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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Engineering
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March 31, 1791 - John McComb, Jr. awarded contract for first lighthouse built after American independence, Cape Henry lighthouse.

January 20, 1809 - Judge James Geddes, retained by New York State Legislature to conduct feasibility study for New York State canal, recommended Hudson-Erie route; funding delayed; July 4, 1817 - construction on Erie Canal began; took eight years to complete; one of first great engineering works in North America; close to 1,000 Erie Canal workers died of malaria in swamps.

February 1, 1811 - The Bell Rock Lighthouse was lighted for first time,11 miles out off the east coast of Scotland atop a white stone tower rising over 30m (100ft) high; built by Robert Stevenson on a treacherous sandstone reef, which, except at low tides, lies submerged just beneath the waves; oldest sea-washed lighthouse in existence; regarded by many as the finest lighthouse ever built, most outstanding engineering achievement of the 19th century.

April 15, 1817 - Erie Canal authorized, first canal of importance in U.S., linked Buffalo on Lake Erie with Hudson River at Albany New York, distance of 360 miles; July 4, 1817 - construction started.

September 10, 1823 - Champlain Canal opened in New York state, 60-mile canal that connected south end of Lake Champlain to Hudson River in New York; April 17, 1816 - authorized when law passed "to consider, devise and adopt such measures as may or shall be requisite, to facilitate and effect the communication, by means of canals and locks, between the navigable waters of Hudson's river and Lake Erie, and the said navigable waters and Lake Champlain."

1828 - Edward Vickers, George Naylor (father-in-law) formed Naylor Vickers and Company, steel foundry, in Sheffield, UK (gained control of steelmaking firm of Naylor & Sanderson); 1867 - incorporated as Vickers, Sons and Co. Ltd.; 1897 - acquired Maxim Nordenfelt Guns And Ammunitions Company (subsidiary of shipbuilder The Barrow Shipbuilding Company), renamed Vickers, Sons & Maxim; 1902 - acquired half interest in Clyde shipyard John Brown and Company; 1911 - name changed to Vickers Ltd, formed Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department) to expand into aircraft manufacture; 1919 - acquired British Westinghouse electrical company as Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company; 1927 - merged with Tyneside based engineering company Armstrong Whitworth, renamed Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd.; 1955 - shipbuilding division renamed Vickers Armstrong Shipbuilders (1968 - name changed to Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group); 1960 - aircraft interests merged with Bristol, English Electric, Hunting Aircraft; formed British Aircraft Corporation; 1977 - Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act officially nationalized British Aircraft Corporation (became part of British Aerospace group, BAE Systems today) and Vickers's shipbuilding division as part of British Shipbuilders (1986 - privatized as Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd, later part of GEC's Marconi Marine, now BAE Systems Submarines); steel operations nationalized into British Steel; named changed to Vickers plc; 1999 - acquired by Rolls-Royce plc.

December 21, 1829 - Carrollton Viaduct, first stone (80 foot) arch railroad bridge in US (62 feet tall, 300 feet long) dedicated at Baltimore; straddled a wooded stretch of Gwynn's Falls; named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence; construction took over 9 months,  1,500 tons of granite supported on huge wooden frameworks; January 1, 1830 - became America's first railroad destination.

1830 - David and Dennis Davy started Davy Brothers, mechanical engineering business, in Sheffield, UK; built first Sheffield-London railway locomotive; 1851 - acquired Park Iron Works at Norfolk Bridge (foundry capable of making castings as large as any attempted in those days); reputation built primarily on machine-building (steam-driven equipment, particularly forging presses, steam engines); 1881 - introduced electricity at its works; 1905 - supplied 12000 HP River Don Engine, Europe's largest working engine, plate mill it drove for Cammell's at Grimesthorpe (mill wider than any operating in Britain today); 1920s - focused on rolling mill business; 1953 - company named Davy United Engineering Co. Ltd, following merger with United Engineering (Pittsburgh, PA), US license partner; 1960 - acquired The Powergas Group to build integrated iron and steel works (capacity to construct, manufacture, iron and steel making plants; 1974 - company named Davy International Ltd; 1978 - merged with McKee Corporation (Cleveland, OH) to create major E & C organisation capable of competing for all types of process plant contracts; operating units - steelplant and non-ferrous metals (Davy-Loewy, Davy McKee [Minerals and Metals], Loewy Robertson; energy and chemicals (Davy McKee [Oil and Chemicals] in United Kingdom, Davy McKee AG, United States Davy McKee companies overseas; 1991 - acquired by Trafalgar House group; 1996 - Trafalgar acquired by Norwegian group Kvaerner Brug (Davy and Markham [1862] formed core of Kvaerner E & C division - world's largest engineering, construction firm); 1998 - Kvaerner Metals Davy (formerly Davy McKee) merged with Kvaerner Markham; 2005 - Kvaerner UK acquired in management buyout from Norwegian Kvaerner ASA group; AK (Aker Kvaerner) Heavy Engineering name changed to DavyMarkham.

