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Bollman Truss

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The May 2006 edition of Structure Magazine arrived at my office today.  In
it there is an article about Albert Fink, German immigrant, railroad
engineer, bridge designer of the mid-1800's, who designed bridges for the
B&O and L&N Railroads.  The article includes sketches of a type of bridge
truss that I've never seen before.  He invented the Fink truss, but this
isn't that - it's called the Bollman Truss.  I haven't yet gotten my mind
around the load-path description that he wrote for his patent on the

It is a long-span truss without a bottom chord.  Its main span is an
inverted king-post truss that supports overlapping secondary inverted
king-post trusses each side of the center king post.  I wonder what the
advantage of this configuration is, and whether it is determinant.

The article includes drawings of the Louisville Bridge over the Ohio River,
and the Green River Bridge near Mammoth Kentucky.  Are they still in

Nels Roselund, SE
South San Gabriel, CA

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