Washington University Archives' original drawings of Eads Bridge document a 19th-century architectural feat that still spans the Mississippi, and now some of those carefully preserved drawings have been contributed to the Engineering Map of America, an interactive mapping project recently launched by American Experience.
Along with dozens of museums, libraries, archives, and PBS member stations, University Archives has partnered with American Experience to populate the map, which explores the United States through the lens of science and technology. Telling the stories behind the nation's greatest engineering marvels, including St. Louis's innovative Eads Bridge and Gateway Arch landmarks, the Engineering Map of America includes geo-tagged historical photographs, documents, and videos from partnering organizations and also from individuals, who are encouraged to upload content as well.
"The goal is to develop a crowd-sourced map that reflects that shared history of engineering in America and how these projects have shaped local communities and the nation as a whole," says Sonya Rooney, university archivist. "Our holdings related to the Eads Bridge, as well as other St. Louis structures, are a fitting addition to the effort, and we hope to contribute more materials and stories as the map grows."
Utilizing the public media history platform Historypin, the Engineering Map of America enables anyone to superimpose an image of a specific location over the present-day street view of that same location, showing how it has changed over time. The project also allows comments, pinning, and other forms of interaction, with popular and recently added content spotlighted in a gallery connected to the main map interface.
The Engineering Map of America websiteand the latest version of the free Mapping History iPhone app launched in conjunction with the February 2014 premiere of The Rise and Fall of Penn Station on PBS.
Photo information for images in order of appearance on this page: 1) Explore the new Engineering Map of America at http://pbs.org/engineeringmap > select "View Collections" to locate WUSTL materials. 2) This image is of item #TR189 from the Eads Bridge Drawing Collection held in WU Libraries' University Archives. The drawing is of the bridge’s structural supports.