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Joseph Tomlinson

(Engineer and Draftsman)


Born: June 22, 1816 in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, UK

He was one of fourteen children. His parents where Joseph and Ann (Shearwood) Tomlinson. His father was a land-owner.

Died: May 10, 1905



Joseph Tomlinson was 47 when he was hired by Amasa Stone to be the draftsman of the Ashtabula Bridge. Tomlinson was an experienced bridge builder and brilliant mathematician. He even held a patent for a suspension-bridge. However, Stone proved difficult for Tomlinson to work with. In fact, Stone would have many heated arguments with Tomlinson over the plans he was hired to draft.


Tomlinson, a qualified and educated civil engineer, was frustrated with Stone over the design and plans for the Ashtabula Bridge. Many of the sound engineering ideas Tomlinson suggested to Stone turned into a point of discussion and strong disagreement. He had tried to work with Stone, but after enough of Stone's rants and belittlements, he decided to turn in his resignation just two-months before construction of the bridge was to begin. However, as Stone moved ahead with his plans, many of Tomlinson's suggestions would prove to be true.


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