Recent repairs to 18th century buildings have brought to light trussed girders, large timber beams with internal trusses, which were used extensively during the 18th and 19th centuries. The paper examines their origins, their rise in popularity, and their eventual demise. It goes on to review the opinions of contemporary authors, showing the wide disparity of knowledge regarding the behaviour of such structural members.
Finally, it reports on a series of tests that provide information about the actual behaviour of the girders, the reasons for their use, and suggestions as to why they eventually fell from favour.
M.H. Dawes and D.T. Yeomans