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John A. Roebling

German-born American civil engineer known for his suspension bridges.

Biographical Information

Name: John A. Roebling
Full name: John August Roebling
Born on 12 June 1806 in , Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany, Europe
Deceased on 22 July 1869 in , New York, New York, USA, North America
Father of
Father-in-law of
Place(s) of activity:

Leaves Germany for to the United States with a group of German settlers to live in an idealistic community


Arrives in Philadelphia;
Settles in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania;
Works as a waterway and railway engineer


Begins manufacturing wire rope in Saxonburg

1844 - 1845

Repairs canal bridge over the Allegheny at Pittsburgh, his first use of air spinning method for the suspension cables


Roebling wire company in Trenton, New Jersey


Proposes to lay a transatlantic cable for better communication between Europe and America


Construction of the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge completed.


Construction of the East River Bridge (Brooklyn Bridge) begins, Roebling's foot gets crushed by the piling of a dock, he dies of lockjaw several days later

Structures and Projects



  1. Roebling, John A. / Roebling, Iris (2006): Tagebuch meiner Reise von Mühlhausen in Thüringen über Bremen nach den Vereinigten Staaten im Jahre 1831. Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle/Saale (Germany), ISBN 978-3-89812-388-4.
  2. Roebling, John A. (1869): Long and short span railway bridges. D. Van Nostrand, New York (USA), pp. 2.
  3. Roebling, John A. (1867): New York Bridge Company, on the proposed East River bridge. Daily Eagle Print, New York (USA), pp. 48.
  4. Roebling, John A. (1856): Memoir of the Niagara Falls Suspension and Niagara Falls International Bridge. London (United Kingdom).
  5. Roebling, John A. (1855): Final Report of John A. Roebling, civil engineer, to the presidents of the Niagara Falls suspension and Niagara Falls international bridge companies. Steam Press of Lee, Mann & Co., Rochester (USA).

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