Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Back to the LHL Home Page | Back to the Exhibitions Home Page

British Bridges
Missouri Bridges

Strength and Design

Strength of Materials
Designing an Arch
Dresden Bridge
Pont de Neuilly

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Schramm, Carl Christian
Historischer Schauplatz, in welchem die merkwürdigsten Brücken aus allen vier Theilen der Welt, insonderheit aber die in den vollkommensten Stand versetzte Dressdner Elb-brücke,... vorgestellet und beschrieben werden.
Leipzig: B.C. Breitkopf, 1735.
Water Supply
Image Index


In 1731, a bridge heralded as the largest structure of its time was completed over the Elbe at Dresden. To celebrate the event, Schramm wrote this book about it and other great bridges of the world. One arch of the completed Dresden Bridge is shown framing this allegorical engraving on bridge building. Surrounding the shield in the center of the arch are all of the hand tools used in bridge building, including mason's trowels, compasses, drills, and various saws, axes, and hammers. A bridge under construction is seen through the arch, with a floating pile driver in use to drive piles into the firm riverbed. Workmen at various tasks along the riverbank are shaping timbers, cutting stone, and draining water with a water screw.

On the right Minerva, patroness of arts and crafts and a goddess of wisdom and skill, holds a leveling instrument aloft and a drawing board and compass in her lap. Building a bridge successfully, her presence suggests, requires both skill and intelligence, and perhaps even divine assistance.


Home Credits Order Brochure
Copyright©2002 Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry St., Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2498 USA. (816) 363-4600.  If you have questions or comments about this site, send mail to the exhibition curator or to webmaster.  For reference questions, send mail to Reference or to the exhibition curator.  Most recent site update: October 28, 2002