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Albert Fink, Presidmf.

James B. Francis, Octave Chanttk, Vice-Presidents.

John Bogart, Secretary and Librarian.

J. James R. Croes, Treasurer.

William FI. Paine, C. Vandervoort Smith, Charles Hermany,

EnfjAR B. Van Winkle. Gouverxeir K. Warren, Directors.


James B, Francis, President.

• Octave Chanute, Ashbel Welch, Vice-Presidents.

John Bo(;art, Secretary and Litirarian.

J. James R. Croes, Treasurer

William H. Paine, C. Vandervoort Smith, Joseph P. Davis,

G. Bouscaren, Don J. Whittemoke, Directors.

Entered according to Act of Congress, by The American Society of Civil Engineers, in
the office of the Librarian of Congress, in Washington.


Note.— This Society is not responsible, as a body, (or the facts aud opinions advanced in
any of il.s publications.









Discussion ou luter-Oceanio Canal Projects :

By Walton W. Evans

By Fkederick M. Kellet

By Charles A. Sweet

By John G. Campbell

By Chakles D. Ward

By Natban Appleton

By S. F. Shelbourne

By Max E. Schmidt

By Thomas .J. Long

By Edward P. North

Discussion on Inter-Oceanic Canal Projects :

By Ashbel Welch

By Julius W. Adams

Discussion on Inter-Oceanic Canal Projects :

By O. Ch anote

By Ferdinand de Lesseps

By Justin Dirks

By V. Dauzats

The Engineering Problems Involved in the Proposed Improve-
ment of the Erie Canal by Increasing the Depth of the
Channel One Foot.

Presented Juue 17th, 1879.— E. Sweet, Jr 99

Discussions at tbf' Eleventh Annual Convention :
On Paper CLXV. Cushioning the Reciprocating Parts of
Steam Engines :

By Charles E. Emery Ill

ByJOHNW. HiLi 115




(April.) Discussion on Inter-Ocoanic Canal Projects :

By Justin Dirks 117

By A. CouvRKUX, fils 124

By AsHBEL 132

By William E. Merrill 142

By Charles Macdonald 142

By AsHBEL Welch 148

By Thomas C. Clarke 159

Progress of Work at the East Eiver Bridge.

Presented June 17th, 1879. — Francis Collingwood. . . 162

On the Variation due to Orthogonal Strains in the Elastic
Limit in Metals, and its Practical Value and More Import-
ant Applications.

Read April 7th, 1880 — Eobkrt H.Thurston 173

Experiments with Appliances for Testing Cement.

Presented June 17th, 1879.— Alfred Noble 1S6

Discussions at the Eleventh Annual Convention :
On Palmer CXGII. Experiments with Appliances for Testing
Cement :

By Don J. Whittemore 199

Design and Construction Table lor Egg-shaped Sewers.

Presented June 17th, 1879.— Cyrus G. Force, Jr 202

The Preservation of Timber.

Pvead October 15th, 1879.— Joseph W. Putnam 206

Annual Address, 1880.- Engineering 'Progress in the United

Read at the Twelfth Annual Convention May 25th,

1880.— O. Chanute 217

CXCVI. {July.) The Hudson River Tunnel.

Presented May 25th, 1880.— Arthur Spielmann and

Chahles B. Brush 259

(do.) Discussions at the Twelfth Annual Convention.

On Paper CXCVI. The Hudson River Tunnel :

By ASHBEL Welch 273

By E. S. Chesbrough 273

By James B. Eads 273

By James B. Francis 273

By Charles B. Brush 273

By William R. Hutton 276

CXCVII. (do.) American Natural Cement.

Read May 25th, 1880.— F. O. Norton 278

(do.) Discussion at the Twelfth Annual Convention.

On Paper CLXXXIX. 'J'he Engineering Problems involved
in the Proposed Improvement of the Erie Canal by In-
creasing the Doinh of its Channel one foot.

By AsHBEL Welch •. 287

CXCVIII. {do.) Notes on the South Pass Jetties.

lioad May 25th, 1880.— Max E. Schmidt 290

CXC. {do.)

CXCI. {May.)

CXCII. (do.)

CXCIII. (do.)

CXCIV. {do.)

OXCY. (June.)








July Discussion at the Twelftli Aunual Convention :

On Paper CXCVIII. Notes on the South Pass Jetties :

By James B. Eads 291

(August.) Ship Canal Locks Calculated for Operation by Steam.

