Opened in 1835, the Thomas Viaduct was the first multiple-arch, stone railroad viaduct in the United States. The viaduct is composed of eight arches each with a clear span of about 58 feet. The viaduct has an overall length of 614 feet and a height of about 60 feet above the Patapsco River. Construction of the viaduct began in August of 1833, and a ceremony marking its completion was conducted on July 4, 1835. The viaduct was constructed for the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad and is named in honor Philip E. Thomas, who served from 1827 to 1836 as the first president of the B&O.
The Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line was cut through solid and decomposed granite by about 3,000 Chinese laborers using nothing more than picks, shovels, horse drawn carts, and blasting powder. This line, which rises from the San Joaquin Valley and through the Tehachapi Mountains, originally included 18 tunnels, ten bridges and several water towers to accommodate the steam locomotives. Completed in less than two years, it was part of the final line of the first railroad to connect San Francisco with Los Angeles.
Minot's Ledge is a wave-swept rock formation in a rocky area of ocean about a mile off the Cohasset shore near Boston. Numerous serious shipwrecks prompted the government to erect a beacon there, and construction began in the summer of 1847.
The light, constructed on tall iron legs, was put into operation on January 1, 1850. Designers believed that the water would flow freely through the legs, leaving the lighthouse intact. But a terrible winter storm toppled it in 1851, killing the two assistant keepers.
An early image of the James Douglass lighthouse, with the stump of the Smeaton-designed building beside it.
Eddystone Lighthouse is located in the English Channel, 14 miles south of Plymouth, England. The reef upon which it stands was the source of many shipwrecks... and many lighthouses, the first of which was built in 1698. The first three lighthouses were wooden, and suffered the fate of sea storms. John Smeaton built the fourth lighthouse in 1759 of Cornish granite.