April 12, 1831 - Allegheny Portage Railroad, first railroad to go west of Alleghany Mountains, started work on Staple Bend Tunnel, first U.S. railroad tunnel, between Hollidaysburg,  Johnstown, PA; driven through slate, 901 feet long, 25 feet wide, 21 feet high, lined throughout with masonry 18 inches thick; March 18, 1834 - completed.

August 1, 1831 - King William IV opened New London Bridge to traffic; 1821 - Parliament appointed committee to consider poor condition of existing centuries-old bridge (arches badly damaged by the Great Freeze); 1825 - building commenced under John Rennie, completed in 1831 (at city's expense); bridge comprises five arches, built of Dartmoor granite; 1960's - auctioned, sold for $2,460,000 to Robert McCulloch who moved it to Havasu City, AZ; October 10, 1971 - rebuilt London Bridge completed and dedicated.

February 24, 1839 - William Smith Otis, civil engineer of Philadelphia, PA, received a U.S. patent for a steam shovel for excavating and removing earth from railroads or canals; could move about 380 cubic meters of earth a day, with 1.1 cubic meter capacity shovel and 180 slewing wooden jib; first used on  Western Railroad in Massachusetts.

July 4, 1839 - Dunlap's Creek Bridge in Brownsville, PA, first iron cast bridge in U.S., dedicated; 80-foot long, 25-ft wide, fourth bridge at the site; consists of "five parallel arches, each consisting of nine segments."

January 2, 1842 - First wire suspension bridge opened to traffic in Fairmount, PA.

May 4, 1845 - Erection of first U.S. iron truss bridge with parallel chords, open web completed (34-ft span); carried tracks for main line of Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company until 1901.

November 5, 1852 - The American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects founded (later named American Society of Civil Engineers); first U.S. national civil engineering society; purpose  was "the advancement of the sciences of engineering and architecture in their several branches, professional improvement of its members, encouragement of intercourse between men of practical science, establishment of a central point of reference and union for its members."

1862 - William Oliver, at father's death, became sole proprietor of Victoria Foundry in Chesterfield, UK; relocated to Greenfield site at Broad Oaks Meadows on south-eastern edge of Chesterfield, established Broad Oaks Foundry; 1886 - went into receivership (slump in coal and iron trades, coupled with massive overheads on new factory and equipment); 1889 - foundry acquired by industrialist Charles Paxton Markham; name changed to as Markham & Co. Ltd.; primary customers - large number of collieries in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire; constructed winding and haulage gear (one-fifth of all British coal brought to surface by Markham winders); 1900s - built, supplied tunnelling equipment for construction of London's Underground, Mersey Tunnel (same for Moscow Underground in 1930s); 1925 - reorganized as part of Staveley Coal & Iron Company (included licence to build water turbines to Bovings designs); 1937 - acquired by John Brown & Co, Ltd; 1948 - had supplied over two hundred steam, electric winding machines for home, export use; 1986 - Brown acquired by Trafalgar House Group; 1996 - Trafalgar acquired by Norwegian group Kvaerner Brug (founded 1853); world's largest engineering, construction firm; 1998 - Broad Oaks works closed; Kvaerner Metals Davy (formerly Davy McKee) merged with Kvaerner Markham; 2005 - Kvaerner UK acquired in management buyout from Norwegian Kvaerner ASA group; AK (Aker Kvaerner) Heavy Engineering name changed to DavyMarkham

May 24, 1862 - Westminster Bridge opened over River Thames, London, England.

July 17, 1866 - Chicago authorized building tunnel beneath  Chicago River (easy-to-excavate blue clay underlay the city) to circumvent heavy river traffic which caused extensive traffic jams as bridges over river would be raised, open as much as quarter of time during navigation season to accommodate large numbers of masted vessels; November 30, 1866 - work began; July 1867 - city awarded contract to J. K. Lake to construct the Washington Street traffic; January 1, 1869 - completed, 1605 feet long and cost over $512,000; Washington Street tunnel in use until 1953.

November 30, 1866 - Work began in Chicago, IL on first highway tunnel under water in U.S.; 1,500-foot tunnel completed in three years at cost of over $500,000; two roadways, each 11-feet tall, 13-feet wide, and separate footway 10-feet wide and 10-feet tall; 1907 - tunnel lowered to provide better air circulation; allowed regular automobile traffic for first time.

December 6, 1866 - First water supply tunnel for U.S. city  completed for Chicago, IL; Chicago Lake Tunnel extended 10,587 feet under Lake Michigan to an inlet crib; 5 feet in diameter, final cost of $380,784; March 17, 1864 - work started; March 25, 1867 - water allowed into the tunnel. pumping station with the standpipe tower still stands at the intersection of Michigan Blvd and Chicago Ave., escaped destruction in the 1871 Chicago fire.

January 2, 1870 - Construction of Brooklyn Bridge began.

