Detail from the 'Plans and sections for a
bridge of chains proposed to be
thrown over the Frith of Forth at Queensferry', James Anderson, 1818.
Early designs for a crossing of the Forth at Queensferry included a wrought-iron chain bridge by James Anderson, a land surveyor and civil engineer from Edinburgh.
The 1818 proposal was an ambitious design which would have lacked the strength to withstand the weight and weather.
Impact of the Tay Bridge Disaster
part of the first Tay Bridge.
Tay Bridge enquiry photographs
To satisfy demand for a seamless rail link up the east coast of Scotland, railway engineer Thomas Bouch proposed bridges for both the Tay and the Forth.
Construction was under way until a stormy December night in 1879, when Bouch's recently completed Tay Bridge collapsed into the river, taking a train and passengers with it.
New proposals for the Forth Bridge
Work on the Forth Bridge stopped immediately, and public inquiry found the Tay Bridge to be 'badly designed, badly constructed, and badly maintained'. Confidence in Bouch was irreparably damaged, and his design for the Forth Bridge was officially abandoned in 1881.
When the Forth Bridge Company invited new proposals for a bridge, engineers Benjamin Baker and John Fowler submitted their cantilever and central girder design.
These items featured in our display, 'The Forth Bridge: Building an icon', at the Library from 1 April to 21 June 2015.