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Benjamin Franklin Bridge Photograph Album

Source:
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Former owner:
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Names:
Modjeski, Ralph, 1861-1940  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Place:
Benjamin Franklin Bridge (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Camden (N.J.)
Date:
1922-1926.
Summary:
Sixty-six pages from a photograph album compiled by an anonymous photographer, documenting the Philadelphia-Camden or Delaware River Bridge, now called the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Scope and Contents note:
Pages from a photograph album compiled by an anonymous photographer, documenting the Philadelphia-Camden or Delaware River Bridge, now called the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The album includes images of a parade celebrating the beginning of construction of the bridge, demolition of buildings to make room for the bridge, the construction, the machinery, the caissons, and the celebration of completion. The Chief Engineer, Ralph Modjeski, is also depicted. The images contain detailed captions.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into one series.
Provenance:
Collection purchased in 1987.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Suspension bridges  Search this
Ceremonies -- United States  Search this
Bridges -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums -- 20th century
Citation:
Ben Franklin Bridge Photograph Album, 1922-1926, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1029
See more items in:
Benjamin Franklin Bridge Photograph Album
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1029

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company.  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Names:
Modjeski, Ralph, 1861-1940  Search this
Extent:
2.33 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1890-1915, undated.
Summary:
The photographic images in this collection are largely of railway bridge construction and other properties owned by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company at the turn of the twentieth century. Images are of two distinct projects (mostly construction) taken in and around the St. Louis, Missouri area (1890-1900): of a bridge project (name and location unknown) spanning 1902-1903; and of the construction of the Metropolis Bridge (that crosses the Ohio River at Metropolis, Illinois, about 12 miles south of Paducah, Kentucky) between 1914-1915. For the latter project Ralph Modjeski originally served as consultant engineer and then as chief civil engineer of construction. There are also negatives of unidentified bridge construction.
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes approximately 230 glass plate negatives depicting railway bridge construction; 41 negatives, dated 1890 to 1894, depicting construction and railroad facilities in St. Louis, Missouri (including the Mound Street Viaduct and the buildings at the corner of Main and Brooklyn Streets); and 36 negatives showing construction work at the Metropolis (Illinois) Bridge from 1914-1915.

Court testimony in an accidental injury claim (Kersten vs. Hines, no. 21593) indicates these sites are located in St. Louis, Missouri, and were at the time owned by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. The envelope containing these negatives marks them as the property of F.H. Cramer, Bridge Engineer with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad.

Negatives in Subseries 3 are themselves undated. The containing envelope indicates the photos depict construction work at the Metropolis Bridge by Carter H. Harrison Jr., 1914-1915.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.

Series 1, Photographic negatives, 1890-1915, undated
Biographical/Historical note:
In the later part of the 1800s and throughout the Progressive Era, the United States experienced a great expansion of its railroad industry, which resulted in many partnerships, mergers, and changes in leadership. Among railroad companies that became a dominant force in the industry was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company (originally the Aurora Branch Railroad), which was purchased in 1901 by James Jerome Hill. Hill, a businessman and resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, also owned the Great Northern Railway and other entities. Hill's other business interests included mining, timber, land, and livestock--all industries with ties to the transportation industry, and particularly to railroads as the country became more reliant upon this mode of transportation. Hill was noted for his business acumen and competition with other wealthy men and families of the time--J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, and E.H. Harriman of the Union Pacific--who eventually pooled their resources to form the Northern Securities Company.

Northern Securities Company was a holding company, set up to hold a controlling part of the stock of other companies, essentially to control four big railroads of the Northwest. During a period of much labor unrest and migration to the country's Midwestern and Northwestern regions, people were left at the mercy of one big conglomerate that had a stronghold on the industry. It is important to note that the Northwestern Securities Company (at President Theodore Roosevelt's request) was sued by the United States government through invocation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In March of 1904, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, ruled in favor of the United States and ordered the Northern Securities Company dissolved (Northern Securities Company vs. United States 193 U.S. 197). While the images in this collection are not known to be tied to the court case, they do provide details of many construction projects that are significant to the railroad expansion occurring at that time. The bulk of the collection focuses on railway bridge construction. Also included are photos of the Metropolis Bridge in Metropolis, Illinois, which was overseen in part by Ralph Modjeski. Modjeski was a lauded civil engineer who wrote the engineering manual Standard Designs for Steel Bridges for the Northern Pacific Railway Company. Additionally, the collection includes earlier photographic negatives showing construction from 1890 to 1894 of the Mound Street Viaduct and buildings at the corner of the Main and Brooklyn Streets in St. Louis, Missouri.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, subject category Railroads (AC0060)

