Sunday, December 28, 2014

Suspension Bridge

Snippet from, Nashville and Her Trade, 1870, Charles E. Robert

Page 381
A magnificent Wire Suspension Bridge spans the Cumberland at this place, which is reckoned as one of the finest and most substantial bridge structures in America, and perhaps the longest in the South.  It is a vast improvement on the old bridge, which was built during the year 1850, and destroyed by having its wires cut upon the evacuation of the City by the Confederate Army under General Albert Sidney Johnson, in February, 1862. The present structure is more roomy and much stronger than its predecessor. The rebuilding was commenced in July, 1865, and on May 31st, 1866, the bridge was completed and thrown open to travel. The total cost of the structure was upwards of $140,000. The architect was Major Wilbur F. Foster, of this City, who distinguished himself as an engineer in the late war, and served with honor and credit to himself as Chief Engineer on the Staff of Gen. Alex. P. Stuart.  

The wood and wire work was done under the supervision of Albert Fink, President of the Louisville Industrial Works, and now Superintendent of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, a gentleman whose reputation as a scientific and accomplished genius and industrious and energetic workman, is wide-spread. The masonry of the present Bridge is the same as that used in the old one, save the addition of six and a half feet to the piers on the Edgefield side of the river - the present pitch of the bridge being twenty-five feet lower on the Edgefield than on the Nashville side. The weight of the original cables was about 93,800 pounds, while the weight of the present cables is about 165,000 pounds. The number of wires in each of the two cables is 2,456, making the total number of wires supporting the bridge in the center, 4,912. The weight of the bridge between the towers is about 648,000 pounds, and the total strength of the cables is 7,368,000 pounds. The greatest load which can be placed on the bridge at one time, counting forty pounds to the square foot, is 604,800 pounds, and this load added to the weight of the bridge, gives us 1,252,800 pounds, so that the bridge has a strength almost six times as great as it can be loaded. The length of the bridge is about seven hundred feet, and its width thirty-five feet, which includes a splendid carriage-way about twenty-five feet wide and sidewalks on either side, each about five feet wide. The carriage-way is guarded by a heavy framing of timber, firmly riveted and bolted together, and known as the McCallum Truss pattern. This truss is secured to the cables in the center by means of heavy wrought-iron rods, which increase in length as we go toward either end of the bridge, until they reach almost to the top of the towers. These towers are four in number. The height of the bridge above low-water mark, is one hundred and ten feet. The gentlemen owning the suspension bridge are incorporated under the style of the "Broad Street Bridge Company." A Board of twelve Directors, elected annually, govern the affairs of the company.  

The present officers are: President, Byrd Douglas, Esq.; Secretary and Treasurer, A. W. Butler, Esq. 
This bridge is perhaps, one of the best paying institutions of the City, and yields a dividend of twelve per cent, per annum. It is the only foot-bridge connecting the City with Edgefield, and consequently is an indispensable necessity.


A snippet from, Nashville and Her Trade, 1870, Charles E. Robert

Across the river, to the north, is the city of Edgefield, or, as it is sometimes called,  "Little Brooklyn."  Edgefield is an incorporated city, and is about one and a quarter miles long, and nearly the same in width. It is, perhaps, one of the loveliest resident places in the South, or in the United States, for that matter; and during the Spring and hot Summer months, is a pleasant retreat for the business man, whose labors and interests lay in Nashville. It is connected with the city by a magnificent wire Suspension Bridge; by a splendid iron bridge, of the Fink Truss patent, belonging to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, and by ferries, both at the Upper and Lower Levees. Edgefield is remarkable for the elegance and taste of its buildings, the spaciousness of its avenues, and the intelligence and refinement of its people. Its population, for the most part, is resident, a large number of people doing business in the city having their residences there. Property, consequent upon the large influx of population that Nashville has received in the past few years, has so increased in value, that space has become a costly luxury, only to be enjoyed by the more extravagant. In fact, the many persons who constitute a moving power, and a large proportion of our commercial world, are compelled to seek homes in this and the many suburban towns that cluster around the metropolis, and are vitalized by its proximity. Therefore, the daily emigration and exodus is large.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sillabub (Sillibub, Syllabub)

Sillabub - One quart of rich cream beat until frothy, grate one half nutmeg over it, add wine or rum.-Harriet Arnow

This Nashville Christmas treat has British origins and is mentioned in Samuel Pepys diary in 1663. I first read about it in Nashville history literature. Authors of local history, Miss Jane Thomas, Alfred Crabb and Harriet Arnow, each included sillabub in their tales of Nashville Christmas fare.

Susanna McGavock Carter, a slave on the Belle Meade plantation was well know in Nashville for her excellent sillabub.

Syllabubs and Possetts - Historic Food

Lady Rachel Fane's Syllabub

Past is Present

Madeira Syllabub

Syllabubs and fools are among the simplest, best and most characteristically English desserts. Both are versatile; to make syllabub, you could use just about any white or fortified wine; Madeira is particularly good.

Six individual syllabubs.
-2 cups heavy cream
-½ cup Sercial Madeira
-a little sugar
-3 egg whites
-grated zest of a lemon
1. Whisk the Madeira and sugar into the cream and whip it until the liquids marry.
2. Add the whites and zest and whip the syllabub until it begins to form peaks.
3. Divide the syllabub into six pretty glasses and chill for at least four hours before serving.

Notes: - As inferred in the introduction to the recipe, you can substitute other wines for the Madiera. Dry wines--crisp whites or fino Sherry, for instance--are not a good idea, but otherwise anything goes. Madeira, however, is our favorite. - Buy good eggs to reduce any risk of salmonella. If you are reluctant to use raw eggs, omit them. The syllabub will be runnier, but no less traditional or good.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Inglewood Railroad Trestle.

NES Collection, Nashville Public Library, 2011

Gallatin Pike near the railroad trestle in Inglewood looking north. On the right you can see just a bit of the old Hudson's sign. Hudson's was a gas station and a restaurant and was still there at least into the late 1970's. Gasoline was 16 cents a gallon. Gallatin Pike was 2 lanes and the old interurban tracks run along and merge under the bridge. My go to auto person says the cars and trucks are very early mid teens to early 20's. At the bottome right of the photo is the date May 11. 1929. This photo was in an exhibit at the Nashville Public Library of a Nashville Electric Service Collection in 2011. I made a photo of this image which was framed and hanging on the wall. It came out better than expected. I have posted this photo face book, as well.

Close up of 1929 photo.

Recent view from google maps.