Established in April 1900 and by 1901 a division of the U. S. Steel Corporation, the American Bridge Company was the product of the merger of 28 bridge and structural steel companies. In 1987 the company divested itself of the connection to U. S. Steel and has maintained its independence since then. In the early 20th century the company was based in New York City, but maintained branch offices in several other cities, including Philadelphia, where its presence can be found as early as 1901 in Philadelphia city directories.
According to the company website:
The company pioneered the use of steel as a construction material; developing the means & methods for fabrication and construction that allowed it to be widely used in buildings, bridges, vessels, and other plate applications. As a result, and due to its deep financial resources, AB operated on a national and international scale from the moment of its inception.
Notable among its bridge accomplishments are the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York (1964), but the company was also involved in large-scale construction involving steel, such as the Empire State Building (1932), the Chrysler Building (1931), and the Woolworth Building (1913), all in New York City. In 1974 American Bridge was involved in the construction of the Sears Tower in Chicago.
In Pennsylvania the company contributed its expertise in the construction of a number of bridges and canals in the early 20th century, including the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philadephia to Camden (1926).
Sandra L. Tatman.
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