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Records, circa 1826-1943, 1951 (AC1086)

Wilbur L. Metz Collection of Railroad Ephemera, 1910-1986 (AC1172)

Northern Pacific Railway Photoprints, 1880-1945 (AC1067)

Wheeling and Lake Erie Photographs, 1925-1942 (AC1075)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Newberry Library

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, 1820-1999

Minnesota Historical Society

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company Corporate records, 1855-1983 (bulk 1901-1970)
Provenance:
Originally collected by the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now called the Division of Work and Industry). Exact date and source of acquisition unknown.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Railroad companies  Search this
Railroad bridges  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroads -- Rolling-stock  Search this
Railroads -- Employees  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th century
Citation:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives, 1890-1915, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1080
See more items in:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Negatives
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1080
Online Media:

Modjeski and Masters Company Records

Collector:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Modjeski and Masters  Search this
Names:
Masters, Frank, 1883-1974  Search this
Modjeski, Ralph, 1861-1940  Search this
Interviewer:
Vogel, Robert M.  Search this
Extent:
60 Cubic feet (139 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Lantern slides
Photographs
Drawings
Contracts
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Place:
Harrisburg (Penn.)
Pennsylvania
Date:
1870-1979
bulk 1900-1940
Summary:
The records document the work of consulting engineers and bridge builders, Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank Masters (1883-1974) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the civil engineering career of Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank masters (1883-1974). The materials include bound volumes and loose photographs of bridge work-in-progress; printed reports; articles, pamphlets; drawings, blue prints and tracings of bridges; letterpress books of correspondence; contracts; reports; studies of bridge materials; and glass plate negatives and lantern slides depicting bridges.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1915-1986

Series 2: Letter Press Books, 1898-1906

Series 3: Photographs, 1878-1979

Series 4: Contracts, 1895-1960

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1862-1969

Series 6: Newspaper Clippings, 1924-1941

Series 7: Lantern Slides, undated

Series 8: Glass Plate Negatives, 1906-1926

Series 9: Film Negatives, 1924, undated

Series 10: Drawings, 1901-1952
Biographical / Historical:
Rudolphe Modrzejewski was born to Helena Jadwiga Opid (d.1909) and Gustav Sinnmayer Modrzejewski (d. 1901) on January 27, 1861, in Cracow, Poland. His mother was an internationally known stage actress who went by the name Helena Modrzejewska. In 1868, Helena married Count Karol Bożenta Chłapowski. In July 1876, Helena and Rudolphe emigrated to America, where, for purposes of American citizenship, the Polish form of their surname was later changed to Modjeski (feminine form Modjeska). Modjeski became a naturalized citizen in 1883 in San Francisco, California.

In 1882, Modjeski returned to Europe to study at the Ecole Des Ponts et Chaussees and graduated in 1885 with a degree in civil engineering. Modjeski worked with prominent civil engineer and "Father of American Bridge Building," George S. Morison, on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River at Omaha as an assistant engineer. He remained with Morison from 1885 to 1892. Some of his assignments included working in the shops which produced steel sections; the design office where he advanced to chief draftsman; and as an inspector of quality control in shops that fabricated steel elements. Modjeski worked with Morison on his Willamette, Nebraska City, Sioux City, Winona, Cairo, and Memphis bridges across the Mississippi River. The Memphis bridge was the longest span cantilever in the country at the time.

In 1893, Modjeski opened a civil engineering practice in Chicago with S. Nicholson. After some financial difficulties, Nicholson and Modjeski dissolved their partnership. Modjeskis first individual large commission was the bridge at Rock Island, Illinois (1895) across the Mississippi River where he designed and supervised the construction of the bridge for the federal government and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company.

