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Re: Topping out steel structures with a tree

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This is an old Germanic custom (great engineers--those old Germans!)--it is an 'offering' to the 'natural gods'--in thanks for providing the materials and 'blessing' the project.  Some Amuricans thought is was pretty neat--so, have seen it carried over in the USA.

audra ranous

Paul Meyer wrote:


I've been asked why ironworkers place an evergreen (Xmas?) tree at the top of a steel structure once the final erection is completed.  Any folklorists out there?  My copy of "Steel Beams and Iron Men" just says that no one knows how the tradition got started.  Surely someone must know?  I have a niece counting on me for this.

Paul Meyer, P. Eng.
Senior Structural Engineer