"The Bends"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Apr 16 16:48:31 UTC 2002

   I'm at work right now, but IIRC, "the bends" is in OED from 1894.  Harper's Weekly (HARPWEEK database) has "benders"--meaning the same thing--from 1891.  I went to RPI, famous for Washington Roebling.  It's quite famous that Roebling got "the bends" during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Perhaps "the bends" also applied to his father's construction of the bridge in Cincinnati as well.  I'd heard the story about the St. Louis bridge before, too.

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