Vern Mesler

Craftsman's Record

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
George Washington Bridge, New Jersey, 2024

George Washington Bridge

New Jersey, 2024 Our visit to the George Washington Bridge began at the Kuppi Coffee ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Heinz History Center main hall

Heinz History Center

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

Schedule a Presentation

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

Moose Brook Bridge Reconstruction

“After a long journey beginning as charred remains in 2009 over Moose Brook in Gorham, ...
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 ...
Seville Marcelle7007

Vern’s Morning in Seville with Marcelle

We met in the hotel lobby; it has been almost thirty years since that July ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...

My Secret Lansing

2023 anthology of prose and poetry, edited by Ruelaine Stokes & Laura Apol, featuring many ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Shop riveted Mackinac Bridge Tower

2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk

We did the 2023 Mackinac Bridge walk and met the Vice President of the Rosie ...
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 ...
Grand Ledge forked eyebar

Breakfast with Engineers

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

Cantoro Trattoria in Plymouth, Michigan

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

Mismatched Breakfast Chairs

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

1881 Hays Street Bridge

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

Polished and Etched Wrought Iron

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

Gordie Howe International Bridge

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

Teaspoon Corners

South of the small city of Leslie, Michigan, spanning the Grand River, was a nineteenth ...

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 ...

Afternoon Spent in the Detroit, Michigan, Area.

It’s Friday afternoon and Katie, my PT for the last two weeks, has just closed ...
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, ...

Operation

Last week this time I was checking into Sparrow Hospital for my knee operation. I’m ...

Knee fabrication: joint preparation

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

Charlotte Highway/Centerline Bridge

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

Historic Dresden Suspension Bridge 

There is nothing more exciting for a craftsman than to encounter an exceptional structure and ...

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 ...

Oregon: Bridges to Remember

1936 Yaquina Bay Bridge, Newport, Oregon. One of many of Conde B. McCullough’s Oregon coastal ...

Esther Bielmeier (1900-1989)

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

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve Bridge, Bach Steel

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

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

Our west coast trip ended in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
A Boat

San Diego Maritime Museum

Wrought iron, rivets, and mill marks are some of the features Nan and I look ...
Estrella Bridge

Estrella River Bridge

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

Old Greenspot Road Bridge

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

The Big Four Bridge

During our trip south we spent time on a number of historic riveted truss bridges ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Knoxville, Tennessee

Traveling south this week for a family event and an opportunity to inspect historic riveted ...
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 ...
Assembling the Unity Bell stand

Fabrication and Riveting

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

James Cooper

James Cooper, in April 2001, wrote: “Fellow Pontists - A lot of comment has come ...
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 ...
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, ...
Historic Bridge Restoration

Lansing Recreation Center

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

Calhoun County Rivet Demonstration

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

Park Street Bridge, Alameda California

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

Riveting on the Golden Gate Bridge

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

Gale Road Bridge

There is nothing more satisfying for craftsmen after months of hard physical labor than to ...
Brauer Road Bridge

Bauer Road Bridge, Clinton County, Michigan

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

20 Mile Road Bridge

“Township meeting minutes, newspaper chippings, engineering records, historic photographs, and written personal recollections and oral ...
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 ...
historic bridge restoration

You Can Always Learn Something New

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

Honoring the Original Engineering Design

Cut River Bridge Repairs (Heath M. Robinson Memorial Cut River Bridge) Mackinac County, Michigan Steve ...
historic bridge restoration

Barista as Craftsman

Christine, barista at Espresso Royale Café, Lansing, Michigan Dark brown and boiling inside a thick ...
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 ...