• This topic has 26 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by MSP.
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  • How to build a bridge back before colour was invented.
  • Premier Icon Cougar
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    Simpler times.

    How bridges were built 100 years ago

    These men were fearless. Health and safety has changed a lot since then! This is a great watch

    Posted by Only Fools and Legends on Friday, January 3, 2020

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
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    Properly scary working conditions. Not sure what was more impressive, the lack of
    PPE or the throwing & catching of hot rivets at height.

    shermer75
    Member

    So much quieter back then

    Premier Icon sirromj
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    A video titled “Grandpa Amu creates a wooden arch bridge,no nails,very powerful craftsman” was in my YT recommendations, it’s had 19m views, worth a watch too. Not embedding it as going to hazard a guess it’s been in many people’s recommendations as well 🙂

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
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    As an aside, what’s the trick to embedding videos nowadays?  I’ve tried everything but can only insert hyperlinks.

    Premier Icon frankconway
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    Catching hot rivets was a standard part of ship building in UK upto about the ’50s; bloke doing it was called, unsurprisingly, a catcher.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    what’s the trick to embedding videos nowadays?

    I generally just paste the URL as text and let the forum software deal with it. Don’t overthink it.

    hols2
    Member

    bloke doing it was called, unsurprisingly, a catcher.

    So were there also job ads for tossers?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    Change in work practices meant that many of the tossers ended up as managers

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    what’s the trick to embedding videos nowadays?

    I generally just paste the URL as text and let the forum software deal with it. Don’t overthink it.

    That seems to work on mobile, but never on desktop for me anyway.

    Premier Icon slackalice
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    Spare a thought for the camera dude… balancing with the equipment of the time 😳

    Edit: Just been transfixed watching Grandpa Amu, I mean, I do wood and I’ve even built a green oak single span bridge (actually in Lagan in that there Scottish land) however, I am truly humbled by Grandpa Amu 😎

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
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    Of a similar ilk – how to build a steam locomotive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ted9gmKgFSY

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    Simpler times indeed. FWIW, 73 men died in the building of the Forth rail bridge, about one a month. Simpler, maybe not better.

    Premier Icon sockpuppet
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    Change in work practices meant that many of the tossers ended up as managers

    👏

    What you did there… I see it!

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Simpler times indeed. FWIW, 73 men died in the building of the Forth rail bridge, about one a month. Simpler, maybe not better.

    dying was just much more common. Work practices could seem devil-may-care but stuff we’d now see as minor inconveniences now could kill you back then.

    there were massive leaps forward in health care during the First World War. At the end if the war if you broke your leg there was a 1 in 5 chance that injury would kill you. But four years earlier you only had a 1 in 5 chance that you’d survive.

    so while it looks perilous because you could fall to your death you were just as much taking your life into your hands whilst pruning the roses

    avdave2
    Member

    FWIW, 73 men died in the building of the Forth rail bridge, about one a month. Simpler, maybe not better.

    It’s hard to believe now when we look back at how things were done but I also wonder how many years of life are lost each year to a workforce sat in sedentary jobs and to night working to fuel the 24 hour economy. We know both are really not good for your health and in years to come people may look back and wonder why we didn’t do anything about it.

    Premier Icon maxtorque
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    There was an amazing documentary on, iirc, BBC4 a while back that covered the building of the Forth road bridge 50 years ago!

    Found it: https://vimeo.com/channels/1010566/151384767

    inc. fasinating footage, from an amature cameraman who “unofficially” documented the build

    JonEdwards
    Member

    A photographer called c.lilianmarlen keeps coming up on my insta feed. Lots of steel erectors in New York.

    Sure there’s more hi viz and there’s harnesses, mostly for show, not actually clipped to anything, but its basically the same process then and now. Blokes playing with giant mecchano, big spikes and hammers up in the sky and very little margin for error.

    (FWIW in my younger, more stupid, “wanna be a rigger” days I did plenty of work at height with no real safety. Sit harness, single static lanyard. Even if I’d have been clipped to something I’d have died from internal injuries before someone could get me down (and no rescue plan). I walked 9″ girders 60′ up a couple of times. Then I decided I wasn’t going to make 25, so stopped…)

    shermer75
    Member

    Top Wax fact: One half of Wax (Graham Gouldman) was formerly one quarter of 10cc. Fact!

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    Traditionally, in the States, the blokes working the tall steel were Mohawks Native Americans from Canada – they certainly have a reputation for working very high with little fear of the dangers:
    http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2012/09/the-mohawks-who-built-manhattan-photos.html

    Premier Icon grtdkad
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    See also BBC docs featuring Ricky Tomlinson (of Royle Family fame) talking about H&S issues he faced in the 60s and 70s … he ultimately spent two years in prison for disrupting works. Anyone who spoke out then was simply black-listed by big business so they risked becoming unemployable. Serious injury and risk of death was just part of the trade.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Serious injury and risk of death was just part of the trade.

    the risks didn’t stop at the factory gates really – the air, the water, the spoil heaps.

    You watch footage of the working practices and think ‘thats dodgy’ but you’d only need to turn the camera a few degrees to see that this is all on everyone’s doorsteps.

    This nice little film project is from a few years back – a mash-up of BFI film footage that was first presented with a live musical score of Sheffield electro-pop covers. The footage is mostly from promotional films so its hardly an expose – practices the industry was proud of. But its interesting to see from time to time wide shots of what our towns looked like not that long ago.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Ha

    Just happened across this 🙂

    hols2
    Member

    Lots of pretty colours in this one.

    null

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    See also BBC docs featuring Ricky Tomlinson (of Royle Family fame) talking about H&S issues he faced in the 60s and 70s

    Yes construction sites today are massively different to those I worked on even in the 70s, let alone 100 years ago.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel
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    Of a similar ilk – how to build a steam locomotive.

    Quite mind boggling. Even the building of the machinery to build the engine is an incredible achievement.

    Premier Icon MSP
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    the risks didn’t stop at the factory gates really – the air, the water, the spoil heaps.

    Reminds me of when I was unfortunate enough to spend a short spell living in Widness. The whole town was basically a dumping ground for the chemicals industry in the 50s and 60s. The local gold course had to be shut down when it was discovered to be built on arsenic laden spoil heaps. Of course the local scroutes didn’t think there was anything wrong so would pull down the fences and let their kids go play on the course on their crossers.

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