03 September 2012

Golden Gate Bridge Designed by UC Grad

I discovered this interesting factoid while skimming 50-yr old issues of UC's student newspaper, the News Record. Transcription below.

Thanks to the "Parent's Letter," the NR has learned that San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the world's longest single-span bridge, contains a singular honor for UC.

The bridge was built by UC honor graduate Joseph B. Strauss. As an undergraduate, Strauss tried unsuccessfully to get on the football team. Handicapped by his five foot, 100 pound build, the future engineer was forced to forsake the single wing for the single span.

And, within twelve years of his graduation from UC, Strauss became internationally famous for his development of the trunion bascule bridge. 

Later, when he was chosen to construct the Golden Gate Bridge, he asked for and received a brick from the original building* of UC. He placed it on one of the anchorages of the structure. 

Now, somewhere along the four-fifths of a mile of steel and concrete is a small portion of UC. A tribute to a school from one of its distinguished alumni.

*According to Wikipedia, the "original building" was the demolished McMicken Hall, a brick of which Strauss put in the south anchorage of the bridge before concrete was poured.

Wikipedia also notes that Strauss prioritized worker protection and installed a safety net which saved 19 lives. Strauss died a year after the bridge was finished.

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