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Glossary of Bridge Terminology


Explanation of the Present Work

The present glossary is a partially rearranged version of the "Glossary of Terms" which constitutes Chapter LXXX (pages 1892-2115) in Volume II of J.A.L. Waddell's "Bridge Engineering" (New York : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1916.) The rearrangement was undertaken to make the HTML version more efficient as a reference tool.

The terminology presented in this glossary represents usage on and before the original publication date of 1916. As Waddell noted, many of the terms are those used by the people who were active in building bridges and are not formal "dictionary terms." The definitions and concepts are not necessarily the same as those in use today and are not therefore recommended as examples for modern writing or practice. A few of the words would hardly pass muster in a more enlightened time, but I do not hesitate to include them since they had specialized meanings that required explanation then and even more so now.

The original text was scanned with an HP Scanjet 3500c and recognized with OmniPage Pro 12. No attempt was made at this stage to correct the text. Rather, it was saved in rough form as a text (.txt) file. Further manipulations took place in Microsoft Word. Corrections to the text were made manually, referring to the original in all cases of doubt. Equations were set using Microsoft Equation 3.0 and were saved separately from the rest of the text. Embedded illustrations were scanned into Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, and processed to improve clarity and reduce noise. The illustrtations were saved as GIF files optimized for Web display.

All pages of the text were combined into a single file, page headings were deleted, and the file was sorted by paragraphs.

The organization of the text was converted from a system that included numerous "see" references (which collocated all instances of the base word) into a set of direct entries. The superfluous "see" references were deleted. Entries that were equivalences ("same as") were left unchanged if both terms began with the same letter. In other cases, the definition from the base term was duplicated at the end of the entry or entries for those terms referring to it. In a few cases the language was modified to make the meaning clear. In other cases singular terms were converted to plural in order to make the language in an entry consistent.

Some terms were found that referred to others that did not exist. The following is a list of those terms.

List of Terms for Which There Was No Match in Waddell's Glossary

A few terms were defined only by reference to discussions at other places in "Bridge Engineering" or to other works. These instances are as follows.

List of Terms Deleted From Waddell's Glossary

Waddell's usage of hyphenated terms varied throughout the text. I have retained his forms, but have alphabetized the entries as if each term was composed of separate words.

When all the text had been proofed and organized, the equations were entered as image (.gif) files at the appropriate places.

Finally, the modified text (.txt) files were converted to HTML.

While every reasonable attempt was made to ensure accuracy of transcription, doubtless there are errors. This likelihood, and the significant changes in organization, lead me to refer to this as a glossary derived from the original. It should in no case be considered identical to the original.

Waddell's preface to the original is included here as an explanation of how the work was conceived and an indication of the persons involved in the project.

Waddell's original introduction to Chapter LXXX