Rivet from Bradfield Park in North Sydney?

 
  rubymu Beginner

My husband found a long flat head rivet (?) under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Bradfield Park when he was at school in around 1990. He had decided it was a part of the Bridge and kept it. Coming across it recently we realised it probably isn't, given the size and that it's faintly marked Holden.  Made us giggle as he'd never noticed the Holden marking. It was too a good story, to have a bit of the Bridge.

It's about 11cms long with a flat head about 4cms in diameter. Two groves at the end of the long  part, and not hollow like what I would call a rivet.  It has alight covering of rust and light pitting, has a bit of age to it i suspect from the condition. Holden is in raised letters on one side of underside of the head with a 1 or I on the other side. It weighs 87 grams.

Google tells me McPherson manufactured parts for both the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the railways, and Holden.  And that Bradfield Park was used as a depot for machinery during the bridge construction.

I've been speculating, hopefully, that there is some, perhaps tenuous, railway or bridge connection with this thing...

Can anyone help?

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A photo might help, please.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The rivets on the Harbour Bridge have domed heads, not flat, so I think that origin can be ruled out. (There are 6 million rivets in the bridge, and somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand on the bottom of the harbour under it.)

Holden was founded back in the 1860's (I think) as a saddler. It stayed in business for many years, and at some stage early in the 1900's became an automotive body builder. A rivet the size of the one described is far too big to be a car component, and my guess is that it was part of a manufacturing machine. The workshops for the building of the Harbour Bridge were situated where Luna Park is today. It is possible that there was some piece of equipment there, which had been supplied by Holden. Holden became a subsidiary of General Motors in 1931, and the Harbour bridge opened in 1932.
Next time I'm in Sydney (late April) I will be at Bridgeclimb a couple of times, and I'll ask some questions from some of the bods whom I know there. Maybe someone can shed a little light.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Grandpa had a lump of granite from the Harbour Bridge. Dad reckoned the pylons would be twice as high if all those pieces hadn't been souvenired.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Just to follow up on the pylons - they support the approach spans (Bradfield Highway), but have no function at all in supporting the arch itself. They could have been made roadway height only and left at that, but Bradfield wanted the look of the bridge enhanced. The pylons themselves are concrete, faced with blocks of blue granite quarried and hand-cut at Moruya.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Just to follow up on the pylons - they support the approach spans (Bradfield Highway), but have no function at all in supporting the arch itself. They could have been made roadway height only and left at that, but Bradfield wanted the look of the bridge enhanced. The pylons themselves are concrete, faced with blocks of blue granite quarried and hand-cut at Moruya.
Valvegear
Exactly the same as Hells Gate Bridge in New York.. Went over it on AMTRAK returning from Boston last year.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Old photos of the SHB show massive cables holding the arch as it was built and once they met and were secured, the cable were removed.
Although like many I have been around the SHB but have never seen any signs of where the anchor points were.
No doubt they were covered as part of the design once the Bridge was finished.
As the arch is basically one piece, the deck has expansion joints to allow it move and as the whole bridge sits on massive rollers, in theory with enough 'Huffing and Puffing' like 10,000 politicians promising at Election time, the whole bridge could be moved backwards and forwards.

I always thought the rivets used had a head and a solid shank not hollow or split (bificated).

As for being a Dog Spike, I would have thought the rails across the bridge were bolted onto the 'sleepers' as they are throughout the Underground but is it possible in past times they were spiked?

110 CM is about 4 inches and 40 CM is an Inch and a Half, very close to a Dog Spike.
The Railways have experimented with different types of spikes, including the square one so who knows.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
110 CM is about 4 inches and 40 CM is an Inch and a Half, very close to a Dog Spike.
The Railways have experimented with different types of spikes, including the square one so who knows.
gordon_s1942
mm not cm
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
Old photos of the SHB show massive cables holding the arch as it was built and once they met and were secured, the cable were removed.
Although like many I have been around the SHB but have never seen any signs of where the anchor points were.

gordon_s1942
The cables looped around the bedrock underneath.  Incidentally, the cables were reused in the Walter Taylor bridge over the Brisbane River, which still exists.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
110 CM is about 4 inches and 40 CM is an Inch and a Half, very close to a Dog Spike.
The Railways have experimented with different types of spikes, including the square one so who knows.
mm not cm
YM-Mundrabilla
This is where using metric can be confusing as the origonal posting says 110 CM.
Now, when I went to school, 10 Millimetres equaled one Decimetre and 10 Decimetres equaled ONE CENTIMETRE ie 10 X 10.
D = 10, C = 100 as in roman numerals.

One my Metric/Imperial ruler, the metric side the graduations are marked CM so taking 110 CM's and placing it beside the Imperial side, we get close to 4 INCHES.
So, its either 110 MM which equals 4 inches or 110 CM which equals 1110 MM, roughly 40 inches.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
This is where using metric can be confusing as the origonal posting says 110 CM.
Now, when I went to school, 10 Millimetres equaled one Decimetre and 10 Decimetres equaled ONE CENTIMETRE ie 10 X 10.
D = 10, C = 100 as in roman numerals.