Read May 25th, 1880.— Ashbel Welch 293

(do.) Discussion on The Use of !>teel for Bridges. — William

Sellers 315

(do.) Remarks on the Causes of Fall of the Western Arched Ap-
proach to the South Street Bridge, Philadelphia.— John G.
Barnaru 319

(do.) Note on Kutters Diagram. — Charles H. Swak 326

(September.) Tensile Tests of Cement and an Appliance for more Accurate

Kead May 25th, 1880.— Don J. Whittemobe 329

(do.) Discussions at the Tvvelfth Annual Convention :

On Paper CCIII. Tenbile Tests of Cement and an Appli-
ance for more Accurate Determinations. And on Paper
CXCVII. American Natural Cements :

By William P. Shinn 341

By D. J. Whittemore 341

By Martin Coryell 341

By Ashbel Welch 342

By James B. Francis 342

By James B. Eads 342

By James II. Harlow 344

By Max E. Schmidt 345

By F. O. Norton 345

By E. S. Chesbrough 345

By John Bog art 34G

By William R. Hutton 346

(do.) Waterproof Coverings :

Read May 25th, 1880.— Francis Collingwood 348

(do.) Discussions at Twelfth Annual Convention :

On Paper CCIV. Waterproof Coverings :

By Edward P. North 351

By Francis Collingwood 352

(do.) Discussion on Paper CLXXXf. Flexure and Transverse Re-

sistance of Beams :

By De Volson Wood 353

(do.) Discussion on Paper CXCI. Qn the Variation Due to Orthogonal

Strains in the Elastic Limit in Metals :

By Robert Briggs 362

(October.) The Location of the Chimbote Tunnels :

Read May 25th, 1880.— O. F. Nichols 365

(do.) Practical Coneequences of Variation of the Wet, Section of

Rivers under General and Special Conditions :

Kead May 25th, 1830.— Robert E. McMath 377



CCVII. October. Wind Pressure against Bridges :

Kead May 25th, 1880.— ASHBEL Welch 391

(do.) Discussions at Twelfth Annual Convention :

On Paper CCVII. Wind. Pressure against Bridges :

By C. Shaler Smith 393

By Theodore CooPEB 393

By James B.Eads 395

By C. Shaler Smith 396

By EoBERT Bkiggs 397

CCVIII. (do.) Cheap Transportation versus Rapid Transit and Delivery.

Presented May 25th, 1880, and read June 16th, 1880.—

Martin Coryeli, 401

CCIX. (do.) The Cripphng Strength of Wrought Iron Columns.

Read May 25th, 1880.— C. L. Gates 407

CCX. (November.) Web Strains in Simple Trusses with Parallel or Inclined


Read May 25th, 1880.— E. Sweet, Jr 415

CCXI. (do.) Discussion upon luter-Oceauic Canal Projects ; also, additional

Information obtained by Recent Surveys in Nicaragua.
Read September 16th and October 6th, 1880.— A. G.

Menocal ; 429

CCXII. (December.) The Strength of Wrought Iron Columns.

Read September 1st, 1880.— G. Bouscaren 447

CCXIII. (do.) The Improvement of the Harbor of Quebec.

Presented May 25th, and read Sei^itember 1st, 1880.— J.

Vikcent Browne 455



I. (February.
























XI. (do.)

XII. (August.)

" XIII. (do.)

XIV. (do.)

XV. (do.)

XVI. (do.)


XVII. (do.)



Chart showiug Eoiites from the Atlantic to the
Pacific, by the Gulf of Mexico and the Carib-
bean Sea, accoinpauying discussion by Julius
W. Adams

Fac-simile Autographic Strain Diagrams

Moulds, Clutches and Mixing Box for Testing

Briquette and Cup Clutch for Testing Cement. . . .

Combined Clutch and Mould for Testing Cement.

Section and Details for Egg-shaped Sewers

Location of Shaft, Hudson River Tunnel

End View of Air Lock, Hudson Kiver Tunnel

Section of Hudson River Tunnel, when completed

Section of Hudson River Tunnel, in progress

Shaft and Tunnel, Hudson River Tunnel.

Curves of Tensile Strength of American Cement. .

