Alfred Ely Beach: Difference between revisions

 
==Invention of a subway==
Beach's most famous invention was [[New York City]]'s first [[rapid transit|subway]], the [[Beach Pneumatic Transit]].<ref>Most, Doug, ''The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the incredible rivalry that built America's first subway'' (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2014), {{ISBN|9780312591328}}.</ref> This idea came about during the late 1860s, when traffic in New York was a nightmare, especially along theits central artery, of [[Broadway (Manhattan)|Broadway]]. Beach was one of a few visionaries who proposed building an underground railway under Broadway to help relieve the traffic congestion. The inspiration was the underground [[Metropolitan Railway]] in [[London]] but in contrast to that and others' proposals for New York, Beach proposed the use of trains propelled by [[pneumatics]] instead of conventional [[Steam locomotive|steam engines]], and construction using a [[tunnelling shield]] of his invention<ref name="Copperthwaite20">{{cite book|last1=Copperthwaite|first1=William Charles|title=Tunnel shields and the use of compressed air in subaqueous works|date=1906|publisher=Van Nostrand Co.|location=New York|page=20|edition=1|url=https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t2r49hs0g?urlappend=%3Bseq=42|accessdate=21 May 2018}}</ref> to minimize disturbing the street.<ref name=walker>James Blaine Walker, "Fifty Years of Rapid Transit / 1864 to 1917". New York: The Law Printing Company, 1918.</ref>
 
Beach used a circular design based upon Brunel's rectangular shield, which may represent the shift in design from rectangular to cylindrical. It was unclear when or who transitioned tunneling shield design from rectangular to circular until ''[[The New York Times]]'' wrote an article describing the original Beach tunneling shield in 1870.<ref>{{cite web | title=www.nycsubway.org: Beach Pneumatic Transit | website=www.nycsubway.org | date=February 4, 1912 | url=https://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Beach_Pneumatic_Transit | access-date=January 2, 2019}}