In the 19th century, New York City was a burgeoning industrial and commercial metropolis - the largest city in the United States and second largest in the world. As the city's population increased, people began to call for construction of an underground railway. Many unusual engineering challenges had to be overcome, not the least of which was construction in a dense urban area. After lengthy legal battles over property rights and the debt limit of the city, ground was broken on March 24, 1900.
The 1905 Wright Flyer III, built by Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright, was the world's first airplane capable of sustained, maneuverable flight. Similar in design to their celebrated first airplane, this machine featured a stronger structure, a larger engine turning new "bent-end" propellers, and greater control-surface area for improved safety and maneuverability.
When opened in 1903, the 1,600 foot long main span of the Williamsburg Bridge was the world's longest suspension span, surpassing the nearby Brooklyn Bridge by only 4.5 feet. The Williamsburg Bridge remained the world's longest suspension bridge span for 21 years until the opening of the Bear Mountain Bridge in 1924. The Williamsburg Bridge has two unsuspended side spans of 596.5 feet, each supported from below by trussed towers, giving the bridge an overall length of 2,793 feet. The four main suspension cables are 18.75 inches in diameter and each composed of over 10,000 wires.
Combining British financing, American engineering, and Canadian contracting, the White Pass and Yukon was the first major civil engineering project on the continent above the 60th degree of northern latitude. Completed in 27 months using only hand tools, black powder, and regional timber, the White Pass and Yukon rises almost 2,900 feet from sea level at the port of Skagway to the White Pass summit on the U.S.-Canada border in just 20 miles, accomplishing one of the steepest climbs of any railroad in the world.
The steel dome stretches 200 feet in diameter and rises 100 feet at its top. To accommodate thermal expansion, the inverted bowl-shaped structure originally rested on rollers that sat on the flat tops of six-story columns
There was a time when Americans from the Eastern seaboard braved long rail trips to southern Indiana in hopes that the water at the French Lick natural mineral springs could bring relief from alcoholism, pimples, gallstones and a host of other ailments and illnesses.
Located at the northern tip of Michigan where Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron join together, the Sault Ste. Marie Hydroelectric Power Complex was built to harness the hydroelectric potential of the 20-foot falls at the headwaters of the St. Marys (sic) River, the sole outlet of Lake Superior. A century after its construction, the plant remains the largest low-head hydroelectric facility in the United States. Today, the Sault Ste. Marie plant supplies electricity to area residents, especially those in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The third bridge built on the same site to carry railroad tracks across the Susquehanna River just north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Rockville Stone Arch Bridge, at 3,820 feet long and 52 feet wide, is believed to be the longest and widest stone-arch railroad bridge in the world. A central link in rail travel between New York City and Pittsburgh, the Rockville Stone Arch Bridge accommodates four lines of railroad tracks, today serving both the Norfolk Southern and Amtrak lines.
Installed alongside an Epping Carpenter pump that was later scrapped, this water pump was built by Allis-Chalmers, which for many years had Edwin Reynolds as its chief engineer. Driven by a Corliss steam engine, these large city water pumps were installed in Jacksonville's water supply improvement program in 1915, and each pumped 5 million gallons of water a day until 1930 when the first of the electric-driven peripheral pumping stations began operating. Steam engine operation was discontinued in 1956.