Wonders of the Age of Steam
seven wonders from the 19th century that represent the most
amazing achievements of the age of steam:
Eiffel Tower - When construction was first started in
1887, it was called "useless and monstrous" as well as a "ghastly
dream." Yet this structure has become one of the most beloved
icons of a major city and a wonder of the age of steam.
Brooklyn Bridge - In the 19th century, the booming New
York communities of Brooklyn and Manhattan were divided by the
East River. A bridge was the answer, but it would require an
engineering feat such as the world had never before seen. In
the end, a bridge was erected, but at the cost of the death
of the chief designer and a life of suffering for the chief
engineer, his son.
Great Eastern - It was the largest ship of its era.
So massive it was renamed the Leviathan for its 1858 launch.
Though the vessel was a failure at the Far East passenger trade
that it was designed for, it later achieved great success as
it laid the first fully effective underwater Atlantic cable
while operating under its proper name, The Great Eastern.
Bell Rock Lighthouse- Dozens of ships and thousands
of lives had been lost when vessels went down on the treacherous
Bell Rock reef. Could a Lighthouse be built on this impossible
ocean swept outcrop?
Trans-Continental Rairoad - As the middle of the 19th
century loomed, there was no good, efficient way to cross North
America from coast-to-coast. An overland trip using horses and
wagons across the Great Plains was long, arduous and dangerous.
Going by ship meant a six-month trip around South American's
Cape Horn, risking storms and ship wrecks. A combination of
the two, a ship to the Isthmus of Panama with a land crossing
there of the jungle and another voyage to San Francisco, was
fraught with the possibility of contracting malaria or yellow
fever. What was needed was to build a railroad across America,
but that seemed an impossibility.
Sewers of London - There were many great works of spectacular
engineering in the 19th century such as gigantic steamships,
innovative bridges and fantastic buildings. None of them, however,
saved as many lives as this immense and complex infrastructure
project under the streets of one of the largest cities of the
world: The Sewers of London.
Gotthard Rail Tunnels - On June 1st, 2016, the longest
rail tunnel in the world, the 35 ½ mile Gotthard Base Tunnel
was, opened. It was a technical achievement that took 17 years
to finish and unites northern and southern Europe by allowing
passage via high speed trains through some of the most forbidding
mountains in the world. What shouldn't be forgotten in this
success, however, is that another rail tunnel, also the longest
in the world at the time, was dug though these same mountains
almost a century and a half earlier. It was an achievement that
changed the face of commerce and travel across 19th century
Europe and a Wonder of the Age of Steam.