July 4, 1874 -Mississippi River Bridge opened; two-tier triple-arch steel bridge over river at St. Louis, MO; known as Eads Bridge after James Buchanan Eads, American engineer who designed it; first steel-arch bridge in U.S.; first major bridge to use steel, cantilevered construction; top road level carried street cars, with lower level for two lines of railroad traffic; 1974 - use for trains ceased.

February 9, 1875 - First train on Boston and Maine Railroad line between Boston and Albany passed through Hoosac Tunnel,  rugged part of Berkshires for length of 25,081-ft (4.75 miles); tunnel completed after several failed attempts, 200 lives and 20 years.

February 20, 1877 - First cantilever bridge in U.S. completed, Harrodsburg, KY.

February 18, 1879 - Auguste Bartholdi, of Paris, France, received a design patent for a "Statue" ("Design of a Monumental Statue, representing "Liberty enlightening the World," being intended as a commemorative monument of the independence of the United States").

January 21, 1880 - Memphis, TN began construction of first independent municipal sewage system in U.S.

February 16, 1880 - The American Society of Mechanical Engineers founded when 40 engineers from eight states met in New York City in office of American Machinist; Robert Henry Thurston, who had established an engineering school at the new Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, would later create engineering school at Cornell, was its first president.

February 29, 1880 - St. Gotthard Tunnel completed, linked Switzerland and Italy.

May 24, 1883 - President Arthur, Governor Cleveland opened Brooklyn Bridge (length of 6,927 ft., breadth of 1,600 feet, road bed is 80 feet wide, elevation of 186 feet above high water); world's only stone-towered, steel cabled bridge.

March 31, 1889 - Eiffel Tower, designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (56) inaugurated; world's tallest man-made structure (until completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930); built to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution; construction time - 2 years, 2 months and 2 days.

June 30, 1894 - Prince of Wales officially opened Tower Bridge across River Thames in London; 1878 - City architect Horace Jones proposed new bridge was needed to improve city traffic; 1885 - approved by Act of Parliament; June 21, 1886 - foundation stone laid half-mile long, 35-ft wide road flanked by footways 12.5 ft wide; towers rise 293-ft, giving 140-ft clearance for ships beneath the central span which carries two footways.

February 4, 1895 - First rolling lift bridge opened over Chicago River at Van Buren Street, Chicago; designed, patented by William Scherzer of Chicago; steel trusses or girders across  navigable channel supported by, rigidly connected to, large steel rollers as curved steel bases, like rocking chair rockers, weighted in the rear to counterbalance the span. To open, these bridges roll back on their rockers until upright, like a jackknife. One such bridge now remains in Chicago, the Cermak Road Bridge (1906), reopened in 1998 after two years of repair.

March 24, 1900 - Mayor Van Wyck, of New York, broke ground for New York subway tunnel that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

May 19, 1900 - Italian King Victor Emmanuel, Swiss president opened Simplon tunnel, world's longest railroad tunnel (12 miles  through solid rock of Simplon Mountain between Rhone and  Diveria valley); linked Switzerland to Italy through Alps; considerably shortened surface distance of European trade route between Brig, Switzerland and Iselle, Italy.

December 19, 1903 -The Williamsburg Bridge opened in New York City; America's first major suspension bridge using steel towers instead of the customary masonry towers; seven years to complete at a cost of $24,100,000 for land and construction; world's longest suspension bridge (1,600 feet) until the 1920s.

October 27, 1904 - First New York City Subway line opened;  system became biggest in United States, and in world.

February 25, 1908 - The Hudson River railway tunnel opened, first tunnel under Hudson River, commuters began traveling between Manhattan and Hoboken in just ten minutes.

August 3, 1908 - The Philadelphia Subway opened (known as Tube Transportation).

