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Mystery of the Iron Bridge
How was an innovative 18th-Century bridge built?
The Iron Bridge is an icon of the Industrial Revolution the world’s first metal structure and an outstanding example of 18th-Century British technical ingenuity.Yet, incredibly, no-one knows how this vast aerial jigsaw spanning the river Severn in Shropshire was actually constructed. Timewatch sets talented young engineer, Jamie Hillier, the task of solving the mystery.
Armed with old ledger entries and 18th century lifting manuals, advice from a range of experts including former steeplejack Fred Dibnah, and a recently discovered painting of the Iron Bridge under construction, Jamie Hillier sets out to construct a half scale model of the main section of the bridge, using only 18th-Century techniques. His labour force is provided by the Royal Engineers who aim to build the model over a canal at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
Jamie makes a brave decision to use only a light timber frame, flying in the face of previous theories which use large scaffolding towers. His decision is based on a gamble that the contemporary painting is accurate.As the two great half ribs are bolted together, 25 feet up in the air, the tension is palpable. But Jamie is vindicated.The construction techniques work perfectly, creating a 50-foot robust iron arch.
Ironically, when two more arches are put up to make a three-arch museum exhibit, it takes as long to do the job with modern cranes as it did with the 18th-Century lifting techniques.
--- File Information ---
File Name: Timewatch - The Mystery of the Iron Bridge (2002) [PDTV(XviD)].avi
Duration (hh:mm:ss): 46:00
File Size (in bytes): 440MB
--- Video Information ---
Video Codec Name: XviD 1.2.2 Final
Video Bitrate (kbps): 1200
frame Width (pixels): 700
frame Height (pixels): 486
frames Per Second: 25.0
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