Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
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Strength and Design
British Bridges
Missouri Bridges

Bridges of the British Isles

The Menai Suspension Bridge
Britannia Bridge / Building the Tubes
Floating the Tubes
Raising the Tubes
The Forth Bridge

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Clark, Edwin
The Britannia and Conway tubular bridges.
London Day and son [etc.] 1850.
Water Supply
Image Index


The tubes for the Britannia bridge were built on staging on the shore, upriver of the bridge. There were four tubes required in all, each one 470 feet long, and weighing 1300 tons apiece. The tubes were fabricated of wrought iron plate that was hand-riveted together, some 800,000 rivets being used in each tube. Work began in June, 1847, and within a year the first tube was finished. It was floated into position on pontoons in June, 1849.


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