3 votes

Printer's Papermill Bridge


1886 Binkley's Bridge

Note the lattice portal bracing. Original image source Lancaster County Archives.

Photo uploaded by Art S.


View this photo at unchartedlancaster.com

BH Photo #475599



Copied from: http://www.lancasteratwar.com/

The Columbia Iron Bridge Company built a new two span wrought iron Pratt through truss bridge on the old abutments and center pier and that lasted until an overweight truck dropped one of the spans, killing the driver, on Thursday, September 29, 1929. After this, the road was relocated about 550' downstream (south), mainly to eliminate two right angle bends set in opposite directions of each other on the Pennwick Road end.

The following is a period article describing the collapse: http://www.gendisasters.com/pennsylvania/17788/eden-pa-bridg...

Note the language is as written on September 5, 1929 and is not edited:

Eden, PA Bridge Collapses, Sept 1929 Submitted by Stu Beitler


Lancaster, Pa., Today -- (AP) -- The collapse of a highway bridge, the second such accident in this county in the last eleven days, resulted early today in the death of one man and the probable fatal injury of a negro.

ALEXANDER JAMISON, 35, of 1217 South 31st Street, Philadelphia, was killed instantly, and ROSLER WEAVER, 32, negro, of 222 Chestnut Street, Camden, N.J., was probably fatally injured.

The two men were riding on a truck which was carrying a heavy gasoline road roller. As the truck attempted to negotiate the sharp curve in approaching the two-span steel girder bridge at Eden, four miles northwest of this city on the New Holland pike, it skidded and struck an abutment. The machine righted itself and rolled onto the nearer span. As the full weight of the truck was placed on the span it collapsed and the machine slipped backwards, falling forty feet to the Conestoga Creek. JAMISON was instantly killed and the truck was demolished.

Employees of the Eden Paper Mill near the collapsed bridge, rushed to the scene and removed the injured man from the wreckage and rushed him to a hospital in this city. Eden firemen brought ropes with which they removed JAMISON'S body from the wreckage. His body was brought to an undertaking establishment in this city.

The accident occurred in the midst of an investigation into collapse of the Reading highway bridge on August 25 in which one man was killed and seven were injured when three cars were catapulted to the railroad tracks below.

The New Holland road, a toll road, has been used by many motorists because of a detour on the main highway between Philadelphia and Reading. State Police and state highway patrolmen were at the scene soon after the crash to deflect traffic away from the collapsed bridge.

Lebanon Semi-Weekly News Pennsylvania 1929-09-05


Lost Whipple through truss bridge over Conestoga River on Paper Mill Road
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Built in 1886 replacing a covered bridge that was lost Nov 25, 1882, replaced/relocated after a span collapsed Sept. 5, 1929 due to an overweight truck crashing into it.
- Columbia Bridge Co. of Dayton, Ohio (successors to) [also known as Columbia Bridge Works]
- Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio (also known as)
- D.H. & C.C. Morrison of Dayton, Ohio [also known as Columbia Bridge Works]
Whipple through truss
Length of largest span: 153.0 ft.
Total length: 306.0 ft.
Also called
Eden Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.07903, -76.25952   (decimal degrees)
40°04'45" N, 76°15'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/392610/4437289 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 89870 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 10, 2021: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • June 9, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: Added article from Sept. 5, 1929 describing the collapse
  • July 7, 2020: New photo from Art Suckewer


  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com


Printer's Papermill Bridge (3rd)
Posted July 7, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


Yup, I'm aware.

Plotting the locations of the known bridges is quite interesting:


I'm also aware of probables in VA, NC, TN and possibles in MD & WV. Interestingly, nothing yet in NJ, NY, MI, WI, MO, AR or MN.

Is there a way of mapping bridges built by each manufacturer prior to a certain year? I'm curious how the 'big boys' would stack up against CBW in 1882 and 1890.


Art S.

Printer's Papermill Bridge (3rd)
Posted July 7, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

And when I say Kansas I'm referring to this one...


Printer's Papermill Bridge (3rd)
Posted July 7, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I agree Art! And it's easy to forget that fabricators didn't always work with their own designs. I suspect some of these variations were influenced by early city or county engineers that wanted to leave their mark. And as far as logistics go, we also know they built as far West as Kansas.

Printer's Papermill Bridge (3rd)
Posted July 7, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


I think we have been a bit narrow minded in our thinking in terms of defining features of CBW. There are now at least five CBW bridges pictured on Bridgehunter with some form of lattice portal bracing.

Also, the more I learn the more impressed I am with them:

Quantity (as we are discovering now, much like Bollman, Squire Whipple, and Post many/most of their bridges were replaced before picture postcards were common so their achievement is underappreciated by many),

Location, they had a nationwide, not just regional presence (they were bidding jobs in eastern Massachusetts! Not yet sure if they won any of the bids there),

Diversity of design - simply look at what has been posted so far.


Art S.

Printer's Papermill Bridge (3rd)
Posted July 7, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I concur Art... It's a CBW!😜

It is indeed odd to see Lattice webbing in the portals of one of their bridges!