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Hell Gate Bridge turns 100

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RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, March 11, 2017 2:57 PM

Had NH not been ruined by the Morgan/Mellen experience, and then by Mr. McGinnis on his way to the hoosegow, the situation by PC merger time might not have been so awful.  On the other hand, ever so much of New England was going bad on its own, or improving itself in decidedly non-railroad-friendly ways during the postwar period, so even a truly high-speed New Haven might not have done better...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:18 PM

Speaking of the New Haven...

One of the best railroad promotional films ever was done by the New Haven in 1942 and called "A Great Railroad At Work."  A fascinating time capsule of the New Haven at the height of it's power.

It's available from several sources, have a look and grab one for yourselves, you won't be sorry.

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:35 PM

Firelock76
One of the best railroad promotional films ever was done by the New Haven in 1942 and called "A Great Railroad At Work."

One of those great Jam Handy films, narrated by the fellow who would make Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom memorable.

It's hard to make Elmer Fudd look sophisticated by comparison, but bankruptcy trustee Palmer manages it.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:45 PM

That's the one!  And it's obvious Mr. Palmer wasn't hired for his star quality, I'm sure his talents were in other areas.

And that boy at the station, and the engineer waving to him, think they're father and son?

And I didn't know Lowell Thomas was involved with "Wild Kingdom," a bit before my time possibly. I remember Marlon Perkins and Jim Fowler very well though. 

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:10 PM

Firelock76
And I didn't know Lowell Thomas was involved with "Wild Kingdom," a bit before my time possibly.

Funny thing is, I'm not the only one who remembers 'the famous Lowell Thomas' hosting the program.  Memory is a strange thing. Neither the 'official' Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom site nor online Lowell Thomas biographies mention it. 

I also remember Edward Everett Horton primarily for Fractured Fairy Tales, but that is an artifact of growing up in the '60s...

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:20 PM

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:59 PM

RME
Firelock76

Funny thing is, I'm not the only one who remembers 'the famous Lowell Thomas' hosting the program.  Memory is a strange thing. Neither the 'official' Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom site nor online Lowell Thomas biographies mention it. 

I also remember Edward Everett Horton primarily for Fractured Fairy Tales, but that is an artifact of growing up in the '60s...

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 12, 2017 9:25 AM

Balt, I don't know who the owner of that plate in New Hampshire is, but he deserves an award for the best custom tag in the country!

And thanks for that picture of Marlin Perkins, Wanswheel!  Marlin was the Man!  He probably did more to raise environmental awareness in a rising generation than he ever got credit for.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, March 12, 2017 10:02 AM

BaltACDLaugh  Thanks ! 

For those who don't know, the prime characters in The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocky_and_Bullwinkle_Show ) were often referred to as "moose and squirrel" by their nemesis, Boris Badenov (Russian spy type, and his lovely assistant Natasha Fatale, both commanded by Fearless Leader - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Badenov ) when Boris was plotting something against them: "Boris's attempts at killing "moose and squirrel" (as he refers to them) also always end in failure, usually by his own scheme backfiring on him."

- PDN.

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:44 PM

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, March 12, 2017 9:04 PM

^If only UP had a Landwasser-like arched viaduct...

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 13, 2017 4:17 AM

If I might return briefly to the Hell Gate Bridge, I grew up in Sydney, Australia and was familiar with the Sydney Harbour Bridge:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Harbour_Bridge

This was completed in 1932 after a long period of planning and construction.

Early designs were of a cantilever design, and John Bradfield, the project leader built such a bridge in 1940 in Brisbane:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Story_Bridge

But after the completion of the Hell Gate Bridge, an arch design was adopted. The Sydney bridge is virtually the Hell Gate scaled up by 1.6 times (span 1650 ft) although the deck is even wider with provision for four tracks and six road lanes. In the 1960s, two tracks used for streetcars were replaced by two more road lanes.

One structural difference is that the Sydney bridge uses pin joints at the arch supports on the piers while the Hell Gate has rigid supports.

I actually have a photo from the top of the World Trade Center showing the Hell Gate Bridge in the distance, taken in 1990.

I never realised that Rocky and Bullwinkle shows were in colour. Colour TV arrived in Australia in 1975, and I don't think the shows were still broadcast then, nor would I have watched it, I guess...

Peter

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:01 PM

I think you'll find that the Sydney Harbour Bridge has far more in common with the Bayonne Bridge than with the Hell Gate Bridge for its inspiration.

