Historic Bridge Restoration

Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024

Dunn’s Bridge, Porter County, Indiana

We leave our house in Michigan later than planned, hours later, we rescheduled, now we are on time. A lot ...
Postcard Collection: Wilmington, Del. Sept 20, 1909

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware

A trip to the East Coast is not complete without a stop at the Brandywine Museum of Art in Chadds ...
Rivet training on the Historic Riveted Ship Lilac

Rivet Training on the Historic Riveted Ship Lilac

Our daily trip to the Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. on Staten Island, New York, was along Richmond Terrace ...
George Washington Bridge, New Jersey, 2024

George Washington Bridge

New Jersey, 2024 Our visit to the George Washington Bridge began at the Kuppi Coffee Company in Edgewater, New Jersey, ...
Photo: Nan Jackson, 2024 Rivet demo at Lansing Community College West Campus

Field Rivet Demonstration at Lansing Community College West Campus

#60 Boyer pneumatic field rivet hammer air charged, gas forge heating rivets to 1600F, pneumatic holder-on ready to grip a ...
Creative Welding Lansing Community College, West Campus

Creating Another Weld Sculpture

Welding another sculpture with my favorite welding process, the oxyacetylene process. Jeff Seelye is leading a group of artists and ...
St Joe and Butler, Lansing, Michigan 2024

Driving Under Aunt Thelma’s Basement

Driving west on Lansing Michigan’s I-496, as I approach near the St Joseph and Butler Street intersection, I often mentally ...
Heinz History Center main hall

Heinz History Center

Senator John Heinz History Center Pittsburgh’s historic bridges, shop riveted. Eyebars, forged and upset. Cast iron, wood patterned and set ...
Continental Bridge Catalog

Schedule a Presentation

Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park. Preservation of five historic riveted truss bridges. Contemporary and Historic Tools for the Repair and ...
Moose Brook Bridge Reconstruction LCC

Moose Brook Bridge Reconstruction

“After a long journey beginning as charred remains in 2009 over Moose Brook in Gorham, New Hampshire, the reconstructed Howe ...
Rachel Carson (9th Street) Bridge

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania December 23, 2023

Our fourth trip to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was an unplanned trip we decided to make after an appointment at the Detroit ...
Seville Marcelle7007

Vern’s Morning in Seville with Marcelle

We met in the hotel lobby; it has been almost thirty years since that July morning, and the minute details ...
Alameda Park Street Bridge

Park Street Bridge in Alameda, California

In 1935 the Park Street Bridge in Alameda, California, was opened for traffic. Three years later, hundreds of miles to ...
Sculpture in Motion LCC 1996

Sculpture In Motion: Dance, Math, and Welding Collaboration

For the First Lansing Community College Open House, April 1996 Mitzi Carol (dance), Nan Jackson (math), Vern Mesler (welding) Fabrication ...
Lansing Community College Rivet Demonstration 2023

Field Riveting with a #60 Boyer Field Rivet Hammer

Another successful field rivet demonstration at Lansing Community College West Campus, Lansing, Michigan, with LCC’s experienced professional riveters who have ...

My Secret Lansing

2023 anthology of prose and poetry, edited by Ruelaine Stokes & Laura Apol, featuring many writers from the Greater Lansing ...
Wildcat Creek near Lafayette, Indiana: Cast Iron Mystery

Wildcat Creek near Lafayette, Indiana: Cast Iron Mystery

Weeds, vines, and high water hid early nineteenth century cast iron, wrought iron, and I-beams in an ever-changing Wildcat Creek ...
Jackie and Shadow, two bald eagles at Big Bear Lake, California

Jackie and Shadow

Jackie and Shadow are two bald eagles I discovered on YouTube while convalescing from the insertion of a metal device ...
Lansing Community College Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Orientation class

Unmanned Aircraft

Twelve seconds and one hundred twenty feet, December 17, 1903. September 23, 2023, Mavic Air 2 drone quickly lifts and ...
Continental Bridge Company (Chicago 1903-1907) Bedstead Truss Bridge

Grandfather on a Bridge

A two-dollar photograph postcard purchased at an antique mall in Mason, Michigan, led to a pleasant afternoon drive to Flushing, ...
Shop riveted Mackinac Bridge Tower

2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk

We did the 2023 Mackinac Bridge walk and met the Vice President of the Rosie the Riveter Cheboygan and Emmet ...
George Washington Bridge 2023

George Washington Bridge Walk New Jersey to New York, July 17, 2023

“The rivets were of carbon steel, 1 in. in diameter for the main members, although a few 7/8-in. rivets were ...
Grand Ledge forked eyebar

Breakfast with Engineers

Two civil engineers I highly regard and have known for years, they have given me valuable assistance and advice when ...

Cantoro Trattoria in Plymouth, Michigan

We have been making frequent trips lately to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan and taking this opportunity to ...

