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 Ellet had the looks

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PostSubject: Ellet had the looks   Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:48 am

His proposal was ignored; few were willing to heed a young, inexperienced and impetuous engineer.[21] To gain experience, Ellet started to work on railroads and canals, and later became the chief engineer on the James River and Kanawha Canal project. He further improved his reputation by contributing articles about suspension bridges to respected engineering journals, such as American Railroad Journal; eventually, Ellet built his first suspension bridge over the Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania, in 1842.[22]

Ellet had the looks of an actor,[23] which were complemented by his entertaining oratorical skills.[16] He took advantage of these characteristics, and used showmanship and dramatics to market his proposals. These skills helped to win him attention and raise his profile both in the public and within the industry. However, his imperiousness also ruffled the feathers of people, which caused conflicts.[24] Nonetheless, his capability to promote himself had won him the contracts for the Suspension Bridge and the later Wheeling Suspension Bridge; the Wheeling contract was won in July 1847 while Ellet's plan for the Niagara Suspension Bridge was still in its initial stages of construction. Ellet's initial design for the bridge at Niagara placed all forms of transportation on a single deck. The railway track was in the middle of the deck, sandwiched between carriageways and footpaths on the outer sides.[25] Moreover, trains would not go over the bridge; their cars would be disconnected from the heavy locomotives and pulled across the bridge by horses, cables, or lighter 6-short-ton (5.4 t) engines.[26] Before the work could begin, Ellet faced the problem of all suspension bridge construction: getting a line across the gap.


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