Civil Engineering: Bridges and Tunnels

January 1, 1964 – April 2, 2002

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, East Wing Floor Plan

This exhibition examines the history behind today's modern bridges and tunnels, from the days of the ancient Egyptians and Romans to the Renaissance to present times. Models illustrate the different kinds of materials and various styles of architecture used in civil engineering over the centuries. On view are models of famous bridges, including several of Roebling's Brooklyn Bridge (1870s), that show how various types are built -- arch, truss, cantilever, suspension. Models also illustrate the variations in tunneling technology, including the building of Brunel's Thames Tunnel of 1843, the world's 1st underwater span.