Roebling, Washington Augustus

▪ American engineer

born May 26, 1837, Saxonburg, Pa., U.S.
died July 21, 1926, Trenton, N.J.
 U.S. civil engineer under whose direction the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, was completed in 1883; the bridge was designed by Roebling with his father, John Augustus.

      After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. (1857), he joined his father in the work of building suspension bridges. The Civil War, however, intervened, and he served in the Union Army, rising to the rank of colonel by war's end, after which he returned to the construction business. His father put him in charge of the construction of the enormous masonry towers that supported the cables of the Cincinnati–Covington Bridge (1865–67) and then sent him to Europe to study new methods for the sinking of the foundations on which the granite towers of the Brooklyn Bridge were to stand.

      On his father's death in 1869 he was asked to serve as chief engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge and immediately began work on the foundations for the two towers. The use of pneumatic caissons (watertight chambers) was still in a somewhat experimental stage, and what happened to men working in compressed air at the bottom of the caisson was not yet fully understood. Though every precaution was taken there were more than a hundred cases of decompression sickness (the “bends”) when men were brought up too rapidly. There were also the usual difficulties of fires and breakdowns, as well as so-called blow-outs that shot mud and water into the air. Like his father, Colonel Roebling felt he had to inspect every detail of the work. One day he remained 12 consecutive hours in the compressed-air chamber, finally being carried out unconscious. In those days there was little understanding of the amount of time needed for slow decompression. The nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream could paralyze a man for life. His health was permanently affected, and, though he lived to be almost 89, the Brooklyn Bridge was his last major undertaking. The bridge, opened in 1883, took 13 years to complete.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ROEBLING, Washington Augustus —    See ROEBLING, John Augustus …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Roebling, Washington Augustus — SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering [br] b. 26 May 1837 Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, USA d. 21 July 1926 Trenton, New Jersey, USA. [br] American civil engineer. [br] The son of John Augustus Roebling, he graduated in 1857 from the Rensselaer Polytechnic… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Roebling, John Augustus — born , June 12, 1806, Mühlhausen, Prussia died July 22, 1869, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., U.S. German U.S. civil engineer, a pioneer in the design of suspension bridges. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1831. His best known work is New York s Brooklyn… …   Universalium

  • Roebling, John Augustus — SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering [br] b. 12 July 1806 Muhlhausen, Prussia d. 22 July 1869 Brooklyn, New York, USA [br] German/American bridge engineer and builder. [br] The son of Polycarp Roebling, a tobacconist, he studied mathematics at Dr… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Roebling,John Augustus — Roeb·ling (rōʹblĭng), John Augustus. 1806 1869. German born American engineer who designed and began the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, a project completed (1883) by his son Washington Augustus Roebling (1837 1926). * * * …   Universalium

  • ROEBLING, John Augustus — (1806 1869) and Washington Augustus ROEBLING (1837 1926)    See STEEL …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Roebling, John Augustus — (12 jun. 1806, Mühlhausen, Prusia–22 jul. 1869, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., EE.UU.). Ingeniero civil alemán estadounidense, un pionero en el diseño de puentes colgantes. Emigró a EE.UU. en 1831. Su obra más conocida es el puente de Brooklyn de Nueva… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Washington Augustus Roebling — (* 26. Mai 1837 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania; † 21. Juli 1926 in Trenton, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Ingenieur, bekannt für seine Arbeit an der Brooklyn Bridge, die durch seinen Vater John August Roebling begonnen wurde. Roebling erhielt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Washington August Roebling — Washington Augustus Roebling (* 26. Mai 1837 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania; † 21. Juli 1926 in Trenton, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Ingenieur, bekannt für seine Arbeit an der Brooklyn Bridg …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Washington Roebling — Washington Augustus Roebling (* 26. Mai 1837 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania; † 21. Juli 1926 in Trenton, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Ingenieur, bekannt für seine Arbeit an der Brooklyn Bridge, die durch seinen Vater John August Roebling… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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