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Although more brittle, cast iron was cheaper and easier to produce, and it became the material of choice for bridges built during the Industrial Revolution. The ﬁrst proposal to construct an iron bridge seems to have come from Robert Mylne in England in 1774. His design for an iron arch bridge for Inverary, Strathclyde, in Scotland, was never built. Contemporaneously, Thomas Pritchard was 12 INTRODUCTION working on designs for three types of bridges: a timber-trussed arch bridge; a masonry bridge on a cast-iron center; and a cast-iron bridge between brick abutments.
The four-span, rubble-coursed Kingston Bridge, with its barrel-shaped stone arches, is at one with the history of this place. Located just off present-day Route 27, the 110-foot-long bridge crosses the Millstone River at the dammed end of Lake Carnegie, near a historic mill building originally constructed in the late 1880s. The bridge itself was built in 1798 and is the oldest bridge in Somerset County. A more modern highway bridge now carries the Route 27 trafﬁc, but the Kingston Bridge remains a popular ﬁshing and photographic site adjacent to the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I embarked upon this project. The bridges presented here are part of the history of this state, this country, and, to some extent, international engineering. The George Washington Bridge and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, when built, were the longest suspension bridges in the world. The Bayonne Bridge was the longest arch bridge, and the Commodore Barry Bridge remains a world record holder for cantilever bridges. At the other end of the spectrum, stone arch bridges like the Stony Brook Bridge provide a direct link to America’s Revolutionary past.