In 1902, Modjeski went into partnership with fellow civil engineer, Alfred Noble (1844-1914) forming the firm of Noble and Modjeski. He went into partnership with Walter Angier, under the name Modjeski and Angier, civil and inspecting engineers, between 1912 and 1924 with several offices around the United States. Angiers had worked with him beginning in 1902 on the bridge across the Mississippi at Thebes, Illinois. Modjeski partnered, in 1924, with Frank Masters (1883-1974), who had worked with him and Angiers between 1904 and 1914 on the Memphis and Louisville Bridges, forming Modjeski and Masters. Clement E. Chase and Montgomery B. Case later joined the firm as partners. In 1937, Masters assumed full control and ownership of the firm which specialized in the design and construction supervision of large bridges and other structures, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing bridges, the design of highways and expressways, subways and wharves, the design of large and complex foundations, inspection of construction materials, and the creation of surveys, investigations and reports.

Modjeski builtand/or consulted on over forty bridges in his lifetime. He built truss, steel arch, and suspension bridges. He introduced steel tower pylons in place of masonry towers and he used better grades of steel, such as new steel alloys with improved strength and durability. He also introduced advancements in the design of cable configurations and deck-stiffening beams. Some of his major projects included: the Columbia River and Willamette bridges, McKinley Bridge at St. Louis; the Celilo Railroad Bridge at Celilio, Ohio; the Thebes Bridge over the Mississippi; the Quebec Bridge over the St. Lawrence River; the Delaware River Bridge; the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

On December 28, 1885, Modjeski married Felicie Benda (d. 1936) in New York and the couple had three children: Felix Bozenta Modjeski (1887); Marylka Stuart Modjeski (1894) and Charles Emmanuel John Modjeski (1896-1944). Ralph and Felicie divorced in 1931. He later married Virginia Giblyn on July 7, 1931. Modjeski died in Los Angles on June 26, 1940.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Bollman Truss Bridge Collection, 1852-1986 (AC1064)

Canadian Bridges Photograph Albums, 1873-1911 (AC1025)

Victor C. Darnell Bridge Construction Photographs, 1911-1913 and undated (AC1018)

Beata Drake Covered Bridge Collection, 1954-1981 (AC0998)

Ben Franklin Bridge Photograph Album, 1922-1926 (AC1029)

Hartford, Connecticut Bridge Collection, 1903-1905 (AC1066)

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Bridge Profiles, 1877-1896 (AC1073)

Richard H. Miller Bridge Collection : postcards and slides, circa 1950-1988 and undated, #950

George S. Morison Collection, 1846-1903 (AC0978)

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Records, 1848-1946 (bulk 1890-1929) (AC1060)

Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album, 1883-1884 (AC1030)

David Plowden North American Bridge Photographs, 1970-1976 (AC1019)

Quebec Bridge Photograph Collection, 1905-1986 (bulk 1905-1916) (AC1026)

Railroad Bridges Construction Photograph Album, circa 1905-1914 (AC1024)

Samuel Reed Bridge Collection, 1947-1964 (AC1001)

Rip Van Winkle Bridge Photographs, 1933-1935 (AC1027)

John A. Roebling Collection,1836-1975 (bulk 1930-1950) (AC0981)

Holton Duncan Robinson Papers, 1889-1938 (AC0963)

Lucinda Rudell Covered Bridges Collection, 1942-1979 (AC1028)

Lester Shanks Collection of Covered Bridge Photographs and Ephemera, 1876-2010 (bulk 1973-2008) (AC1244)

Washington, D.C. Bridges Collection, 1900-1905 (AC01095)

Raymond E. Wilson Covered Bridge Collection, 1958-1974 (AC0999)