1909 - Warren A. Bechtel founded W. A. Bechtel Co. in San Francisco, CA; won first prime contract—grading site of Western Pacific’s Oroville, California, station on Oakland–Salt Lake City line [had worked on railroad in Oklahoma Territory in 1898; operated mule-drawn sled used in railroad grading work; settled in Oakland, CA in spring 1904 as superintendent for E. B. and A. L. Stone company in charge of building Richmond Belt Railroad, extension of Santa Fe Railroad line into Oakland; became independent subcontractor in 1906, landed first construction subcontract for Western Pacific Railroad in California; rented, bought first steam shovel]; 1910 - won subcontract for two sections (Natron, OR) of Southern Pacific $39 million project to ease grades, smooth curves on California-Oregon line; formed partnership with Wattis brothers (Utah Construction Co. in Salt Lake City); 1919 - won first road-building contract (first California contract issued by U.S. Bureau of Public Roads); 1925 - incorporated (brother, sons as officers); one of largest, most respected construction firms in West; diversified into highway construction, oil and gas production, transportation; formed partnership with Henry Kaiser; 1926 - completed first dam; 1929 - pipeline construction in partnership with Silas Palmer for PG&E; March 3, 1931 - won Hoover Dam project (as part of Six Companies, Inc. consortium) with bid of $48,890,955 ($24,000 more than cost calculated by Bureau of Reclamation engineers); 1933 - Steve Bechtel Sr. (son) named president; formed Bridge Builders, Inc., with Henry Kaiser, to construct eastern portion of Oakland Bay Bridge (completed in 1936); 1936 - company reorganized; 1937 - Bechtel-McCone-Parsons Corp. formed; moved into engineering, built first refinery for Standard Oil of California; 1941 - 11 refineries completed or under way; 1940 - won order from U. S. Navy for 60 C-1 cargo ships (last of 560 ships launched October 27, 1945); 1945 - first of many jobs for Southern California Edison; 1958 - had worked on 2,000 projects in 40 states, in 30 countries on 6 continents; 1960 - Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. (35, grandson) named president; 1968 - had worked on 27 nuclear-fueled generating units,  backlog lasted more than 15 years (40% of all nuclear work in United States, half nuclear plants in developing countries by mid-1980s); new era for metals industries; 1967 - 22 hotels completed or under construction in 14 countries as result of arrangement with Pan American World Airways Inter-Continental subsidiary); 1961 - Bay Area Rapid Transit District approved Bay Area Rapid Transit system plans (largest, most advanced rapid-transit project ever undertaken; 1969 - around 14,000 employees, about 100 major projects in 60 countries; June 2, 1974 - Saudi government signed contract for Bechtel to oversee long-range industrialization program on behalf of kingdom; December 31, 1975 - company at work on 119 major projects in some 2 dozen countries with estimated value of $40 billion (according to Fortune magazine); 20-year growth rate of 10 to 20%/year; June 24, 1976 - signed 20-year program management services agreement with Saudi government for development of Jubail region; 1975 - George Shultz named president (left in 1982); 1979 - non-construction activities (project management, engineering, construction management accounted for two-thirds of revenues, up from 40% in 1970); 1980 - $11.3 billion in new bookings (highest ever), 132 major projects in 20 countries; 1981 - Bechtel Group, Inc., holding company, formed; May 27, 1986 - organization-wide realignment; 1989 - Riley P. Bechtel (great grandson, 4th generation) named president; 1989 - new work booked climbed to $5.4 billion, six-year high; 1992 - revenues reached eight-year high of $7.8 billion; mid-1992 - continuous improvement model supplemented with corporate business model comprising seven critical processes; 1990s - restructured operations along regional lines, in part to bring decision-making closer to growing number of international customers; 2001 - created industry-specific global business units capable of managing worldwide operations in key industries; more than 22,000 projects in 140 nations over 110 years.

Warren A. Bechtel - Bechtel Corporation (

March 30, 1909 - Queensboro Bridge, first significant double-deck bridge in the U.S., opened to traffic; one of greatest cantilever bridges in history of American bridge design; collaboration between famed bridge engineer Gustav Lindenthal (1850-1935), architect Henry Hornbostel; opening was one of, if not most important feature to stimulate continuing development of Long Island City and Queens in general.

August 24, 1909 - First concrete for Panama Canal poured at  lock site at Gatun; built 1904-14, half length of the Suez Canal; uses locks to raise and lower ships (unlike Suez).

December 31, 1909 - Manhattan Bridge, fourth bridge between Manhattan and boroughs across river opened to traffic; 1,470-foot span across East River.

November 27, 1910 - New York City's Pennsylvania Station opened.

April 24, 1913 - Woolworth Building completed, tallest building in world (792 feet) for 16 years; designed by Cass Gilbert (used Victoria Tower, London as a model); President Woodrow Wilson (from the White House) pressed button which lighted the building's 80,000 bulbs.

October 12, 1920 - Construction began on Holland Tunnel connected New Jersey and New York City.

November 12, 1927 - Holland Tunnel between New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey, officially opened to foot traffic (autos next day) when President Calvin Coolidge telegraphed  signal from the presidential yacht, Mayflower, anchored in the Potomac River; first of its kind in the U. S. double-tubed underwater tunnel, 9,250 feet length of the tunnel from shore to shore (of which 5,480-ft runs under the river); named after its engineer, Clifford Holland; tunnel carries 1,900 vehicles per hour; highly advanced ventilation system changed air in the tubes 42 times an hour at the rate of 3,761,000 cubic feet per minute; first subaqueous highway single tube tunnel in the U.S. was the 1,520-ft long Washington Street Tunnel beneath the Chicago River in Chicago, IL (authorized on July 17, 1866, did not carry automobile traffic until 1911).

December 11, 1929 - The Empire State Building's design  announced.

January 13, 1931 - The bridge connecting New York and New Jersey named the George Washington Memorial Bridge; April 30, 1931 - bridge opened.

