V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Technological Developments, 1800–1914 > b. Materials and Construction
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
b. Materials and Construction
1800
 
Pioneer suspension bridge, hung by iron chains, built by James Finley (c. 1762–1828) in Pennsylvania; wire suspension employed by Marc Seguin (1786–1875) in bridge near Lyons (1825). An American, Ithiel Town (1784–1844), patented his truss bridge (1820).  1
 
1817–25
 
Building of the Erie Canal, the first great American civil engineering work.  2
 
1818
 
The Institute of Civil Engineers (London), the first professional engineering society, founded.  3
Marc Isambard Brunel (1769–1849) patented the cast iron tunnel shield; Thomas Cochrane (1830) used this shield to construct foundations on marshy ground.  4
 
1824
 
Joseph Aspdin (1779–1855) patented Portland cement, a hydraulic cement (impervious to water) as durable as that employed by the Romans.  5
 
1827
 
Gay-Lussac tower introduced in manufacture of sulfuric acid, largely replacing John Roebuck's lead-chamber process (1746). Herman Frasch (1851–1914) developed process (1891) for mining sulfur (by superheated water and pumping to the surface).  6
 
1836
 
Galvanized iron introduced by Sorel in France. Galvanized fencing and barbed wire (c. 1880) helped to fence off large tracts of cattle land in the American West during the latter part of the 19th century.  7
 
1839
 
Charles Goodyear (1800–60) vulcanized rubber. Although introduced into Europe in 1615, rubber had not been commercially successful until a solvent for the latex was found (1765); bonding of rubber to cloth to produce raincoats (macintoshes) had been developed (1824) by Charles Macintosh (1766–1843).  8
 
1855
 
John A. Roebling (1806–69) completed wire cable bridge at Niagara, N.Y.; Roebling utilized this same method for the Brooklyn Bridge (completed by his son, W. A. Roebling, in 1883), and it became standard construction technique for all great suspension bridges.  9
 
1856
 
Henry Bessemer (1813–98) perfected the technique (Bessemer process) for converting pig iron into steel by directing an air blast upon the molten metal.  10
 
1856
 
Mauve, first of the aniline (coal-tar) dyes, discovered by William H. Perkin (1838–1907). Beginning of the synthetic dye industry, which was to develop greatly in Germany.  11
 
1861
 
Ernest Solvay (1838–1922) patented the Solvay ammonia process for the manufacture of soda.  12
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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