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James Finley: Bridging the Gap

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April 6, 2018
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There is quite a bit of European Elitism thrown around in regard to the young country of the United States. Insults and tirades about how we've not contributed anything to the world are heaped upon us. That's okay because those Europeans are not only wrong, but they'd be left on the other side of some of the greatest expanses without American designer James Finley. The inventor of the suspension bridge, James helped pave the way for the American industrial revolution way before we even knew it would happen.

James Finley

History is such a fickle mistress and even if the ideas propagated are amazing and revolutionary, the success and implementation of them may be assigned elsewhere. That's why we're lucky to have this tidbit of information. In 1801, the Jacob's Creek Bridge was built using his design. While the Jacob's Creek Bridge didn't stand the test of time, the suspension bridge became an integral part of American infrastructure, but we don't necessarily remember James Finley, even though his invention led to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The suspension bridge has allowed mankind to span great distances and extreme heights because of the load-bearing system as well as utilize less raw material for the bridge. The reason we have all of these, James Finley. It is inspiring to know that a man who just wanted to "build a better mousetrap" created one of the most important pieces of infrastructure to this day.While we get harped on by elitist Europeans, they have to live with the fact that an American, James Finley was the one to pave the way for the Vasco de Gama Bridge in Portugal or the Chain Bridge in Budapest. From the Olympics to bridge building, we're excited whenever we beat Europeans at something. It silences their smugness for a little bit.

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