May 1, 1931 - The 102-story Empire State Building in New York City was dedicated. At the White House in Washington  President Herbert Hoover pushed a button that turned on the lights of the Building (button he pushed was "symbolic", someone else flicked the switches on in New York) officially opening the tallest building erected to that date (102 stories, or 1,454 feet from the top of its lightning rod to its base at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue below). Designed by architect William Frederick Lamb (Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates), constructed during the height of the Great Depression, took just over a year to complete at a cost of only $40 million; construction employed as many as 3,400 workers on any single day, completed ahead of schedule. 1972 - the Empire State Building lost its standing as the world’s tallest building with the completion of the 110-story World Trade Center; 2004 - Taipei 101 building in Taipei, Taiwan, became the world’s tallest building at 1,670 feet tall.

October 25, 1931 - The George Washington Bridge linking New Jersey, New York completed eight months ahead of schedule, at cost of $59 million, 12 lives.

January 5, 1933 - Work on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge began on the Marin County side; first in the U.S. to have piers built in open ocean; first to span the outer mouth of a major ocean harbor; chief engineer was Joseph Strauss; length of the main structure of the bridge is 8,940-ft, with towers rising 746-ft above the water and a minimum clearance of 220 feet.

February 12, 1935 - Walker E. Irving, of Glennbrook, CT, received a patent for a "Bridge" ("bridge deck of floor is mainly composed of an openwork metal grating"); open-mesh steel flooring, especially for draw bridges.

January 15, 1936 - First, all glass, windowless building in U.S. completed in Toledo, OH as home of Owens-Illinois Glass Company Laboratory; used 80,000 translucent water-clear hollow glass blocks, weighed about 150 tons.

July 11, 1936 - Triborough Bridge Authority opened Triborough Bridge, linked Manhattan, Bronx and Queens; cost $60 million to build; 1937 - more than 11 million cars crossed bridge; 2005 - 63 million crossed.

November 12, 1936 - The Oakland Bay Bridge opened.

May 27, 1937 - The Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, opened to pedestrian traffic; May 28, 1937 - opened to vehicular traffic when President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in the White House to announce the event to the world.

December 22, 1937 - First tube (today the center tube) of the Lincoln Tunnel opened in New York to traffic, at a cost of $75 million; passed 1.5 miles under the Hudson River, connected Weehawken, NJ and Manhattan; February 1, 1945 - second tube of the Lincoln Tunnel to the north of the first opened; May 25, 1957 - third tube added south of the first; world's only three-tube underwater tunnel for vehicles; tubes have an external diameter of 3-ft, operating headroom of 13-ft and width 21.5-ft.; maximum depth from mean high water to roadway is 97-ft.

October 15, 1939 - The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport) dedicated.

July 2, 1940 - First pontoon bridge of reinforced concrete in  U.S. (Homer M. Hadley), Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle, WA, dedicated; total length of 34,021 feet included 25 pontoons bolted together, each having two or more 65-ton anchors making a 6,620-foot floating span attached to fixed approach spans; anchored with steel cables to resist wind and waves, and hydraulic jacks to let out or take up the slack; first floating draw span in the world, with a 200-foot section designed to allow vessels to pass through; two 75-horsepower motors opened span in 90 seconds; November 25, 1990 - water from a heavy rainstorm filled the pontoons, floating bridge sank into Lake Washington.

October 16, 1943 - Chicago Mayor Edward J. Kelly officially opened city's new subway system.

May 25, 1950 - Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel opened in New York City.

November 1, 1957 - Mackinac Bridge, world longest suspension bridge opened to traffic; total length of 26,444-ft, needed 34 bridge support foundations; main span is 3,800-ft long.; joined upper and lower peninsulas of the state of Michigan, reduced crossing time, from a couple of hours, to 10 minutes; June 28, 1958 - dedicated.

August 28, 1963 - Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, connecting Seattle and Bellevue, WA, longest floating pontoon bridge in  world, opened; carried state road 520 with a floating length of 7,578 ft (almost 1000-ft more than the second-longest, Lacey V. Murrow Bridge; retractable drawspan in the middle, opened to protect the bridge when windspeed reaches 40mph.

April 15, 1964 - Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened, longest in  world at 17 1/2 miles.

November 21, 1964 - New York's Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened to traffic at 3 pm; $325 million, 6,690-foot span between Brooklyn and Staten Island supported by arches of two steel towers as tall as 70-story skyscrapers; took 5 years to build; toll of 50-cents.

April 15, 1965 - Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opened; connected Kiptopeke and Chesapeake Beach, Virginia; bridge-tunnel hybrid spanned the entire mouth of the great Chesapeake Bay, longest such structure in the world at 17.65 miles in length (essentially an artificial causeway raised on platforms).

July 16, 1965 - Mont Blanc seven-mile road tunnel opened, linked France and Italy; holds world record for the deepest tunnel with 2480 meters of rock covering it; took six years, from 1959 to 1965, to bore the 11.6-km long tunnel.

October 14, 1966 - The city of Montreal inaugurated metro system.

