As our newly established nation was beginning to develop and build, NH took a leading role in the incorporation of bridge companies. In December of 1792, a petition was submitted for this important bridge to be built and in 1793 the NH legislatures granted petitioners the exclusive right of building this toll bridge over the Piscataqua River. The subscription of 500 shares was filled at Portsmouth, numerous shares being taken by Bostonian men. The town of Portsmouth subscribed 1000 pounds. “The total bridge was 2,360 feet long and 38-feet wide. Palmer designed and built a main span over the navigable channel of 244 feet. The water at the bridge site was about 52-feet deep, thus requiring major falsework. Prior to this he had the deck resting on the bottom chord of the truss with overhead bracing. At Piscataqua he introduced another tier of timber located near the top of the truss on which the deck was placed and put bracing under the deck. His top chord, in addition to its contribution to the truss, was also the bridge railing. He ordered timbers up to 16 x 18-inches in sections, over 50-feet long with a natural curvature to match the curvature of his three chord members.” – [Timothy Palmer, The Nestor of American Bridge Builders, Griggs.)] In Very Fine condition. An important part of engineering and New England history.


Piscataqua Bridge

Partly printed Manuscript Document Signed. December 7, 1793. 2pp. 6˝” x 8 ˝”. Signed by JAMES SHEAFE, and NATHANIEL ADAMS, as President, Treasurer and Proprietors Clerk, respectively. In a clean, bright presentation on watermarked ragpaper: the Subscription of the Town of Portsmouth as Proprietor of a Share in the Piscataqua Bridge; nice impressed “Seal of the Proprietors” that displaying an image of what the bridge would look like. At the time it was built, in 1794, the Piscataqua Bridge, built between Dover and Newington across the “Great Bay of the Piscataqua River”was an enormous engineering feat. Its builder, Timothy Palmer, had designed what was to be the longest span bridge in the world.
Catalog: # SB-3585
State: New Hampshire
Price: $1750.00