One my Metric/Imperial ruler, the metric side the graduations are marked CM so taking 110 CM's and placing it beside the Imperial side, we get close to 4 INCHES.
gordon_s1942
This is all wrong. 1 decimetre is a tenth of a metre, one centimeter is one hundredth of a metre, one millimetre is one thousandth of a metre. 110cm is 1.1metres.

decimetres and centimetres were depricated ages ago, when metrification became the standard for Australia (1973?). Unfortunately people still insist on using centimetres (especially women in dressmaking, I've noticed). It was explained to me that you could just as easily order 400mm or 400cm from, say, a hardware store, but you weren't likely to be ordering 400m of steel (and they were unlikely to be able to supply it). So cm were out to avoid confusion.

I haven't seen decimetres used for ages.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Old photos of the SHB show massive cables holding the arch as it was built and once they met and were secured, the cable were removed.

Although like many I have been around the SHB but have never seen any signs of where the anchor points were.

No doubt they were covered as part of the design once the Bridge was finished.

As the arch is basically one piece, the deck has expansion joints to allow it move and as the whole bridge sits on massive rollers, in theory with enough 'Huffing and Puffing' like 10,000 politicians promising at Election time, the whole bridge could be moved backwards and forwards.
I always thought the rivets used had a head and a solid shank not hollow or split (bificated).
gordon_s1942


As we have already heard, the cables, 128 on each side, were fed from underground anchor points, and supported the northern and southern half spans during erection. When both half spans were completed, the cables were gradually slackened off, and the halves met. The meeting was absolutely spot on for alignment, and the halves were joined. A few hours later, they had separated due to a temperature change, and a final meeting and joining took place at about 10 pm. The cable anchor points are now well buried under the approach spans on each side.

The arch is one piece, but is not supported on rollers. The main support pieces are the king posts; one on each side of the arch at the south end, and the same at the north end, i.e. four king posts. Each king post is close to vertical, and supported on a massive, cylinder-shaped bearing. The arch is self-supporting, and may expand and contract up to 18 centimetres due to variations in ambient temperature. Each bearing can support 20,000 tonnes.

Once the arch was complete, the "creeper cranes" which had lifted the steel components into place were at the top of the bridge. Rather than move them down the arch, the construction of the road deck started from the middle of the bridge and moved outwards towards both ends.

The rivets are indeed solid shank and not bifurcated.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This is where using metric can be confusing as the origonal posting says 110 CM.
Now, when I went to school, 10 Millimetres equaled one Decimetre and 10 Decimetres equaled ONE CENTIMETRE ie 10 X 10.
D = 10, C = 100 as in roman numerals.

One my Metric/Imperial ruler, the metric side the graduations are marked CM so taking 110 CM's and placing it beside the Imperial side, we get close to 4 INCHES.
This is all wrong. 1 decimetre is a tenth of a metre, one centimeter is one hundredth of a metre, one millimetre is one thousandth of a metre. 110cm is 1.1metres.

decimetres and centimetres were depricated ages ago, when metrification became the standard for Australia (1973?). Unfortunately people still insist on using centimetres (especially women in dressmaking, I've noticed). It was explained to me that you could just as easily order 400mm or 400cm from, say, a hardware store, but you weren't likely to be ordering 400m of steel (and they were unlikely to be able to supply it). So cm were out to avoid confusion.

I haven't seen decimetres used for ages.
apw5910
Agree.

When metric measurements were introduced in Australia the centimetre was NOT an approved measurement. Millimetres went straight to metres.

There was a half baked exception where centimetres were approved but ONLY for the rag/clothing trade.

Decimetres have never been approved for use in Australia but there is one instance that I am aware of where they are used and that is in the AEI tags on wagons where the wagon length is/was coded in decimetres.

I assume that this is due to the tags coming from overseas. Probably from the USA where the Yanks have the ability to corrupt any sensible unit of measurement.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I agree Decimetres were never instituted but I have THREE Rulers, one issued by the State Emergency Service of NSW, one of steel, the other clear plastic and ALL 3 show CM as well as MM.
As I see it now,stupidly CM are interchangeable with MM.

Decimetre harks back to Roman Times when it was a practice for the Centurion, the leader of a 100 man squad to pick one out of 10 and kill them as a means of controlling those left and so the word 'Decimate' was introduced into the language.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
About 20 years ago, and for some years afterwards, some bright spark at Shell Oil Company produced specifications sheets for pumps, which gave the required flow rate in cubic decimetres per second.
This was despite the introduction of metrics giving two standard options for flow rates in the pump industry - litres per second or cubic metres per hour. OK; a cubic decimetre is a litre, but why bother? I suspect it was just some smart ar$e demonstrating how learned he was.
  Spinner5711 Train Controller

I agree Decimetres were never instituted but I have THREE Rulers, one issued by the State Emergency Service of NSW, one of steel, the other clear plastic and ALL 3 show CM as well as MM.
As I see it now,stupidly CM are interchangeable with MM.

Decimetre harks back to Roman Times when it was a practice for the Centurion, the leader of a 100 man squad to pick one out of 10 and kill them as a means of controlling those left and so the word 'Decimate' was introduced into the language.
gordon_s1942
CM are not interchangeable with MM.  Your ruler may be calibrated with both, they are quite different.  It takes 10 mm to make 1 cm, a careful inspection of all of your rulers will confirm this fact.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
And the correct way of writing centimetres and millimetres is in lower case, i.e. cm and mm.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I posted early in March that I would be in Sydney in late April. I went to Bridgeclimb twice last week, and, unfortunately, nobody there could shed any light on the origin of the Holden rivet.

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