Book Reviews -- the Wheeling Bridge Case: Its Significance in American Law and Technology by Elizabeth Brand Monroe

By Stealey, John E., III | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, January 1994 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- the Wheeling Bridge Case: Its Significance in American Law and Technology by Elizabeth Brand Monroe


Stealey, John E., III, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


The Wheeling Bridge Case: Its Significance in American Law and Technology. By ELIZABETH BRAND MONROE. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992. xvi, 268 pp. $45.00.

PROCLAIMED by continual late afternoon cannonading and by a thousand-lamp nighttime illumination attached to the twisted wire cables over the Ohio River, the Wheeling, Virginia, suspension bridge opened on 15 November 1849 amid acclaim and contention. Viewing the spectacle from a distance, Senator Henry Clay ominously exulted, "Take that down, you might as well try to take down the rainbow." This bridge, a contemporary marvel, was the first application of innovative engineering to fashion structures to cross the dendritic river pattern of western Virginia's Allegheny Plateau and Ohio River tributaries. Designed and built by Charles Ellet, Jr., the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company's work suspended a clear 1,000-foot span from downtown Wheeling to Zane's Island at a maximum ninety-foot clearance over low water. While the bridge was being built and after its completion, competing economic interests in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania legally attempted to destroy Virginia's economic rainbow.

The ostensible reasons for opposition seemed simple enough. The bridge at high water blocked the passage of seven of more than 230 steamboats if they refused to lower or hinge their smokestacks. This periodic obstruction of interstate commerce to Pittsburgh allegedly reduced Pennsylvania's revenues from its Main Line Canal. More serious considerations existed. Real and projected railroads reached toward the Ohio River through Virginia and Pennsylvania. The selection of a particular Ohio River crossing might ensure the location's economic future and area dominance at the expense of rival towns. The Wheeling bridge posed an immediate economic advantage to Virginia and Maryland as construction of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad inched westward (completed to Wheeling in 1852).

The facts and outcome of the case were relatively simple, but the motivations, the political maneuvering, the legal and strategic environment, and the arguments were complex.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews -- the Wheeling Bridge Case: Its Significance in American Law and Technology by Elizabeth Brand Monroe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.