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Locomotive to AeromotiveOctave Chanute and the Transportation Revolution$
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Simine Short

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036316

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036316.001.0001

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(p.77) Chapter 4 At the Top
Locomotive to Aeromotive

Simine Short

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details events following Octave Chanute's appointment as chief engineer of Erie Railway in February 1873. He also assumed additional duties as the assistant general superintendent and superintendent of motive power and rolling stock, weathering corruption, labor disturbance, rate discrimination, bankruptcies, and ever-increasing regulation in an atmosphere of cutthroat competition. Chanute also designed a bridge to connect Bradford, Pennsylvania, with the mainline in the north across the Kinzua Creek's deep ravine. This 302-foot-tall viaduct, with its single track, was Chanute's most spectacular bridge. Its bold design was of fascinating beauty, and the airy structure, with its elegant uprights, did not look as strong as it actually was. To watch a fully loaded coal train move over this “unsafe” looking viaduct was a curious spectacle, telling a triumphant tale of modern engineering.

Keywords:   Octave Chanute, civil engineers, chief engineering, Erie Railway, bridges, viaduct, Kinzua Creek

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