July 21, 1970 - After 11 years of construction, Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed; more than two miles long at its crest, $1 billion dam ended cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region, exploited tremendous source of renewable energy, had a controversial environmental impact; brought the Nile's devastating floods to an end, reclaimed more than 100,000 acres of desert land for cultivation, made additional crops possible on some 800,000 other acres; 12 giant Soviet-built turbines produced as much as 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually, provided boost to Egyptian economy, introduced 20th-century life into many villages; 1902 - dam completed at Aswan, 500 miles south of Cairo; created giant reservoir - 300 miles long, 10 miles wide, named Lake Nasser; required the resettlement of 90,000 Egyptian peasants, Sudanese Nubian nomads, costly relocation of ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel (built in the 13th century BC).

December 23, 1970 - Construction of World Trade Center in New York City reached 1353 feet, its highest point.

May 3, 1973 - Chicago's Sears Tower, world's tallest building finished (1,454-ft.); took 3 years to build, 1,707-ft tall including its antennas; designed for more than 12,000 occupants.

April 5, 1974 - Tallest building, World Trade Center opened in New York City (110 stories).

June 26, 1976 - CN tower, in Toronto, Canada, world's tallest self-supporting structure, opened to public; tallest free-standing structure in the world (height of 1815 feet 5 inches); construction completed in 40 months; classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

July 17, 1981 - Queen Elizabeth II opened Humber Bridge at Kingston-upon-Hull, England; longest single-span bridge in the world (1.4 km), took nine years to build.

February  20, 1986 - Britain and France announced plans to build the Channel Tunnel.

December 1, 1987 - British and French workers began digging the Channel Tunnel to link the two countries for the first time in 8,000 years; December 1, 1990 - workers finally meet in the service tunnel,  40 meters beneath the English Channel seabed, after knocking out a passage large enough to walk through and shake hands, 22.3 km from the UK and 15.6 km from France. May 1994 - officially opened; featured two rail tunnels and a service tunnel; reduced travel time between England and France by 45 minutes.

December 18, 1997 - The 9.3-mile toll expressway, Tokyo Bay Aqualine bridge and tunnel that spans the narrowest gap of Tokyo Bay, opened to traffic after 31 years of studies; project took 8-1/2 years to complete at a cost of $17 billion; previously, trip required a 1 hr ferry or 62.1 mile drive.

December 14, 2004 - The Millau Viaduct, world's highest road bridge (270m above valley, tallest pylon is 340m high), opened; bridged River Tarn in Southern France. 

(Bechtel), Robert L. Ingram (1968). The Bechtel Story; Seventy Years of Accomplishment in Engineering and Construction. (San Francisco, CA: Bechtel Corporation, 157 p.). Bechtel Corporation.

(Bechtel), Laton McCartney (1988). Friends in High Places: The Bechtel Story: The Most Secret Corporation and How It Engineered the World (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 352 p.). Bechtel, Stephen Davison, 1925- ; Bechtel Group; Engineers--United States--Biography; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

(Belcan Corporation), Joseph L. Massie (1995). Anderson's Way: The Story of an Entrepreneur. (Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 186 p.). Anderson, Ralph Gilbert, 1923- ; Mechanical engineers--United States--Biography; Entrepreneurship--United States--Case studies.

Beranek & Newman) (Bolt, ,Leo Beranek (2008). Riding the Waves: A Life in Sound, Science, and Industry. (Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 235 p.). President BBN. Beranek, Leo Leroy, 1914- ; Acoustical engineering --United States --Biography; Music-halls. One of world's leading experts on noise control, concert acoustics; invented Hush-A-Phone (led to breakup of the Bell Telephone monopoly in 1980s); academician; managed acoustical consulting firm Bolt Beranek and Newman; devised world’s largest muffler to quiet jet noise, served as acoustical consultant for concert halls around world; assembled software group that invented both ARPANET, forerunner of Internet, and e-mail; bought license to operate Boston television station; sold to Metromedia for highest price ever paid to date for station.

(Dar al-Handasah), Kamal A. Shair (2006). Out of the Middle East: The Emergence of an Arab Global Business. (New York, NY: I.B. Tauris, 262 p.). Founder, Chairman of Dar Al-Handasah. Shair, Kamal; Dar al-Handasah (Firm); Businesspeople--Middle East--Biography; Politicians--Jordan--Biography. Small-town boy, in what was then Transjordan, dragged himself through school (mother illiterate), moved to college in Beirut, went to America (Michigan and Yale), returned to Middle East, created multinational corporate empire engaged in trade, construction, manufacturing.

(Day & Zimmermann), Jeffrey L. Rodengen (2001). The Legend of Day & Zimmermann. (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Write Stuff Enterprises, 151 p.). Day & Zimmermann; Family-owned businesses.

(Dewberry), Sidney O. Dewberry, Kathi Ann Brown (2006). The Dewberry Way. (Fairfax, VA: Dewberry). Dewberry; engineering design--Case studies. Established in 1956 as six-person surveying, engineering firm. 2006 - employed 1,870 employees in 34 offices; sales topped $300 million (vs. more than $240 million in 2005).

