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WASHINGTON A. ROEBLING - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/10/1913 - HFSID 254703

WASHINGTON A. ROEBLING The chief engineer for the iconic Brooklyn Bridge signed this handwritten letter about a strike at his wire rope mill Autograph Letter Signed: "WAR". One page. 5x6¾. 191 W. State Street, Trenton, New Jersey, March 10, 1913. To John.

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WASHINGTON A. ROEBLING The chief engineer for the iconic Brooklyn Bridge signed this handwritten letter about a strike at his wire rope mill Autograph Letter Signed: "WAR". One page. 5x6¾. 191 W. State Street, Trenton, New Jersey, March 10, 1913. To John. In Full: "Strike as bad as ever. Men are desperate-but determined-nothing to eat no coal. Therm 14°. They are marching daily around the mill-it looks like a small army. The demands for rope is something fierce. All elevators in N.Y. will stop-what then-it is becoming a national affair. We could make lots of rope at the Bucktham works & in the rubber shop. We have the machinery but the men say they will all go out if we do. You see it is a fight for life on our part. Travis the strike leader has gone to Palm Beach to spend his ill gotten gains leaving a man by the name of Eichelberger to run the strike. The men individually want to come back. It is false pride which prevents them and the supreme satisfaction of being able to injure the employers. Curious enough the rest of the mill is very busy. Of course we are making too much rope wire but that is not to be regretted. We are arranging to import rope from England. But the English rope is not adapted for our elevator practice. We are one of the few plants not unionized in this cursed town. We are both sick - my mouth & her asthma & colitis. We are talking of taking a house at Spring lake for the summer." Washington A. Roebling (1837-1926) was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, then the leading school of professional engineering in the country. Upon receiving his degree, Roebling started to work in his father's wire rope mill in Trenton, New Jersey, where the family had moved. He spent 1868 abroad conferring with the leading engineers of England, France and Germany. He studied their principles and practice of caisson foundations in order to help his father in the newly projected Brooklyn Bridge, of which the elder Roebling had been appointed Chief Engineer. Immediately on his return from Europe, he entered his father's office as Principal Assistant and prepared the detailed plans and specifications for the great bridge. After the elder Roebling died just as the field work was beginning, his son succeeded him as Chief Engineer. The foundations of the great towers were built by the caisson method, under compressed air, and Washington Roebling spent long hours in the damp high-pressure of the caisson chambers. Caisson disease, the dreaded "bends", attacked the laborers. At that time little was known of methods of treatment. One afternoon in the spring of 1872, Roebling was taken almost unconscious from the caisson on the New York side, but in a few days he was back on the job. By the end of the year, however, his health had been seriously and permanently affected, and he did not visit the bridge site again. From that time until the bridge was finished in 1883, except for six months abroad in a vain attempt to regain his health, he directed the work from his house in Brooklyn, too sick to leave it, with the significant assistance of his wife Emily Warren Roebling (1843-1903). Despite this permanent illness, Roebling did not pass away until he was at the ripe old age of 89. He died at his home at 191 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey on July 21, 1926, outliving his wife by nearly 24 years. Shaded at top blank edge. Otherwise, fine condition.

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