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Washington Monument

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While cleaning out some files, I came across the following which
may be of interest to the group. Although the pigeon may have 
thought otherwise, it is further testament to the "KISS" principle.


Most Unusual Engineering Feat: When the Army Corps of Engineers
took over construction of the Washington Monument in 1880, they were
faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem: since there had been no 
work done on the project in twenty-five years, the ropes and scaffolding
leading to the top had rotted with age. If additional bricks and mortar were
to be hauled to the top, the ropes would have to be replaced, but no one had
any idea how to get the ropes to the top either. The project seemed stymied
even before it had begun.
  Then, a brainstorm. Inside the 156-foot-high hollow shaft, a wire was tied
to the leg of a pigeon. A gun was fired and the frightened bird flew skyward,
emerging from the top, where it was killed with a blast from a second gun. The
pigeon fell to the ground, still tied to the wire, which the engineers then
used to haul up heavier cables and, ultimately, the scaffolding needed to
complete the
job.