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Thoughts for the Day

“It is frequently said of the work of the engineer that lines of beauty are not often found associated with lines of strength, or that the ornamental is too often sacrificed to the merely useful.”

“There is more of truth in this criticism than we are generally willing to admit.”

“It is true that what is called art is not a fixed science, which is equivalent to saying that the rules which govern artistic construction are not capable of mathematical demonstration, nevertheless I believe it will be found to be a fact that the structure which has been designed upon the most scientifically accurate proportions, that it to say, which accomplishes the object for which it was intended in accordance with nature’s great law, will present the most pleasing outline to the artistic eye, and that eventually the engineer and the architect will merge into the true artist and ideal engineer, of whom the immortal Michelangelo was the great progenitor.”

Charles Macdonald, President ASCE 1908

“There is no aesthetic thing man does which can equal a great bridge, a thing of water, land and sky, and those who build them are more greatly the poets of the age than those who work with words.” [Part of the obituary of Gustav Lindenthal]

(Morning Star, Rockford, Illinois August 4, 1935

“A great bridge is a great monument which should serve to make known the splendour and genius of a nation; one should not occupy oneself with efforts to perfect it architecturally, for taste is always susceptible to change, but to conserve always in its form and decoration the character of solidity which is proper.”

Jean Peronnet (accessed 5/7/2013;

“There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilisation. By it we can readily measure an important part of a people’s progress.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt (accessed 5/7/2013;