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Alfred Pancoast Boller

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Alfred Pancoast Boller (1840-1912)

1914 Obituary [1]

ALFRED PANCOAST BOLLER was born at Philadelphia on the 23rd February, 1840.

After graduating at the University of Pennsylvania, and later from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he gained practical experience as an assistant on the survey of the Nesquehoning Valley Railroad, and subsequently on the repairs of the Lehigh Canal, which had been damaged by floods in 1862.

From 1863 to 1866 he served successively on the staff of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad, and was Engineer of Bridges on the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. In the latter year he was appointed Chief Engineer to the Hudson River Railroad Company, which position he resigned to become New York Agent of the Phoenix Iron Company, and subsequently Vice-President and Engineer of the Phillipsburg Manufacturing Company.

In 1871 Mr. Boller engaged in consulting work in New York, and soon acquired a large and important practice. He designed and built many of the largest bridges in the country, including the bridge over the Harlem River at Madison Avenue, the Albany and Greenbush bridge, the Arthur Kill bridge, the bridge over the Thames Hiver at New London, the viaduct and bridge over the Harlem River at Seventh Avenue, and that over the St. Louis River at Duluth. He also acted as Chief Engineer of the Manhattan Elevated Railroad, and as Chief Engineer of the West Side and Yonkers Railroad, designing the bridge over the Harlem River at Eighth Avenue.

In 1898 Mr. Boller formed a partnership with Mr. Henry W. Hodge, and the firm of Boller and Hodge, afterwards Boller, Hodge and Baird, were responsible for many large structures throughout the country, including the Arkansas River bridge at Little Rock, various bridges for the City of New York, cantilever bridges for the Wabash Railway across the Monangahela River at Pittsburg and across the Ohio River at Mingo Junction, the Montreal River viaduct, the Connecticut River bridge at Saybrook for the State of Connecticut, and the Mississippi bridge at St. Lonin. They were also Consulting Engineers for the steel construction of the Singer and Metropolitan buildings.

Mr. Holler, or his firm, were frequently retained as Consulting Engineers by the United States Government, the State of New York, and the City of New York, as well as by many other cities and railway corporations. They were also appointed Consulting Engineers for the National Lines of Mexico, and for a large number of foreign railway corporations, designing bridges and other structures in various parts of South and Central America, Cuba, the Philippines, and Hayti.

Mr. Boller was an expert in steel construction and foundations, and did much to advance the art of bridge design and construction in America. Both as an engineer and for his fine personal qualities, Mr. Boller won the admiration of all who knew him. He was always willing to give his time for the benefit of others, and was active in Church and philanthropic work. He was a Vice-President of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He died, after a long illness, on the 9th December, 1912.

Mr. Boller was elected a Member of The Institution on the 3rd February, 1801.

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