The Importance Of Bridges To Society

499 words - 2 pages

The Importance of Bridges to Society

Society has always relied on transportation to survive. When man first walked the earth he relied on himself for transportation. Eventually man learned to tame wild animals and use them as a form of transportation. And finally he created machines to take him places he could not reach on his own or with the assistance of any animal. Along with the evolution of transportation came maps to mark the locations of routes taken between cities and important locations. One invention developed to expand the reach of travelers was the bridge.

The earliest bridges were based on anything seen in nature such as fallen trees and eroded earth or rocks. They were developed to provide a safe crossing for people, originally on foot but later on horse back and then mechanized transportation, to travel from one prominent city of industrial strength to another. Although for many centuries boats were still the main form of transportation over distances of water. In Henry Petroski's book, Engineers of Dreams, he discusses significance of bridges and bridge engineering in history by connecting then back to the Stone Age and analyzing the impact they have had on society. Petroski analyzes the issues, insensitivity and wonder people in society have with the structures. He focuses mainly on the bridges built in the United States during the bridge building era from eighteen-seventies through the nineteen-thirties because they were the years of the industrial...

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