This view of the railroad bridge across the Dnieper River is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. The bridge was constructed by Amand Struve (1835–98), the engineer who also built Kiev’s electric tram system and its central sewer system. Finished in 1870, the bridge was the first all-metal bridge across the Dnieper and one of the longest in the empire, spanning nearly a kilometer. Struve’s bridge was the first in the empire built using the caisson method to lay the foundation and the first to use a decompression truss design. It stood on 13 piers across the river and survived World War I. The bridge was blown up in 1920 along with other Kiev bridges by Polish troops retreating from the city in the Russo–Polish War. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.
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1 photomechanical print : collotype
Last updated: February 29, 2012