Sunday, May 06, 2007

What A Bridge! What A Book!

Man, if you're a fan of the Hellgate Bridge, both the prototype and the tinplate reproduction, (and who isn't?,) then this book is for you. Published in 2006 by the Long Island-Sunrise Trail Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, this immensely enjoyable book is packed with great photos and construction details of the Hellgate as well as a comprehensive history of the NYCR, "Long Island's Other Railroad," the railroad that built it.

How special is this book? The publisher's note gives you an idea: "The photographs selected for this volume are meant to supplement and clarify the text more than to simply provide 'pretty pictures.' A couscous effort was made to choose photos that have not been seen previously, even though some of them are less than perfect exposures."

Here's an excerpt to wet your appetite: "Erection of the great arch produced quite a spectacle for people on either shore and those on passing vessels in the river. Utilizing a large derrick some 150 feet in the air, two or three sections of the arch were put in place each week. By February 1915 the backstays behind the two towers were in place, and over the next seven months the two halves of the arch gradually neared each other. Finally, on October 1, 1915 the two sides met with only one-quarter inch of variation. Such a triumph of engineering was unheard of when the milestone Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883."

Believe me, this is a must-have book for Hellgate Bridge fans!


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