Coleman Bridge, Spanning Phelps Brook, on Windsor Bush Road, at ea, Windsor, Berkshire County, MA
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at ea, Windsor, MA
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MA-119
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-31).
Building/structure dates: 1894 initial construction
Significance: In 1893 Charles H. Ball, a mechanic and inventor from East Windsor, Massachusetts, patented a design for a small truss bridge constructed of iron pipes, which he described as "a strong, cheap bridge, that would last as long as any iron bridge, and cost but little, if any, more than a good wooden bridge." During the 1890s, Mr. Ball built numerous bridges of this type throughout western New England -- including several bridges for Windsor and surrounding towns. At least twenty-five Ball bridges have been documented, but the Coleman Bridge is the only one still standing. There are, however, two others now in storage and awaiting restoration. The Coleman Bridge is an excellent example of C.H. Ball's patented design, and represents a late flowering of the mechanic-inventor tradition, which supplied much of the impetus for innovation in bridge design up through the middle of the nineteenth century.
Ball, Charles H.
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
3. Detail of south truss showing truss configuration and connections
4. Detail of east truss showing connections, looking north
8. Detail of east truss configuration from deck, looking east
9. Detail of upper chord connection to vertical and diagonal members, east truss, looking southeast
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