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Thacher, Edwin, 1839-1920



  • Existence: 1839-1920
  • Existence: 1839 - 1920

Biographical Note

Edwin Thacher was born October 12, 1829 at De Kalb, St. Lawrence County, New York. One of four children and the youngest child of Dr. Seymour and Elizabeth Thacher, the young Edwin Thacher grew up in Hermon, New York of the same county. Thacher entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1860 and graduated with high honors as a civil engineer in 1863. In 1864 Thacher entered the Civil War as Assistant Engineer to the United States military railroads in Nashville, Tenn. After completing his duties for the Army, Thacher's career progressed in rapid succession. He took the position of Assistant Engineer for the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington Railroad (1866-1867) but moved on to his primary career of bridge construction which lasted until 1912. Beginning in 1868 and lasting five decades, Thacher worked as Resident Engineer responsible for the construction of the Fourteenth Street bridge in Louisville, Ky, Assistant and Calcualting Engineer for the Louisville Bridge & Iron Co., Calculating and Chief Engineer for the Keystone Bridge Co. in Pittsburgh, Pa., moved to Decatur, Alabama in 1887 to accept the position of Chief Engineer with the Iron Bridge & Construction Co., moved back to Louisville in 1889 to become a partner with Keeper and Wynkoop, later formulating Keepers & Thacher in 1894 under which several bridges in Kentucky and Kansas were constructed. By 1901 Thacher disolved his business relationship with Keepers and accepted a contract with the United states governmetn for the construction of two large conrete-steel bridges in Porto Rico. In 1901 Thacher became associated with William Mueser under the company name of Concrete-Steel Engineering Company in New York City. Thacher retired in 1912 after 49 years of devotion to bridges. Throughout his career Thacher contributred several papers to the American Society of Civil Engineers regarding Concrete-Steel construction and he was also responsible for inventing and patenting the Thacher Cylindrical Slide Rule in 1881.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Edwin Thacher papers

 Collection — Box 1
Identifier: MC 13

The Edwin Thacher Papers document the years 1873 through 1921, representing Thacher's career as a civil engineer in bridge construction, as well as the creation of Thacher's cylindrical slide rule.

Dates: Created: 1840-1920