The Development of Timber as a Structural Material: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Development of Timber as a Structural Material

1st Edition

Edited by David T. Yeomans


438 pages

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Hardback: 9780860787570
pub: 1999-06-28
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pub: 2017-05-15
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Woodworking has been one of the most important technologies from the earliest times. Carpentry was important for buildings and bridges and as an integral part of most construction processes. The history of this subject has been explored by a variety of scholars, from archaeologists who have studied medieval timber techniques to engineers who have been interested in the development of bridges. The different studies have explored the methods of carpentry, the behaviour of the structures that were built and even the economic and social histories behind the development of carpentry techniques. This book collects together a number of papers representing this full range of scholarship as well as providing a general review of work in the field.


'The aim of Ashgate's twelve volume series is to bring together collections of important papers on particular topics from scholarly journals, conference proceedings and other hard-to-access sources. This is a wholly laudable objective. Some of the papers in the volume under review [The Civil Engineering of Canals and Railways before 1850] cannot be found even in abundantly-resourced academic libraries. The series opens up, directly or indirectly, debates over the nature of historical evidence which arise from the profoundly different approaches to the past of historians of technology, whose works are principally represented in these volumes, industrial archaeologists and social and economic historians.' Industrial Archaeology Review, Vol. XXI, No. 1

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Medieval Timber Structures: The cruck-built barn of Leigh Court, Worcestershire, England, F. W. B. Charles and Walter Horn; The grammar of carpentry, Richard Harris; The timber roofs of York Minster, J. Quentin Hughes; Jettying and floor-framing in medieval Essex, Cecil A. Hewett; Where roof meets wall: structural innovations and hammer-beam antecedants, 1150-1250, Lynn T. Courtenay; The Westminster Hall roof: a historiographic and structural study, Lynn T. Courtenay and R. Mark; Westminster Hall roof, Jacques Heyman; The Early Modern period: Early carpenters’ manuals, 1592-1820, David T. Yeomans; The strength testing of timber during the 17th and 18th centuries, L. G. Booth; Sir Christopher Wren’s carpentry: a note on the library at Trinity College, Cambridge, Henry M. Fletcher; Structural design in the 18th century: James Essex and the roof of Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House, David T. Yeomans; In Delorme’s manner, Douglas Harnsberger; 19th-century Structures: Early wooden truss connections vs. wood shrinkage: from mortise-and-tenon joints to bolted connections, Lee H. Nelson; British and American solutions to a roofing problem, David T. Yeomans; The development of laminated timber arch structures in Bavaria, France and England in the early 19th century, L. G. Booth; Case study of Burr truss covered bridge, Emory L. Kemp and John Hall; The evolution of wooden bridge trusses to 1850, J. G. James; Index.

About the Series

Studies in the History of Civil Engineering

From dams to cathedrals, from water supply to transport systems, and from land drainage to the design and construction of ever larger and more monumental buildings, the impact of civil engineering on human history has been immense. This series sets out to examine key aspects of its history, from antiquity to the early 20th century.

Studies in the History of Civil Engineering focuses on the following areas: the analysis of early structures to discover how ancient or medieval builders used the materials available to them, and the principles upon which they worked; the ideas and practices of design as employed by both engineers and architects; the development of new materials and techniques, from wooden trusses to cast iron and concrete; the investigation of the great engineering projects that began to burgeon with the 18th century, first in Britain, then elsewhere, underpinned by advances in science which provided a new theoretical framework upon which to base the engineering.

These volumes reveal the implications for the history of architecture of choices of material, technique and structure. They aim also to reflect the political and economic constraints which so often shaped what could be achieved, and the inter-relationship between the history of civil engineering and economic history: the engineering was both stimulated by, and made possible the spread of industrialization.

Not least, the series is concerned to examine the lives, attitudes and careers of the men who emerged to form the new profession of the engineer. Studies in the History of Civil Engineering comprises 12 volumes. Each focuses on a particular topic, edited by an expert in that field. They reprint a selection of papers which have proved of particular importance, and which exemplify the current state of knowledge and the historiography. Originally published in wide range of scholarly journals, conference proceedings and the like, many hard to consult, these papers are now reprinted together under hard covers, making them readily accessible, even for non-specialists. Each volume opens with a substantial new introduction by the editor, to assess the field and place the papers in their context, and is fully indexed. The series constitutes an authoritative reference library, not just for those interested in the history of civil engineering, but also those studying economic history and the history of science and, above all, of architecture.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General