Metal Mould for Cement Briquettes

Wood Mould for Cement Briquettes

Curves of Tensile Strength of Portland Cement

Curves of Tensile Strength of American and Port-
land Cement Mortars

Ground Plan, Ship Canal Lock

Platform, Ship Canal Lock

Section, Ship Canal Lock

Section, Shio Canal Lock

Travelling Apparatus, Ship Canal Lock

I Hollow Briquette

Briquette and Gimbal Clutch for ascertaining Ten-
sile Strength of Cements

Press and Flask for Moulding Briquette















' 265










































{October.) Location of Cbimbote Tunnels CCV. 372

(rf...) Illustrating Location of Chimbote Tunnels CCV. 375

(do.) Details of Location of Chimbote Tunnels CCV. 376

(do.) Variation of Wet Section of Eivers CCVI. .390

(do.) Sections of Wrought Iron Columns CCIX. 408

(do.) Ultimate Crippling Strength of Wrought Iron

Colums CCIX. 412

(do) Safe Crippling Strains on Wrought Iron Columns. CCIX. 414

(iVowmfter.) Strains in Trusses CCX. 422

(do.) do. do. do CCX, 426

(do.) do. do. do CCX. 428

{do.) Map of Proposed Canal Routes between Nicaragua

Lake and the Paciiio Ocean CCXI. 442

{do.) Profiles between Nicaragua Lake and the Pacillif

Ocean CCXI. 444

{December.) Apparatus to measure Compression and Extension
of Wrought Iron Columns and Tie-Bars under

Strain CCXIL 449

{do.) Plate showing Improvements of Harbor of Quebec. CCXIII. 456

{do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIII. 456

{do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIII. 458

{do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIII. 458

{do.) do, do. do. do. CCXIIL 460

(do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIIL 400

(do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIII. 462

{do.) do- do. do. do. CCXIII. 462

(do.) do. do. do. do. CCXIII. 462

(do.) do. do, do. do. CCXIII. 462


Page 20, third line from bottom: instead of fifteen metres to the mile, read fifteen inches to
the mile.

Page 327. Formula at bottom of page should read :

X y = — bl (a, constant) (11).
Page 352, seventh line, for best absorbent, read least absorbent



Note. — This Society is uot responsible, as a body, for the facts and opiuiona advanced in any

of its pubhcations.

(Vol. IX.— January, 1880.)



By Walton W. Evans, Feederick M. IvELiiEY, Charles A. Sweet, John

C. Campbell, Charles D. Ward, N. Appleton, S. F. Shelbourne,

Max E. Schmidt, Thomas J, Long and !Edward P. North.

Discussion by Walton W. Evans.

I beg to offer a few remarks in discussion of Mr. Menocal's paper
on the mucli-vexed project of the Inter-Oceanic Canal. I wish to give,
first, my reasons for venturing an opinion :

1st. I have served for seven years as an engineer in the construction
of canals.

2d. I have had an experience in the construction of public works of
over forty-two years.

8d. I have. crossed the Isthmus many times — partly by foot, by mule,
by canal, and by rail.

•Ith. I have been detained on the Isthmus for weeks — by rains, revo-
lutions, and want of transportation — before the railway was built.

*Inter-0ceanic Canal Projects. A. G. Menocal, No. CLXXXVIII., Vol. VIII., page 311
(November, 1879.)

5tL. I liave witnessed the heavens open their Hood-gates, and seen
the terrible washings the railway was subjected to.

6th. I have lived in earthquake countries for eleven years, and have
witnessed the convulsions of Nature on the Isthmus as well as in
Peru and Chile,

7th. I have, for over thirty years, made a study of this most interest-
ing i^roblem of cutting a canal for the largest ships through the narrow
strip that divides North from South America.

8th. And I have read with care most of the public documents pub-
lished in reference to it, and am clearly of the oiiiniou that the " San
Bias " route for a sea-level canal is far preferable to the Nicaragua route,
with locks, or any other route ever reported on.

I beg to present some axioms in reference to this great problem:
1st. A canal thirty miles long is preferable to one a hundred and
eighty-one and one-cpiarter miles long.

2d. A canal without locks is preferable to one with locks.
3d. A canal that has good harbors at its termini is preferable to one
with no harbor at either end.

4:th. A canal built in a healthy region is preferable to one in an
unhealthy region.

5th. A canal that can be navigated in ten hours is better than one
requiring one hundred hours.

6th. A canal that will call for very small repairs is preferable to one
requiring immense repairs.

7th. A canal that has a small " water-shed," but a sure supply of
water, is preferable to a canal having a great "water-shed."

8th. A canal that is not on a line of drainage is preferable to one on
a line of drainage.

9th. A canal that can pass a ship of any length is preferable to one
that limits the length to far below that of many existing ships.

10th. A canal that is virtually a straight line is preferable to one with
many curves, some of them very objectionable.

