To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org, hs(--nospam--at)niia.net
Subject: RE: 1000 year old Engineering wonder
From: "Sprague, Harold O." <SpragueHO(--nospam--at)bv.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 10:19:32 -0500
I was fortunate to have a great uncle in Germany who was a master builder
for the Catholic Church. As a master builder he was the architect,
engineer, and contractor on several churches and cathedrals. His great
grandson in Germany is aware of which ones that he built. I only know that
he had a few in Europe, one in South America and one in Texas.
When I was in Germany in the late 70's, the grandson showed me some of his
drawings. They were extraordinary for their detail. I remember in
particular the interior perspective drawings and the carved stone detail
drawings which were dimensioned and shaded.
They learned their craft by working under master builders, and studying
projects from the previous centuries of both successes and failures of
previous master builders.
A few years ago there was a college professor who attempted to numerically
substantiate an old cathedral several centuries old. At first he failed.
His calculations indicated unreinforced masonry in tension (can't do that).
He then revised his model to include all the gargoyles, parapets, and
decorative masonry. What he discovered was that the decorations served as a
mass to counterbalance the masonry arch lateral thrust loads to a point that
the numerical analysis worked.
I also have some relatives in Germany who are house builders, and are the
descendants of house builders for 300 years or so. He visited us here, and
was perplexed about our residential construction and our tendency to use
composite shingles for roofing. He told me that they couldn't use composite
shingles because they only lasted for about 30 years. I didn't understand
his concern until he told me that he guaranteed his work for 100 years, and
could not afford call backs for him or his heirs.
The adjective that comes to mind is "impressive".
> > Attention SEAINT Web server members:
> > What adjective would you use to describe a 1000
> "engineered" structure?
> > Reliable?
> > stable?
> > sound
> > What adjective can you think of ?????.
> > How would you describe this structure to the public?
> > See following message
> > =======================================================
> > Subj: thanks & question
> > Date: 00-04-19 12:38:01 EDT
> > From: hs(--nospam--at)niia.net (Sandy & Harold Henderson)
> > To: Rbengrguy(--nospam--at)aol.com
> > I have an engineering type of question for you, in
> connection with a
> > story I am working on. What adjective(s) would you find
> it appropriate to
> > apply to someone who designed a large structure that
> lasted for a thousand
> > years?
> > How about if he was apparently the first to design
> anything in this way?
> > And if the structure used materials that we would not
> expect to be
> > durable at that location?
> > No, this is not a joke. I find his achievement quite
> impressive, but I
> > use a professional opinion, since I am likely to find even
> > engineering
> > impressive once it is explained to me!
> > Harold
> > Harold Henderson
> > hs(--nospam--at)niia.net
> > 219/324-2620
> > Chicago Reader
> > cityfile(--nospam--at)chicagoreader.com
> > 312/828-0350
> > "When all else fails, read the directions."
> > **No electrons were injured in the production of this
> > ==========================================
> > Please responding DIRECTLY to Mr. Henderson
> > e-mail : hs(--nospam--at)niia.net
> > ============
> > Thanks Bob Johnson
> > SEAOI
> > NCSEA