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Information Center for Ropeway Studies

Vernon Kelsey Collection

The Vernon Kelsey Collection (1976-1998) consists of documents and computer programs for the Wang computer to solve catenary equations. Kelsey worked as an engineer in U. S. Steel Corporation's rope facilities in New Haven, Connecticut and Trenton, New Jersey. His focus was on cable calculations for bridges, towers, roof structures and other cable systems, and as part of his job he traveled widely throughout North and South America to address wire rope problems.

Contents of the Kelsey Collection

Part A. Software (Wang 600) for tower guy and suspension bridge cable calculations (1976-1981).

Part B. Software (Wang 600, Apple Macintosh) for pre-stress operating sequences (1976-1986).

Part C. Philippe Petit, Wire Walker. Contains:

  • Philippe Petit Grand Canyon Cable Walk, documents and summary sheets of calculations (1988-1990). Related to Petit's planned cable walk from Hellhole Bend on the South Canyon rim. Petit did the environmental and archeological studies, rigging blueprints, and anchor installation for the walk, but because financial backers withdrew was never attempted by him.
  • Grand Canyon Cable Walk and Eiffel Tower Walk, miscellaneous documents, ephemera and a computer program (MS-DOS/GW Basic) (1988-1990).

Part D. Catenary Computer Calculations. Includes discs, documents, and materials related to "Practical Solutions to Catenaries", 1990.

Part E. Kelsey Genealogy. Includes "A Lifetime of Experience," an autobiographical account of Kelsey's life, 1997.

Part F. Strip mining operations (35mm slides).

Part G. Software, suspension bridge calculations.

Part H. Verrazano Narrow Bridge. Includes photographs and brochures.

Part I. Generalized formulae for wire rope and strands. Includes miscellaneous materials.