(GKN - formerly known as Guest Keen and Nettlefolddates to 1759), Edgar Jones ; foreword by David Lees (1990). A History of GKN. (London, UK: Macmillan, 2 vols.). GKN (Firm)--History; International business enterprises--Great Britain--History. Incomplete Contents: v. 2. The growth of a business, 1918-45.

(HNTB Corporation), Kathi Ann Brown (1989). Diversity by Design: Celebrating 75th Years of Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, 1914-1989. (Kansas City, MO: Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, 137 p.). Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff; Transportation -- design -- United States. 

(Holman Brothers, Ltd.), Bernard Hollowood (1951). Cornish Engineers. (Camborne, UK: Holman Brothers Ltd., 95 p.). Holman Brothers Ltd. of Camborne.

(IDEO), Tom Kelley, with Jonathan Littman (2001). The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America's Leading Design Firm. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 307 p.). Creative ability in business--Case studies; Technological innovations--Case studies.

(IDEO), Thomas Kelly, Jonathan Littman (2005). The Ten Faces of Innovation: Strategies from IDEO for Beating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization. (New York, NY: Currency/Doubleday, 288 p.). General Manager of IDEO; Contributing Editor at Playboy. Organizational effectiveness; Technological innovations--Social aspects. 

(Linde Group), Hans-Liudger Dienel (2004). Linde: History of a Technology Corporation, 1879-2004. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 369 p.). Acting Director of the Center for Technology and Society (Berlin University of Technology). Linde Aktiengesellschaft--History; Engineering firms--Germany--History.

(Lockwood Greene Engineers, Inc. ), Samuel Bicknell Lincoln (1960). Lockwood Greene; The History of an Engineering Business, 1832-1958. (Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Greene Press, 861 p.). Lockwood Greene Engineers, Inc.

(Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers), Wilbur Cross (1985). 75 years of Foundation Engineering: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers: A History of the Firm. (Elmsford, NY: Benjamin, 192 p.). Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers--History; Foundations--United States--Design and construction--History.

(Harry Neal Ltd.), Martin Gaskell (1989). Harry Neal Ltd.: A Family of Builders. (Cambridge, UK: Granta, 176 p.). Harry Neal Ltd.; London Building industries Companies history.

(John A. Roebling's Sons Company), Schuyler Hamilton (1972). The Roeblings; A Century of Engineers, Bridge-Builders and Industrialists; The Story of Three Generations of an Illustrious Family, 1831-1931. (New York, NY: AMS Press, 424 p. [orig. pub. 1931]). Roebling family; Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869; Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926.

(John A. Roebling's Sons Company), David B. Steinman (1972). The Builders of the Bridge; The Story of John Roebling and His Son. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 457 p. [orig. pub. 1950]). Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869; Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926.

(John A. Roebling's Sons Company), Clifford W. Zink and Dorothy White Hartman (1992). Spanning the Industrial Age: The John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, Trenton, New Jersey, 1848-1974. (Trenton, NJ: Trenton Roebling Community Development Corp., 192 p.). John A. Roebling’s Sons Company; Wire-rope industry --New Jersey --Trenton --History; Trenton (N.J.) --History.Company's history in Trenton, NJ.

(Science Applications International Corporation), Ed. Stan Burns (1999). SAIC: The First Thirty Years. (Del Mar, CA: Tehabi Books, 167 p.). Science Applications International Corporation; Engineering firms--United States--History.

(Tangyes Ltd.), Rachel E. Waterhouse (1957). A Hundred Years of Engineering Craftsmanship; A Short History Tracing the Adventurous Development of Tangyes Limited, Smethwick, 1857-1957. (London, UK: Tangyes, 109 p.). Tangyes, ltd.

(Weir Group), W. J. Reader, with a final chapter by the Right Hon. Viscount Weir (1971). The Weir Group: A Centenary History (London, UK: Weidenfeld, 238 p.). Established Business History Unit at London School of Economics. Weir Group Limited. History of Scottish engineering firm.

David P. Billington (1996). The Innovators: The Engineering Pioneers Who Made America Modern (New York, NY: Wiley, 245 p.). Engineering--United States--History; Technological innovations--United States--History; Engineers--United States.

David P. Billington and David P. Billington Jr. (2006). Power, Speed, and Form: Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 269 p.). Gordon Y. S. Wu Professor of Engineering (Princeton University); Independent Scholar. Engineering--United States--History; Engineers--United States. Account of engineering behind eight breakthrough innovations (used simple numerical ideas) that transformed American life from 1876 to 1939: 1) telephone, 2) electric power, 3) oil refining, 4) automobile, 5) airplane, 6) radio, 7) long-span steel bridge, 8) building with reinforced concrete.

Christy Borth (1945). Masters of Mass Production. (New York, NY: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 290 p.). Engineers--United States; World war, 1939-1945.

