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Toilers Of The Air

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The workmen on the cables follow closely after the builders of the iron roadway. These men are engaged in more perilous ernploymĂȘnt, if anything, than the fornier. They clirub nimbly np to the 'very sumruit of the huge towers, and then without flinching proceed to desceud the inclined cables. It makes the spectators below tremble for them, so dangerous is the descent, but the workmen have no fear, else they wonld be uhfltted for the dnty required of them. After sliding down the cable a dozen feet, they stop and turn arotind and face the towers. The men working the derrick slowly swing out to them the end of a cable about three inches in diameter. Another man carries out to them-by means of a small hand pulley and rope a redhot band of steel, which the cable workers seize with their pinchers and clasp around the large cable on which they are resting. Then while the steel is still hot and malleable, the small cable, with its end secured in a thick bolt of steel, is brought into position, and the end welded into the redhot steel band encircling the main cable. The workmen pound and forge away, hammering, twisting and bending the metal before it C00I3 off. The weiding must be done rapidly, and the workmen have no time to stop and think of the dangerous position in which they are placed. Probably the only support they have comes from their legs, which they wind tightly around the cable, as they swing their arrus and upper part of the body with violent exertion. When this cable is forged into its place, the workmen take a few moments of rest, and then slide down to the next joint, where the same operation is repeated. Cable after cable is attached in this way until there is a regular tangle of steel work and dangling cables, looking for all the world likea spider'sweb. But there is order in this colossal spider web such as never existed in the home of the insect that weaves the webs in our homes and woods. Gradually one part of the bridge after another is finished, and when the "false work" of ecaffolds is removed the structure stands out in all the beauty of its finished state. The bridge builders must not only be ekilled in their work, but they must have the hardihood and daring of the sailor, for most of their work is performed at an altitude higher than the topmast of any sailing vesseL They labor in all kinds of weather - when the sun is pouring down its torrid rays in midsummer or wha Ășt& meroury registers zero in winter. To them their dizzy height is no more than the 15 or 20 feet are to the ordinary carpenter or house painter. They seldom use ladders. They would be stantly in tne way. ir tney want to reach a higher framework, they climb nimbly np the steel works or jump lightly across froin one trosstoanother. A jump of three feet from girder to Kirder is a commonplace occnrrence to


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News