I have read with care Mr. Menocal's clever paper, and beg
to take issue with him on some points. He starts off with the
assertion that the matter is narrowed down to two routes — the
Panama and the Nicaragua. I should have been better satisfied if he
had said the San Bias and the Nicaragua, for I look on the Panama
route for a sea-level canal as simply ridiculous. I intimated the same,

biifc with less forcible words, to Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, in Paris.
x\fter many years of study of this matter, and after for a time believing
in the Nicaragua route as the proper one, I came to the conclusion tliat
the 8an-Blas route had many features in its favor that placed it far
in advance of all others. I refer to the foregoing axioms for those fea-
tures. I beg to say a word in defense of Count Lesseps. I have an
impression that he is thoroughly honest, and find that is the opinion of
all my friends in Paris Avho know him well. I think he was, in the
conducting of the Congress influenced by men, who hoped to
grow rich through the use of his name. He will soon see the
error he has made when he reaches the Isthmus, and is made acquainted
Avith the terrible destruction of the late floods. He said to me in Paris:
' ' There is one point in this matter we must observe : wherever the canal
is built // must be a sea lerel canal." In this I fully agree with him; and
I will add one more important engineering feature: it must not be built
on any line of drainage, or across any line of drainage. What we require
—what the world requires — is a perfectly reliable canal, that cannot by
any accident run itself dry; that is perfectly secure against the accidents
that can occur and do occur to all canals depending on dams and locks
as working features, no matter how well and costly they may be built; if
we cannot give the trade of the world such a canal we had better give
it none.

I would not i^ropose to run the San-Blas canal into the Eio
Bayano, but turn that river oif into the Bay of Panama by a cut
made expressly for it ; this could not be done for the Chagres River,
except at an expense of many millions. It is proposed to build the
Nicaragua Canal in the Valley of the Han Juan, and in close contact
with the river for many miles. I would suggest to the advocates of that
route, and to the capitaHsts who I am told stand ready and eager to put
their money in it, to first visit the Valley of the Lehigh, in Pennsylvania,
and view the ruins of what was, within my recollection, a canal that
received the praise and admiration of everybody; it was built by skilled
engineers; the money furnished by the most careful and long-headed
Quakers of Philadelphia; it had locks of thirty feet lift, the greatest
ever put on a canal; the water-shed of the Lehigh is very insignificant;
all the owners slept, no doubt, quietly in the possession of what they
supposed to be a very safe investment; but a storm came— a flood was
the result ; this little lamb-like river became a great, fierce tiger, bent

on destruction; a weak point was found in the upper dam, the tiger
poked his nose in it; a little leak was stai'ted, and away went the whole
structure; with it went everv dam and lock on the whole river, and
hardly left a wreck behind; no one ever had the courage to rebuild that
canal. There are many among vis that recollect the destruction of the
Croton River Dam; placed at the initial point of the Croton Aqueduct, it
was built under the plans and direction of that Nestor in American
engineering, John B. Jervis; he was an old and skilled canal engineer.
Who have we at the jjresent day who is his superior? That dam was built
on rock, where the best of materials and skilled workmen were to be had
in profusion; biit it went — carrying havoc in its course — and destroyed
every bridge, dam, mill, factory, and building it could reach down to the
Hudson River. I well remember this river above the dam, and its lamb,
like character in summer, for I built a railway on its banks, and have
many times crossed it on stepping-stones without wetting my boots.
The European news of the past two days tells us of floods in Hun-
gary, and that many dams have been carried away on branches of
the Danulie. I for one would rather trust to a tunnel than a dam. I
have had a good deal to do with dams, and I feel towards them as Robert
Stephenson once told me he felt toward railways, that he was afraid of

There are other things that I would lie afraid of in the construction
of a canal with elevated reaches on the side of a valley where such
rains occur as are frequent in the San-Juan region, I mean the
melting and running of the embankments. Once on arriving at
Panama on my way home I was told I could not cross the Isthmus,
as there was a washout a few miles from Panama. I took a hand-car,
went to see it, and found Col. Totten there making an embankment
of sleepers. This same embankment had been washed oxit three times
Ijefore, and every time it had been, Vhen rebuilt, reinforced by a row of
piles, close together, on the down-hill side. Col. Totten said to me,
"You see this embankment could not go out down hill this time, so it
has gone up hill." It had actually squashed out on the up-hill side, and
had run very much as molasses would run; a horse or man going into it
would soon have gone out of sight. To know the Isthmus and its rains,
and what rains can do in the way of making running mud out of embank-
ments, it is necessary to go there and see it, for no one can imagine it
from any pen sketch. I have an imiiression that all the arguments that

