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

Missouri Bridges

The Kansas City Bridge
The St. Louis Bridge
Building the Piers
Arches & Roadways
Keystone Bridge Co.

Centuries of Civil Engineering

Keystone Bridge Company.
Descriptive catalogue of wrought-iron bridges...
[Philadelphia, Allen, Lane, and Scott, 1874]
Water Supply
Image Index


The main contractor for the St. Louis Bridge was the Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, of which Andrew Carnegie was vice-president. Soon after the contract was signed, Carnegie formed the Carnegie-Kloman company, which sub-contracted to supply all the iron and steel for the bridge. Eads had very rigid specifications for his bridge materials, and he rejected much of the iron supplied because it did not meet strength specifications. This brought him into head-to-head conflict with Carnegie, who protested strongly to the directors of the Bridge Company that Eads was being overly picky. Carnegie’s protests were in vain. Only iron and steel that met specifications was accepted. Through-out construction, inspections were rigid and continuous. As a result, the erection of the bridge proceed without the usual problems caused by inferior materials. And the bridge still stands.

The illustration of the Carnegie-Kloman Union Iron Mills is from a trade catalogue published by the Keystone Bridge Company. Such catalogues are quite scarce today, since they were printed to be used, and not preserved, but they can provide a vital look at contemporary engineering practices.


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