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- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Washington Monument
- From: <CanitzCF(--nospam--at)aol.com>
- Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 22:58:18 EDT
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.
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