Bob Baker, “Steel Bridge, Putnam County, Indiana” (2012)

2 Jan

Bob Baker, Steel Bridge, Putnam County, Indiana (2012)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my first painting of 2012.  It’s a steel bridge in Putnam County, Indiana, located just northeast of Greencastle.

When I was in college at DePauw University (long, long ago) this was known as the “jumping bridge.”  Each Fall when we’d return to campus we’d head out to the jumping bridge and (as the name implies) jump and dive off the bridge into the creek below.  The majority of people sensibly jumped from the bridge railing, but a few would jump from the top.  I once saw a guy do a swan dive from up there.  I think it cost him around ten points off his GMAT score.  I jumped from the top  a couple times, but never went head first.

I really love these old steel bridges.  Most went up in the first quarter of the 20th Century and have proven remarkably resilient.  I love the deep red iron oxide you find all over them.  Each one is a minor engineering marvel.  Did you know that most of the old Ferris Wheels were built by steel bridge companies?  The Ferris Wheel was a natural extension of their business.  You heard it here.

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