Mismatched Breakfast Chairs

Breakfast is our favorite meal, and we sometimes breakfast at a popular restaurant north of Lansing, Michigan. There is a ...

1881 Hays Street Bridge

Remembering the rivet training for the restoration of the Hays Street Bridge in San Antonio, Texas, 2009.

Polished and Etched Wrought Iron

On December 28th, 2008, the Shiawassee River in Chesaning, Michigan, was swollen and ice jammed. Its swift current piled ice ...

Gordie Howe International Bridge

I’ve heard and read a lot about the Gordie Howe International Bridge, and it seemed like the day after Thanksgiving, ...

Teaspoon Corners

South of the small city of Leslie, Michigan, spanning the Grand River, was a nineteenth century iron truss bridge that ...

San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park

A visit to the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park for planning a rivet workshop.

Peets Coffee

Peets Coffee, my favorite Berkeley coffee hang out, a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge and the two 22,200-ton ...

Afternoon Spent in the Detroit, Michigan, Area.

It’s Friday afternoon and Katie, my PT for the last two weeks, has just closed her computer ending my knee ...
Iron & Steel Presentation Michigan Society of Professional Engineers

Historic Bridge Park Presentation

Vern Mesler presents at the Western Chapter of Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, September 7, 2022.

Operation

Last week this time I was checking into Sparrow Hospital for my knee operation. I’m not sure how to describe ...

Knee fabrication: joint preparation

Using an oxygen acetylene torch, with a prime setting of 5,000+ degree flame, you cut an end section of a ...

Charlotte Highway/Centerline Bridge

Charlotte Highway/Centerline Bridge, an important part of my learning experience in working in the preservation of historic bridges. Black and ...

Historic Dresden Suspension Bridge 

There is nothing more exciting for a craftsman than to encounter an exceptional structure and from its many structural members ...

A day of drone photography of Whipple truss bridges

A day of drone photography of Whipple truss bridges and a stop at Jeffrey’s Antique Gallery (which claims to be ...

Oregon: Bridges to Remember

1936 Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon. One of many of Conde B. McCullough’s Oregon coastal bridges, visited in June 2022.

Esther Bielmeier (1900-1989)

Esther Bielmeier (1900-1989) working at a coal forge in 1918 heating rivets. to be driven with a pneumatic rivet hammer.

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve Bridge, Bach Steel

Forge welds, punch marks, and many other signs of fabrication work made by craftsmen who fabricated historic iron and steel ...

“Great Travel Day, Crossing Borders” (Nan Jackson)

Our west coast trip ended in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Victoria reminds me of ...
St Johns Bridge, Portland, Oregon

St Johns Bridge, Portland Oregon

St Johns Bridge (East Anchorage), Portland, Oregon Built from 1929 to 1931 Engineer: David B. Steinman
1936 Yaquina Bay Bridge

1936 Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon.

1936 Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon. One of many of Conde B. McCullough's coastal bridges.
Coburg Railroad Bridge

Coburg Railroad Bridge, Coburg, Oregon.

Vern and Nan visit the Coburg Railroad Bridge that spans the McKenzie River adjacent to the Armitage State Park, Coburg, ...
Nan Jackson and Vern Mesler at BAM 30th Annual Ozark

Forge Welding at the Blacksmith Association of Missouri Annual Ozark Conference in Sedalia, Missouri

An April posting on Facebook showing the transportation of the 1942 Murray 100# Power Hammer (Vern) for the Blacksmith Association ...
West Michigan SAE/ASM Section Meeting 2022

Preserving Historic Iron and Steel Bridges as the Craftsmen’s Record.

Vern Mesler presents at the SAE/ASM West Michigan Section Meeting, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Featured was the Calhoun County Historic Bridge ...
ABCD-WNY Spring Seminar 2022

Association for Bridge Construction and Design Western New York Chapter

Vern Mesler presents at the 2022 Spring Seminar of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design Western New York Chapter ...
A Man Holding Two Books, one of Kate

Madame Curie of Machine Tools

Kate Gleason, the Madame Curie of Machine Tools (1865 – 1933) For me, age does not diminish the excitement of ...
A Boat

San Diego Maritime Museum

Wrought iron, rivets, and mill marks are some of the features Nan and I look for when we visit historic ...
Estrella Bridge

Estrella River Bridge

The Estrella River Bridge on River Grove Drive in Whitley Gardens, California, was saved and restored in 2020 thanks to its role in ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Old Greenspot Road Bridge

Old Greenspot Road Bridge spans the Santa Ana River, San Bernardino County, California. Old Greenspot Road Bridge was fabricated in ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Grand Trunk Shop in Battle Creek, Michigan

While searching on Google Books for book titles on shop workers, I found an interesting book, “On the Clock,” and ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

The Big Four Bridge

During our trip south we spent time on a number of historic riveted truss bridges and, thanks to my wife ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Knoxville, Tennessee

Traveling south this week for a family event and an opportunity to inspect historic riveted metal truss bridges along way, ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Bell Frame Delivered 12/16/2021

