12.6.1806 Mühlhausen/D - 22.7.1869 Brooklyn NY/USA
John (Johann) Roebling graduated in 1826 as a civil engineer from the Berlin Polytechnic. He stayed for three years with the Prussian Corps of Engineers to emigrate in 1829 to the USA. He first was in charge of river works, then contributed to railways projects and in 1841 manufactured the first transversely wrapped wire cable in the USA. In 1845 he designed a suspended aqueduct in Pittsburg and the first suspension bridge in 1846. He completed in 1850 the famous suspension bridge at Niagara Falls.
Early suspension bridges built before 1840 were light, flexible structures at the mercy of the wind. One of the earliest chain spans was the Dryburgh Abbey Bridge across the Tweed in Scotland. The 80 m long bridge erected in 1817 was completely destroyed by a gale. The famous Menai Straits Bridge in Wales with a record span of 180 m built by Thomas Telford in 1826 was the subject of alarming aerodynamic vibrations. The first Niagara-Clifton Bridge at Niagara Falls had a record span of 400 m and was taken into service in 1868; rebuilt in 1888 it was completely destroyed by wind action shortly later. It was realized in the 1830s in France that troops crossing a suspension bridge must break the step because the bridge fail by the cumulative amplification of vibrations. These lessons were forgotten by 1940 when the 870 m long Tacoma Narrows Bridge, then the world's third longest structure, failed shortly after erection. The only engineer around 1850 who grasped the full significance of the problems appears to have been Roebling. With his intuitive genius, he realized the need of bracing and stiffening suspension spans against the cumulative vibrations set up by wind. In his pioneering article in the American Railroad Journal of 1841, he discussed the weaknesses of earlier suspension bridges and measures to insure the safety of future spans. He is considered the father of aerodynamic design in engineering.
Anonymous (1972). Roebling, John Augustus. A biographical dictionary of American civil engineers: 103-104. ASCE: New York.
Fitzsimons, N. (1966). Who am I: John A. Roebling. Civil Engineering 36(3): 92. P
Roebling, J.A. (1831). Diary from my journey from Muehlhausen to the USA in 1831. Trenton. Sayenga, D. (1995). Pittsburg aquaduct: Reconstruction of the Pittsburgh aqueduct by John A. Roebling. Canal History and Technology 14: 73-90. P
Steinmann, D.B. (1945). Design of bridges against wind. Civil Engineering 15(11): 501-504. P
Tillmann, F. (1941). Johann August Roebling, ein Bahnbrecher im Bau der Hängebrücken. Bautechnik 19(52): 553-554. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ROEBLING (J. A.) — ROEBLING JOHN AUGUSTUS (1806 1869) Les ponts ne relèvent pas à proprement parler de l’architecture: on confie généralement leur construction à des ingénieurs n’ayant aucune formation architecturale, Maillart étant l’exception la plus remarquable… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Roebling — ist der Name folgender Personen: John August Roebling (1806–1869), deutsch amerikanischer Ingenieur und Brückenbauer Washington August Roebling (1837–1926), US amerikanischer Brückenbauingenieur John August Roebling II. (1867–1952), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roebling — [rō′bliŋ] John A(ugustus) 1806 69; U.S. civil engineer & bridge designer, born in Germany …   English World dictionary

  • Roebling — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Roebling peut renvoyer à : John Augustus Roebling, ingénieur civil américain d origine allemande ; Washington Roebling, fils du précédent,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roebling — noun United States engineer (born in Germany) who designed and began construction of the Brooklyn bridge (1806 1869) • Syn: ↑John Roebling, ↑John Augustus Roebling • Instance Hypernyms: ↑engineer, ↑applied scientist, ↑technologist * * * /roh… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Roebling — Original name in latin Roebling Name in other language State code US Continent/City America/New York longitude 40.11594 latitude 74.78627 altitude 18 Population 3715 Date 2011 05 14 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Roebling — biographical name John Augustus 1806 1869 American (German born) civil engineer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Roebling — /roh bling/, n. 1. John Augustus, 1806 69, U.S. engineer, born in Germany: pioneer of wire rope suspension bridges, designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. 2. his son, Washington Augustus, 1837 1926, U.S. engineer: completed Brooklyn Bridge 1883. * * * …   Universalium

  • Roebling — Roeb•ling [[t]ˈroʊ blɪŋ[/t]] n. 1) big John Augustus, 1806–69, U.S. engineer, born in Germany 2) big his son, Washington Augustus, 1837–1926, U.S. engineer …   From formal English to slang

  • Roebling Point — is a area of Covington, northern Kentucky, located at the foot of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. This neighborhood is going through extensive changes. Since August 2007, the Ascent (luxury condos designed by Daniel Libeskind), has… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.