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Wonders of World Engineering

Part 3



Part 3 of Wonders of World Engineering was published on Tuesday 16th March 1937, price 7d.


Part 3 was a standard issue of 32 pages. It includes a central photogravure supplement illustrating the article Spanning the Firth of Forth.




The Cover


“The cover of this week’s part gives a striking view of one of the main spans of the Forth Bridge, seen from near the level of the water.”



A striking view of one of the main spans of the Forth bridge, seen from near the level of the water


Contents of Part 3


Scaling the Ramparts of Brazil (Part 2)

Britain’s Electric Power Supplies

Spanning the Firth of Forth

Spanning the Firth of Forth (photogravure supplement)

How Gold is Mined

Electric Travelling Crane

Fighting Famine in India (Part 1)







Britain’s Electric Power Supplies


Electricity has been made available in every part of Great Britain by a national network of transmission lines which link the powerful generating stations with local undertakings all over the country. This chapter was written by L H Thomas.

(Pages 73-78)


Scaling the Ramparts of Brazil (Part 2)


The story of the Sao Paulo Railway, concluded from part 2.

(Pages 69-72)


There is another article on the Sao Paulo Railway in Railway Wonders of the World.


Spanning the Firth of Forth


The giant cantilever bridge which spans the Firth of Forth was opened in 1890 and remains one of the wonders of engineering. Built to link the railway systems of the east coast of Scotland, the Forth Bridge has a total length of more than one and a half miles. From the engineer’s point of view the Forth Bridge opened a new era in cantilever construction. This chapter is by Cecil J Allen and is illustrated with pictures provided with the helpful co-operation of Sir William Arrol & Co. Ltd, the builders of the bridge. This is the second article in the series Linking the World’s Highways.

(Pages 79-87)


There is another article on the Forth Bridge in Railway Wonders of the World. You can also read a further account of the Forth Bridge in Frederick Talbot’s Railway Wonders of the World (1913), Benjamin Baker’s technical paper on The Forth Bridge (1884), and W. Westhofen’s account of The Forth Bridge as reprinted from Engineering (1890).


Click on the small image to see a short British Pathe newsreel clip Painting the Forth Bridge and of the men "working on a job that never ends, keeping in good order the great spans of the mighty Forth Bridge" (1930).


The Forth Bridge: Photogravure Supplement



“THE TAPERING "UPRIGHTS" of the central towers, from which the Forth Bridge cantilevers extend, consist of steel tubes, 12 feet in diameter. They taper inwards, from 120 feet apart at the base to only 33 feet apart at the top. The whole structure is held together by a complex arrangement of cross-bracings of lattice steelwork.”


(Page 83)


How Gold is Mined


Modern methods of treating gold-bearing quartz and the scientific separation of gold from impurities have not destroyed the romance always associated with the discovery of gold. This chapter on gold mining is written by Dr Malcolm Burr.

(Pages 88-94)


Fighting Famine in India (Part 1)


Thousands of miles of canals, bringing water from scores of massive dams and barrages to the arid regions of India, have done much to stamp out famine, the scourge that has caused innumerable deaths. This chapter is by Harold Shepstone and is the second article in the series on Triumphs of Irrigation. It is concluded in part 4.

(Pages 97-100)


Electric Travelling Crane


ALTHOUGH the jib cranes of the docks or those perched aloft during the building of a steel skyscraper are familiar to many, the more impressive overhead travelling crane seems to be less familiar. Yet without the overhead crane it would be almost impossible to handle the great weights of modern machine parts. It could certainly not be done with the degree of speed necessary nowadays. An excellent example of modern overhead crane practice is described in this article, which shows an electric crane capable of lifting a load of 200 tons, and made by the Dominion Bridge Company Limited, near Montreal, for the Canadian National Railway.

This is the first article in a series of one-page articles on Modern Engineering Practice.

(Page 95)


A Cantilever Base on the Forth Bridge

“AT THE BASE OF EACH CANTILEVER the “skewbacks” or connexions of the 12-feet tubs, are extremely complicated in arrangement. From the skewback steel tubes, splayed fanwise, extend to the top member of the cantilever, as may be seen in the photograph of the Fife cantilever. The skewbacks of the Forth bridge are more than 40 feet long.”

(Pages 84-85)

The Tapering "uprights" of the central towers of the Forth Bridge A Cantilever Base on the Forth BridgeA Cantilever Base on the Forth Bridge



Lattice Girders on the Forth Bridge


“A NETWORK OF LATTICE GIRDERS strengthens the cantilevers of the Forth Bridge so that it will withstand a wind pressure of 56 lb. to the square foot. This photograph shows the lattice steelwork in a cantilever at rail level.”


(Page 86)

Lattice Girders on the Forth Bridge