Bell frame delivered to C.A.N. Art Handworks, Detroit, where the final preparations will be completed for its installation at the ...
Assembling the Unity Bell stand

Fabrication and Riveting

Fabrication and riveting of the Unity Bell frame at Bach Steel in St Johns, Michigan, is nearly complete. Once the ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Ambrose Harris a Civil War Veteran

Union Cemetery, Blanchard Michigan. It's our second visit to view the gravesite of my great grandfather Ambrose Harris, a Civil ...
Lagunitas Creek Bridge

Lagunitas Creek Bridge

Lagunitas Creek Bridge 2021/2014 Point Reyes Station, California
Historic Bridge Restoration

Riveted Bell Frame Assembled

Unity Bell Stand bolted and ready to rivet. Previous Unity Bell Stand posting: https://www.facebook.com/vernon.mesler/posts/4221904121270542
Historic Bridge Restoration

Riveted Unity Bell Frame

Carlos Nielbock of CAN Art Handworks, passionate about preserving the cultural heritage of Detroit, toured us through his facility on ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Riveted Railroad Bridge

Riveted Railroad Bridge, Grand RiverLansing Michigan River-walk
Historic Bridge Restoration

Berkeley Steam Ferryboat

It was one of those unexpected and memorable experiences on our 2018 West Coast trip, the 1898 Berkeley Steam Ferryboat ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

James Cooper

James Cooper, in April 2001, wrote: “Fellow Pontists - A lot of comment has come my way over the last ...
Two old men holding a reward

SIA 2021 Award

Vern Mesler receives the Society for Industrial Archeology’s General Tools Award during the 2021 SIA annual business meeting and conference ...
An 1890s Forge Welded Bridge Eyebar

Visit to Bach Steel

Visited Nels Raynor, Bach Steel, in St Johns, Michigan to talk about eyebars, forge welds, and to get an update ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Lansing Recreation Center

REO Town (as the area south of Lansing’s downtown is known by the locals): We were in REO Town to ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Calhoun County Rivet Demonstration

Restoration of the five historic riveted truss bridges for the Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park required the repair and replication ...
Alameda Park Street Bridge

Park Street Bridge, Alameda California

Park Street Bridge, a double leaf bascule bridge connecting Alameda and Oakland Park Street Bridge Park Street Bridge Pilot house ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Golden Gate Bridge: missing rivets

Golden Gate Bridge: missing recorded rivets “There were about 600,000 field driven rivets in each tower. The rivets were heated in ...
Two men talking for the rivet demonstration

Lansing Community College Rivet Demonstration

Rivet demonstration for Lansing Community College President Dr. Steve Robinson at LCC West Campus Technical Careers Welding Lab. Vern Mesler ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Riveting on the Golden Gate Bridge

One million two hundred thousand field rivets were driven in the fabrication and erection of the Golden Gate Bridge in ...
Historic Bridge Restoration Wrought Iron

What’s In A Name

On display: black twisted steel bent to resemble scrolls, welded to spindly round metal stock and labeled wrought iron lawn ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

The American Bridge Company’s Ambridge Works: The Eye Bar Shop

[pp. 10 – 13 in The Iron Age, September 15, 1904] (Re-formatted for clarity by Vern Mesler, Nan Jackson, 2021) ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Gale Road Bridge

There is nothing more satisfying for craftsmen after months of hard physical labor than to experience a moment when there ...
Brauer Road Bridge

Bauer Road Bridge, Clinton County, Michigan

Small stones crack under the iron straps on the heavy freight wagon wheels, and a light spring breeze creates small ...
A road bridge under inspection

20 Mile Road Bridge

“Township meeting minutes, newspaper chippings, engineering records, historic photographs, and written personal recollections and oral histories. No primary or secondary ...
historic bridge restoration

Crossing the Brazos: Rehabilitation of the Waco Suspension Bridge

After visiting Austin, San Antonio, and Waco in December 2019, we left Texas for our drive back to Lansing, Michigan, ...
historic bridge restoration

You Can Always Learn Something New

Steve Tarrant (left) and Vern Mesler (right) at the Richmond Virginia Railroad Museum Railroad museums are often housed in historic ...
historic bridge restoration

Honoring the Original Engineering Design

Cut River Bridge Repairs (Heath M. Robinson Memorial Cut River Bridge) Mackinac County, Michigan Steve describes the hydraulic press he ...
historic bridge restoration

Barista as Craftsman

Christine, barista at Espresso Royale Café, Lansing, Michigan Dark brown and boiling inside a thick glass bulb, brewed coffee, percolated ...
historic bridge restoration

Restoration of an Iron Gate from Arlington National Cemetery.

From Left: Vern Mesler, Ty Zimmerman, Brian Howard, Collin Howard, Braeden Howard at B.R. Howard & Associates, Inc: Carlisle, Pennsylvania. ...