Materials at Other Organizations

Southern Illinois University, Morris Library Special Collections

Walter E. Angier photograph collection, 1901-1915

Walter E. Angier Vertical File Manuscript, 1924

Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Alfred Noble Papers, 1862-1922
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Modejeski and Masters Consulting Engineers, through Joseph J. Scherrer, October 2, 1990.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Civil engineering  Search this
Bridge failures  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1950-1970
Lantern slides
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Drawings
Contracts
Letterpress books
Photographs -- 19th century
Correspondence
Citation:
Modjeski and Masters Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0976
See more items in:
Modjeski and Masters Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0976
Online Media:

[Report and] ... Final report of the Board of Engineers to the Delaware River Bridge Joint Commission of the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. [1921, 1926

Author:
Delaware Bridge Joint Commission of the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey  Search this
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. illus., plates (part fold.) tables, diagrs. 31 x 54 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
New Jersey
Camden
Delaware River (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.)
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Date:
1921
1927
1921-27]
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG25.P52 A1 1921
TG25.P52A1 1921
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_96723

The Thebes bridge; a report to the president and directors of the Southern Illinois & Missouri Bridge Company, by Alfred Noble and Ralph Modjeski, chief engineers

Author:
Noble, Alfred 1844-1914  Search this
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Subject:
Southern Illinois and Missouri Bridge Company  Search this
Physical description:
29 p. illus. 20 pl. (incl. map) 34 x 41 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Date:
1907
Call number:
TG25.T5N7X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_246415

A man who spanned two eras : the story of bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski / by Józef Głomb; translation by Peter J. Obst; edited by Halka Chronic

Title:
Story of bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski
Author:
Głomb, Józef  Search this
Obst, Peter J  Search this
Chronic, Halka  Search this
Subject:
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Modjeski and Masters  Search this
Physical description:
xix, 114 p. : ill., ports. ; 28 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Date:
2002
C2002, 1988
Topic:
Engineers  Search this
Call number:
TA140.M58 G56 2002
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_695848

The Louisville municipal bridge over the Ohio river between Louisville, Kentucky and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Ralph Modjeski, Frank M. Masters, consulting engineers

Author:
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Masters, Frank Milton 1883-  Search this
Physical description:
47 p. fold. front., illus., XLIII fold. plans, tables, diagrs. 31 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Ohio River
Louisville (Ky.)
Jeffersonville (Ind.)
Date:
1930
1930?]
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG25.L8 M69 1930
TG25.L8M69 1930
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_402196

The Harahan bridge, at Memphis, Tennessee; a report to the president and directors of the Arkansas and Memphis railway bridge and terminal company, by Ralph Modjeski ..

Author:
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Arkansas and Memphis Railway Bridge and Terminal Company  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. front., plates (part fold.) tables, diagrs. 34 x 41 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1917
Topic:
Harahan bridge, Memphis  Search this
Call number:
TG25.M53M7X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_246412

Report submitted to the Louisville Bridge Commission of the city of Louisville, Kentucky : with reference to the proposed bridge between Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana shore : report and plans / by Ralph Modjeski and Frank M. Masters, engineers

Author:
Modjeski and Masters  Search this
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Masters, Frank M  Search this
Subject:
Louisville (Ky.) Bridge Commission  Search this
Physical description:
[13] p., [8] fold. leaves of plates : ill., plans ; 32 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Louisville (Ky.)
Date:
1927
1927?]
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG25.L8 M69 1927
TG25.L8M69 1927
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_264959

The Vancouver-Portland bridges; a report to Mr. Howard Elliott, president of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, and to Mr. John F. Stevens, president of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway Company, by Ralph Modjeski chief engineer

Author:
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
Northern Pacific Railway Company  Search this
Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway  Search this
Physical description:
30 p. front., LVIII pl. (part fold.) 29 x 43 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Portland (Or.)
Vancouver, Canada
Date:
1910
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG25.P85 M6
TG25.P85M6
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_124413

The McKinley Bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis Electric Bridge Co.) by Ralph Modjeski ..

Author:
Modjeski, Ralph 1861-1940  Search this
St. Louis Electric Bridge Co  Search this
Physical description:
11 p. front., xxiii pl. (part fold.) 34 x 40 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1919
Topic:
McKinley Bridge  Search this
Call number:
TG25.S15 M6
TG25.S15M6
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_127025

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