Landmark American Bridges
by Eric DeLony, Little Brown, 152 pages
This book is both a visual delight, with photographs of some ninety great American bridges, many of them in color, and a trove of economically presented information, and it can serve equally well as a coffee-table picture book and as a serious desktop reference. The author, Eric DeLony, is the chief of the Historic American Engineering Record, an organization founded in 1969 to document America’s industrial and engineering heritage, and he is one of the nation’s leading experts on bridge history. He has arranged his selection chronologically, beginning with a 1764 stone bridge in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and finishing with the VerrazanoNarrows bridge in New York. The spans described and shown in between, and the short introductions and timelines for the five chapters they fall into, combine to tell the whole story of the development of bridges in America, from wood and stone through iron to steel and concrete. If you find bridges beautiful or historically fascinating or both, this book is a pleasure.