Swinging Buildings to Defy Quakes (Aug, 1936)

Swinging Buildings to Defy Quakes
UNTIL the age of steel construction, no building could be trusted to defy an earthquake; but a steel building, riveted or welded together, will stand quite a wrench without being pulled apart. Two patented ideas, shown above, propose to separate the structure from its foundation so that, by the principle of inertia, it will stand still, like the pendulum of a seismograph, while the earth sways beneath it. The building, of course, will be somewhat shaken, but nothing in comparison with the shock through a solid foundation.

3 comments
  1. Hirudinea says: December 7, 20122:18 pm

    Well I can see the shock absorbers, the NORAD command in Colorado is mounted on springs, but that ball bearing one is crazy, where would you get ball bearings that big?

  2. Zeppflyer says: December 10, 201211:28 am

    Well, those balls wouldn’t have to be machined too perfectly, or be solid all the way through.

  3. Heracles says: December 11, 20125:01 am

    The Benicia-Martinez bridge apparenly uses such a system:
    http://www.earthquakepr…

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