can be urged against the Panama route will hold good against the
Nicaragua, while the Panama route, adapted to have locks, has the advant-
age over the Nicaragua in the matter of length and harbors at the termini-
Mr. Menocal's estimate of cost appears to be made as many
other estimates of cost of public works have been before his time, by-
dealing in too small figiires, and making omissions. His estimate for
drains (I suppose this covers aqueducts over side rivers, culverts over
streams, changes of channels, waste-wiers, sluices, &c., &c.) is magnifi-
cently deficient, and I see no items for protection walls, inside and
outside, ijuddle walls, lining to prevent leaks, gravel faciugs, itc, &c.
Also draw bridges over the canal, light-houses, machine-shops, and whole
villages of buildings for residences, A:c., store-houses, &c., &c. I sup-
pose these are all in the twenty-five per cent, for (Contingencies. I have
found in practice that after estimating every item I could think of, the
twenty-five per cent, for contingencies came in as a most comfortable
assistant at the end. Captain Young, who built the Iltica Railway,
used to say that the only safe way to make an estimate, was to take
the largest quantities you could get from the profiles, carry them out
with the largest prices you ever heard of, add twenty per cent. , and then
double the whole. When the first estimate of the Hudson River Rail-
way was made, there were many arguments offered to show that it could
be built for about " half of nothing;" the engineer gave the size and
number of every arch and culvert required on the whole 14r) miles, for
each division. I, having a love of statistics, counted them, and found
there were about sixteen or eighteen in all. Now, this same engineer
had just before built the Croton Aqueduct over forty miles of the same
route, and close to it, and had forgotten that he had built ^over three
hundred culverts, arches, and bridges, on that forty miles. The protec-
tion walls for this railway, amounting to over 400,000 cubic yards, were
estimated to cost fifty cents per cubic yard, and it was forgotten that the
protection walls of the Croton Aqueduct (now nearly all, inside of forty
years, replaced by bettia* walls) cost $1.75 per cubic yard. I mention
these things to show how errors creep into engineers' estimates, even
among the most conscientious — their zeal, their desire, their anxiety
to see their project go down the throats of somebody, overrides their
judgment and stores away in oblivion for a time all their hard-earned ex-
perience, making true at this day the old Roman motto, " Meti try to
believe what they wish to be true. "


The Nicaragua route calls for the construction of artificial harbors at
each terminus. This is a most unfortunate feature of this route. Such
things have to be approached with fear and trembling, and a pocket full
of money, and after they are built and handed over as something to be
proud of, they, or their i3arts, very often go on excursions up and down
the coast, through the alluring enticements of the wind and the sea.
Some have their usefulness nii^ped in the bud by a failure to find
funds for their completion, as was the case with the Dover Harbor, in
England. I had occasion to examine those works in 1853, and then came
to the conclusion that although "John Bull's " purse was long and large
and full, that he had better leave that work alone, and since then he has left
it severely alone. The one long wall which I saw in 1853, I was again
on in Juue of this year, and found it had neither grown higher,
longer, nor more complete, and its partner had never been attempted.
In March of this year I walked, or rather clambered, out for a short dis-
tance on the conci'ete breakwater for the liarbor of Port Said, at the
northern terminus of the Suez Canal, found that it was far from
finished, and linless finished would in a few years be knocked to pieces
and rendered useless. In November of 1878 I had a chance to examine
the concrete works of the harbor at Algiers, built by the French, evi-
dently at great cost. The waters of the Mediterranean had quietly or
unquietly, as the case may be, just knocked a considerable part of it into
a "cocked hat," and the Algerines were, in their faith, no doubt, pray-
ing to "Allah" to knock the "cocked hat" into "pi."

Artificial harbors are contrivances to be avoided, if possible; they are
apt to give engineers sleejiless nights, to deplete plethoric iJockets, and
vanish when called on by the winds and the waves.

I have some experience in sleepless nights produced by things of this
kind, for I biiilt oTit into the Pacific Ocean the first pier ever built on the
whole coast of South America, that a big ship could haul alongside of.
The " Brave south-west winds" as Maury called them, were my friends
for thirty days out of thirty-one, then " ^olus" sent " Boreas" down to
make things lively with his " big guns," and at the same time make an
engineer's heart sink into his boots. During construction I often saw
the northers rolling in the waters, which went over my pier from 20 to 30
feet high, and bid fair at times to carry the whole structure, with its
80 000 tons of stone, on to the beach.

Mr. Menocal estimates the locks between gates to be 400 feet long ;

a lock of this length will pass a vessel of only 360 feet. Thirty years
ago vessels of 360 feet long were scarce articles ; we have now lots of

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