Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Tommy D. Lee II

Committee Members

Emmett M. Essin III, Melvin E. Page, Stephen G Fritz


John Augustus Roebling, a classically educated civil engineer and young Hegelian, immigrated to America in 1831 in search of freedom from a repressive political system that afforded him no opportunity for advancement. Arriving in the midst of the American market revolution, his dream of establishing an agrarian farming colony changed in response to societal transformations resulting from mechanization and the rise of industry. Within forty years, Roebling achieved fame as a canal engineer and bridge designer while establishing the American wire rope industry. Without Roebling's innovation in wire-rope, modern suspension bridges, high-rise elevators, construction cranes, and cable cars would not have been possible. Yet historians have virtually ignored Roebling and other civil engineers, entrepreneurs, and inventors who built America's infrastructure. Known primarily, if at all, as the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, Roebling is an enlightening study of Old World education and training used in the New World.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.