James E. Brittain (1992). Alexanderson: Pioneer in American Electrical Engineering. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 381 p.). Alexanderson, Ernst Fredrik Werner, 1878-1975; Electric engineers--United States--Biography; Inventors--United States--Biography.

R. A. Buchanan (1989). The Engineers: A History of the Engineering Profession in Britain, 1750-1914. (London, UK: J. Kingsley Publishers, 240 p.). Engineering--Great Britain--History; Engineers--Great Britain--History.

Thomas P. Hughes (1971). Elmer Sperry; Inventor and Engineer (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 348 p.). Sperry, Elmer Ambrose, 1860-1930.

Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, with Maggie Smith; foreword by Leo P. Geary (1985). Kelly: More Than My Share of It All (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 209 p.). Johnson, Clarence L.; Aeronautical engineers--United States--Biography; Aeronautics, Military--Research--United States; Lockheed airplanes.

David Neal Keller (1991). C. Paul Stocker: His Life and Legacy (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 219 p.). Stocker, C. Paul (Closman Paul), 1904-1978; Electric engineers--United States--Biography; Telephone supplies industry--United States--Biography.

Dan McNichol (2005). The Roads That Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System. (New York, NY: Sterling, 224 p.). Interstate Highway System -- History; Eisenhower, President; Transportation -- United States. 2006 - 50th anniversary of U.S. Interstate System, largest engineering project world has ever known.

Craig H. Miner (1997). So Many Worlds: Invention, Management, Philosophy, and Risk in the Life of Leroy Hill (Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press, 306 p.). Hill, Leroy, 1894-1981; Aeronautical engineers--United States--Biography; Businessmen--United States--Biography.

Harvey Molotch (2003). Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers, and Many Others Things Come To Be as They Are. (New York, NY: Routledge, 324 p.). Professor of Metropolitan Studies and Sociology (New York University), Professor of Sociology (University of California, Santa Barbara). Engineering--Popular works. 

Donald A. Norman (1990). The Design of Everyday Things. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 257 p. (orig. pub. 1988)). Design, Industrial--Psychological aspects; Human engineering. Study of usability.

Henry Petroski (1992). To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design. (New York, NY: Vintage Books, Orig. pub. in 1985; 252 p.). Academic (Professor of Civil Engineering/History at Duke). Engineering Design

--- (1996). Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 242 p.). Academic (Professor of Civil Engineering/History at Duk. Engineering Design)

--- (1997). Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering. (New York, NY: Knopf, 239 p.). Academic (Professor of Civil Engineering/History at Duke). Engineering.

Henry Petroski (2006). Success Through Failure: The Paradox of Design. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 240 p.). Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History (Duke University). Engineering design--Case studies; System failures (Engineering)--Case studies. Invention, design are about making something better--by carefully anticipating, averting failure.

John Rae & Rudy Volti (2001). The Engineer in History. (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 254 p.). Engineering--History; Engineers--History.

Marc J. Seifer (1996). Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius (Seacaucus, NJ: Carol Pub., 542 p.). Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943; Electric engineers--United States--Biography; Inventors--United States--Biography.

James Tobin (2001). Great Projects: The Epic Story of the Building of America: From the Taming of the Mississippi to the Invention of the Internet (New York, NY: Free Press). Engineering--United States--History. Companion to a new PBS series, author examines eight engineering triumphs that provided water and power to the nation, allowed the rise of major cities, and created the transportation and communications networks on which we all depend.

John F. Wilson (1988). Ferranti and the British Electrical Industry, 1864-1930. (New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 165 p.). Ferranti, Sebastian Ziani de, 1864-1930; Industrialists--Great Britain--Biography; Electric engineers--Great Britain--Biography; Statesmen--Great Britain--Biography; Electric utilities--Great Britain--History.     

Neill C. Wilson and Frank J. Taylor (1957). The Earth Changers. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 312 p.). Engineering--History.

Christian Wolmar (2004). The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever. (London, UK: Atlantic, 351 p.). London Underground Limited--History; Subways--England--London--History; Subways--England--London--Design and construction.

G. Pascal Zachary (1997). Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century (New York, NY: Free Press, 518 p.). Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974; Electric engineers--United States--Biography; Mathematicians--United States--Biography.


Business History Links

The Interstate Is 50                                                                                

The year 2006 will mark the 50th anniversary of the federal law that brought America its unparalleled Interstate Highway System. This 46,508-mile web of superhighways has transformed our nation and our economy. It is a symbol of freedom and a tribute to human ingenuity. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which represents the state departments of transportation in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, will introduce you to the history of the Interstate Highway System, plans to "Celebrate the Interstate!" both nationally and in individual states, and some of the policy questions the nation faces as we look to the next 50 years in U.S. transportation. Welcome!

Top 20 Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century                     Http://Www.Greatachievements.Org                                 

The top 20 include electrification (#1), telephones, automobile, radio, T.V., water supply systems, etc. Some of these were government sponsored (e.g., safe water supplies), others were developed in the private sector. Website provides complete histories and timelines for each "revolutionary technology.


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