Alfred Ely Beach: Difference between revisions

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 its 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 [[Marc Isambard 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}}
* See also: {{cite web | title=THE BROADWAY TUNNEL.; Opening the Bore to Public Inspection--Success of the Undertaking Great Crowd of Visitors. | website=The New York Times | date=February 27, 1870 | url=https://www.nytimes.com/1870/02/27/archives/the-broadway-tunnel-opening-the-bore-to-public-inspectionsuccess-of.html | access-date=January 2, 2019}}</ref>