Ellet, Charles

SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering
b. 1 January 1810 Penn's Manor, Pennsylvania, USA
d. 21 June 1862 Cairo, Illinois, USA
American engineer who built the world's first long-span wire-cable bridge.
Ellet worked for three years as a surveyor and assistant engineer and then studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. He travelled widely in Europe and returned to the USA in 1832. In 1842 he completed the first wire suspension bridge in the USA at Fairmont, Pennsylvania, and in 1846–9 redesigned and built the world's first long-span wire-cable bridge over the Ohio River at Wheeling. It had a central span of 308 m (1,010 ft). It failed in 1854 due to aerodynamic instability. He invented naval rams and in the American Civil War he equipped nine Mississippi river boats as rams; they defeated a fleet of Confederate rams. He died in battle.
Further Reading
The Macmillan Dictionary of Biography, 1981.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Bristol Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — Bristol Township is a defunct township that was located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The borough ceased to exist and was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia following the passage of the Act of Consolidation, 1854.HistoryBristol… …   Wikipedia

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