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 5 (1927) > Issues > Issue 10 > Experiments and Transformations. Chapter X
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Experiments and Transformations. Chapter X

THE problem of the creation of a new style born of modern structural methods will never be solved until we make a detailed analysis of the junctions between the members which constitute the framework, the skeleton, as it were, of a twentieth century building. It is here that the principal scope for novelty of expression really lies, but, strange as it may appear, it is in these very junctions of constructional members that modern methods of building fail most conspicuously to express with elegance or even with clarity the nature of the stresses and strains to which such members are exposed. This ugliness, this crudeness shown in the entire lack of ceremony in the act of construction is due to the invention of rivets. These bits of steel, so devoid of every sculptural grace, undistinguished in their uniformity, carry upon their little shoulders a preponderant part of the burden of modern construction. We all know the method of their employment. Girders of various sections are joined together by plates or by angle irons, and it scarcely matters what is the nature of the strain to be countered, the appearance of the plates is just the same, for the rivets are equally capable of resisting transverse stresses in all directions. Figures XXI A, B and C illustrate three common ways of using steel girders. Example A shows the modern solution of the identical problem which in other times stimulated great artists to invent the noble forms of the Classic Order. Lintol and column-here the junction of these two elements is accomplished after the modes and manners of the twentieth century! A. Trystan Edwards