I dimly remember that the question "which bridge has the longer main span" had an interesting answer: it depended on the temperature.  I can't find that discussion on the Web and my notes are long gone.  Peter, you might tell them about David Dow and the ceremonial scissor blades.

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:52 PM

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:06 PM

How is it that no one has mounted an attack on the name of the bridge and a movement to get the name changed? In Alaska they changed the name of Mt. McKinley to Mt. Denali. South Dakota is considering changing the name of its highest point Harney Peak to Something-or-other peak. SD and several other states are changing names of things and places with names that some find offensive- mostly in racial terms. For example, anything with the word 'squaw" in it has or soon will be changed, and rightfully so. Did no one object to the name Hell Gate Bridge in 1917?

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:08 PM

I wonder, with Mr. Lindenthal's interest in music and all, if there was a counterpart somewhere for the Hell Gate opening.

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Posted by NKP guy on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:23 PM

   To my eye the Sydney Harbour Bridge looks very, very similar to Cleveland's Detroit-Superior High Level Bridge (1914-1918).  Cleveland's bridge features a second deck that carried four tracks for streetcars until 1954.  Attempts to convert the lower deck to automobile traffic came to nought because of the many pillars.

  I don't seem able to post any photos of this bridge; wanswheel, can you find a good one or two and post them for me?

 

 

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:28 PM

"Squaw" is just the phonetic spelling of the word in some Native American languages for 'woman'.  To me, it verges on PC idiocy to think there's something inherently degrading -- like calling men 'bucks' or women 'does' -- in using the Native American word for the Native American context. 

In this particular case, the name comes from Dutch meaning 'clear channel' and has no reference to either the theological place of eternal punishment or a water passage turbulent enough to make you think you are there.  If you want that you have to go to another body of water off the Manhattan shore with a railroad over it, Spuyten Duyvil...

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:46 PM

NKP guy
Cleveland's Detroit-Superior High Level Bridge (1914-1918) ...  I don't seem able to post any photos of this bridge; wanswheel, can you find a good one or two and post them for me?

Seems to me that Penny Trains posted a couple of very good Cleveland bridge shots a couple of months ago, including this one.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 13, 2017 8:46 PM
Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:01 PM

I think you'll find that the Sydney Harbour Bridge has far more in common with the Bayonne Bridge than with the Hell Gate Bridge for its inspiration.

I dimly remember that the question "which bridge has the longer main span" had an interesting answer: it depended on the temperature.  I can't find that discussion on the Web and my notes are long gone.  Peter, you might tell them about David Dow and the ceremonial scissor blades.

 

The Bayonne bridge is much closer in span (my figures are 1652' for the Bayonne and 1650' for Sydney.)

The design is different at the outer ends of the arch where the Bayonne maintains the basic depth of the truss for the whole span, where the Sydney bridge deepens the truss to form a sort of "portal" at deck level, as does the Hell Gate bridge.

I think that this was to provide clearance for the overhead catenary, not required on a road bridge like the Bayonne bridge.

The Bayonne bridge was only completed a couple of years before the Sydney bridge, while the publicity from the completion of the Hell Gate bridge was exactly at the right time to influence the design in Sydney

If you look at side views of the arches of the three bridges, you will get my point.

Peter

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Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 11:17 PM

Astoria, NY, where they actually baked a birthday cake for the Hell Gate Bridge.

http://www.qgazette.com/news/2017-03-15/Features/Hell_Gate_Bridge_Centennial.html

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Posted by aegrotatio on Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:04 AM

Jess James

I was reading so much about the New York City’s Hell Gate Bridge lately and thought I’d share with you a 100th Anniversary Commemorative design of the Bridge someone shared with me today, (link removed). I'm not a fan of T-Shirts but I'm really considering to get me one of these. I'm in love with this Bridge and I admire it's highly detailed and technical composition, such a beautiful structure, a genuine NYC pride!.

 

(image removed)

 

Wow, that t-shirt costs $36.

 

I searched on that site and I don't see how much of that $36 is pocketed by Raisedonconcrete or if they donate any of it elsewhere.

 

Hipsters, man.

 

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Posted by ElkinsParkGG1 on Saturday, March 18, 2017 3:17 PM
Was it really necessary for the author to to rakishly criticize the New York Times, then go on to extol its virtues for publishing a 'fine article' on the the history and importance of the Hell's Gate Bridge.? Sad, sad; really sad.

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