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Manuscript Journal - Urban Infrastructure - Railways
Chicago 1845 - Drogheda, Dublin [Ireland], Dumfries [Scotland], New Rochelle, Chicago [U.S.A.], 1845-1860. One original signed field journal of notes and drawings, made by William Edward Bryson, Scottish architect and civil engineer who immigrated to the United States of America in 1847 and who was an instrumental contributor in designing and constructing the transportation and storm drain frameworks upon which Chicago rapidly emerged into a dominant Midwest metropolis. Small 8vo. Adcock's Engineer's Pocket Book, 152 pages, printed in London, containing detailed manuscript notes and meticulous drawings to 80 pages, featuring bridge building, railway lines and underground storm drain works. Front endpaper signed by Bryson, his initials also appearing twice in the text. Beautiful morocco binding with five raised bands and marbled endpapers representative of the period. Volume measures approximately 12 x 16,5 x 2 cm. Very slight age toning to leafs, otherwise in very good condition, a most pleasing and unique volume.The engineer's notes begin with 5 stellar pre-construction drawings of Ireland's Boyne Viaduct dated November 1845, illustrating the original ironworks which have since been removed, and complete with weights and measurements, 5 pages. [Construction on the railway bridge began eight years later in 1853 and was completed in 1855. The original iron spans were wide enough to carry two tracks. When the bridge was refurbished in the 1930s, new steel girders replaced the iron structure.] He also sketches a proposal for the Newton Cap Viaduct in Bishop Auckland, with further notes on its stone masonry and brick work, as well the contractor's obligations, altogether 10 pages, most likely penned between 1846-47. With measurements for its 11 pillars, each spanning 60 feet, he suggests a total length of the wall being 964 feet; upon completion it measured 828 feet. Following is an itemized list of material and labour costs such as timber, wrought iron, lead, fencing, arch sheeting, excavation of the river, and two culverts. [Built by the North Eastern Railway across the valley of the River Wear, construction began in 1854, and it saw its first freight on 19th August 1856.] Two margin annotations refer to "Midland Great Western Railway, contract No. 1 Dublin Terminus" suggesting his involvement in another project perhaps at or near the same time. On 1 June 1847 he notes his arrival in Dumfries to work for the Glasgow Dumfries & Carlisle Railway, a company in Scotland, which built and ran what is now known as the Glasgow South Western Line. The line was authorised on 13 August 1846 and was constructed between then and 1850. The volume does not indicate his work with the latter mentioned railway company, although it would have ended by early 1849. Surviving a voyage on an Irish immigrant ship which had sailed from Liverpool, on 27 August 1849 Dryson arrived in New York. He settled in New Rochelle, Westchester County. Quickly being recognized as an astute and skilled architect and civil engineer, immediately following the extension of the railroad through Pelhamville, on 4 August 1851 Bryson was commissioned to survey the area for development. [His map was filed in the office of the Register of Westchester County and has been referenced in a wide variety of documentation over the years referencing homes and lots in North Pelham. Bryson also created the development map entitled "Map of Prospect Hill Village, Town of Pelham, Westchester County, New York" dated August 11, 1852.] Dryson's first note made in this journal when on American soil reads, "Thursday Sept. 4th 1856 Left New Rochelle N.Y. arrived in Chicago Sunday morning Sept. 7th 1856." Approximately 12 pages are devoted to his endeavours in Chicago playing an integral role in a massive infrastructure project for 4 years - the designing and construction of Chicago's storm and sewer drain system. Precise calculations of materials and measurements are made, identifying specific locations such a
      [Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts]
Last Found On: 2014-11-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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