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Builders of the Hoosac Tunnel
Cliff Schexnayder, PE




Peter E. Randall Publisher
2015 • 668 pp. 80 illus. 7 x 10"
History - 19th Century


$30.00 Hardcover, 978-1-942155-07-2

$25.00 Ebook, 978-1-942155-08-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



A historical journey from black powder to nitro during the struggle to bore a five-mile tunnel through the Hoosac Mountain in the 1800s

The Smithsonian Institution’s Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is located in the bowels of the National Museum of American History. Cliff was one of the fortunate who, having received a Dibner Library Resident Scholar award, spent many an hour on the other side of those secreted doors. It was an experience rather like that of C. S. Lewis’s Lucy, who climbed into the wardrobe and discovered a magical land. He met no White Witch, but the experience produced this book—the result of a wonderful adventurous journey.

Builders of the Hoosac Tunnel traces the interactions between those who worked to bore the five-mile Hoosac railroad tunnel and those who hindered its construction. From the railroad stockholders, to the Canadian brothers who achieved daylight through the mountain, the story follows the evolution of American Civil Engineering.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“Schexnayder digs deep to provide an amazing level of detail and perspective in his account of one of our nation’s early civil engineering feats.”—Tudor Van Hampton, Engineering News-Record

“With Cliff Schexnayders' momentous work, for the first time the Hoosac Tunnel saga is examined within the context of its contemporary American history.”—Carl R. Byron, author, A Pinprick of Light

Builders of the Hoosac Tunnel is a fascinating book describing the politics, society, financing, and construction practiecs as well as civil engineering education during the late 18th and 19th centuries. The tale begins with a chilling description of the worst accident which occurred at the mountain on October 19, 1867 killing thirteen workers.”—Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E. WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE



CLIFF SCHEXNAYDER is the author of Construction Planning, Equipment & Methods, McGraw-Hill higher education, in print since 1995. He is an Arizona State University eminent scholar, emeritus, and was awarded a fellowship from the Smithsonian Institute Libraries to research the Hoosac. He holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and B.S.C.E./M.S.C.E. degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Branford, CT.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:36:16 -0500