The Union Bridge was built in 1804 by Theodore Burr and was the first to cross the lower section of the Hudson River connecting Waterford and Lansingburg, New York. The wooden bridge's key feature was the arch that started below the deck at the abutments and ran near the top of the top chord at mid span. This was the first time in the United States that anyone had used an arch in combination with a truss in order to provide both stiffness and strength. Burr later patented his truss/arch pattern in 1806 and 1817.
The roof system of this building, designed by Lev Zetlin and opened in 1960, was the first of its kind in the world. Before the mid-1950's, the use of long-span cable structures was generally limited to suspension bridges. The only other significant cable roof structure preceding the Utica Memorial Auditorium was the North Carolina State Fair Livestock Judging Pavilion, completed in 1953.
The Dalles Lock and Dam was one of the largest, most complete, and complex multipurpose projects of its kind in the United States at the time of its construction. It provided an example for future projects benefitting navigation, recreation, water for irrigation and hydropower, fish migration, and flood mitigation. The unusual "L" configuration of the project enabled reduced construction dewatering and created a permanent shallow stilling basin that aids fish passage.
Taken together, the 1940 and 1950 Tacoma Narrows bridges mark a significant turning point in the design of long-span suspension bridges. The original 1940 structure was designed with one of the shallowest and narrowest stiffening elements of any long-span suspension bridge yet built. The structure failed dramatically in a rather moderate 42 mph windstorm on 7 November 1940, only four months after opening for traffic.
On October 23rd, 1852 a notice was sent to practitioners of civil engineering in and near New York City requesting their participation in developing an association that would serve the professionals who design and construct America's built environment. Twelve men responded to this invitation, meeting on November 5 in the office of Alfred W. Craven, chief engineer of the Croton Aqueduct Department. These men became the founders of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects, later renamed the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Until 1900, the Chicago River drained into Lake Michigan, along with all the sewage from the city; and the Des Plaines River west of Chicago emptied into the Illinois River, which eventually flows to the Mississippi. Chicago residents drew their drinking water from polluted areas of the lake near the mouth of the Chicago River, leading to outbreaks of typhoid and other waterborne diseases.
Amos Eaton and Stephen Van Rensselaer founded the Rensselaer School for "the application of science to the common purposes of life" in 1824. Eaton had practiced surveying as a teenager building his own compass and chain and wrote an early book on surveying. Later he studied law before becoming interested in geology and agriculture. Stephen Van Rensselaer was the seventh patroon of Rensselaerwyck a track of land comprising most of the current Rensselaer, Albany and Columbia Counties in the State of New York.
The "Land Ordinance of 1785" required that U.S. lands in the public domain be surveyed before sale, and that the surveys be made in accordance with a consistent, integrated system of lines grid-oriented to a true meridian (north-south reference line) and base line (east-west reference line), subdividing the land into approximately square parcels, called townships.
Thomas Hutchins, the first Geographer of the United States, drove his stake near East Liverpool, Ohio to mark the Point of Beginning of the Geographer's Line, the first westward base line.
The Royal Colonial Boundary of 1665 was decreed by England's King Charles II to demarcate his American colonies. It provided a survey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River along 36 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude. The boundary now serves to divide Virginia from North Carolina and Kentucky from Tennessee.
The voyage of Captain George Vancouver, 1791 -1795, was commissioned by the British Admiralty to map in detail the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska and to meet with Spanish authorities on the coast to enforce the terms of the Nootka Sound Convention of 1790.