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the  catenaries  was  another  matter.
                                                                               Because no nearby stone quarries con-
                                                                               tained appropriate rock, a decision was
                                                                               reached to build the towers with bricks
                                                                               made in East Waco by J.N. Harris and
                                                                               the Mann Brothers. On each side of the
                                                                               river an edifice resembling a large pink
                                                                               castle was erected. The ornamental ro-
                                                                               man archways were impressive addi-
                                                                               tions for a cowtown with a population
                                                                               of  3000.  Griffith  built  the  bridge  in
                                                                               1869. The span was 475 ft. with a deck
                                                                               wide enough to drive herds of longhorn
                                                                               cattle across. It was opened for travel
                                                                               on January 7, 1870.
                                                                                 In 1905 he traveled  back to Texas
                                                                               when  he  was  requested  to study the
                                                                               condition of his enlarged bridge. He
         Griffith’s 1855 “Gateway To The West” Bridge in central Minneapolis.
                                                                               recommended the addition of  side-
         continued from page 10             came at a time when Roebling was busy   walks but otherwise pronounced it in
         little more than $40,000” Griffith said.   seeking a site for the Brooklyn Bridge.   good condition. He said he was going to
         The  local citizenry,  however,  found it   Flint then hired Griffith to design and   spend some time in Mexico but he was
         much more convenient than the ferry.   build a wire suspension bridge. There   willing to return if they wanted him to
         They began crossing it more and more,   was no railroad anywhere near Waco,   work  on  the  improvements. When  he
         causing the owners to wish they’d built   making  it  very  difficult  to  transport   departed he said: “I like the town and
         a more substantial structure.      materials to the site. According to the   the people. I like your splendid public-
           The  population of  Minneapolis  dou-  company’s Minutes Book: “The propo-  spirited mayor and city council. I wish
         bled between 1860 and 1870, resulting   sition of John A. Roebling of Trenton,   for Waco great growth and prosperity.”
         in  merger  with  St.  Anthony  in  1872.   New Jersey to furnish the wire ropes,   Those  remarks  contrasted with  his
         The road leading to the bridge evolved   cables, and such other wire as may be   attitude  toward politicians in New
         into a major urban thorofare known as   necessary  to  construct  a  Suspension   York. Today his Brazos River bridge is
         Hennepin  Avenue.  Griffith  said:  “The   Bridge for said company was accepted   still in service. It is ornamented with
         current of trade over the bridge was re-  and the President ordered to order the   huge bronze statues depicting a cattle
         versed, and with time increased to such   necessary material for the same with   drive. Information  on  the Waco  web-
         an extent, that the structure could no   wrappings + sockets.”        site asserts: “The bridge is flanked by
         longer  conveniently  or  safely  supply   The local lumber supply was adequate   two great Waco parks – Indian Spring
         the demands made upon it…”. The for-  to create the deck and the French-style   park on the west side, and Martin Lu-
         mer gateway  to the west had become   truss-railings. Erecting towers to form          continued on page 14
         the gateway to the eastward expansion
         of Minneapolis.
         WACO AND THE BRAZOS
           Texas was an independent nation
         for a decade prior to the 1846-48 war
         between the  USA  and  Mexico.  When
         the  conflict  ended  the  USA  annexed
         and purchased all of northern Mexico
         and Texas became a state where slav-
         ery was legal. After the Civil War, sev-
         eral small towns in the central part of
         the state including Dallas, Waco, and
         Austin vied for prominence because a
         transcontinental railroad system was
         being studied. Waco, on the west bank
         of the Brazos River, is famous today
         mainly because the soft drink Dr. Pep-
         per was invented there, but in 1866 lo-
         cal citizens were primarily concerned
         with the lack of any bridge over the
         river. They got a charter from  the
         state to form a bridge company with
         monopoly rights.
           The bridge company dispatched a
         banker named John Flint to New York
         City  in 1868.  Although he had hoped   Before Pres. Grant proposed the Panama Canal in 1869, a railroad over the isthmus was the
         to  meet with  John  Roebling,  his  visit   most logical solution for transportation.

         12     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   October 2017
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