02:30 PM - 03:30 PM
7 October 2024

Bridges as Civil Engineering Heritage & Cultural Icons in Numismatics and Philately

History & Heritage

The development of civil engineering, money, and mail are at the core of the development of civilization. Bridges, coins, paper money, and stamps all share the basic utilitarian purpose as tools of communication which make a functioning society possible. As physical objects, they are beautiful and fascinating masterworks of art and technology. Paper money noted, coins, and stamps employ vibrant and deliberate patriotic designs to showcase the country’s natural beauty, display cultural heritage, honor national heroes, celebrate triumphant events, chronicle proud history, express artistic style, document accomplishments, and promote all that they consider wonderful about themselves. Engineering works, especially bridges, are depicted to symbolize vision and determination to overcome obstacles, scientific and technological advancements, engineering and construction achievements, solid reliability and lasting dependability, purposeful progress, economic prosperity, openness and communications. The United States has issues more than 20 stamps showing bridges as main design feature; more than 1,000 bridge stamps have been issued worldwide. Hundreds of coins and paper money notes depicting bridges have been issues worldwide, including many in America. Bridges are the main design feature on all current Euro notes, as well as all paper money notes of Cambodia, Denmark, Scotland, and others. This presentation utilizes many vivid numismatic and philatelic images and well-researched historical findings and technical information to discuss the legend of bridges and showcase engineering heritage in popular culture. The history, design, and making of the 1952 ASCE stamp is detailed.