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Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Does anyone know and/or have any copies of good references for industrial building structural design from the 1950s, 60s, and even 70s? I always seem to do work on buildings of this era and I would like to see some old reference materials the engineers of that day and time had. I am willing to pay for the resources, so if you all know a place online that sells them please feel free to recommend that. I just want to find access to the information. I'm a younger engineer that just wants to learn from the past. I have seen a lot of these buildings and they all have similar framing bay sizes, layouts, etc. so I assume there were some references at the time that kind of laid out a standard.

Thank you to all,


RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Go talk to the Bldg. Insp. Office near you. Ask for the most senior inspector. Then ask him who is the oldest "live' retired inspector. That person will still have all his books at home. Also contact the nearest University with a CE program. Their library may also have some of the books.

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.

RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

As far as steel Buildings, try Lothers, Steel BuildiLinkng Design. Real good, complete, covers design of elements that we've kind of neglected.

RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

I designed a few industrial buildings in that time period and I can't remember having any referenced standards on layout or bay spacing. Often the client dictated the bay spacing. When bays were rectangular, the open web steel joists ran in the long dimension and beams ran in the short direction.


RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Nick - One way to start is to get copies of the AISC Manual of Steel Construction, Fifth Edition (1947 - 1962), Sixth Edition (1963 - 1969), and Seventh Edition (1970 - 1979). Also, copies of the AISC "Specification for Design, Fabrication and Erection of Structural Steel Buildings" (Editions from 1949, 1961, 1963 and 1969). You could look on Ebay for these documents, the steel manuals are always available there. A more efficient approach could be to join ASIC (for a fee), if you are not already a member, and download all of the above, free. There is much more info there also. See this link:

At a minimum, these books will help familiarize you with the "old" Allowable Stress Design method that was used exclusively during this time - not LRFD or today's version of ASD.

Look through AISC "Modern Steel Construction" archive, it goes back to 1961. You may get pertinent information there or leads to other sources:

Be sure to look through my website, there are some documents scattered around that may help, and everything is free - of course:

www.SlideRuleEra.net idea
www.VacuumTubeEra.net r2d2

RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

njlutzwe, SlideRuleEra's site has a ton of Bar Joist data that I have found to be a valuable resource when doing any work on 1950-1960 Industrial buildings. Considering the present conversions and reapplication of structure going on in the North East of late.

RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

I would also recommend, "Kidder-Parker Architects' and Builders' Handbook". There are several editions starting in the early 1900's up through the 1950's. I've encountered a quite a few unique connections or proprietary member types in older buildings, then get home and find the exact situation diagrammed, described and calc'd in Kidder's book.

RE: Industrial Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Thanks to everyone. This has been a big help!

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