August 21, 1960 David B. Steinman, a structural engineer who designed a number of notable bridges across the globe, died in New York City. It is not completely clear where he had been born. Several sources indicate that Steinman was born in the town of Chomsk in the present-day Republic of Belarus in 1886 and... Continue Reading →

July 27, 1888 In Boston, inventor Philip W. Pratt conducted a public demonstration of an electric tricycle that he had designed and was built by the manufacturer and electrical engineer Fred M. Kimball. As part of his demonstration, Pratt took the editor of Modern Light and Heat magazine for a ride on the new device around... Continue Reading →

June 26, 1967 Civil engineer John G. Claybourn, who made significant contributions to river and harbor improvement projects in a number of countries, died Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the age of 81. He had been born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1886. His uncle Ephraim S. Claybourn was an engineer who played a prominent role... Continue Reading →

May 25, 2015 Time magazine published an interview with U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., just a couple of days before he began officially serving as head of the U.S. Pacific Command (the oldest and largest of the unified combatant commands of the U.S. Armed Forces). Harris is the first Asian-American to achieve the... Continue Reading →

The comparatively brief but historically significant U.S. Navy career of Lieutenant Commander Edward Swain Hope, who had been the highest-ranking African-American naval officer during World War II, came to an end when he was officially released from active duty. Hope was born in 1901 in Atlanta. While his naval service did not actually take place... Continue Reading →

Sir William Arrol, one of the most renowned civil engineers of the Victoria Era, died at his home in the Scottish town of Ayr at the age of 74. “A GREAT BRIDGE BUILDER,” proclaimed the headline in the next day’s edition of the London Standard for the article announcing his death. The article stated, “Sheer... Continue Reading →

Carl von Ghega, who established himself as one of the leading transportation engineers of the Austrian Empire, was born in Venice, Italy. (At the time of von Ghega’s birth, Venice was under Austrian rule.) His father was an Austrian Navy officer, but von Ghega pursued engineering as his life’s work instead. After studying mathematics in... Continue Reading →

French civil engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who achieved international renown for creating the landmark tower bearing his name but also carved out a substantive legacy in transportation, died in Paris at the age of 91. He was listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at the time. “Although Eiffel was known to America principally for the tower... Continue Reading →

Robert Julian Scott, whose interests and accomplishments involved several modes of transportation during his many years in New Zealand, died in the city of Christchurch at the age of 69. Scott had been born in Plymouth, England, in 1861. After completing his education, he worked briefly for the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway under... Continue Reading →

American inventor Robert Fulton took his newly-built paddle steamboat out on the Seine River in France for a test run. Unfortunately, the ship sank. Nevertheless, Fulton was not discouraged. He was accustomed to perfecting his designs and inventions in high-profile situations. Born in Pennsylvania in 1765, Fulton grew up in the environs of Philadelphia, and,... Continue Reading →

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