The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Modjeski, Ralph

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MODJESKI, Ralph, American civil engineer: b. Cracow, Poland, 27 Jan. 1861. He came to the United States with his mother in 1876 and, for American naturalization, he changed his name to Modjeski, his mother being the celebrated tragedienne, Helena Modjeska. He was graduated at the College des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, at the head of the class and with honors. He has designed and built many bridges in the United States, the largest among them being the government bridge at Rock Island over the Mississippi; the Mississippi River bridge at Thebes, Ill.; the McKinley bridge at Saint Louis; the new Bismarck bridge over the Missouri; bridges over the Columbia River at Vancouver, Wash., and Celilo, Ore.; two bridges over the Willamette River at Portland, Ore. He has recently constructed two bridges over the Mississippi River, — one at Memphis, Tenn., and one at Keokuk, Iowa, and is also consulting engineer on the design and construction of the Ohio River bridge at Metropolis, Ill., for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and of the Thames River Bridge at New Haven, Conn., for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. He was one of the three members of the commission on the Quebec bridge, which has the longest span in the world. He received an honorary degree of doctor of engineering at the University of Illinois in 1911; is a past director and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers; member of the British Institute of Civil Engineers and of the American Institute of Consulting Engineers; past president and member of the Western Society of Civil Engineers; member of the Franklin Institute and of the American Railway Engineering Association; also member of numerous engineers' and social clubs.