"The Bends"

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Apr 16 01:55:02 UTC 2002

  "The bends" are connected with the construction of the Eads Bridge
in St. Louis (completed in 1874) and caused the death of at least
several workers. About eight years ago there was a long article about
the construction of the bridge, including a discussion of "the
bends."  It was in a journal named something like _Science and
Technology_, and I have a copy of the article somewhere in my office.
When I'm back there in a few days, I'll look for it and then post the
bibliographical information to ads-l.

Gerald Cohen

>Does anyone have a date and source for the first use of the
>term "the bends" to refer to the difficulties that divers
>experience with nitrogen solubility and decompression ?
>I would like to know not only where the term originated,
>but also how and when it came to be used outside of the diving
>community as in the phrase, "get bent".

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