strong, we make it at the same time too heavy. The weight of the structure itself has to be sustained, and this part of the load is a perpetual drag on the material.
In 1875 the American Society of Civil Engineers, in view of the repeated bridge disasters in this country, appointed a committee to report upon The Means of Averting Bridge Accidents. We might expect, when a society composed of some hundreds of our best engineers selects an expert committee of half a dozen men, that the best authority would be pretty well represented; and such was eminently the case. It would be impossible to have combined a greater amount of acknowledged talent, both theoretical and practical, with a wider and more valuable experience than this committee possessed. The first point taken up in the report is the determination of the loads for which both railroad and highway bridges should be proportioned. In regard to highway bridges, a majority of the committee reported that for such structures the standard loads should no